Song Profiles

Song title: Anywhere but Here
From the album: Entropy 29
Requested by: Sandy

OK, what's this song about, anyhow? By far, it's the most misunderstood track on the album. It never occurred to me that people would hear something sinister here, but they do. After all, it's a very dark-sounding song. But because I enjoy that this song has become a bit mysterious, I don't want to hex things by laying it out. Instead of explaining where the song comes from, I want to talk about how it ended up on the album. With its loose structure and simple lyrics, it dangled precariously for months before I made the final decision to include it in the track list.

Along with a small handful of other tracks, Emily Spaude added violin to this song, which was the first time I caught a glimpse of its potential. This was certainly the most complex song for her to work on. We tracked many, many squeals and scratches, flourishes and melodies. WIthout her work, the song wouldn't have come to life. But once she flew back home to Chicago, how was I supposed to make it all come together? This song lived in limbo for a long time.

Then, one fine day (nearly six months later), my fingers stumbled on a quaint patter of notes on the piano. I knew the chiming belonged to this song, so I cracked the recording open and inserted a new melody. However, its placement was a mathematical issue, since the whole song was already "finished", structure-wise. So, for quite a while longer, the dismembered song lay on my operating table. It was a complete mess. It was a gown, disassembled...stitching frayed, panels unfitting, and hemline torn to raggedy shreds. Heartbroken and helpless.

I don't really remember the gust of air that helped me lift the song off the ground. Kevin probably came in that morning and scolded me for my dallying. I'm sure I huffed and threw a tantrum when he had gone to work, before I finally got busy.

Until the point of mixing, I STILL wasn't sure if this song should be included on the album. With its darkness, I wasn't convinced that it could play well with the other tracks. I was afraid it would drag the whole album down. But still, I really liked the feel of it. This was the first song to be mixed. When John played it for me the first time, I couldn't believe the symphonic feel that it evoked. It actually became uplifting! Unfortunately, I think quite a bit of its dynamics were lost in the mastering process. I don't hear a symphony anymore. But I love the little vocal round at the end...and I adore the patter that was added...a melody that will always remind me of The Neverending Story.

There are no original notes for this song because the lyrics were written in my head.

June 2006