driving car - how it all began - year of praise

How It All Began

In the summer of 2015, I had an hour long commute to work Monday through Friday. On one of those mornings I heard a segment on the radio about songs that give you goosebumps and how scientists were exploring the sensation. Having experienced this many times myself, I got to thinking about some of the most powerful ones.

It didn’t take long for me to pull up a recording of the All Ohio State Fair Youth Choir (of which I was a member in 1999 & 2000) singing “The Awakening” by Joseph Martin.

If you’re not familiar with the song, it’s a powerful choral piece where the composer shares his dream (or nightmare) of a bleak world without music. He then encourages his soul to awaken and sing in celebration of the wonderful gift from God we have with music.

I’d encourage you to take a moment and listen to this performance of the song by the 2011 edition of the AOSFYC.

This number gave me goosebumps several times when we performed it. As the first notes began playing through my car speakers, I had no idea how different my reaction would be this time around.

As the choir began singing “Awake! Awake!” in the crescendo towards the joyful part of the song, tears began streaming down my face. It was uncontrollable.

Then came my favorite lyrics of the song…

Awake! Awake, my soul, and sing! The time for praise has come.

The silence of the night has passed; a new day has begun.

Let music never die in me! Forever let my spirit sing!

Wherever emptiness is found, let there be joy and glorious sound.

While I hadn’t let my passion for creating music die, it certainly had fallen asleep. And on this particular morning, I heard the lyrics in a whole new way.

At that moment, the line “let music never die in me” felt more like a call to action.  Just like an athlete aims to “leave it all on the field” or a performer wants to “leave it all on the stage,” I didn’t want to die with any music inside me. What good were the songs I was holding in my head and scribbled in notepads if no one ever heard a single note? I needed to put it out there – all of it. But how?

It didn’t take long for me to figure out that a podcast was the best answer. As I mentioned, my commute was pretty lengthy. With all that time on the road, I’d been consuming a lot of podcasts. In basic terms, a podcast is a digital, on-demand radio show you can listen to on any device that plays mp3s. (If you’re wanting more of an explanation, you can read one here). Most shows release a new episode weekly, though some are more or less frequent.

Creating a weekly podcast gives me a deadline as well as an audience to hold me accountable (both things I think every artist needs sometimes).

So that’s the story of how it all began. If you’ve read this far, I hope it means you’re going to follow along to see how this story ends, too. The first updates will be sent to anyone on the email list (signup below). These include not only new podcast episodes and songs, but any other important news from the project (and even some behind-the-scenes items I might not share anywhere else).

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