Stepping Out, My Near's Resolution, and Preemptive Love.

I am a husband, father of a little one, a teacher who travels two hours a day to get to work.  Needless to say, I don't tend to have too much free time.  This makes it difficult to do one of the things I love to do, which is to create music.  And because of my insecurities, anxiety, and desire to present a perfect product, I could tinker on a piece of music forever.  But I decided to step out and make music this year, despite difficulties in being able to record or produce, because doing something was better than doing nothing.  Even if I put out a product I'm not 100% proud of, I will be able to learn from mistakes or shortcomings to make something better in the future.  So my challenge to myself is to release one new piece of music every two months, starting in March.  

Which brings me to my song, "Stepping Out".  I decided on the title because I've entered such a different season of life than I was in a year ago, and it would be easy to let everything that is new overwhelm my creativity.  But I've decided to step out into these circumstances I have and do my best to be a good husband, father, teacher, and creator.  And however, bothersome, difficult, or tiresome my life feels at times, I know that I still live such a privileged life compared to so many.  Which is why I will be donating all tips from "Stepping Out" to an organization called Preemptive Love.  Shortly after my son was born I saw the image of the three year old Syrian boy face down on the shore of the Mediterranean.  This weighed on me in a way I had never experienced, as I could only see the body of my son on that beach.  And as I write this, just as I did then, I cry.  My heart is broken deeper than I ever thought it could be.  Around the same time, I saw a video on my Facebook feed from Preemptive Love showing the dazed Syrian boy after a bomb had exploded near him, and again I wept, seeing my son's dazed eyes from amidst that dust.  Preemptive Love does amazing work providing food and necessities to people in these war-torn areas.  They currently on the ground in West Mosul as it is being liberated from ISIS control.  Please donate to their cause.  Again, all tips from "Stepping Out" will be donated to Preemptive Love.  

 

Download and support Preemptive Love here.

New Project News: What Is Above

Hello friends, thank you for spending some time with me today.  I am beginning the process of recording my next release, "What Is Above", due sometime in the next month.

Photo and Design courtesy of Emily Steward Photography

Photo and Design courtesy of Emily Steward Photography

These are tracks I've been working on for a few months now, and I am very excited about how they will sound when everything is finished.  These tracks started as demos for me to build my portfolio with, but grew in my heart into something much more.  I am a Christian, and although I sometimes struggle with my faith and how it relates to the rest of the world, I am rooted in the idea that Jesus came to show us a better way to live.  I know that not everyone shares that belief, and I wrote this music for people of both backgrounds.  This album was created with the idea in mind that people who aspire to do good find those values in something bigger than themselves.  We choose to accept and live on values that are contrary to our nature so that we can bring more good into the world.  This album is an instrumental journey through some of those values.  Hope, Love, Wonder, and Life are the five tracks of this album, and I try to bring a well-roundedness to each one.  None of the above nouns are static.  Love is not always easy, but out of the struggles can come the most beautiful thing I can think of.  

I will be putting the album up on Noisetrade for free, which is a great service that helps music get out into the world easier, but I will need your help.  My reach is only so far, and if you like what you hear, or think your friends would like it, please share links to my music or promotional material, it would help me out very much and I would appreciate it greatly.

I hope to finish the music sometime in the next month, and if you could please follow me for me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates, I would greatly appreciate the likes and shares (links found at the bottom of the page).  

 

Thank you, 

 

Jeff

 

New Beginnings

The last two weeks have been a whirlwind of craziness.


I graduated college ten days ago.  Usually, that brings enough whirlwinds of change into someone's life.  Job searches are happening, friends are moving away, and tons of other life decisions happen.


For me, I ended up getting caught up trying to figure out if I could make it into a video game composition course at Oklahoma City University.


Yes, three days after graduating college, I was back in a classroom.  We had homework, tests, classroom assignments......

Oh, and we had class 6 hours a day.

You might be thinking...."What were you thinking Jeff?!?!?!.  You just graduated school, you said goodbye to homework and finals....what were you thinking?"

I was thinking about the opportunity I would have.  Because this was not an ordinary course.  The course was taught by Chance Thomas, who is a video game composer with such credits as Avatar and Lord of the Rings Online, and it was an opportunity to learn that I could not pass up. 

It has been more than worth it.  The people in the class have been smart, curious, and kind.  It has been a great week with Chance and the other students, and I am very glad I met them and will be able to share ideas with them in the future.  The level of camaraderie and kind of constructive criticism was surprisingly kind, and I am grateful for all the feedback that I received.  To Chance and everyone else involved in the course, thank you very much.  


Our teacher, Chance Thomas, and the rest of the students.  (L-R) Katie Bouknight, John Michael Hunt, Taner Davis, Or Kribos, Nathan Reed, Tanner Smith, Chance Thomas, Ben Stire, Colton Hines, Jon Helvering, Me, Sean Erwin, and Cooper Baldwin

Our teacher, Chance Thomas, and the rest of the students.  (L-R) Katie Bouknight, John Michael Hunt, Taner Davis, Or Kribos, Nathan Reed, Tanner Smith, Chance Thomas, Ben Stire, Colton Hines, Jon Helvering, Me, Sean Erwin, and Cooper Baldwin

But this is not the end of anything.  It's really only the beginning.

Over the next few months, I will be writing music for a game being developed by the game lab that I work for at the University of Arkansas.  As I write music and it reaches stages where it is appropriate to share it, I will be sharing it here, on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and wherever else I can.  

In the meantime, here are two tracks that I created for the course.  The first is a loop for the exterior portions of a game where you fight robots.  The second is a loop for the inside portions of the game level.

 

Thank you very much, I hope you enjoy my music.

"All puzzles will yield to your persistence" -Chance Thomas