The Stars Above My Childhood Home...
This video is a preview of the long-form songs on the "Skies and Stars" album. Order the album HERE!
As I wrote in the liner notes for "Skies and Stars", "My parents gave their four children the invaluable gift of growing up on a farm in rural northwest Missouri with an unobstructed 360 degree view of the sky". And that sky quickly became a constant in my childhood.
I was fascinated by the motion of the clouds across that expansive sky, especially in the evening, because not only were the clouds slowly moving, but as the sun was going down, those clouds would slowly change color. In writing "Evening Clouds" for "Skies and Stars", I wanted to express, in music, the motion and slowly changing color of the clouds in the evening sky. Over the course of about 28 minutes, the music moves from one place to another, very slowly, and without any "obvious" change. Much like watching the clouds drift in the sky, small, imperceptible changes happen over time which are unnoticed, yet, when viewed with timelapse photography, we see that the sky is in a state of constant change; we need to "slow ourselves down" enough to notice. I put in a couple of minutes of "Evening Clouds" at the start of this video. And it was a section that made a good transition into the next song featured- "The Stars Above My Childhood Home".
There is a poignant, almost melancholy, undercurrent to "The Stars Above My Childhood Home", and I quickly discovered it is less of an "ambient guitar" piece, and more of an "orchestral/soundtrack" piece, with waves of sound and emotion that rise and fall. And this "soundtrack" is one that is connected to some of my earliest memories of looking at the night sky with my parents, while they showed me different constellations- the first one I remember finding, with their help, was The Big Dipper. In the years that followed, I learned the locations and names of other constellations; with a little imagination, I could see the "shapes"- how one constellation looked like a hunter, how another looked like a fish. In my late teens, I would walk around outside on Friday nights, with headphones on, listening to "Music from the Hearts of Space" and finding these now familiar constellations. Those stars above my childhood home were my world. And when I moved away from home? Also from the liner notes of "Skies and Stars": "At age 52, I still look at the night sky, only now I look at it from the state of Indiana. And I still look for the Big Dipper. When I find it, I always think of home."