Tag Archives: favorite hymns

Writing. Recording. July. Murakami.

July 31st, and the leaves are turning on the aspen tree in the front yard. It’ll be an early winter.

A look back on this month leaves me feeling philosophical. Or maybe it’s because I just finished re-reading Murakami’s “A Wild Sheep Chase” for the umpteenth time. I could say that each of his novels is like the perfect pop song… verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus… but someone else has probably already said it, and I’d be simply rehashing. It’s frustrating to love someone’s writing so much, to connect with it so deeply, and not be able to adequately express it.

Expression. That’s what July has been about. Releasing three different albums… one, a collaboration with my brother Chris; one, a solo endeavor; (www.timbirchard.bandcamp.com) and one, Cheryl’s second volume of public domain hymns (www.cherylbirchard.bandcamp.com). Looking back at July is like looking out the window of a fast-moving car on a tree-lined street… nothing but a blur of colors and sounds.

Not that it felt that way in the moment. At times, the writing / tracking / mix down process, seemed like sitting in the dentist’s chair for an extended stay. A root canal, maybe. Especially when  the fatigue of multiple back-to-back 10-hour recording marathon sessions left me unable to determine what was wrong: my guitar sound, or my ears.

And yet it is all so satisfying. Can there be such a thing as a sexy root canal? For the dentist, maybe?

July will be over in about 15 hours, and it’ll be time to return to my “other” world. A world where writing, recording, and creating music happens in between other things, like alleyways between buildings on a city block. After spending a month tending sheep in the country.

But that’s okay. That’s good, in fact. Because without it, I might get permanently lost up in my head… wandering through maze within maze of concepts, colors, brush strokes, sounds that I lose myself completely and end up a hermit. At least this way I interact in some meaningful way with the outer world. And truly, it’s like a see-saw… without “down” there can be no “up”.

And even though it will all get swallowed up in the end, what a beautiful, fascinating, tragic, glorious thing to see those leaves change.

Like I said, it leaves me feeling philosophical. Murakami does that to me. Every single time.


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Cheryl’s new album: Favorite Hymns (Volume 2)


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Filed under Writing & recording original music