Journey Home…on the Sawyer Highway
Creating this CD has been quite a journey. While it’s been more than 10 years since I released my second solo album, I have written a variety of songs for different projects, including a jazz, a country, a Christmas and a gospel CD. It really feels good to return to my solo piano inspirations and finally put something together. The CD in your hands began almost three years ago, with spans of months at times between writing.
This spring, my wife, Susan, encouraged me to get serious about this project and couldn’t be more thrilled with the results. Each song each has its own personality, giving this CD more of a variety of styles than my previous 2 solo projects. As life changes, creativity is affected by those changes. These songs tell the story of a life journey, much like changing seasons. Life encouraged me to listen to music differently than I have in the past, not only hearing it, but seeing it as well.
A unique thing about this project is the inspiration I had last January to marry art and music, similar to an approach that Monet and Debussy took over a century ago. During the Impressionist Era, musicians wrote music to a photograph or painting, knowing that we are influenced by everything in life. Once I started expressing musically, the emotion I felt while looking at photos of my daughters playing, special places visited, or a Lake Ontario sunset, the music seemed to write itself.
I had the great opportunity to work with some very talented artists and dear friends throughout this project. All of the songs were recorded in my home studio in Sterling, NY. There were lots of laughs as well as many long hours put into this CD. One of our jokes was considering “The Bathroom Chronicles” as a title, because all of the musicians tracked their parts in the bathroom next to the studio. Instead, we chose to include their photos of their bathroom recording session in the collage found in the jacket of the CD.
Along with having such a deep writing experience with the music, I have also had the pleasure to work with a very dear and talented friend, Kyle Meddaugh. Recently I had seen some of Kyle’s photographs and thought it would be the perfect opportunity to work with a fellow artist, putting photos and music together. What we created together is my musical translations of his view of beautiful upstate, NY, as well as a few personal photographs.
As the album was nearing completion, I had to decide on a serious title that conveyed the theme of a journey through life and the changes that happen along the way. While traveling home from a vacation with my wife this summer, we found ourselves on the Sawyer Highway. We pulled over and snapped a picture of the sign, not realizing at the moment it would be the finishing touch on this three year musical adventure. A journey through music, a journey through change, a journey through life. I hope you enjoy the music as much as I have enjoyed writing it.