Christmas feels complicated. I was raised Catholic and am now distanced from Christianity but can get upset when I hear people say "Remember, kids, Jesus is the real reason for the season" before running to a tree to pillage for gifts. Though those two things aren't mutually exclusive, it still feels hypocritical and fruitless.
But to view only that as being representative of Christmas or the general holiday season (I'm just speaking about Christmas because of the personal context but this can be applied to any religious celebration that can be nestled within consumerism) gives into the culture we live in that encourages us to calculate the conversion rate between money and our feelings towards someone...this cynicism always makes me feel like I'm taking away something rather than giving it.
Instead, I think it's cool to take time off and make a gift for someone, write a friend a song, or walk in the snow with a loved one after dark. Then I think about my friends who appreciate that while also celebrating their deity and I think that is cool as well.
To get to these moments I have to sometimes think about a larger picture, tugging at something that might be melancholic (not necessarily a bad thing) so I snap back and run to hug a friend.
Here are two songs to elaborate:
released December 13, 2017
I wrote, arranged, sang and played piano/celeste on, recorded, produced, and mastered these songs
With help from (and many thanks to),
Nick Piato: Trumpet (Track 1)
Gabriel Ramos: Bass trombone (Track 1)
Laura Hundert: Clarinet (Track 1)
Chandler Brown: Vibraphone (Track 1), Sleigh bells (Track 1)
Adam Sadberry: Flute (Tracks 1/2)
Ekatarina Gorlova: Additional vocals (Track 2)
Carolena Belle Lara: Additional vocals (Track 2)
Raina Arnett: Baroque Violin (Track 1), Violin (Track 2)
Mary Fortino: Clarinet (Track 2)
Rennie Cotner: French Horn (Track 2)
Zack Osinski: Flute (Track 2)
The Lilac Quartet (Track 2), featuring Haley Schricker (Violin), Julia Churchill (Violin), Ethan Durell (Viola), and Jordan Lee Gunn (Cello)