MOVIE: I can’t whole-heartedly pick just one movie, but today I’m going to say Forrest Gump. I love all the meaningfulness in it, and it has everything from comedy to drama to beautiful cinematography. It feels so emotionally complete.
BOOK: There’s a book called Father Arseny that hit me hard when I was about 14 years old and remains my favorite book to this day. It’s a biography of an Orthodox priest who was thrown into a concentration camp during Stalin’s reign in Russia and was eventually set free and had to rebuild his life and help rebuild the lives of others. It’s translated from Russian, so the language isn’t its strong point, but it’s from a time and place that’s so foreign to me in both a horrific and beautiful way that it really felt like a new experience that opened my eyes.
SONG: "Claire de Lune" by Debussy. This song haunts me in a good way.
What are you musical inspirations when you compose your songs?
Ah, I usually have inspiration coming from all angles and then try to make it all fit together as best as possible! I’m a pretty scatter-brained songwriter. For example, "My New Friends" was lyrically inspired by one of my friends becoming a father when he was about 20/21 years old. The music during the verses and bridge was inspired by classical music that has a lot of movement with chords only composed of 2 to 3 notes. The musical breaks with the pounding drums were inspired both by real life trains out here in the southwest and other groups like Sigur Ros, Arcade Fire, and Efterklang that have a massiveness to their music. I also wanted to model the contrast between the verses and musical breaks/chorus to be dramatic like Nirvana used to do a lot. Loud, noisy choruses and quiet verses. The outro is directly inspired by the outro in “Obstacle 1” by Interpol. I absolutely love how that part of the song changes the entire emotion of it. Mix it all together and you have a tune :)
Moving up to the cabin today! I will eventually have internet up there, but need to set up a satellite dish first, so I’m not sure how long I’ll be disconnected from you lovely folks. I apologize in advance if it takes me a long time to respond to comments/questions. Now it’s off to the open road…
When I say blessing I mean it in the sense of carrying a simple, positive hope for someone. Over the past few months I’ve been trying to bless strangers and to avoid developing opinions about them based on such limited information.
I might sit there in the restaurant and think "Hey, that waitress probably has a family that really loves her and friends that do to. I hope she’s doing alright in life right now. All the best to you." I don’t know if the simple act of hoping has any great direct influence on those we hope for, but I know it makes us more likely to be patient and understanding towards them and our world.