Why I write songs
I've been writing songs for a long time (18 years), but I've never seen it as my job or my calling, until recently. I spend my time asking the biggest questions I have about life, through music, and, as a result, exploring what's good, true, and beautiful about the world around us.
I believe an artist's job is to look at the world and tell the rest of us what they see. And I couldn't have described the way I approach life any better than that. I just can't help but try and process everything I experience through music.
Of all the things I could spend my time doing, this is what I'm most passionate about. So I'm submitting to you my "application." This is who I am. I want to be your songwriter.
This is scary for me because it requires vulnerability. But that's why it's worth trying for, too. I want to practice the same honesty and openness that my favorite singer-songwriters bring to their work.
I'm so grateful for the chance to tell you about what I'm working on and to ask for your support. Keep reading for a description of how this works and to get a special gift from me just for being here. Get in touch with me if you have any questions at all: band [at] thewallarecovery.com
Thanks for being here. It's a gift to be able to share what I love with with you.
Making art work
Patronage is not a new idea, but it makes a lot of sense. It's the way the world's art has been funded for thousands of years. It's only been in the past hundred or so that we started capturing art onto film/paper/devices and trying to charge people for the copies. We've found that doesn't really work very well, because there are a lot of hidden costs that support the infrastructure needed to distribute the work with modern technology. After an artist pays the myriad of middle-men getting their art into your hands, there's very little left to bring home to their families. No wonder art seems like one of the riskiest businesses you can get into. I don't blame an artist for giving up on the system.
Patrons finance the time required for an artist to do excellent work because they believe in what the artist is doing. After that, the work is available for the whole community to enjoy. I want that situation because I like those ideals. I want to serve a small group of people who want to make my work happen in a way I can't on my own. Trying to do this alone defeats the purpose. My music should be about more than just me and my little story. I want it to be about you, too.
My patrons are a family; everyone is important. Choose to contribute a dollar or more per song, and choose a maximum amount per month, so you will never be charged more than you wish. You'll have secret access to the demo stream of new songs I'm working on. The demos are just me and the guitar. I get to share the process with you, not just the final product.
These are songs of encouragement, solace, and hope. I'm writing new ones all the time. If you're anything like me, they will help you to feel a little bit less alone as you traverse the landscape of your life under the sun. My newest work is my best to date. You'll get to hear the songs before anyone else does, and you'll have the chance to talk with me and the other patrons about them.
What I'm working on
All the songs I'm writing now are going into an extended album. And this album is actually kind of weird because it is going to tell a fictional story I've been working on. I've written a 50,000-word rough draft of it, and about a hundred pages of outlines and notes and character backstories on top of that, over the last five years.
It's a story about a little girl who grows up in a home void of compassion. She needs a transformation from bitterness to joy. And it's the story of the boy who has loved her since childhood, and the lengths he will go to, to redefine her entire life for good. Here are some lyrics from the first song (find the free download on this page), She Is the One:
She is the one I've fought for
She is the one I've loved
I came down of an ageless order
She is the one I sing to
She is the one I've dreamed
Instead of writing a book or a screenplay, I want to tell the story through a series of songs. I've got almost all of them written and next I'll be working on polishing them up for the final full-band version of the album.
I've been through some difficult times in the past and this story is my way of responding and processing all of it. I can't help but think that sharing my story might help someone out there. So that is my purpose and my hope.
I want this story to come to life, and to give other people some sense of the truth and beauty I have seen by talking with those who have suffered a lot more than I have.
As someone who has walked in the loneliness of life in the past, what excites me most about this album is the chance for it to incubate among a group of patron-friends, together.
Become a patron
I'll continue writing and recording songs until the project is done. In exchange for one dollar or more per song that I write, you will be able to download a demo recording of each song. There will be some instrumentals as well. When I have written portions of the story for you to read, I'll publish those here, free of charge. Some tiers have special rewards you can read about on this page. Everyone gets:
- Member-only access to the stream of acoustic songs (1-4 per month)
- Immediate access to any songs I've already uploaded
- Discounts or free copies of the final product when it's available
- The chance to talk with me and other patrons about things
- A partnership in something that's bigger than each of us individually
You will have the chance to offer your feedback to me on this site or through email, and to see how my progress plays out toward the final album. I will offer the content to other people at different times, but you and I will know that we are part of a small group of people who made this happen.
Some months will be more productive than others. No matter how many songs I write per month, you will simply pay the amount you've chosen to give per song. Also, you can set a cap on your total monthly spending, so that if I churn out 10 songs in one month, you will receive all of them, but still pay no more than your selected monthly maximum amount.
Click a giving amount under "Rewards" on the right-hand side of this page (or below?) to get started. You will have immediate access to all of the content I've uploaded so far based on the reward you choose. I look forward to publishing new songs for you here in the coming days!
I'm so grateful for your support. It is truly an incredible feeling to have you with me on this adventure.
A thank-you gift
As a small thanks for checking all this out, please download the soundtrack of the above video for free, here. It's the instrumental version of While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks, from my Christmas album, A Star, a Star.
Also, you can download the first demo – She Is the One – from the new story-album right here, for free.
Grace and peace!
– Zack (The Walla Recovery)