Tag Archives: Thought

A Childs Nightmare

I released this song about a month ago now.

I hope you guys have been enjoying it!

If you haven’t heard it yet, take a listen here:

It is a song that kind of came out of no-where. I was not planning on writing a song at all. In fact I was playing my guitar earlier that night and was just frustrated with it so I put it away.

My son was in bed one rainy night and woke up crying and screaming uncontrollably. I thought at first that it was a night terror and that perhaps he would go back to sleep. Well, after a few moments I realized that he was definitely up.
He had this severity and urgency in his voice.
I walked into his room and he stood up immediately, reached for me and began to exclaim “Daddy come here!”. I picked him up and he just wailed on my shoulder. He threw his arms around my neck and buried his head in my chest as if his life depended on it.
I asked him if he was ok and he replied a very shaky, tear filled “yes”.
He couldn’t really remember what he was dreaming about, or maybe he was too scared to express it, but either way, it was real, it was intense and it was scary.
I was just glad that I was able to be there with him.

We eventually sat on the floor and he sat in my lap with his back up against my chest. His breathing was beginning to slow back down to a normal pace with the exception of a occasional sigh.

To watch my son experience this just broke my heart, but the moments during and after this are things that I hope to never forget.

Children really are a blessing and they remind me of that in the strangest times!

I can still quite vividly remember some of my nightmares as a child. And to this day, they feel quite real, quite intense and pretty scary. While I don’t know much about nightmares, I feel like they have their purpose, their place and their meanings. In some ways, they remind me of something so much bigger than our mundane day to day activities.
As a result of this night and all of these thoughts, I picked up my guitar fairly late that night, and this song came out of it.
I really like this song and am quite excited about it.
I hope that you all enjoy it to.

Please let me know what you think! I would love to hear from you guys!

Until next time.

Be well!

Jonathan.

The News of Another Son

This song title came from the fears, excitement, joys and hopes that come from expecting a second child. In some ways, I am not as freaked out about what is coming, but in other ways, I have no idea what to expect. This particular song was written as I thought about the joy of what is coming.

    I am so stoked that we are having another boy. Truth be told, I was really hoping for a velociraptor, but a boy works too! Hahaha! My wife on the other hand was hoping for a girl, but we knew that we would not be disappointed either way. As we were watching this little guy on the monitor at the Dr’s office, I was just amazed that we could really see this little guy moving around and all of his different parts. Which I have to tell you, one of the first things we saw was his “boyish” features. We both new right away before the technician told us that we were having a boy. Just the fact that we can see this human moving around inside the womb of mommy is pretty incredible. I mean think about it, this lil dude is swimming around right now and we have the ability to watch him do what he does in there. We could see his lungs moving, his blood flow, his heart beat, his hands move and toes wiggle. Just incredible!
    To be a father is kinda scary, but it is the biggest blessing and I can’t imagine life without out my son. Don’t get me wrong, parenting has its challenges, but to watch them grow and figure things out is just amazing. Every day they learn new things, say new things, and do new things. I anticipate that there will be much laughter in our house with the interaction of our first son and his little brother.
    This song is really written from my anticipation of watching this little guy grow up. To see what he will do to test things, how he will learn things, and those really amazing sounds that newborns make, like the shrieks of pterodactyls flying in the sky, or the joyous smiles that have not been tainted from the outside world. I have absolutely no idea what this little guy will be like, but I know that no matter what, I will love him more than I could ever explain. So as I process the reality that we are about to have another child, I can’t help but be overwhelmed with a unexplainable joy for the arrival of this little guy. This is a glimpse into the inspiration of this song.

Mistakes

Mistakes….

So, I haven’t been around a long time, but I have played with some really amazing musicians and bands. Or at least I think they are. Song writers, to folk bands, and even gospel choirs. What we all have in common is our capacity to make mistakes.  No one is immune!
Let me start this off by painting a picture for you. I was leading worship at church a little over a year ago. It was just me and my guitar and a back-up vocalist. I started the worship service, thinking that it would be really cool to start the song out acapella and then come in strumming hard. Yeah, well, that didn’t go so well, I started the song in the wrong key and it got all messed up. We quickly got back on track, but I was less than thrilled to start the sercive out like that. Then halfway through the second song, I got a bit lost and started hitting the wrong chords all together. I got so lost that I had to stop the song all together. I spoke into the microphone, and laughing, said, “well, this is just a perfect reminder of how imperfect we are”. Oh, it was a mess! We just started the song over. But after that, I was completely loosened up and the rest of the service went pretty smoothly.
This might sound weird, but I think Mistakes are good! Im going to say that again,  MISTAKES ARE GOOD! Here’s why:
 I am not saying that we shouldn’t take the time required to prepare, rehearse, practice and polish our chops. But what I am saying is, don’t let a mistake stop you from doing what you enjoy and love to do. It’s easy to get really down on yourself and be tempted to quit altogether when you make a mistake, but that in itself would be a BIG mistake! Here’s what I mean:
  If mistakes don’t happen, then you can’t get better.  We learn from how we mess up.
Who reading this is perfect?………. Oh thats right, none of us are…
Here’s a challenge for us both:  What if, one person in the audience saw your performance, watched you mess up one song so bad that you had to stop and start it over again? What if they needed to see that to be reminded that we all mess up? What if one person is encouraged by that one indication of your humanity?
Again, I have to emphasize that we SHOULD practice, prepare, rehearse, etc. However, even when we practice till we are blue in the face, some days are really good and everything clicks, but some days are really brutal. In music, as in life, accept it, reflect on it, but then move on!
 I say this as much to myself as to you:  Mistakes are not defeats!
    They are fantastic tools to push you to better things.
I can say, that I have seen some pretty bad performances, and have listened to some really bad recordings and songs. But, I will say this, I respect the person who gets up after a defeat(mistake), collects his or her thoughts, rethinks his or her approach, spends some more time working things out and tries again.  It reveals character and perseverance.
Yes, our egos might be bruised after big mistakes, but we really need to learn to drop our pride and let people see our imperfect and real selves. In my experience, you can actually have a deeper connection with a musician (or vice versa, with a  fan) when your imperfection has not been covered up and hidden away.
I hope that this helps you, and maybe gets the creative juices flowing again.
As always, Thank you for taking the time to read this and be a part of this!
How have you used mistakes to help you or to grow your art in some way?  I would love to hear your stories!

Ideas, Thoughts and Goals

Ideas, Thoughts and Goals…..

As I sit and think about what it means to be an artist/musician and also some of the things that I really enjoy about other artists/musicians and what they are doing, aside from making music. I come to my second blog. And in the name of transparency, I want to dive into what I really hope to accomplish through this blog and my music, also, I am hoping to set myself some “obtainable” goals through this process, and put my thoughts out on paper.
So I recently asked a question on my Facebook page, it said :
“What do you like about artists aside from the music they make?”
 I received a whole bunch of different answers, some of which I agreed with, like a connection with the lyrics, and music that touches the soul, live performances, ect.  But some took me off guard. As I think about where I would like this to go and the future of all of this. There were two answers that really stood out to me. They said,
Their collective personality
and also
That they are decent people off stage as well as on, not in the news for trashing hotel rooms, beating girlfriends, etc.”
which I also agreed with. But, as I thought about it again, it really struck me.,… “What does that look like for an independent artist or solo musician?” I most certainly do NOT want to be known as a “rowdy” guy off stage. At least not rowdy in the sense of destruction, pain, hurt and beatings or any other types of destructive behavoir.
Those comments really solidified my thought process of being transparent, to let people in to what I do. I have no dreams of becoming a massive star or making millions of dollars. I just want to create music that comes from my heart, and I want to share it. I also want to be able to interact with anyone who has a question and be able to help those that may want it. I’m just a normal guy who puts his pants on just like you. One leg at a time. I have struggles and fears, temptations and challenges, desires and dreams, the list goes on! And I hope to share a lot of that with you.
   Now let me just say this, I write music for me! Not to sound conceded, but let me explain my thoughts. For me, if I am writing music solely for the purpose of making a million dollars, then the focus of the music is on a broad range of people, and may or may not be written from the heart.  Some would call this “mainstream”. I am not saying that it is a bad thing, and not all artists who are in the mainstream media are like this. I am also not saying my ego wouldn’t love it, if by some chance a song of mine was heard by millions of people and I was on a huge tour. I will admit that I have day dreamed about that, but truthfully, out of all the concerts that I have been to, the ones that are the most memorable and the most enjoyable, were the ones in the small venues, with a couple hundred or so people.
Maybe even less than that.
   I have a HUGE taste for music, and it covers a broad range of genre’s. I like Classical music all the way to Screamo. And a lot thats in-between. A friend of mine told me a long time ago, that
Even bad art that asks good questions is good art
I am not saying that there isn’t some really bad music out there, but my mind set shifted a bit when I started looking at things that way. And so it opened me up to a lot of different things. I think that we need to be careful what we feed our minds and souls, but, if questions are being asked, and its making us really understand what message is being conveyed, then I think that is a good thing.
   So that brings me to what I think I would like to see accomplished through this. I think that it is a sliding scale of goals, because ideas change, and long term verses short term, but I feel like it is important to set some goals.
   First:
I want to get the  songs that I have written and rehearsed for the last two years onto a downloadable form with in the next 2 months…
And also to have all the inspiration behind all of those songs here on my blog. Now since I don’t write lyrics, it can mean what ever you want it to, but, I would really like to share some of the struggles and joys that I was going through during the song writing process.
    Second:
Would be to begin playing live in different venues. I am not a bar guy, so I think that I would like to play outside more than inside. I have always enjoyed seeing artists perform outside, provided that it is not raining and I didn’t forget my rain jacket. So that is making me look at lots of different venues. I have a few things lined up for the upcoming months, so stay tuned. I don’t have the ability to “go on tour” and I don’t think that going on tour is something I want to do. But who knows? I don’t want to look to far in the future, short term goals are easier to accomplish and less overwhelming than “Bigger Picture Goals”.
     Third:
 Would be a website that has links to everything. News, Facebook, this blog, Bandcamp, contact info ect. I have never built a website, so this should be a good learning experience!!! I will explain more about Bandcamp later in the upcoming weeks once I have music up on that page that you can download. But in the meantime, If you are not familiar with it, PLEASE check it out. Go to Bandcamp.com. It is a great site for exploring different music.
    Fourth:
Another one of my goals is to let people see  how music is created and recorded, what gear is used and some of the tricks that I use, and to put some videos together on Youtube to demonstrate to you these things. I want you to see some of the chord voicings that I use, and that good music can be created in a normal every day ol bedroom. You might be surprised how many bands/artists have been able to make beautiful music from their bedroom.
     Fifth:
Interaction. I know that is a weird goal, but I hope to be able to communicate with you. I want you to be able to ask questions, and not feel like you are not a part of this. Because if you are here, you are! I like the word “community”, I believe that it is one of the things that is “wired” with in us.
So, this is more of my story and some of my thoughts and goals.
Thanks for taking the time to read this!! If you have any questions or want to share your story, leave a comment. Lets talk!
Jonathan.