With the recent tragedy in Boston, aside from the immense sadness, I’m reminded of why the city itself is so beloved by people all over the world. Everyone has their own interpretation of what makes Boston so amazing, and I wanted to share a couple great memories from living there which actually launched my career in Autumns Eyes.
The year was 2001, and I was sharing a small basement apartment with a good friend of mine who also happened to be an extremely talented musician attending the Berklee College of Music. Years prior to that, the same friend was extremely helpful in lending me equipment to record my first couple songs on a crude four track recorder. After moving to the city, he carried on with his signature kindness by introducing me to digital recording software. This opened the flood gates and allowed me to expand my creativity beyond the walls of my previous analogue setup.
This was the first time living outside my parents house after graduating High School one year prior. I had always loved visiting Boston, and it was the only place aside from the woods which left me with an indescribable feeling of bliss. Living there had always been a dream of mine, and to finally call it my home was a gift I will never forget. The city was full of such amazing people, and there was this overall feeling that everyone knew each other even though we were strangers.
The people of Boston held a vibrant enthusiasm which completely saturated the environment with inspiration at every corner. Whether it was going to a small club to see some great bands play live, or even witnessing an art exhibit where hordes of students could showcase their creativity. This infectious atmosphere was easy to draw motivation from, and prevented me from ever falling into a creative rut.
Months went by, and I had built a collection of songs which would later be released as my first full length album under the name Autumns Eyes. The album was titled “Remember the Victim“, and would act as a catalyst for inspiring more albums down the road. Its sound was very rough and unstructured due to my limited knowledge of recording, but word spread throughout my friends in the city, and the more they liked what they heard, the more I was inspired to continue making more music.
After 9/11 hit and hearing the planes came from Boston, I can remember walking home to my apartment across town from a friends house, and having this eerie feeling as the city seemed empty and lifeless. There was nobody on the streets, and it was the first time I could hear myself breathe without distraction from traffic. It seemed as though the people of Boston were not only extremely saddened by the events in New York, but also thinking their city would never be the same as well.
An amazing thing happened to our country after that, where everyone set aside their differences and united as one. This was the same behavior I loved about Boston to begin with, and to see it on a national level was one of the best displays of humanity ever witnessed. The overall spirit of resilience was embraced by everyone, and still to this day reminds me of why its important to keep moving forward, no matter what stands in your way.
Its been years since my time there, and every time I reach a point in life where something seems to drag me down into the depths of unbearable negativity, I am quickly reminded of the enduring fortitude Boston left in my heart. If not for such an amazing city, I wouldn’t have my career with Autumns Eyes as it stands today. The amazing influence it left behind is one that will never fade.
While it still grieves us all to see such a horrific event occur at the Boston Marathon, it’s also a time to remember the indomitable strength Boston possesses. Just as its done time and time again, the city will heal itself through the remarkable courage of its people. Granted there will always be tragedy in the world, but there will always be cities like Boston as well. Places that continue to remind us when someone tries to tear us apart, it will only bring us closer together.