>Music Update

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For those that are keeping up, the album is coming along quite nicely, if I do say so myself. It's slow and extremely tedious work, for the sheer complexity of some of these ideas that I'm exploring, but I am overall pretty pleased with the results. I have five tracks that are completely finished (that is, until I see something in one that I don't like and scrap it to start over), and the story is completely fleshed out. The general musical direction has been planned and there are these little things floating around in my head that, when I finally put them down, will be pretty sweet I think. I'm just ready to have it finished so that I can release some of it to get outside opinions, other than the 2 or 3 that have heard some of it along the way. 

Track listing:

Opening

Vent

Swine

Branded

Rope

Regret

Refuge

Wrath

Return

Love

Confrontation

Reprise

Present

The album is tackling some pretty heavy stuff and has evolved into this sort of critique of the modern religious (read: church) culture on several different levels. The content of the story is somewhat of a call to action or revision of some beliefs held by many engrossed in that culture, and I think the way it is received will be as interesting a study as the project itself. I am making sure to keep it all Scripturally grounded in principal and in thought, but at the same time expanding the audience past the usual receivers of the genre. There are some very bizarre musical things happening, which will either be a turn-off or on, depending on how open you are to weirdness, but I am afraid that it will exclude itself from the CCM patrons. 

Along those lines, this I can promise to let you know how much you will or won't like this endeavor: it will be impossible to like both this and, say, Casting Crowns.

I didn't mean to divulge into a self-indulgent sort of ramble, but I have hit sort of a wall in my thinking at the moment. I keep getting stuck on one or two things and frankly I hate writing the same thing over and over again. So if you made it this far, congrats. You're a champ. Ugh, this really sounds like a blog now... 

Hamilton Barber

The subject of this page is an introverted writer/musician/lunatic from Chattanooga, TN who dabbles in lexical dexterity, unorthodox thoughts on prosperity, and being overwhelmingly undeserving of the privilege of waking up every day. He hopes that everybody who reads these words takes them to heart and leaps higher than he ever could. He reads, thinks, and speaks too much; he listens, works, and loves too little; and he says “I” entirely too often. The words on these pages are not his: they are the words that were given to him.

>New Things

>Living with perhaps the two most creative individuals I know, engrossing myself in thought-provoking film, learning the art of tasteful music, and the onset of fall have all influenced this work that I have coming. It's funny how being around the inspired inspires you as well, and I have been inspired indeed. I'm going to take this fall break when I'm not catching up on sleep I don't get during the week and see if I can't crank out something kinda different for me. Of course, Salem is still a work in progress, with 6 of the 13 tracks now finished... but this new thing is going to take me on a break from that momentarily. I need the sidetrack so that I can make the absolute most of my sudden spark.

Much like working out, if you only work out one muscle group day after day after grueling day, that group will be strong up to a certain point, and then the work will begin to deteriorate it. You need to strengthen different groups to give each one time to recover, which is better for the body as a whole. Well this is kind of what I'm doing. I've been so focused on solely music for so long that I've been hitting more blocks than I usually do... and this is, I think, the solution. I'll be taking a break from writing music to focus on writing words, and cranking out this story that's swimming in my head after saturating my brain with Plato and Dante and Dostoevsky and Shakespeare and Virgil and men who have been, themselves, inspired, as well as inspiring to countless others for centuries.

So look for something new and different and probably different than you've ever read before. I can't tell you right now if it's going to be long or short or good or bad or any of that, but I will let you know when it is done and you can decide it for yourself.

Thanks for keeping up with this little blog thing, for those of you that do... it really means a lot to me :) I have been using this Google Analytics thing and it is really mind-blowing to me to see the different regions that my readers are from, really from here to Florida to that one hit I got from Alaska. Ha all that makes me think is that the random little life update entries like this are too boring to deserve an audience, but it will mean something to a few of you.

Hamilton Barber

The subject of this page is an introverted writer/musician/lunatic from Chattanooga, TN who dabbles in lexical dexterity, unorthodox thoughts on prosperity, and being overwhelmingly undeserving of the privilege of waking up every day. He hopes that everybody who reads these words takes them to heart and leaps higher than he ever could. He reads, thinks, and speaks too much; he listens, works, and loves too little; and he says “I” entirely too often. The words on these pages are not his: they are the words that were given to him.

>After a Long Hiatus

>I had a few free moments on this glorious Friday and had an uplifted spirit after the outcome of certain events being in my favor, so I decided during the break in the action I would forgo schoolwork for the moment and blow some time developing the idea for a story I'm writing purely for pleasure and not in any way motivated for school. I had about ten minutes of good, productive development before the inevitable and always ill-timed creative block occurred, so I decided it would be for the best to sit in the midst of the not-yet-busy University Center and kill time updating myself on the happenings of people I know purely for our connection to my church or Lee University or UTC. I noticed on Twitter some buzz that I generally try to ignore about some political hurly-burly (sorry, I've been reading Shakespeare like a CHAMP these past few weeks) pertaining to Obama. I really really am trying to approach him and his Presidency with an open and more sympathetic mind (which is extraordinarily difficult for me), because I have not just an obligation but a mandate to respect those in authority and to "give to caesar that what is ceasar's." But, I noticed something that caught my attention in the Twitter update of somebody whose opinion I admittedly do not value more than that of the nearest bleating, Chris Tomlin-worshipping, "I need to constantly inform the public (who, of course, adores my opinion) about the relief work I do aiding starving children in Africa", "My politcal and religious views are both 'Lee University'" sheep.

I am slightly ashamed that it took this to break me of my long blogging hiatus, the cause of which is either that I have a life now or that I don't have time to have a life, which will only be decided based on the the definition and interpretation of "having a life," but I noticed the recent dolling out of the Nobel Peace Prize to Barak Obama. Now, I type this with trembling hands for a few reasons:
1) I am running slightly (and by "slightly" I mean "purely") off of caffeine and a sugar rush that has yet to be calmed by the intake of food into my system because the food court has not been opened
2) Trepidation, for I know that any of the people (whose ethnicity shall not be named) behind me wearing pants that start where most of these girls' shorts end and one of which has an oversized, glittery Tshirt that literally says "Obama for Messiah," could be reading over my honkey shoulder and follow through on the threats I just heard him speak to one of his friends except to me, not Maurice, or whoever he just said, and
3) I'm actually, physically enraged at the topic about which I am about to rant.

It was said by the chairman of the Nobel Prize Committee about Obama's win, "Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future." A man whose opinion we greatly respect and whose actions this nation as a whole generally approves of, former President Jimmy Carter said of Obama's win that it is a "bold statement of international support for his vision and commitment."

Now, perhaps if some of Obama's plans had worked out like he said they would, this would not be as big of a deal as it is. He does have some plans for peace (albiet in my personal opnion misguided and poorly thought out) that could have sparked the decision to throw his name in the basket. But it's important to note that the deadline for the Nominations was February 1... a lengthy 12 days after the man was president. I think that an important quality for the Nobelc Prize recipient to have is integrity, as this word can be associated with so many of the past prize winners... Elie Wiesel, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Jr, etc. and I just can't say that the man who promised to have Americans out of Iraq in 100 days or that the closing of Guantanimo would be at the top of his lengthy Presidential checklist, and then produced absolutely no results but a 5-month search for the dog to buy his kids, a million dollar frisbee golf course and an endeavour to launch unmanned craft to the moon for the sole purpose of smashing into its surface, would be a man who I would label as one with "integrity."

But with this nomination, I also question the validity of said committee. I don't see how the outcome of what used to be a prestigious honor can be determined by what a group of men think a man will do in the future....

Actually, I'm tired of talking about this already. I don't see this prize as being a valid honor anymore because apparently all you have to do is make a documentary based on conjecture rather than fact (Al Gore) or organize enough communities to gain some recognition then say some stuff you don't mean to carry out to get into office and get nominated for a joke of a prize, killing two one-time honors with one stone (Josef Stalin I mean Chavez I mean what?). For those that put up with me this far, I say thank you. I'll see what I can do to update some more in the future, now that I'm starting to get this school schedule locked down.

As for production of the album, it is coming slowly but surely. Expect results in the near future!

Hamilton Barber

The subject of this page is an introverted writer/musician/lunatic from Chattanooga, TN who dabbles in lexical dexterity, unorthodox thoughts on prosperity, and being overwhelmingly undeserving of the privilege of waking up every day. He hopes that everybody who reads these words takes them to heart and leaps higher than he ever could. He reads, thinks, and speaks too much; he listens, works, and loves too little; and he says “I” entirely too often. The words on these pages are not his: they are the words that were given to him.

>Echoes

>I just made a disgusting beat. I have discovered recently this little techno-ish side of me, and I must say that I'm quite enjoying it, even though I loathe the very utterance of the word techno.

Ok, I'll spill the beans. I have begun work on the second album, and I believe that it is this album that will be the one that defines me as a musician. It will be dark when it needs to be dark, moody when it needs to be moody, light and airy when the time calls for it, heavy when the mood fits, and at all times intricately interwoven together. I am not going to disclose the subject matter for this one yet, because frankly I don't trust people to not steal the idea. However, do hope that all who listen to it acquire a deeper sense of who they are, how they interact with the people around them, their perception of God, etc.

For the most part, the influences of this record are different than for Muses. That was a much more light-hearted, acoustic driven compilation of songs, and was, for the most part, instrumental. This will have instrumental sections, too, but there will be moments when even the vocals will be just another instrument thrown into the bunch. Think the passion of Showbread's Anorexia/Nervosa. Think the production of Nine Inch Nails' The Downward Spiral. Think the intricacies of Say Anything's ...Is a Real Boy.

This musical silence is working, and to be honest, I completely recommend it to anybody who feels like they have hit a creative bock. Despite these influences, the album will still be very "me," the way any work should be. I really hate tooting my own horn, but all I'm saying is watch out guys, cause this one's gonna be hot.

Hamilton Barber

The subject of this page is an introverted writer/musician/lunatic from Chattanooga, TN who dabbles in lexical dexterity, unorthodox thoughts on prosperity, and being overwhelmingly undeserving of the privilege of waking up every day. He hopes that everybody who reads these words takes them to heart and leaps higher than he ever could. He reads, thinks, and speaks too much; he listens, works, and loves too little; and he says “I” entirely too often. The words on these pages are not his: they are the words that were given to him.