A year ago, MC Hansen asked me if I’d like to record with a chamber orchestra in Denmark. I said yes. It’s a good thing I had no idea what I was getting into. 

 

I’m still a little jet-lagged. I met the orchestra musicians yesterday. I’m learning to translate “take it from the bridge” to “begin at measure 43.” We had a few hours to rehearse and now we have a few hours to record everything live in their concert hall. Then we play two shows:

 

OCT 27 FRI

KUMUS

Maribo, Denmark

 

OCT 28 SAT

Kulturwerk Norderstedt

Norderstedt, Germany

 

My life seems to consist entirely of these leaps of faith. I don’t know an artist who thinks they have art figured out. It’s not like making a cup of coffee. It’s like inventing a new beverage every morning. After trying a few dozen of the basic ideas, you’ve got to get pretty crazy to come up with anything new.

 

Besides jet lag and impossible deadlines, another thing I do to find new ideas is explore my previous work. What’s missing? I look at the map to find the ideas I haven’t visited.

 

This album is about love and time. I was reading an interview with Jason Isbell, and he was talking about his song If We Were Vampires. Jason says, “...to write a love song, you have to write a death song.” I’d go further. In order to think about life at all, we have to conceive of a beginning and an end. And of course Jason is right: life is the only time we have to love. 

 

The planets turn. Light rips across the void. On a tiny, insignificant speck of dust in a sock drawer of the universe, there’s a bit of moisture and a little creature that loves so much that it considers the infinite in others. We need eternity. It’s the only place big enough to put this feeling.

 

Light is universally equated with goodness, hope, holiness, and even the creative source of all things. The rules of physics say that light experiences no time or distance. Light is always here, now. I believe love is the same. Love exists in all dimensions equally, universal and immutable, whether you accept it or not. Time is essential for the existence of the matter we’re made of, but love defies time and even physical closeness.

 

Thanks to The Sentimentals for trusting me with this incredible project. Thanks to Ensemble Storstrøm for welcoming a few heathens into your sacred space. We are also fortunate to work with brilliant arrangers Dalal Bruchmann and Annie Rosevar, who live in California. We’ve been telecommuting across nine time zones for much of this year, and anyone who has traveled to another country to make an album will tell you: time is real.

 

Then again, what do I know? I’ve never done this before, again. See you on the other side. Your fan, 

 

JByrd

 The sock drawer of the Universe.

The sock drawer of the Universe.

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