A study done in Sweden asked a group of 80-89 year old men and women to discuss the meaning of home. Their answers comprised of two themes: security and freedom. Security meant familiarity, having memories to live on, and everything functioning normally. Freedom meant having a place for reflection, for gathering, and for leaving your own mark.
The main point I came away with was that home is where you feel safest to be yourself. Home is built on our individual emotional and sensory experiences and the people that surround us. This suite, Homeward, is meant to capture the never-ending journey of learning about ourselves and how that develops our personal meanings of home.
I began writing this music when I returned to Seattle last winter. During a weekend trip to the Cascade Mountains, I took the picture that I used for the cover. The connection between photography and music continuously intrigues me, and has informed my own meaning of home. Photography captures a single moment in time, a pure visual memory. Music is incredibly finite, ideas and emotions only existing as they are played in that moment, and then are gone forever. These forms of sensory memory convey my moments of discovery of who I am and what I value.
Since graduating from the jazz program at McGill, everything has shifted. That sense of familiarity dwindles, and the realities of being an artist have brought feelings of uncertainty. No memories or experiences can truly prepare anyone for what life throws at them, but we do our best to adapt to change. Through community and reflection, we are able to absorb these life experiences, understand, and find our sense of home. We continue Homeward.