The Hourglass EP

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I’m pleased to present my first official collection of songs tilted “The Hourglass EP”. Starting in the summer of 2011, Brett Parker and I began to dedicate tons of time and energy to a field of music which we had never explored in depth. This release is the first step in a lifelong journey in which I intend to explore the intrapersonal, educational and psychological uses of hip hop and spoken word poetry. I don’t know where this road is going to take me but I’m excited for the ride. I would like to extend a special thanks to Brett Parker for his amazing production work, Andrew Kim for his help creating the introduction track and recording string parts, and last but not least Alex Cohen for his continuous support and validation, constructive criticism, and album artwork. Without all of you none of this would be possible. Below I’ve posted my conceptualizations of each track, thanks for listening.

My Time Is Now
My Time is Now was written and recorded in the summer of 2011 after graduating from Queens College. I was in a situation that I’m sure many have experienced, or will soon experience, in which I felt I was leaving childhood behind. I was incredibly excited to start the next part of my life but at the same time terrified of failing. After hours worth of conversations and personal contemplation, My Time Is Now was written.

Old School
Old School is my life story. I grew up with two parents who were musicians and always tried to be like them. I attended a high school in which my father was my band teacher and, although I didn’t realize it at the time, was very much forced to pursue the path of a classical trumpet player even though it wasn’t for me. After transferring to my 3rdundergraduate college I changed majors to psychology and took a year off of music. Throughout this year I started listening to hip hop and found a certain artist named Macklemore who forever changed my life. His authenticity and rhyme schemes allowed me to realize it was ok to voice my intrapersonal experiences. It was at this point that I began writing hip hop. Through this expression I have found myself as a first year graduate student at Columbia University Teacher’s College dedicating my life to the vast uses of hip hop in individual and group counseling. I have never felt so passionately about anything in my life. Hopefully this song speaks to that.

Interlude
This poem is a collection of thoughts about how writing helps me stay present.

Stay True (Ft. Brett Parker)
Stay True is a love song with the intent of capturing the power and importance of loving yourself. I realized that the world I live in has conditioned me to run away from negative feelings because I perceived them as weaknesses. Throughout this writing process I’ve gone through many life experiences that speak to the opposite. The more I accepted my vulnerability and tried to love my imperfections, the more I was able to enjoy my life. It sounds simple, it is not, but it is true. Instead of clinging to old experiences that brought me joy, I found I needed to dive into my struggles in order to move onto the next moment and discover the beauty it entails.

Until I Run Out of Breath
Until I Run Out of Breath was originally written in 2010 during my senior year at Queens College. I was first started to listen to hip hop and was finding that In the modern day music, hip hop seemed to be more of a “popularity contest” than genuine reflections of who artists actually were. This track embodies my personal commitment to rhymes as a way of expressing myself.

This Time It Was Different
This Time It Was Different is my first attempt at writing a love song with the intent of NOT being cliché. I took some time really analyzing the “failures” I had made in regards to my love life and tried to translate that into a song. Ultimately I found that I was unwilling to be honest with myself or my current love interest because it would counter the “things a guy is supposed to do” to get a girl. This game, so to speak, was something that I have always had tons of trouble playing. I found that it limited both my, and the girls, authenticity and led to constantly fail. I tried to paint a picture of my struggles with the game as well as my commitment to being myself.

Time Magazine
Time Magazine is a poem dedicated to John. C. Pisacano, my grandfather. Last semester he passed away and during the time that my family and I spent together I was given his old watch. I was informed that he was a lifetime subscriber to Time Magazine and had received this watch as a gift. I was struck by the time period in which I received this watch because I was in the process of writing this EP. The Hourglass is fundamentally the same to me as Time Magazine was to my grandfather. We both had an obsession with capturing the moment, living it to the fullest, and not being afraid to let things go. I love and miss you Grandpa, thank you for being authentic. This one’s for you.