1. I only own one Tragically Hip album – Up to Here, released in 1989. It was the Hip’s debut ...
Album 3 of 4 for Release Week (here’s #1 & #2) is a solo piano album called, You Haven’t Been. Of the 4, it’s the most personal since all the pieces are inspired by my long-term battle with depression and anxiety.
All 13 pieces on this album were written over the last 4 or 5 years, the majority in 2015. It was sort of a strange creative process because I didn’t really consciously tell myself, “okay, write an album about your depression!” These were character pieces written to create a certain melancholy mood, and then in essence, it emerged afterwards through a personal journey of soul searching that this is what they truly reflected.
This is not surprising as battling my own demons is something that I have been doing pretty well my entire life. These mental health challenges culminated about 10 years ago when it got bad enough that I had to go to the doctor about it. I was referred to a psychotherapist and found those sessions to be very helpful.
It was ironic that all these issues came to the surface back during this time, because it was also 10 years ago that I released my first album, I’ll Be Good. That album was a compositional puke-fest of everything that had built up within me throughout my life up to that point. To get it out was awesome but also very tiring physically and mentally thus making me more vulnerable to the depression that had always been there. Because of that connection, You Haven’t Been is a bit of a contradictory reply (both in title and musically) to I’ll Be Good.
It felt really great to perform/record my own compositions again. It can sometimes be a hard balance to find the time between composing and keeping up my piano-playing chops. Sometimes I feel it’s just easier to get others to play…that saves time. But there’s something about having that emotional connection to the music when I get to play it myself. I hope that sentiment shines through in the sound of this album.
So here it is world, my inner most feelings and demons through the sound of the piano. Not sure if it’s a good thing to listen to if you’re challenged by similar battles, but I hope it gives you the courage to try to find your own means of getting it all out. I think that’s a good thing as part of a healing process… I know making this album has helped me immensely.
Special thanks to Julian Decorte for his late-night concentration and quality engineering work and to Dennis Patterson for providing a fine master.
Click here to listen to the album in it’s entirety. I would love to hear from you about it!