Third Element

Hopefully you’re intrigued by the title.

If you don’t need an explanation but just go here.

Otherwise…

While it bears no relation to The Fifth Element, Third Element is the name I’ve used for my musical compositions.

Mainly this was because I felt awkward calling it a solo project and having a picture of me on the front. In many ways, I wanted to remain as inconspicuous as possible and let it be about the music itself.

The idea was something I came with when I was 14. Being a rather introverted little homeschooler who had just experienced a flood of emotion from a relationship and subsequent breakup with a girl (the first of many) I needed a way to express myself.

This conveniently was about the time I got good enough at the piano to actually start composing my own ideas.

This was also about the same time that I discovered rock music (it all started with Petra). Coincidently, my introduction to Christian alternative rock music also coincided with it’s high point of inventiveness (read: coolness and musical integrity). We’re talking old school Audio Adrenaline, DC Talk, Supertones, and bands like Stavesacre and Reality Check. The rise of Tooth and Nail records brought real talented and innovative Christian artists right into my bedroom (well, the bonus room I spent all my time in).

I was enthralled.

It was around this time that I learned to actually play the drum set I had since I was 5, and shortly after that taught myself to play guitar (which is not hard after 7 years of piano).

I then wrote most of what would be the first Third Element record over the course of my high school years and recorded it in the spring of my senior year. Following graduation, I spent my summer savings putting a recording studio in the attic and decided to spend the next year dedicated to writing and recording.

Because of the time available, I was able to write and record a concept album on the seasons of the year in exactly one month (November 2002). Calling it Of Time and Season, it was comprised of 12 tracks, each in one of the keys of the circle of 5ths, and the songs moved in the order prescribed by the circle (i.e. starting with E major, then moving to B, and so on).

Sorry, I got a little music geek on you there.

Anyways, I think it was pretty epic. But I’m not supposed to tell you that. I guess you can listen to it yourself and decide.

After getting that done, I spent most of the Spring putting together a more rock oriented collection all in the key of C#, and using some pretty inventive guitar recording techniques (like tuning an acoustic to open C# tuning, and then using it to mic the amp you’re playing the electric through).

Unfortunately, those tracks were lost.

Bummer of my life at this point, as I still have the CD with the demos on it, but it is too scratched to be read my anything.

Unfortunately too that I started college the following fall, and wasn’t able to record again until May of 2006. Most of the recordings on that album were songs I wrote during my first semester of college and then perfected over my 2 years at Word of Life. I was too busy during my junior to do much of anything, but I took a weekend a recorded the album that is currently available for download on my Facebook band page.

That brings us to the present, where hopefully, I can record something fresh after I finish my last year here in Dallas. There was very much been no time at all for musical pursuits, but I hope to remedy that as soon as I return to Knoxville.

You may too at this point be curious about the name, which I should have explained about 500 words ago.

It comes from the idea that the music forms a “third element” between you and I. The music is very much a part of me, yet external to me. By you listening to it and absorbing it, it very much becomes a part of you, yet still external. It connects us, but in a way that neither of us might be aware of.

So, are you ready for that kind of connection?

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