About 18 years ago, I began a quest to write music that came from my soul, something I could feel proud to say was mine. I’d been writing songs since I was a child, but nothing that touched deeper than surface level for me; nothing that I much remember, honestly, other than a random lyric here and there.
Before I could reach this level of depth in my songwriting, though, I first had to strip away some false layers of who I thought I was or wasn’t. Without going into too much personal detail, this involved a live or die moment, a time when I felt like the only thing keeping me from giving up on life was the fact I hadn’t yet fulfilled this mission.
So much of the music on this album was just random experiments and explorations. It didn’t even become an album until 2005, when a former bandmate asked if he could release something for me on his label. He gave the music more credit than I did at the time, and even mastered the songs for me. Until then, I mostly just called my music a bunch of demo songs to be re-recorded later. (Sometimes people come into your life to show you the light when you can’t quite see it for yourself.)
It wasn’t until recently, however, that I truly stopped considering these “demo songs” and started appreciating the music on a deeper level. There’s a story in this album that I hadn’t even noticed until I decided to expand it into long-form fiction (look for that in the future.) It’s a journey to understand love, from lust to spiritual to romantic to family to self. And the lo-fi quality and rough edges are part of its authenticity and charm. No one else contributed music or instrumentation to this album, I recorded it all the best I knew how at the time on my home computer with cracked software. I sang, played guitar, piano, an old school Casio synth with built-in beats, a guitar pedal I had to record blind then cut-and-paste as it wouldn’t allow me to monitor with the music, baoding balls and a travel alarm clock that came with a magazine subscription. It was my little world I created with a supporting cast of, among others, a lion, elephant, ant, queen, princess, angel, preacher, innkeeper, artist and The Traveler trying to make sense of it all.
Now that I’m finally continuing the story with new music all these years later, I look back at the ellipsis that ended The Traveler’s original journey and feel like it’s time to show him the love he always deserved but could never understand enough to accept. This will happen in a number of ways, but the biggest way in this moment is for me simply to say I’m grateful I accomplished my original mission, I love the music as it is, rough edges and all, and I’m done taking it - and myself, for that matter - for granted.
As a special tribute, I’ve been hand-painting CD cases and offering them for sale on my website along with a copy of the album (you can purchase here: https://www.thesleepersopera.com/shop.) I include a CD with every case, but if you’d like special access to downloadable mp3’s rather than having to use the CD to create them yourself, add a note in the comments when you purchase the case and I’ll send you a link. I only have a few cases right now, but will continue making more, so if you see everything as sold out, send me a message and let me know I need to hurry up already. Also, if you're in Southwest Florida and would like to arrange a pick-up rather than pay for shipping, there's an option in check-out for that, just let me know what works for you.
If you’d simply like to listen to the album and hang out in my world for a few, you can purchase a copy here: https://www.thesleepersopera.com/purchase-music, or stream it on all the usual suspects.
Thanks for being a part of this journey!