THE FOUR PILLARS

HUMANITY
The human race of planet earth is one of the most fascinating species in the universe. The sheer complexity of emotions we exude on a daily basis is staggering, and yet, we do manage to understand one another quite often, at least temporarily! As it pertains to the art of songwriting, the human condition is an unlimited well of potential that continues to inspire this poet. I love to focus on the before and after aspects, from desiring to tasting, imagining to conceiving, the struggles which lead eventually to the triumphs. We are in a constant state of evolution, usually at a given stage of any of these journeys, limited only by our capacity to act on our impulses. The human resilience is remarkable. What can seem insurmountable one day often becomes a distant flicker in a relatively short period of time. Collectively, each of our destinies is intertwined. Alone, we possess the ability to create things that can affect or touch millions we have never previously interacted with. And for as long as we live, no matter what we may have seen, someone will invariably pass our way who can take us completely by surprise. It¹s the ultimate paradox really: we are one, interdependent on one another, yet each of us distinctly unique and forever alone with our own thoughts.

PHILOSOPHY
The scales represent the balancing of ideas, the weighing of circumstances, the careful measure of reason. I seek to provoke thought in the listener or reader with my lyrics, either by presenting a certain analysis of human behavior, his ideas or by simply reflecting on the nature of the universe through the poet¹s eye. Though keen observation of others can certainly lead to interesting subject matter, I have found that the truest explorations come from self-analysis and how the world¹s shades and hues appear in the mirror on the wall. Working from the assumption that we all share a gamma of similar emotions, the work on self actually carries a plenitude of universal relevance which makes the exercise much less self-oriented than it might first appear. The charm, idiosyncrasies and inspiring elements of human conduct are the most appealing as they make for more positive and uplifting poetry. But the tortured spirit also has his place, and the truthful documentation of these moments is nothing short of a cathartic ritual. As though the appearance of the feelings on the page has somehow cleansed me of those feelings. More so, it¹s symbiotic as the listener relates to the words in his own way, perhaps even finding another layer of meaning that strikes a chord. Ultimately, the songs usually weave their way toward some form of optimistic resolution as, like most of us, I enjoy a happy ending!

SPIRITUALITY
Long before each of us can tangibly recognize the concept of spirituality, we have already bathed in it. It¹s not something we were taught nor shown at a young age, it was already there, inherent in our database, programmed into our genetic codes. Personally, I¹ve found that it is in moments of reflective solitude that I feel most spiritually connected. And each time, it feels very peaceful, like a balm of serene awareness that amplifies my surroundings and reveals the majesty that is life. A recurring thought I have in these times is that of wanting to feel the sensation more frequently, to stay in this state longer. In my case, nature and open space is the great facilitator, but equally important is an unpreoccupied mind, one quelled of frustrations and open to receive. If it is true that we are here on earth to remember who we are, then these connections could be flashbacks of that other time when we were Spirit only, and not yet flesh beings. An interesting notion. What I find especially attractive is that spirituality is an interior as opposed to exterior pursuit, discovered by each in their own way, at their own pace. Increasingly, Anael and I tell people that our songs are ³Music for the human Spirit,² or ³Spiritual music². Perhaps one day there will be an actual musical genre with that name...

MUSIC
As a healing property, it is unparalleled. As creative stimulus, it towers over other contenders. Music is the soundtrack to life, the universal language that ³goes where words have failed...² To this day, I am still awestruck by the power of a song, the way it can instantly shift my mood, lift me into another state. The joy is difficult to describe completely, it¹s so encompassing. As a composer, being able to create my own music, the experience is naturally more intense and much like a wave: 25% magic, the rest: hours of refinement and patience. Sometimes, when it becomes really laborious, I listen to another artist¹s album just to hear something finished; to regain that pure pleasure a passive listener enjoys. I would estimate that in the course of recording an Anael album, I hear the same song anywhere from 400-500 times in various stages of incarnation while I bring it to completion. Truly, music has unearthly properties to allow the brain to withstand this type of repetition! At the age of 19, I recall vividly a moment when I¹d written about 15 songs and wondered aloud if there would be others. I felt fortunate to have written so many and bemused if each might be the last. To this day, I still feel a sacred renewal each time a new song is born, and there are now hundreds with no end in sight, God willing. And to think that there are composers all over the world, each contributing beautiful melodies to the collective universal energy. Truly blessed, every living thing with a heart to feel and ears to listen. Nothing else compares to the joy of music.

- Bradfield, July 2003
©2002 Nurtured Spontaneity Publishing