This album is written to the artist, as an exhortation to persevere. It is a bildungsroman of sorts, as it chronicles my own journey as artist over the last few years. The story begins with "Fort Madeline", where the lead character sets out on a journey to find a contribution to present to the world. The Bach Prelude then portrays the first few stages of that journey, which are full of pleasant surprises and enjoyable discoveries. However, the character then becomes overly self-confident, and runs into trouble, at which point he realizes several key flaws within his own personality that need addressing, most notably how his words often contain meanings he did not anticipate. The song "Your Words Forget Their Names" describes this stage, and "The Struggle" expresses his convoluted path during this time. The Moonlight Sonata speaks to the patient endurance of his soul, and doesn't allow him to take any shortcuts. "Distance, My Foe" explains the character's determination to succeed in his goals and the drive to return to Fort Madeline despite how far he still needs to travel. Finally, "Moments of Halcyon Age" is the song he sings while he is on the road - it reminds him to hope for the future, and to enjoy the key moments along the way which give his life eternal significance.
For more information on each specific song and the symbolism therein, please click on an individual track and read the description.
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I am so grateful to all my friends and family who have helped me out with this project:
Arran Baird – your mixing advice and your rock-solid bass guitar playing really made a difference. Looking forward to more projects in the future!
Christine Wu – your cello part in “Distance, My Foe” is arguably the emotional climax of the album. Thank you for playing so passionately and skillfully!
Dave & Brenda Sanden – You are my parents. Therefore, I complain about you far more than I should and thank you far less than I ought. Would I be even remotely successful without you? Nope, not a chance. Thank you for raising me to love music along with so many other things.
Jamie Smith – Thank you so much for lending your amazing skills as an artist, and for being willing to partner with me in this project! The painting is absolutely phenomenal, and I am so glad I decided to call you up and ask for help. Great music is made complete by great album artwork, and the image you have have created is stunning – I could not have wished for any better.
Joan Keay – Your decade of piano instruction gave me the tools to do this project. I love Bach because of you.
Joel Krahn – that snare drum in Fort Madeline really pops!
John Sanden – Your critique is useful because you are right. Having such high standards for your work has helped me increase my own. Thanks, brotha’.
Kris Barns – Your have the ears of a master! Thank you so much for listening to my mix and giving me your thoughts and criticism – your opinion is always appreciated (whether I chose to follow it or not).
Kristen Chan – Your violin playing makes me so happy every time I hear it! Thank you for being patient with me as I learned the process of creating a score for a studio musician - you performed it masterfully.
Natalie Cheung – You sing beautifully. I am so pleased you were able to lend your voice to this project!
Nathan Ehret – Thank you, my friend, for putting up with late-night recording sessions, countless unfinished mix-down iterations, and a constant stream of musical commentary and updates, which you graciously endured for the whole trajectory of this project. I would have given up long ago without your continuous daily encouragement.
Rebecca Sanden – Your confidence in my work is such an encouragement – thanks, Becky.
To those who I have not listed – thank you! Your patience and support are greatly appreciated, and your encouragement is no less appreciated just because your name is not here.
The artwork for this album has been created by an amazing Vancouver artist, Jamie Smith. You can check out more of her work here: www.jamiesmithstudio.com