It has been about 12 years since I last released a CD with my band UniversalDice but a new CD is imminent. In fact, it actually physically exists as we speak but is still in the process of being distributed to the many digital outlets that would include iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify and so on. They should all have the CD and the individual tracks available for download in about a month which would mean by the end of April 2017.
For those who are unaware, I have been writing songs since the late 1970s, which makes me an old songwriter. Typically songwriters peak in their 20s and 30s but I like to think I'm as good as ever if not quite as prolific as in the past. I also know that objectivity and self-awareness is nearly impossible in this kind of thing so one just can't worry about such things. If I'm past my prime as a writer and musician, I'll probably be the last to know.
Since I have a month before I can promote and actually sell the new CDs on the various music websites, I'd like to reflect on my past CDs, songwriting efforts and thoughts about songwriting and music in general.
My first viable song came after writing about 30 or 40 truly non-viable songs! Those first 30 or 40 songs were chaotic, disorganized, poorly structured and the product of a immature mind, even though I was in my 20s at the time. I do not believe that this is an uncommon phenomenon among writers; who is mature at age 30? Or 40? Or even 70?
Many of us, or even most of us, never really obtain a real grasp on reality, life and that favorite topic of songwriters, love. These are incredibly deep philosophical areas, and most of us, including and maybe especially songwriters are typically operating in a fantasy world. We are typically clueless. But when we hear a love song that is authentic, it does catch our attention. When we hear a lyric that has a deeper meaning than we are used to hearing, it may actually make a difference to the listener. For well known examples, think of a great love song such as "Here, There and Everywhere." Or a song with rich philosophical overtones such as "Eleanor Rigby." This is genius. I'm sure you have your own ideas about what songs mean something special to you.
In any case what I'd like to do while waiting for the CD to get distributed and be made available is write about the previous CDs which are still available on line via download or physical CD.
The first CD was a rock opera that explored the loss of faith. The first tune which was the CD title song is "My Name is Thomas..." and is somewhat unique for its subject matter - a questioning of faith, "Religiously correct" it was not in 1998.
The confrontation with one's faith is not a universal confrontation; many never question their faith, they simply accept it without deep examination. Many never confront the actual plausibility of faith itself. Many simply accept faith as a virtue without considering that they consider the faith of many others to be wrong, demonic and evil. Yet faith itself somehow remains a virtue!
The character singing "My Name is Thomas..." is a priest - who has come to have doubts. This song is the beginning of his journey. I hope you have a chance to listen.