A Peace of Christmas

by The Bjorklunds

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about

These weeks of Advent leading to Christmas are a season of expectation. I look forward to this time every year. It is also a very busy time. Usually to so many great things-- but there are not enough hours. It is also a time of darkness. The long nights begin to seep into my bones. The outdoors become tiresome and the couch beckons constantly.

We knew we wanted to record new tracks this year. However, achieving this was easier said than done. When it came to crunch time, I ended up hosting an ornery frog in my throat for a couple of weeks. Janell was increasingly busy at work, as is customary for this season. I had plenty of reasons to find a way out of it.

Negative self talk can so quickly tell me my ideas are stupid. People will criticize and jest. It's easier and way safer to do nothing and hold on to my ideas-- clean, untouched, safe, and perfect-- hermetically sealed inside my skull.
This project became more than just recording some Christmas songs. It became an exercise in committing and getting something done-- not to done to "perfection." It also became an exercise in trusting my community, asking for help, being excited in the not knowing and the surrender of complete control. This meant inviting people in on the process.

I want to get better at that act of trust. Telling someone, "Here's an idea I have that I believe in. I want you to do something with it and I trust you."

I am so thrilled with the people who got involved in this. My story teller friend, Sanna, with her mad narration chops. The exciting contributions that came from a Facebook status for "Holly Jolly Christmas." Included were North Texas friends, Justin and Erin, an adorable 18-month-old Miriam from church, oh, and my ENTIRE improv class at iO theater. Getting my friend, Ross, to lay down an over the top ukulele solo, just like we've always dreamed of. And getting my godfather, Uncle Jim, to show off his quickly blossoming skills as a guitarist/vocalist/producer for "Silver Bells." Check out the info for each track to get full details.

With long winter nights especially, I love sneaking peeks into people's living rooms when walking around during the perpetual dusk. Other people's stories are too interesting and the open blinds too enticing, even if I can only get a snapshot. It's the same thing that draws my ear to the one sided show of someone's phone call. A solo dance-- talking and swaying through a narrative component of their life.
Recording can also be that snapshot. A time capsule. Sound bites of thoughts, influences, community, weather, relationships.
This is our snapshot of this time in 2015.

-Keith

credits

released December 21, 2015

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about

The Bjorklunds Chicago, Illinois

Keith and Janell are one of the most in-demand musical groups in their apartment. They have thwarts of fans named Reagan that live with them. And is their beagle.

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Track Name: Merry Christmas, Uncle!
Read by Sanna Adlem
Guitar - Keith
Track Name: Never Second (Bjorklund Original)
The tree's branches thick,
reaching out in excitement.
Blinking and reflecting
the season of expectation.

Cold cheeks burning
cross-legged near the fire.
Chewing on family memories,
laughing through secrets revealed.

Never second, when putting first...
Never second, when putting first...

A stirring in my limbs
as I tuck myself in.
Shaking out the chills
and soaking in joy.

Never second, when putting first...
Never second, when putting first...
Never second, when putting first...
Never second, when putting first...
The name of the Lord!
The name of the Lord!
The name of the Lord!
The name of the Lord!
Track Name: Are You the Spirit, Sir?
Read by Sanna Adlem
Autoharp - Janell
Vocals - Janell