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Seven Steps

2010 10 20

My best friend passes away on 10-11-10.
His name was Byron Massey.
This is a transcript of the message I gave at his service, and the last song we recorded together.


First and foremost I would like to thank the Massey family. 
It is my great honor today, to pay tribute to my friend.
Byron and I became friends as young teenagers and remained friends for 28 years.
Byron was a man who stood upon deeply held convictions.  The forces of popular opinion and social acceptance could not move him away from these convictions. 

As is the case with such men of conviction, he was sometimes misunderstood.  Not the etiquette of tactfulness,  nor the niceties of political correctness could cause him to compromise his convictions.  Byron was a complex person, and he was a sincere person.  He understood that having true Character is inseparable from open honesty.

If you wanted to know where Byron truly stood, you only had to watch and listen.  He did not wear a mask.  In his honesty and transparency the real Byron was clear to see.

While such openness can leave room for some to place judgment, he understood that a Saint is made through God’s grace and forgiveness, and not through disguise and hypocrisy.  In our 28 years of friendship, I never knew Byron’s faith in God to waver.

It is one of the greatest fortunes of my life to have found such a friend at a young age.  Byron was a genius, in the literal sense of the word.  He was a gifted teacher and his clarity of communication was unrivaled in my experience.  He was a constant inspiration to learn and seek truth.

Byron was also a gifted composer and lyricist.  Until the end we created music together.  His Art reflected his character, and in such he was a true artist.  I will miss our times of recording music together.

But more than these, I will miss the friendship we developed.  Our friendship was not always smooth sailing, but as the Greek Philosopher Plutarch once said, “I don’t need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better.”  Byron was a true friend in every sense.  He was a unique gift from God.

As a close friend, Byron shared something personal with me that I feel is appropriate to share with you now.  A while back he told me that he did not think he would live as long as he had.  Though I never once heard him complain of his health, Byron had Type I diabetes from a very young age.  He told me that the time he had now was a gift from God.

Byron expressed the appreciation he had for the time God gave him when he wrote and recorded a song called “Seven Steps”.  It speaks poetically of an experience Byron had in Sweden facing his own mortality.  It speaks of Ravens, representing death, calling him home.  It then speaks of hope, borrowed time, and embracing life.

I would like to share a recording of this song with you now, in memory of Byron.  It was the last song that we recorded together.  I hope it will be an inspiration for you to embrace life, as each moment is a gift from God.

I stood on the cobble stones in Carl’s Crown Sweden A flock of Ravens called me home. My back to the world as the darkness held me. As above, so below.

The empty square was bathed in starlight. The empty air was cool and clear. Steam slipped from my lips to heaven. Just seven steps to peace from despair.

There were just two sounds in that moment When all the world was in my hand My beating heart, and the ravens call. Music for a final stand.

Waves of meaning rolled around me. A tear of hope rolled down my cheek. Borrowed time is doubly precious. Borrowed time is doubly precious. It’s the other birthright of the meek.

I stepped off the cobblestones in Carl’s Crown Sweden. The raven settled in a tree. Time resumed and I embraced it. Time resumed and I embraced it. Time resumed and I embraced it. My borrowed speck of eternity.

Click on this link to hear song:

01 Seven Steps Remaster.mp3


2010 08 18

An orchestration I did with a couple very talented teenagers; Markus and Heidi both sing and Markus plays piano. Song written by Josh Groban.

MP3/Remember with Orchestration.mp3

Meteorites by Eric Scot PorterMP3/Meteor remix.mp3

2010 01 19

I wrote and recorded this song from start to finish in about 8 hours.  My youngest daughters tap dance class needed a song for their dance recital.  The theme of the recital is Space and their specific dance routine is themed meteorites.  So, this song is aptly named meteorites.  I don’t know yet if they will use it, but I’ll find out in a couple days when she takes a CD to her teacher.

Three Months with Ray

2009 12 28

I started taking guitar lessons 3 months ago.  My teacher is taking December off.  He assigned me to write, play and record a guitar song in the Dorian Mode with a key change.  It’s far from perfect, but I’m proud of it for only having three months of lessons.  I will probably tweak it a bit more before it is due in January.  Hope you can enjoy.  It’s titled “Three Months with Ray”.

Click Here to Listen

Dancing Dervish

2007 04 29

Dancing Dervish was written by ESP and enhanced through collaboration with German guitarist and composer Arthur Jaeger.  It seamlessly blends Eastern and western sounds, drawing from ethnic strings and percussion, modern synth sounds, and climatic acoustic and electric guitar melodies.  It is being released with Art’s album titled “Traveling” and is being distributed online by Villa-Productions.