Project: Budapest Travelogue
Inspired by the success of the Paris Project of the previous year, I seized an opportunity to recreate the project format and bring fans an inside look at another favorite city of mine: Budapest, Hungary. I was able to improve upon the original project in a couple ways. I got to to take a preliminary trip and film a promotional video on location. Launching an IndieGoGo campaign helped to drive interest and momentum, and ultimately increased project participation by 50% which led to the successful funding of the project. The four original subscription levels were built upon with the additional perks of a photo book and culminating Travelogue album (currently in production).
1. Lights Out - Three days before I flew to Budapest, there was an attack at the Brussels airport. Many people inquired as to whether I would still do the trip, especially since my itinerary connected me through Paris, which was still fresh in everyone's minds after its own string of terrorist attacks. My answer was: absolutely. I began writing this song on the flight as an answer to the fears being expressed, but after a while I thought it was getting too preachy; ironically, it wasn't until the power went out in my Budapest apartment that the ultimate metaphor of sudden darkness was illuminated.
2. OK - This song's existence is solely due to writer's block. As the second week of the project was winding down, I still didn't have an idea for a song, and the stress compounded until I was unable to write anything at all. I spat this song out in 20 minutes on the eve of the beginning of Week 3, simply as a way to shake myself back into the game. As such, I wasn't very happy with it initially, but it certainly conveys the restless melancholy I was feeling at the time.
3. When The Sun Goes Down - Week 3 found me in Split, Croatia, a city that is gorgeous and historic and completely overrun with cats. They roam in packs and hide in bushes and convince well-meaning tourists to feed them ice cream. After I noticed them, I saw them everywhere, so I decided to write the week's song as though the cats were on the Split tourism board, welcoming newcomers and informing them who really runs the show. I gave it a laid-back island feel to communicate the palm trees and seaside locale, and it was also my first attempt at recording slide ukulele.
4. Come Around - One thing I regretted about the Paris Project was that I didn't write an overtly Paris-specific song, so when Week 4 came around, I knew I wanted Budapest to be right in the middle of it. Spring had arrived in full force, and the 5/4 rhythm and impulsive mouth trumpet capture the giddiness that warmer weather brings. The song also marks the first time I've used multiple time signatures, which adds to the undercurrent of excitement.