Yes, this song was inspired by a real earthquake. I’ve written previously about that experience and how it riveted my attention on the present moment, so I won’t go over that again. You can read about that in this post:
Songs and Negative Inspiration
Some will say that this song has “negative inspiration”. What I mean by that is the inspiration was initiated by a negative event — the earthquake. Well, there was much more that inspired this song. It’s true that there were the internal inspirations of watching how the uncontrollable rumblings moved me to realize my own powerlessness. In addition, the aftermath of the quake demonstrated how human beings come together to help each other in the face of common challenges. There was massive damage from the quake. This caused the deaths of some, endangered people’s lives, and altered livelihoods of others forever. Pressed by these dangers, people joined in the rescue efforts and the rebuilding. So, there was positive inspiration as well.
5th Singer-Songwriter Release: Quake
I don’t know if these are apparent to everyone, but I’ve made significant changes to this song since I first wrote it in 1989. Besides the obvious insertion of a bridge that I wrote a few months ago, there is a change in the mood of the song. Back then, I was not fully able to expose the personal meaning of “Quake” for myself. There’s a sort of flippant quality to the lyrics that helps to give this song its attitude. I’ve tried to capture that in the musical arrangements and vocals.
Obviously, this song has a serious message, too. It’s about living now; in the present moment. Can you hear that in it? I know that this is part of what makes it so fun for me to sing this song.
I do hope that you enjoy this song. Please let me know. Meanwhile, live for the present moment as much as you can. Hug the ones you love. Do it now.
Technique and Technical
My musical style and influences have grown over the years. Though I still appreciate synthesizers and instruments with an electronic character, my deepest attractions are to acoustic instruments now. The video below shows how I changed the bass part from an electronic sound to a stand-up (acoustic) bass. This is only one example of the changes to both the instrumental accompaniment and the vocal delivery.
One more thing: I strummed my acoustic guitars with a lignum vitae wood plectrum from surfpick.com for the live version of this song. These wooden picks add a very interesting warmth and solidness to the guitar sound. Plus, they feel really nice against my fingertips. Check them out if you’re a guitarist or mandolin player. (I don’t get anything for recommending these picks. I just like them.)