For the past few months I have been working on new music which has taken an unexpected turn. Originally, the idea for Theandric was to combine elements of sacred music with a heavy metal sound. I had a lot of songs in various stages of development, but only a few were deemed ready for public consumption (“Veni Creator Spiritus“, which is actually a home-produced demo and can be found on YouTube, and “Adoro Te Devote“, found on the Up the Irons EP.) Now, as much as I love metal, it is a very labor intensive process to compose and record music in that genre when basically I am doing all the vocal and instrumental parts myself. I still have hopes someday to do a full-length album in that style, but recently the Spirit has led me to something new, which makes me recall the Savior’s words, “Behold, I make all things new.”
The truth is that I enjoy writing music in a variety of styles, as well as listening to a wide range of types of music, and lately I feel drawn to composing more personal, contemplative music based on the acoustic guitar. I am composing right now with the conscious knowledge that heavy metal music is a style of music which the majority of individuals do not particularly care for, and which has limited opportunities in which it can be performed and shared. Don’t get me wrong, I have a special place in my heart for metal, and I look forward to seeing Iron Maiden on tour this summer! Metal is a special genre unto itself, which comes attached with it its own unique traditions, tendencies and ideologies. The films of Sam Dunn do a great job of showing the many varied styles which exist within heavy metal across the globe. Part of the appeal for many people, including myself, is that it is a special club, or “gnostic” community if you will, that goes against the grain and provides performers and listeners to express very intense feelings like sadness, anger, frustration and confusion. These are feelings which are often difficult to manage, especially for adolescents, who often are drawn to heavy metal music.
The Up the Irons EP was a fun way to make my foray into the world of professional recording and to share some of my creativity with people across the globe. It was also a way to “put to rest”, as it were, the funny musical idea I had about the music of Iron Maiden. It was also a way to pay tribute to one of my main musical influences. I think I also wanted in some way to connect with the joy I felt as a teenager when I first started playing bass and electric guitar. But in reality, “Up the Irons” is a novelty song that connects only with a limited audience. (The hundreds of CD’s I have gathering dust at home attest to that, haha!) And it certainly was not indicative of all I have to say musically.
And so, the music that will be released this fall (God willing) will be a marked departure from the heavy metal sounds of before. The songs “XIV” and “Everywhere I Go” (found on the video page) can give you a sense of the direction the songs are taking. I have been writing everything on my two trusty acoustic guitars and using an alternate tuning I like to call the “Theandric” tuning. (from low to high: C, A, D, G, C, D). This tuning is quite haunting and inspirational and I have 9 out of 11 songs basically complete. With this album, I really hope to share what is most deep and personal to me, in a musical way. As Blessed John Paul the Great constantly reminded us, “Man cannot find himself except through a sincere gift of self.” Therefore I want this record to truly be a gift to people about what is in my head and heart, poured out onto the guitar strings.
More news to come.