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If this is your first time visiting, please check out the Fan Favorites section below!
The scoop: Christopher posts new creations here—mostly music, but also the occasional original article, illustrated poem or music video—every month. (His new music tracks are also usually available everywhere across the Web, although you can usually download them here for free.) His new Earthsongs album was released in July, along with a brand new music video of Halcyon Day from the album! He’s also been releasing tracks from a forthcoming collection of early songs and recordings called The Basement Tapes. You can check out both of them below!
Please stop by every month to see and hear what’s new—and if you like what you find, please share it with your friends! New projects will be announced soon!
This month: Every song has a story…
An Empty Shade of Blue is about the final years of my mother’s life, when she was losing her edge. As anyone who has taken care of an aging parent knows, this can be an emotionally difficult and exhausting challenge. An Empty Shade of Blue reflects the hard decisions that had to be made, and the old, unresolved issues that came to the surface as we struggled to keep going.
The second song, Cycles, is part of my early song collection, The Basement Tapes. For more about that song, see below!
The Basement Tapes: Cycles
Unlike many of the other recordings in The Basement Tapes, Cycles was recorded around the time I wrote it, in my first year or two at college. It was far and away the most ambitious piece I’d written up to this point, consisting of two songs put together, and it was one of the last songs I wrote on piano before switching to the guitar. It was also the first song for which I created an elaborate arrangement and production: I wrote parts for a violin trio and recorded it on a reel-to-reel tape recorder with three members of the school orchestra and an electric bass.
The structure of Cycles was inspired by Macarthur Park, written by Jimmy Webb, a songwriter I’ve always admired. Although some people mocked Macarthur Park because of a few lyrics about a cake melting in the rain, the music to the song was a milestone of beauty and complexity in popular music. It consisted of three different songs put together, slowly building in intensity to the third song before returning to the opening theme. It was a big hit twice, first for Richard Harris (the version that inspired me) and later for Donna Summer (although her disco version left out the second of the three intertwined songs).
As a singer with classical training, I loved the structure of Macarthur Park and wanted to create something similar of my own. As it happened, I ran out of inspiration after writing the second section of Cycles, but simply having two connected mini-songs ended up working beautifully. I hope you enjoy it!
In case you missed it: The three most popular tracks from Christopher’s new CD Earthsongs!
You can listen to them below!
Recently released: The new music video Halcyon Day (from the Earthsongs CD!)
Click to hear the songs!