Marina was the love of my life for 22 and half years and I was devastated by her sudden passing on April 23 2010. While I was always aware that a day such would come, it was nonetheless an unexpected shock. It is very unfortunate that she never got to hear Inspiration.
For a time I was debating what name to call my 2nd CD. “Inspiration” was always the working title but I was considering other one-word titles like Believe, Reflection, Grace, etc. Last time I spoke to Marina about the possible titles she said she preferred Inspiration.
It’s one of the odd things about my CD making that as they take so long to do I end up overlapping the process: writing and choosing songs for the next, while still working in the studio to record the current. While Illumination was only completed in November 2007, the song selection process began for Inspiration near the end of 2005. Initially I had the idea of doing an album exclusively of songs by the St Louis Jesuits (Dan Schutte, John Foley, Bob Dufford, Roc O’Connor, and Tim Manion), but then I realised early in 2006 there were some songs by others I liked and of course I wanted to compose original music which I proceeded to do in the spring of 2006 up to the end of December 2008. By that point the set list was fixed. This period of my life was not an easy one as my wife’s illness worsened and had a direct effect on her mood and our relationship. Some of the songs on this CD thus in part reflect these feelings I was having. The CD is thus very much inspired by my wife and our struggles during those years.
While that was still under construction, early in 2010 I was already thinking ahead to the 3rd CD, “Rise Again“
Doing my Cursillo in April of that year inspired some of the song choices I recorded for the new CD as they were featured during that weekend. Just days after the Cursillo weekend was my wife’s death. One of the effects of this life changing event was to inspire me to compose. One song featured on the CD feature lyrics my wife wrote in the mid-1990s for her own project that never came to be.
While songs for Inspiration bore the influence of the years when things were getting difficult for us, the new one bears the influence of the changes I’d been going through since her passing.
Rise Again was finally released in April 2015.