“For one human being to love another; that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.”
-Rainer Maria Rilke
I was deeply inspired by Rilke’s writing in college, especially his Letters to a Young Poet. As I planned this record, I realized that the songs that I had prepared were all love songs of one sort or another: happy love, struggling through love, disillusionment in the aftermath of love, letting go of love, and finally, despite all the past heartbreaks, still committing to and believing in love.
Although many songwriters feel like they need to excuse their love songs (e.g. none other than Sir McCartney’s “Silly Love Songs”), I don’t mind being branded a “love song writer.” If love is the last test and proof, then we could do worse than to spend a few minutes contemplating its many different forms.
As I looked at the tracks I had selected for this record, I thought “Pre-Existing Condition” pretty aptly describes the way we bring parts of our past loves to our present ones. Incidentally, many of these songs were written while I battled a chronic health condition, unable to change my pricey health insurance, due to my pre-existing condition. I guess I should consider myself lucky that I had insurance at all. It should be noted, however, that when I travel outside the US, the concept of a “pre-existing condition” is medically meaningless, and I have to explain it every time.