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David Boone


Here’s To Losing Control

Sep 14th 2011 by David


I’ve always dreamed of hearing string arrangements with my music. Through the years, I’ve always heard more in my head than I’ve ever been able to express or convey musically. I’ve always felt like I’ve beenartistically reaching for the stars but limited to a trampoline and gravity.It’s the second week of being inLondon, and sitting here in Danton’s mix room at Assault and Battery Studios, I type while listening to a remarkably sweeping collaboration of violin, viola and cello, arranged by the incredible Audrey Riley and accompanying the song ‘Evidence & Answers’.

I wrote the song ‘Evidence & Answers’ well over a year ago. It was a crisp winter night, morning that is, about 2 AM in Missoula. It was clear outside and I could see the moon through my bedroom window. Steph was sleeping and I was inspired by one of those moments where you realize the mystery and largeness of life is more than you will ever be able to wrap your little head around. There was a guitar leaning up against a wall, it only had three strings on it (the highest ones), all looser than usual because the bridge on this particular guitar was broken and I was unable to tighten the strings anymore without further separating the bridge from the body of the guitar. So it had this kind of tinker-toy, chimy, bell-like sound to it. I started to play the three-string guitar in the moonlight, watching Steph sleep, and naturally I began to sing a lullaby. What else can you sing with a 3-string guitar? The words came naturally the way they do when a song comes along, “Don’t ask the reasons why, you know the answers. You’re bigger than this life. You’re bigger than this life. Can’t count count the times we’ve tried. Can’t count the stanzas. More than the stars at night. More than the stars at night.”

When you hit 30, desparation and questions really start to creep in, and the yearning for direction, stability, & solid ground become that much more apparent. Another way to put it is that the pressures of adulthood begin to kick it up a notch. Adult questions like, ‘Will I ever be ready for fatherhood?’, or ‘How long can I justify pursuing my art as a viable means of providing for my family?’ ‘How much longer can i hold on, how much harder can i try?’ These were the questions I was asking that night, and the song came as a reassuring reminder that life is one patient lesson in surrendering to the bigger picture, a picture for which you don’t always hold the paintbrush. I want to control all things in my universe, even gravity, but sometimes I just have to stand with both feet on the ground and accept simply not knowing, and embrace it all in spite of.

So here I am, a little more than a year later. A few months after writing that lullaby I recorded a demo of the song with an incredible cast of musicians in a friend’s studio in Montana. The lullaby went from demo to mini-anthem. I sent that demo off, and the song continues to take on new life, bolstered by the creative culmination of participation from artists who have spent their life most assuredly pursuing the same dreams: to continue making music, and to be able to do so as often as possible.

I truly think the most remarkable thing about seeing your dreams fulfilled is the way in which it comes about, and in my experience at least, it’s never exactly the way I’ve expected. And I’ve found that with most things in life, it’s the people, collaborations and experiences along the way that actually make up that bigger picture in the fulfillment of our life’s path, rather than the ambition itself. On my own, I am a songwriter. I love writing songs, and part of that is that I hear parts bouncing around in my head. But I am not a drummer, I am not a producer, I am not an engineer, and I am not a violinist. I have been fortunate throughout my life to be able to work with people who hear the same beautiful music in their head’s as i do. Together we paint quite a lovely picture.

One of the lyrics from a song I wrote years back has been crossing my mind lately. It was a lyric from the song ‘Someday’, and went something like this, “Someday the light will touch your skin and you’ll embrace a place you’ve always been’. So far in life, I have always been waiting for the next thing, never quite realizing that every note is needed to create a chord, and every small step in life equips you for the next. It’s great to finally hear strings as a part of my music. In these songs. I like to see it that way now, that these were the right songs for me to hear strings in for the first time. Kooky it may sound I know, but wait til you hear them. They really are a dream come true.

We’ve all heard the saying, ‘It isn’t the destination that matters, but the journey’. I am beginning to understand that saying now, and more importantly, I’m beginning to appreciate it. Here’s to the journey. Here’s to losing control.