Spring Sailing, Recording and the Butterfly Effect

"In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state."

Butterflies have been showing up all month. I had butterflies in my stomach, standing in the green room of The Lost Church late last month. It's always a little nerve-wracking playing new songs live so I'm extra grateful to the super-friend audience that came to our show and great band who played with me in late March—thank you. I'm super happy with how the songs are shaping up in the studio and out. It feels good to start airing the new arrangements live, and I will be adding more of such shows to the calendar soon!
In the meantime, when I'm not in the studio recording, I'm likely to be on the water as part of Bay Station's Love the Bay video and sailing series. We've a new episode with Felsen about to drop later this week, another waiting for editing, plus three more sessions and a Bay tour planned between now and the end of May....

Recording: The Department of the West

Recording studios are kind of like cocoons, and I took it as a good omen that actual butterflies are migrating over California as I've been spending time at Tiny Telephone working on 11 new tracks. The new record, The Department of the West, is all about my love of land and place, where I am and where I've been, underwritten by my concern with how history has and is playing out. It's a volatile time, as you all know full well, rife with possibility. Actions, of course, large and small, make all the difference.

For weeks, I've been seeing photos of the wildflower super-bloom all over California, riots of poppy and lupine, owl's clover and mustard. Another friend posted about a swarm of migrating Painted Lady butterflies that were expected to fly over the Bay Are next. Signs of spring have been a bit less showy in Alameda, but no less encouraging. The daffodils are blooming steady, poppies are popping up in medians, and the few freesias and iris are opening despite the intermittent rain. I walked outside one morning, headed to the city to record, and startled a flock of waxwings from the Pyracantha. As if on cue, I pulled through the studio gate to see a butterfly flutter across the driveway and land briefly on the side of the building.

“Did you see butterflies?” I asked Maryam Qudus, the wonderful artist and engineer who is running the board during my sessions. Perhaps she'd seen the rumored swarm.

We'd be inside most of the day, Danny Allen chipping away at more guitar tracks and Kwame Copeland popping by to add harmonica and vocals to a couple songs. I didn't get outside to look for anymore lepidopterans. Downtown, high school kids were marching for the climate as part of a global protest. I don’t know if the butterflies flew over their rally, but I like to imagine they did.
I'm back in the studio this month, putting the finishing touches on my vocals and starting to mix! Interested in supporting my project? You can pre-order The Department of the West, for any amount between $10 and infinity, by clicking HERE.



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