What is a journal entry?

Let's begin in some imagined place...

Picture the sound of the train doors as they open. The mechanized hum, the scrape of metal, the outside sounds breathing into view. Familiar sounds, but there is always more than just this. Picture the sound of the train doors opening you into some place entirely foreign, a bold new somewhere. Picture the doors opening into some bold new somewhere, in light of the things you may have left behind. Picture all that you have left behind in light of everything you may hope to find. There is always more. Beyond the details, a story is always reaching to be told.

Lives move in this way. Often we do not. The doors open. They close. We move. The story elapses without celebration. Or the celebration is swept away in the noise as we make our way through it all. Hours. Weeks. Lives. What of our days have we tasted? What do we get to keep?

Inside these snapshots, there is a human core, a tangle of threaded truth and lies and dreams and everything else. Music is the only way I know to reach for these things, to remember them, to know them.

A Journal Entry

It used to be that I would come home at the end of the day, go straight to the piano (or whatever I had on hand), and play what I had seen, whatever came to mind. November 15th took a shape all its own, August 9th, May 20th. There was no plan to "write songs". There was no idea in mind I'd hoped to play. I didn't even particularly hope to be a composer. Maybe today all I want is to spend a little longer in that field of chest-high grass and gather whatever sweet details I may have missed. Maybe today I linger in that conversation from this morning, or be lost in the heartbreak of a dear friend and let it be my own for just an hour, like it had all happened to me.

Nowadays, I press the record button when I journal. In the last several years, there have been hundreds of journal entries. Many are as simple as a few strums of a guitar. Many took me deep into sunrise and tried to tell me everything all at once. Some will eventually grow up to become songs and some of those will be released formally. But often, a journal entry simply wants to be left alone. They come when they want to, they say what they have to say. There's not much for me to do about it.

When this happens, I'm left with hundreds of audio files which are not songs and likely will not ever be. As time permits, I'd like to share these with you here, with whatever stories brought them to life. I'll post new entries whenever there is something I want to share, and over time will also go back and dig up older entries as well.

Some of these will be free to download, remix, chop up, and do what you like with them. I hope you enjoy messing with them. Feel free to advance these stories in your own way, and don't forget to share your versions, musings, experiments. Perhaps I'll post your entries as well.

 

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