Tendinitis was surely a setback, but it also proved to be a positive constraint, an evolution in my approach to music.

Instead of contorting my hand into a tense, fleshy spider, I did what sounded best but felt the least strenuous. My head and my body had to meet halfway in order to deal with this compromise. So I kept writing. I finished the song “Midst of a Mistake” (inspired by a taxi driver that gypped me in China). I wanted to start producing this song, but I knew all the audio production and editing was going to be too strenuous the pull off single-handedly.

Just a few weeks after returning from China, I got a message from Rodrigo Cotelo. I met him at the first installment of the house show I performed at (shortly after the onset of tendinitis). It was him and a handful of talented Jacob’s students that backed me up on a set of my original songs. I knew Rod and I would click from the moment I walked through the door to find him sitting at a table pouring a gourd of yerba maté. Rod may have had a decade plus on most of the house show goers, but it made absolutely no difference. His lively spirit, carefree attitude, and contagious grin made him an MVP for any house show.

Long story short, Rod was inspired by the EP I put out in 2015 (which I still wince at, debating whether to take down or not). He offered to produce more of my original music. He was aiming to get his feet wet in music production while also establishing his own independent record label. Late that summer, We spent a weekend going through demos of mine and deciding which of them would be best suited for us to produce together. One of them was “Don’t Mean Broken,” which was released last spring! The second song was “Midst of a Mistake.“ Rod and our friend Chris Parker arranged horn parts for this song. I was blown away. Rod also recruited a number of musical friends from his home country, Uruguay. I’m grateful to have such supportive, generous, and talented friends to help me in my creative pursuits, especially in times of compromise.

Looking back, it’s amazing to see where my music was and where it currently is. My tastes have changed and so have my abilities when it comes to writing and production. It’s worth noting that with the music to come, there will be clear differences between the production style and the writing. While the people involved surely have a huge impact on the outcome of recording, I believe change is inevitable. What you’ll hear in the recording is a snapshot in time, the circumstances through which the song was carved. Personally, that’s what I love about going through an artist’s discography. I get to hear the changes take place from song to song, album to album, year to year.

If I could draw one theme from the past few years following my injury, it would be movement.

Movement is life.

I think the more varied and fresh each movement can be, the more alive we can feel. I’ve embraced movement in all aspects of my life. More than anything, I attribute this to my recovery.

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