Even as I was shifting the course of my studies to emphasize creative writing and the pursuit of a literary life, I was being propelled headlong into the likes of Jack Kerouac and Ernest Hemingway by an unwavering admiration for the stories unfolding in my favourite rock music. For me, even as I was only starting to explore the writing of stories, novels and poems – and wouldn’t for another two years start learning to play the guitar – the Vonnegut quote rang true:
“Virtually every writer I know would rather be a musician.”
But since then I’ve slowly been unravelling the secrets that songwriters and performing artists use to envelope their audiences in the magic that is music. Taking on the project as one of individual learning, I have found teachers in books and video, friends and people I sought out and forced to teach me various elements of plucking, strumming or singing, finally arriving at a general rule of thumb:
Never turn down an opportunity to play music with people.
Which has led me to some interesting places of late: invitations to jams and parties, friendships forged with some talented and boundlessly inspiring people, and a new outlet for my creative energies that I am only just beginning to understand.
Above you’ll find a collection of songs I’ve written, or helped write, over the past few years. I record a lot of work in progress on my Youtube channel, where you’ll also find artifacts from the last few years teaching music, including the video saga of spring 2012’s The Bears (aka the Thirty Person Rock Band Project).