I was inspired to embark on this project after reading Victor Wooten's book "The Spirit of Music" in January of 2022. The book reminded me of the debt I owe to the many Teachers who have guided me on the path of Music and my responsibility to pass along what they have taught. This album is a token of gratitude for all I have been given and an expression of the beauty and joy that I continue to find in Music. It is my hope that you too will experience the incredible depth and joy of Music as you listen through this album.
I didn't actually set out to make an album; rather, I was inspired to pursue a simple goal: record a song every day for twelve days. Come what may, I was going to play around with sound and craft it into a song, then do it again the following day. The first couple of days were open explorations, playing with various msucial textures and forms. I had no idea in mind as to what I wanted to do, what kind of music I wanted to make. I just wanted to make music. There is really only one criteria in Music - what feels good. This is a deceptively simple comment, what feels good is an ever-changing target, difficult to pin down. One must traverse the depths of mind, body, emotion and the sensory world to try dig out what creates energy and what blocks it. One thing might move you one day and annoy you the next - to find something that consistently moves you is part of the path. In a sense, I think this very journey of "what moves you" is the craft of Music and perhaps what Music actually is.
After a few days I started to have some musical material to look back on and started to find my voice, as they say. These weren't just creations out of the thin air, but we're intimately connected to each other. Each song created a certain kind of energy that flowed into the next, creating a weave of feelings and emotions to be experienced from one song to the next. By the ninth day, the whole became clear and I conceived of the final three pieces, yet to be written, as a whole unto themselves. Until the end, the connections between song were not something I thought about, they happened subconsciously, the musical content of the songs and the energy of musical creation were functioning synchronistically. I would surmise that the way this process works is that a lifetime of listening to and making music has made a deep imprint on me. This imprint is what expresses itself through composition. I don't think of this composition as something that "I" am doing or something that "I" am creating. Rather it is the imprint of thousands upon thousands of songs I have heard and played and the nuances of thousands of performers expressing themselves again in new ways. In the search for "what feels good" one is drawing from this deep well.
So I'd like to suggest that Symphonye Aire isn't just a compilation of songs. Rather, it's one song in twelve parts. The inspiration for the title came from this realization. The etymology of symphony is "harmonious sound". "Sum" in latin is together and "phone" is sound - sumphonia. The latin made its way to French and the French to English. As I started to feel the connection of the songs together, it reminded me of the way a classical symphony might proceed - an opening movement creates the overall feel of the piece, which transitions into a slow movement, perhaps a waltz and then a finale. Though the pieces are separate, there is something that holds them together that is difficult to articulate. The traditional "album" also had these characteristics. Not so long ago, families would sit around the record player and listen from start to end a full length album. It wasn't just a collection of songs, but a "non-classical" symphony of movements whose flow from one to the other created an emotional arc that could only be felt by listening to the whole. This is how I concieve of Symphonye Aire, a hybrid album/symphony, with a mixture of popular forms and instruments as well as classical structure and texture. My profound and heartfelt thanks to the many Teachers who have graced my path in this life, and specifically those who have transmitted to me the energy of Music and Spirit. And to all who have supported my path of Music, in any way, thank you from the depths of my heart. May all beings be happy, free from suffering, never separate from the bliss that is sorrowless, always aware of their true nature.