Recovery

An album examining impermanence and the process of healing

RecoveryThis album is about healing, it’s not intended to be able to heal. Music can be soothing, and many aspects of music can be therapeutic. I participated in a music therapy project a couple of years ago with Alzheimer’s patients, and learned first hand the kinds of effects music can bring to those suffering and struggling to maintain their basic humanity. But that is a different subject and not what this album is about.

By comparison, my musical intention is more mundane. It deals with everyday recovery from everyday loss by everyday people. Impermanence is a fact, but it is the fuel upon which life (and nonlife) sustains itself and moves on. Being attuned to the impermanence of beauty, happiness, and peace is a gift, and it teaches valuable lessons for dealing with ugliness, sorrow, and conflict.

  1. Song of Longing. Loss is difficult; it always leaves a hole that takes time to fill. Though it brings emptiness, it also brings a flood of memories that are often beautiful. Loss does not bring happiness, but the sorrow it brings is the result of happiness.
  2. 3am, Wide Awake. Recovery can make sleep difficult, even frightening. When I am awake in the middle of the night, it is more often from anticipation than reflection. But this is not the case with everyone, and for some, sleep brings no peace. That doesn’t mean they don’t get tired.
  3. Underwater. Recovering often seems like you can’t breathe.
  4. Death of a Bumblebee. (Apologies to Rimsky-Korsakov.) Living in the desert, most of my homes have had either a pool or, in one case, a fishpond. Bees come to the water for moisture, and sometimes they end up going for a swim. Not a good idea. I save them if I can.
  5. Just Not The Same. A friend told me this once after a terrifying event with one of their children. What we miss was sometimes not there to begin with. That doesn’t make it any easier.
  6. Just Suppose. Guilt.
  7. Sleeping Dragon. Sometimes the best we can do for a while is to put the dragon to sleep. We tiptoe around and try not to wake him up. Woe to those who wake him up for you.
  8. Sleeping Princess. Where there is a sleeping dragon, there is also usually a sleeping princess. We may try to ignore everything for a while, but closing up to sorrow and ugliness is also to ignore happiness and beauty. She can awaken too, and she is not always happy about being ignored.
  9. Confession. More guilt.
  10. Bounce.  The lessons of impermanence are patience and timing. Peaks and valleys are part of everything. On the way down, knowledge offers resilience, and we bounce instead of crash, usually.

The album was recorded at my home in Phoenix AZ in November 2010. It is Album #20 and was released on June 25, 2018 by SMS Recordings SMS021.