Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"Three Strangers" and the Passage of Time

This tune is called "Three Strangers." It's the rough cut. The album version will feature live strings and a few more fresh coats of paint. Comments, ideas, and critiques are not just welcome, but really useful. Please keep 'em coming.

You will also notice the lush vocal stylings of Mr. Anthony D'Amato on this track. Anthony is considering moving here to Chicago some time between now and January. He has no idea, but his move is already a done deal. My tazer and chloroform just arrived in the mail.

<a href="http://thelivedebate.bandcamp.com/track/three-strangers-8-25">Three Strangers (8/25) by The Live Debate</a>

Here also is a fresh mix of "The Fisher King."
<a href="http://thelivedebate.bandcamp.com/track/the-fisher-king-8-28">The Fisher King (8/28) by The Live Debate</a>

I have always been fascinated by ancient mythology, since childhood. The Greek Gods were an early fave, like I think they still are for kids. One of my piano students dressed as Athena for Halloween last year, after all. But I enjoyed the Norse, Egyptian, Celtic, and African tales quite a bit too. They made an early impression.

So now I write music that is tinged with the religious, or at least, the mythic. This song is about the swift, unyielding passage of time, directly written as a complaint to the goddesses that govern it. Time goddesses are pretty common, even in cultures separated by a lot of space. In Greece, these were the Moirae; in Rome, the Parcae; Japan has a mother-maiden-crone equivalent; as does Norse mythology, the Norns. There are more. All of these civilizations represented time as three women, usually as future, present, and past. They are often depicted smiling, but equally often described as cruel.

In the past year or two, my life has changed dramatically. I've moved in with my true-love boyfriend, I grew a beard, left boystown; I have a shiny new home studio and a new band to use it for, I am jobless and searching in a very uncertain economy, yet I'm more certain than ever that music is my destiny. As much as I love my life and love what it (and I) have become, time moves mercilessly quick, changing my shape, my emotions, my work, my friendships, my flesh. Perhaps I won't be happy forever. It feels out of my control when I consider it, even though I never felt out of control any step along the way.

Do you ever look in the mirror, see the skull behind your face, and suddenly glimpse a person you've never seen before? Perhaps a spectre you'll look like at sixty, or a ghost of what you looked like at six? Or what you would look like if you had chosen everything differently? Did you ever have a choice? Is the person looking back at you from the mirror the person you were always meant to be? Or is the person looking back just a passing stranger, someone you will only be for an instant before the goddesses of Time put all your cards back in the deck and shuffle you up?

Do you ever look in the mirror and feel like a stranger to yourself?


  1. Sometimes the thought of "what if" is crippling....

  2. I think I could listen to Anthony sing all day long! I've never looked in a mirror long enough to start contemplating my face in the past or future, but now maybe I will. Thought provoking, beautiful music my friends.

  3. Matthew, I could listen to your music all day and all night and all day. It makes a great score to my life inside my head! I NEED MORE!
    Love YOU!

  4. Matthew you really are such an artist.
    I loved reading this entry. I am so glad you are finding your space on the globe & that you have found so many pieces of your puzzle. The Time Goddesses have played the mirror game in all its varieties with me. I am absolutely in love with the music being made and I couldn't be more thrilled/proud of you and the band.
    ~ k I m

  5. This made me want to listen to Dismemberment Plan, in a good way. You guys should cover "The City" on Emergency and I, Anthony would be aweeessommme,

  6. Thanks for the comments and encouragement, everyone. More songs soon to come.

    And rr... I totally love that tune, and I agree Anthony would kill it. I hadn't thought of it before. Funny, I think of the lyrics to that song a lot when I write, including when I wrote the lyrics to this one. Heavy philosophy.

    Aw, rr... the city's been dead since you been gone!