Dear Patreon family,
Happy August! I know I’ve been a little quiet over here but I promise it’s been for good reason… as of this post, I’m nearly done with all of the recording for the entire album!! I can’t tell you how excited I am to share this music with all of you, and how grateful I am for your presence here every step of this process. Quite simply, this album would never have happened without your incredible support. Thank you thank you thank you!
In the coming weeks we will be making some very big announcements… about an upcoming US/Canada tour (with secret patron-only gifts), about a special cross-disciplinary artist collaboration for the album (that I’m SO FREAKING EXCITED ABOUT), about a patron-only listening party (where I will live-stream the entire finished record only to patrons, straight from my studio), as well as some exciting additions to the Patreon page itself. In other words, shit is about to go down… so get ready!!
But back to the present moment… today I wanted to share a little more insight into what inspired the songs that became this record. I was moved to create this album as a way to deal with my somewhat complicated relationship with my own memory. I’ve always had a deep fear that I’m losing parts of my memory... throughout my life family members, especially my sister, would reminisce about a shared experience we’d had as children… she would recall detailed recollections of events, even ones focused on me, like my own birthday parties… that I would simply have zero memory of. It saddened me that it felt like chunks of my life were simply missing from my own archives.
At the same time, I would often experience vivid memories of places I’d never been, down to the exact buildings that I would discover later in life. I would have memories of dreams that felt like deja vu, only to have them transpire years later (I have journal entries detailing some of these before they happened). I would have memories from dreams that stuck with me so vividly that years later, it became confusing whether they were from a dream or from waking life. I would also have recurring dreams that would pop up over many years as if urging me to find a deeper meaning in them.
I was particularly inspired by this episode of Radiolab which talks about what actually happens in our brain when we remember something… conventional wisdom tells us that our memory is like a large filing cabinet where all of our experiences are stored, and when we want to remember something we go to the filing cabinet and retrieve the memory. sometimes we have a hard time finding the file but we still trust that it’s in there... somewhere…
Well, according to this episode, that idea is basically completely wrong. Through a series of experiments scientists were able to show that when we remember something, we are actually recreating the entire memory from scratch. and every time we recall something, we run the risk of altering, changing, and degrading it slightly. So, counterintuitively, the memories we relive the most are actually the ones that may be the furthest from what really happened. This blew my mind, and made it into one of my upcoming songs, called “It Used To Be A Movie,” which you’ll hear in a few days. All the songs on this album were written to explore these experiences of memory in one way or another.
When I first started working on the album last fall, I designed a logo for the record, pictured above: an elephant and a seahorse. The elephant’s relationship with memory is perhaps obvious, thanks to their reputation in our popular culture as the reigning champs of all things remember-y. The seahorse, however, was a more oblique reference. As I was doing some research for some of these songs, I learned about the hippocampus, the part of the brain believed to control emotion, memory, and the automatic nervous system. It got it’s name because it is literally shaped like a tiny seahorse…and the name for the genus for seahorse is, you guessed it, hippocampus.
I hope this brings an added depth to the experience of this album. Now, go back and listen to all the songs and think about seahorses! And as always, hit me up with any questions or comments about my writing process (or seahorses). Always happy to share.
OH! I almost forgot! We are exactly ONE PATRON AWAY reaching our THIRD MILESTONE GOAL OF 160 PATRONS! That’s freaking huge! So if you know anyone who’s been considering signing up, tell them to just do it already and push us over the edge, for they will be immortalized as a hero in the years to come. In all seriousness, crossing the milestone means that I can afford to buy some much needed equipment to greatly enhance the visual content I post to Patreon. Everybody wins!
You are all the best. Thank you for getting us here. More very soon.