Viewing entries tagged

Album Update: The Elephant and the Seahorse

Dream Pouches with the logo are available for purchase at shows!

Dream Pouches with the logo are available for purchase at shows!

Dear music 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.

Much love,


New Album on Patreon!

Dear Music Family,

I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones happy and safe.  My thoughts are with those dealing with the aftermath of the many recent natural disasters around the world.  More on that below…

It’s been a while since my last note. I hope you all had a wonderful summer.  Here are the highlights from mine: I got an inflatable Kayak and went lake camping with Charlotte the dog.  Charlotte got a lifejacket which has handles and is hilarious. I missed the eclipse completely. I got a basil plant and haven’t killed it yet. I spent a lot of time in my studio producing records and working on new music.

Also I’m going to Sweden in a week!  I was invited to the High Coast Songwriting Camp, consisting of 18 songwriters from all over the world.  I have no idea what to expect, but I’m super pumped about getting to meet/work with some super talented artists.  And I wouldn’t be mad if a little of that Swedish pop genius rubbed off on my new record.  Speaking of which…

I’m thrilled to announce that recording for my second solo album is officially underway!

The recording process can often be ridiculously isolated… an artist holes up in a studio, house, or underground bunker for weeks/months/years, does irreparable damage to personal relationships and personal hygiene, and emerges some time later to drop new music on an unsuspecting world. However, I’ve always loved when art is more of a conversation than a monologue, when listeners share their experience of the music and the artist reveals the seed behind an idea and how it becomes a finished song.

I want to invite my listeners into the creative process with the help of Patreon. Here’s how it works: You pledge a small monthly amount (as low as $1) and in return I give you access to cool stuff, like unreleased new songs and demos, behind-the-scenes videos of my production process from my studio, and even private online/in-person concerts and custom-composed music. All Patrons get exclusive access to the songs from the new album as they are completed, long before they are made available to the public. When you sign up at any level you will immediately get access to the first song from my new record, “Show Yourself.”

In light of recent events, I am donating 100% of all first-month proceeds from everyone who pledges by October 31 to disaster relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

It’s a strange time to be a musician as well as a music fan… we often wonder how to best support the independent artists we love… should we buy CDs, stream them on Spotify, or go see them on tour?  If you’re a fan of what I do as an artist, Patreon is THE BEST way to support my ongoing ability to create music and share it with the world. Please consider checking it out!

One more thing: None of this would be possible without the steady hand of my friend and new community manager for this Patreon campaign, Josephine Huynh.  She’s been working tirelessly alongside me to get ready for the launch, helping to design rewards that would be fulfilling for supporters, and helping to keep me on track throughout this process while I was consumed with writing and recording the music and occasionally pulling my hair out.  She’s talented, intelligent and organized, and I know firsthand that her support for the artistic community means the world to us musicians. People like her are a huge reason why we keep doing what we do.  Thank you Josephine!

Thanks so much for being part of this conversation.

Much love,

Alex Wong