Yonder Orphans

I’ve written more songs in the past year than at any other point in my life, and I’ve been at this for a while. Actually it was more like 9 months of writing. You many now think of the obvious analogy.

It’s never easy to understand why and where creative periods come and go. In my case, getting my dream guitar, and playing with a new band were both incredibly inspiring changes. Almost every song that would go on the new album (a record who’s future is looking more and more uncertain) was written on my Collings D2H.

My last album, Blackbirds, was a batch of songs written in an intense period of transition. I was searching for my own voice again, and trying to reclaim some parts of myself that I might have disregard for a while. But, once I got back on my feet I had to find a different well to draw from.

At some point I had the distinct realization that creativity is a habit and not simply a moment of grace.  Of course, those lighting bolts of inspiration will come from time to time, but waiting on the muse is a sure path to frustration and can really destroy your self-confidence. I found that putting myself in a state that was receptive and open on a more regular basis, yielded far better results than the way I’d gone about things in the past: simply waiting for something I would need therapy to deal with to come along before I could write.

I actually developed a little ritual for myself that I now do before a period of writing. It’s basically a type of meditation I do for about twenty minutes before I touch my guitar or a pencil. It doesn’t guarantee that I’ll write a song, but nearly every song I’m waiting to record was started or finished during one of these sessions.

Many people I deeply respect have told me that this is the best work I’ve ever done. That’s the greatest compliment I could hope for. For me, being an artist is about growing and changing. Every moment we find ourselves in a slightly different predicament than before. Life is continually presenting a new set of conditions for us to work with. It’s futile and fruitless to argue with those conditions. We grow when we allow those changes to move through us and within us. The music I’ve been writing for the past year is my latest expression of that process. I’m proud these songs, and I hope you get to hear them someday soon.

And so, in no particular order, here are the names of the 13 songs that would become an album:

Down On Me
One Mississippi
Waiting On A Sign
Be Somebody
Baltimore
It Don’t Get Easier
Long Shot
Sad Town
Ace of Spades
Emily
Milwaukee
Ain’t No Way To Get Home Now
Let Him In

Thanks for reading,
Eliot

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4 Responses to Yonder Orphans

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Just backed you on Kickstarter, really excited about your new album. Best of luck!

  2. so glad you talked about the habit of creativity here. i think people waste an awful lot of time waiting for bursts of creativity rather than creatig conditions for them to happen. the album is looking exciting!

  3. Adam McKay-Allen Jarvis says:

    I really like your sound. Your comments on inspiration are right on – waiting for something to happen often means that nothing does.

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