Announcing A New Piano Rock Album
I’ve mentioned the term cognitive dissonance in my weekly streaming concerts. It’s been my focus for the last year or so, ever since a friend mentioned it in a political context. We all suffer from it, no matter what kind of Zen master you think you are.
Cognitive Dissonance: Mental stress experienced by an individual with conflicting or contradictory beliefs.
The more I saw this in the world around me, the more I knew I had to make it the theme of my next album.
Originally I thought I’d be making a political album. Politicians are like a case study in CogDis: Banning gay marriage on Thursday and soliciting gay prostitutes in a men’s room on Friday. Frothing for blood over Hillary’s insecure IT infrastructure and remaining silent when Putin-backed Russian hackers help get their leader elected. Claiming to be Christian while diverting as much money as possible from the poor to the wealthy.
The daily parade of dissonance has been hard to stomach. So I will not make this album political. Not entirely, anyway. Why?
No One Wants A Political Album
As Barenaked Ladies once said, “a world that loves its irony must hate the protest singer.” As I sit here watching the train wreck named 2016 finally running out of track, it occurs to me that nobody wants to listen to an album that’s just going to make them feel worse. I know I don’t.
Our lives are difficult enough. Paying bills, feeding yourself, resisting diseases, and doing it all without killing other people. Most of the time. But we weren’t programmed simply to exist. We are born with the taste of greatness on our tongues. We are children of the stars.
- We wanted to fly, so we built machines to let us do it.
- We want magic, so we create books and movies and games.
- We concoct alter-egos for ourselves… rock stars, werewolves, weekend warriors.
And yet, pushing back against these dreams and aspirations are the daily reminders of how much we suck: You’re not good enough. No one wants to hear about your dreams. You’re not pretty enough. Your fantasies are silly and a waste of time.
You’re all alone.
We all believe these things, to some degree or another, even as we fight against them.
Drawing Strength From The Dissonance
But what do we call people who don’t suffer from cognitive dissonance? On one end of the spectrum we have narcissists. Egomaniacs. Bullies. Trump. On the other, the clinically depressed. The disenfranchised. The suicidal. Eeyore.
No thank you, I prefer to be somewhere in between.
We all seem to live somewhere in between. It is the conflict that drives us to create. To grow. Believing at the same time that we are bags of meat and water, and yet beings of light and beauty.
- I am good enough, and I can be better.
- I want to fit in, and I want to be unique.
- I am tiny, and I can change the world.
- We are alone, together.
The album will not be about politics. Well, not entirely. It will be about the divide in each of us. The thin pane of glass separating our worst demons from our brightest dreams. I invite you to explore your own cognitive dissonance with me as I lay mine out on plastic, vinyl, and silicon.
Will you you go exploring with me?