Updated: Jun 3, 2021
My son Taylor was home from college a few weeks ago. I was in my studio playing around with a chord progression. I had my Strat plugged in and had recorded layers of reverb and echo that were intriguing, but after eight measures something was still missing.
Taylor’s room is next door to my studio. He was taking a nap, but pretty soon he wandered in and asked, “Whatcha workin' on?”
I told him it was just a rough idea and I wasn't exactly sure where to go with it.
“Why don’t we do something together?" he said. "I have an idea for a B-section.”
Four or five hours later, it was done.
We've all experienced it.
Taylor certainly has. He periodically calls home to relay his latest exploits. They often involve living on the edge of danger. He has seen the face of death many times and has many stories to tell.
But that's not why he believes. For him, the evidence is more internal than external.
Providential realities are often more richly conveyed through music than through words.
Sometimes even better through silence.
Providence has no beginning or ending. The song fades in and out of a few moments of eternity, which extends in infinite directions.
Taylor and I share many of the same musical influences. Music was a huge part of our children's lives growing up. It's often still the center of conversation at home. We recognize the musicality of our favorite instrumental composers—David Foster, Dave Grusin, Thomas Newman, Hans Zimmer—the way we recognize each other's voices.
One of our first recordings together, other than Blackbird, was Come Thou Fount. We came up with the arrangement together and performed it live not long after. He was 12 or 13. We re-recorded it recently before another one of his mad dashes out the door and back to college.
These days, Taylor's the one introducing me to new worlds of musical influence—Jacob Collier, Marcos Valle, Tom Misch—someone new every day. Sometimes I can identify earlier musicians who influenced them. We often kick back, listen, and wonder, "Why even try?"
But at the end of the day, there's always room for more music. So we keep making it, and we keep being thankful for those notes that flow from the hand of Providence down through human minds, century after century.
When Taylor's not studying, skiing, surfing, or making music with me, he's hanging and making music with his sisters and girlfriend Summer (center).