The Ateliers: Moon: Hollow I Was
Hello! Welcome to the second entry of our Moon blogs. In the last episode, you heard an overview of “Moon”, our first full length album. Today, we're going to talk about the first song on the album, “Hollow I Was”.
I don't remember when this was first written, but I have a voice memo of it made January 31st, 2017. “Hollow I was” is a sequel to a song I had previously written called "Tin Man". I wrote "Tin Man" thinking about superficiality in our culture and how many people have a difficult time expressing their own depth and purpose. In “Hollow I Was, I share my own difficulties with that and how writing songs has helped to give my life meaning.
It’s crazy that it took about 2 years to record and release this song but I’ve found that the recording process can be pretty complicated. Having this new rhythm of releasing a song a month has been helpful in letting go of some of those unnecessary complications with releasing music.
The song starts with a direct reference to “Tin Man”. "Hollow I was a tin man, trying so hard to fit in”. I have found it so difficult to get to know myself when I am trying to please others. When I am seeking attention, I often times do things I wouldn’t necessarily want to do or believe are good. “You split me wide open”. As you hear in this line, I use “you” as a general solution the problem and you’ll hear that I do this a lot in my writing. I do it because I don’t want to limit someone’s experience. There are a variety of things that can help us become the people we want to be, and “you” is a word that can be used in place of all of those things. Personally, friendship, God, and music split me wide open. These things widened my perspective of who I was at the time and who I wanted to become.
The following instrumental section represents the space to enjoy this change in perspective. There is a uke bass played by Daniel Meza, a cajon played by Branden Verrett, a clarinet by Sam Zaldana, and I play an acoustic guitar, chromonica, and an upright piano. The chromonica is one thing that ties this song to its prequel Tin Man. You’ll have to listen closely for the upright piano in the master as we wanted it to be very sensitively placed for those of you that might listen to it several times. You’ll hear it has some delay and reverb on it.
The next section comes in a bit stronger starting on the IV chord with the lyrics, "I won’t trade my heart, I hear what they say they can’t tear me apart". As many of you know, I was told quite often that I wasn't talented enough to be a singer. This lyric is about trusting the truth that you’ve been given and standing up for it. Sometimes other people don’t want to see you at your best and when that happens, I try to remind myself of those times when I’ve been split open- those times where I’ve been given true things about myself.
We have another instrumental break to sit in that reality that things can change for the better. And then the last lines, "Hollow I was broken, rudder worn down, misspoken. You gave me a song to keep going". My voice was in a sense taken from me when I was told I couldn’t sing. I am so thankful for the friends and family that have supported me in this and hope to encourage, motivate, and inspire others as I’ve been encouraged, motivated, and inspired. Thanks so much for reading.