Music has always been the narrator of my life. When my parents were going through their divorce in the late 90s, the great breakup album of 1977, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, became our soundtrack, and “Go your own way” our theme song.
Throughout my teenage years, albums like Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited, the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, and artists such as the Velvet Underground, Leonard Cohen, and The Kinks, just to name a few, were singing songs about the way I was feeling and thinking. I remember listening to the track “Blue in Green on the 1959 Miles Davis album Kind of Blue. At the end of the track, there’s a soaring piano solo by the late great Bill Evans. I used to listen to that section over and over, as if to try to play back the powerful emotion of longing that had only made its way out of me through his playing.
In college, as I pursued my spiritual interests, I found in the Cat Stevens’ album Tea for the TiIllerman and the song “On the Road to Find Out” a call to leave my old life and start anew. I transferred to Queens College, moved to a Jewish community, and moved into a house on the same block where Paul Simon grew up. I took it as some sort of a sign that I should do something with music. At that point, I began writing my own songs, trying to achieve the same effect that the music I listened to had had on me.
The above song, Our Journey, follows the path of an individual who comes to lose everything he has. I began writing this song a few years ago as a new student in yeshiva in Israel and finished it this year as a newly married man. Some songs can be finished in a day, others take years. This one needed to take years. My own journeys, whether they be from single life to marriage to shades of spiritual growth, always seem to consist of having to give something up in order to move forward.