HOME Concert Tour


A collaboration between Albuquerque Academy, Austin Classical Guitar and Guitar New Mexico Youth Guitar Ensembles.

Guitars galore! Inspired by places, memories and experiences that evoke a sense of home, this unique endeavor will bring together around 40 High School classical guitar students to perform recently written works for guitar ensemble.

If you are near Albuquerque, New Mexico – join us for an amazing afternoon with these talented and dedicated young musicians!


Saturday March 11th, 3pm

Outpost Performance Space 210 Yale Blvd SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106

Tickets: $3-5 Info and tickets are available here

Sunday March 12th, 5pm

Albuquerque Academy Simms Auditorium – 6400 Wyoming Blvd NE Albuquerque, NM

Free and Open to the public

HOME #5: A Conversation with Visual Artist Barry Stone

Our season theme is HOME. We will dive into the natural world, culture, and human connection, and we’re inviting you to participate all along the way! Join us on February 18 at the gorgeous Austin ISD Performing Arts Center for the centerpiece of our season. Learn more here. We would like to thank atsec information security for their generous sponsorship of Marek’s residency and our home project. 


We’re so excited to celebrate Home next weekend at the gorgeous Austin ISD Performing Arts Center! 

We will be blown away by ACG Artist-in-Residence, Marek Pasieczny’s big beautiful composition, called The Elements. He’ll be joined by percussion super-talent Thomas Burritt and Grammy-nominated cellist Bion Tsang, as well as a guitar orchestra of over 80 players of all ages led by Joe Williams. We’ll even have breathtaking video projections of Texas landscape by photographer Barry Stone!

This week we had the opportunity to connect with visual artist Barry Stone!  

Barry got his MFA from the University of Texas and has taught photography at the International Center of Photography and the Pratt Institute in New York! He has been teaching in the School of Art and Design at Texas State University since 2007. As an artist, Barry creates his own photo books and has had his work shown internationally. He has also been represented by Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery in New York since 2005. 

This concert is inspired by home. Home means a lot of different things to different people. Barry shared what Home means to him,

“Geographer Yi Fu Tuan has written that home is a ‘nurturing shelter…where life begins and ends.’ In this sense home is a physical place, a kind of duration, as well as something felt. I feel that rings true.”

We connected with Barry while he was at Shield Ranch making improvisational guitar field recordings and photographs for his web-based project, Porch Swing Orchestra. Barry shared, 

“Also touring the property was ACG board member, Stacia, who when I said I wasn’t classically trained, said, “I know some folks that are!!” and she put me in touch with Matt and Joe. Joe met me at my show of Lost Pines at Lora Reynolds Gallery where we had a lovely conversation and floated the idea of incorporating the images into the HOME project. My daughter and I came to hear Marek play and preview some of the show and were blown away. This is going to be such an amazing and ambitious piece. I am so excited and humbled to play a part in this important world premiere.

When Marek completed the score, Joe helped me map it out. We talked about moods and pacing and I was able to test some of the imagery on the system at the gorgeous AISD PAC. I think it looks super exciting!”

In Barry’s latest book and exhibition, Lost Pines, he combined photographs taken over a 10-year span in the wake and recovery of the Bastrop County Complex Fire. Barry shared a bit about this project,

“These images serve as a kind of envelope enclosing a group of pictures I recently discovered in an old undeveloped roll of film taken of the inside of my grandad’s trailer which tragically caught fire and took his life in 2002. The work also includes polaroids rescued from the detritus my grandad made in and around his home in Magnolia, Texas. The work contains many cycles of life, the end of one life, and the return of the pine forest.

I am heavily invested in the history of photography but equally interested in exploring new avenues. The images from Lost Pines are black and white and owe much of their formal construction to 19th Century photographers like Gustave Le Gray and Carleton Watkins. In some of the images, however, I open the digital file of the photograph with a code editing program used by programmers and scramble the code of the file to create generative aberrations or glitches. These glitched works render the forest in a kind of melting burn.”

We couldn’t be more grateful to connect and collaborate with so many talented local artists. We’ll be able to see some of the images from Lost Pines at our celebratory concert on February 18! Find tickets here. Learn more about Barry Stone and his artwork here

Workshops at The Rosette: A Conversation with Tami Rohn

Playing music for other people is one of the most special and rewarding things we can do as musicians. But for so many of us, performing for an audience can seem daunting and unreachable, which can keep us from even trying. In our Performing 101 Workshop, we will demystify the art of performing and develop comfort with this incredible skill so that we can feel confident sharing our music with others. Learn more here


We are so grateful to have the space and opportunity to host guitar classes and workshops in our new home, The Rosette. We have a few classes and workshops beginning in February! 

One of these classes being offered is Evan Taucher’s Performing 101 Workshop.

This week we had the chance to speak with Tami Rohn, a previous attendee of Evan’s Workshop.

Tami has been a musician her whole life, beginning with the piano at seven years old. She became connected with ACG in 2010 and has been participating in our community ensembles for years! Tami shared, 

“I have a hearing loss in both ears that has progressively gotten worse over time.  I’m the youngest of 4 and my siblings all play the piano.  When I was 7 years old I asked to take piano lessons, much to the surprise of my parents.  I have always loved music and 

my hearing loss has not stopped me from enjoying playing as well as listening to it.  I asked for a folk guitar when I was a teenager and taught myself to play.  One year when I was in college I had the summer off and decided to take a fun class, which was “Classical Guitar.”  That started a deep interest in learning more and I even attended my first Classical Guitar Concert soon after.  There’s something amazing in holding a guitar and not only playing and hearing the music, but feeling the deep vibrations resonate through the wood and into my body.  

I no longer have the folk guitar but at that time I had a cheap, Martin Classical Guitar that I started with.  The director (Tony Mariano is my 3rd director) was very patient with me as I had to really work on learning the guitar and learning to play with the ensemble. That particular guitar did not work well for my hearing loss and I discovered by the end of the season that I needed to upgrade, which I did.  From then the journey began with ACG and a deep desire to continue to play and master the instrument continued.”

Though Tami is musically inclined in many ways, she still had a desire to continue her growth. She shared, 

“I had been looking for ways to better myself as a musician and when Tony offered an Open Mic night in May 2022, I participated and actually played a piece, from memory, in front of an audience.  That alone did wonders for my confidence and fueled my desire to improve myself as a musician.  Evan’s first workshop was the “Technique Workshop”.  I knew that would be the perfect workshop and I quickly registered for it.  I also participated in his “Fretboard Mastery Workshop” and “Performance 101 Workshop”.  From each workshop I felt that I was learning the skills to become a better Classical Guitar musician.  Evan is very patient, thoughtful and highly encouraging.

I think that out of all of the workshops I enjoyed Performance 101 the most.  I learned a lot from Fretboard Mastery and that was the most challenging workshop for me, but Evan gave us the skills and confidence to continue practicing even after the workshop was finished.  The Performance 101 was fabulous as we each picked a piece that we learned and played for each other as if we were truly a Master Guitarist performing in a Grand Concert Hall.  That was fun, creative and I enjoyed hearing feedback not only for myself but also for my fellow workshop members. I highly recommend these workshops for anyone that wants to improve as a Classical Guitarist.”

It brings us so much joy to connect with our community and with ourselves through music. These classes are open to anyone no matter their musical background! We have beginner, intermediate, and advanced courses. Learn more about each of them here.

Music & Healing: Life by Marcelina with Travis Marcum

ACG Music & Healing brings human connection, beauty, and expressivity to individuals facing isolation and challenge, through collaboration with a skilled and trained ACG Artist. These services are available to a wide variety of clients through partnerships with more than a dozen social service providers including hospitals, shelters, residential rehabilitation facilities, parental education and family health organizations, and veterans service providers. Learn more about ACG Music & Healing.


Happy New Year from the Music & Healing Team! We have a very special song to share by Marcelina, written with Director of Music & Healing, Travis Marcum, entitled Life.

Travis told us,

“I had the pleasure of working with Marcelina and her daughter at LifeWorks! Marce is a strong, patient, young mother who wanted to impart two things to her baby through the lullaby project. First: she wanted her daughter to know that life is long, sometimes hard, but if you pay attention…it can be beautiful. Second:  she wanted her daughter to know that the two of them are connected, and will be forever. 

“Marce’s goal for this project was to write and sing her lullaby for her baby. She used to play the guitar and sing all of the time when she was in school, but had to stop once her baby was born because things got busy. This was her opportunity to revisit her talent and create something she is proud of. The result is a deep, beautiful message for her daughter, in her voice… simply called Life.”

Listen to Life

Special thank you to Teen Parent program staff at LifeWorks who referred Marcelina to the Lullaby project and helped so much in the creation of this song.

Rosette Classes & Workshops

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If you play classical guitar, or wish you could, you've reached the right place! We have some wonderful opportunities coming up this spring at The Rosette.

Beginning & Intermediate Guitar Classes

Arnold Yzaguirre’s fun and popular eight-week class for adult beginners starts Tuesday, February 7 at 6pm! By popular demand, there’s even a Level II class that meets Tuesdays at  7:15pm! Learn More

Advanced Guitar Class 

Arnold is also hosting an advanced guitar class for those comfy with guitar basics and hungry for more! This eight-week class begins Wednesday, February 1 at 6pm. Learn More.

Workshop: Performing 101

Demystify the art of performing and develop comfort and confidence sharing your music with others in Evan Taucher's Performing 101 workshop. This 8-session workshop begins February 1, and meets at either 5:30pm or 7pm. Learn more

Open Mic Nights

Stay tuned for three open mic nights coming this spring when you’ll be able to show off your skills at The Rosette for a supportive and enthusiastic audience! We would love to hear our community’s passion for music come alive. Practice performing in a fun and pressure-free environment! Our first open mic will be March 1 at 7pm. Email tony@austinclassicalguitar.org if you'd like to participate.

ACG Top Ten of 2022

2022 has been such a beautiful and productive time for ACG! Each December, we pause to reflect on the last 12 months and put together a list of some of our favorite moments. We are so grateful to have so much growth, opportunity, and magic happening year after year. We hope you enjoy reading this year’s Top 10 list as much as we enjoyed putting it together!

If something you see here touches your heart or brings you joy, we hope you’ll consider making a gift to ACG today. We have set an ambitious goal of raising $250,000 by December 31st. Your gift will turn into services and resources that support guitar education programs in more than 50 local schools and five juvenile justice centers, Music & Healing collaborations in medical centers and shelters, and the personnel and equipment we need to help our new home, The Rosette, become a shining cultural beacon for our entire community.

Donate now on our support page or by texting GIVEACG to 44321.

And without further ado…our top 10 for 2022!

#10 HOME: Marek & Bion

Our Artist-in-Residence, Marek Pasieczny, is working with over eighty guitarists of all ages, across Texas, alongside incredible musicians Bion Tsang and Thomas Burritt, to make a monumental tribute to our planet that we’ll premiere on February 18.

Marek spent November in Austin, and did all sorts of amazing things (blog series) culminating in a marvelous set of concerts with Bion Tsang at The Rosette! Special thanks to atsec information security for their ongoing support of ACG’s Artist-in-Residence program.

#9 The Lodger

This Summer we released Alfred Hitchcock’s 1927 silent thriller, The Lodger, with a lush and evocative new musical score composed by ACG Artistic Director Joe Williams, in partnership with Alamo Drafthouse and Criterion! 

Tim League, Alamo’s Founder and Executive Chairman, recommended the film to us several years ago. Joe watched it countless times, fell in love with the story, the characters, and the cinematic mastery, and spent months writing a carefully detailed, beautiful, and haunting ninety-minute piece of music for four guitars and cello that compliments Hitchcock’s masterpiece perfectly. Now it’s available streaming worldwide!

Watch Matt Hinsley interview Joe and Tim here, or click below to stream the movie!

#8 Music & Healing: I Am Strong

ACG Music & Healing brings human connection, beauty, and expressivity to individuals facing isolation and challenge, through collaboration with a skilled and trained ACG Artist. 

One of our participants, Misty, wrote this fall: “I think it’s so awesome to be able to turn something that sometimes seems like a death sentence into a beautiful piece of hope.”

Each song is unique and moving. We invite you to listen to I Am Strong, written and performed by a young woman at Red Oak Hope along with Music & Healing Artist Claire Puckett. It took our breath away. 


#7 Students Doing Amazing Things

We’ve been blown away by the sheer talent, dedication, leadership, and passion from students in our education programs. Their gifts are on full display during the Student Spotlight concerts we host at The Rosette – here’s a playlist! We’re also super proud of this year’s Javier Nino Scholarship winners – you can meet them here

Last April, 41 ensembles from schools across central Texas played for judges as part of the Concert & Sight Reading event we help organize each spring. Two weeks prior to this year’s competition, the director of the Bowie High School guitar program had to take leave unexpectedly. When we heard this news, we expected Bowie to withdraw from the event. That didn’t happen. Besa Carney, a freshman(!) at Bowie, decided she would pick up the conducting baton and lead her class to Sweepstakes! Here she is conducting her peers like a seasoned pro. Amazing!

#6 Season Finale : Caballero Plays Phillips

ACG commissioned our very own Justice Phillips to compose a new piece for Jorge Cabballero to perform as part of our 21-22 Season Finale last May. You may know Justice as ACG’s Patron Services Director, but he’s also a marvelous guitarist and composer.  The piece is called Coming Out Party and in a reflection, Justice shared that “The experience of working with Jorge has helped me grow as a composer and musician!” 


#5 Juvenile Justice: ‘It’s Amazing’

Hector Aguilar is our new Director of Juvenile Justice Services, and he’s doing a remarkable job!

One of our Phoenix House students was recently approved to come perform at The Rosette. It was his very first time performing for anyone. He played his two pieces beautifully, and afterward shared what his experience with the guitar, and with Hector, means to him.

“It’s amazing. It truly changed my life. It does a lot for me. It gives me peace and it gives me happiness. I love this art of playing the guitar. It’s just beautiful. I’m really grateful for you. I’m thankful to have you as my teacher. You’ve done a lot for me. And no matter how many times I thank you, it’s never going to be as much as I mean it.”


#4 Teacher Summit: Where I’m From

This year’s teacher summit exceeded our expectations and lifted our spirits in remarkable ways. For the finale, teachers wrote personal poems, learned and practiced Travis Marcums piece “Where I’m From” and then gave a breathtaking performance. 

Learn more about the inspiration for this project in this blog written by Joshua Friedman, who is a new member of the ACG Development and GuitarCurriculum teams!


#3 Clarice Assad: Do What’s In Your Heart 

At ACG we bring our community together through creative collaborations and connections with artists because we believe music and kindness, together, make the world better. 

Last season triple Grammy-nominee Clarice Assad was our Artist-in-Residence. She made magic, and we captured it in this mini-documentary featuring 50 amazing young Austin artists, Jorge Caballero, the Mirò Quartet and a brand new piece called Mosaic Variations. Enjoy!

#2 ACG Education

Click this image and read this extraordinary letter from AISD Fine Arts Director Phillip Taylor, and you’ll see why ACG Education, something that started as a dream in one AISD school 21 years ago, is this year’s #2. So proud. So grateful.

#1 The Rosette!

In 2022 we opened our first home. The Rosette is a warm, beautiful, and welcoming space, and we look forward to sharing it with you for many years to come. It’s got its own website, and you can take a one-minute virtual tour here. Our deepest thanks go to Alamo Drafthouse founders Tim & Karrie League, without whom The Rosette could not exist.

Here’s one of our favorite Rosette concerts from 2022: Yamandu Costa! 


Thank You!

Everything we do at ACG is possible because of people who share our beliefs and choose to support our work. We would like to recognize the following individuals and institutions for their exceptional generosity during the past 12 months:   

3M Foundation, Ameriprise Financial, Ken Amstutz & Martha Carapetyan, Applied Materials Foundation, John & Diana Argersinger, Patrice Arnold, Arnold Foundation, in honor of Lazan Pargaman, atsec information security, Austin Thyroid & Endocrinology, A Gift in Honor of Glenn A. Belcher, A Gift in Honor of Paula F. Belcher , Shannon Belcher, Sandra S. Bosley, Kelley Bowen, Dan Bullock & Annette Carlozzi, The Family of Lynne Hsu Xavier, Megyn L. Busse, MD, Sarah & Ernest Butler, Pietro J. Caporusso, Edwina Carrington, Mike Chesser, Francisco & Graciela Cigarroa, City of Austin, Dr. Richard & Martha Coons, Corporate Environmental Solutions, The D’Addario Foundation, David & Christy Dauphin, Tres Davis & Paul Rogers, Stacia & Walt DeBill, Dr. Joaquin Delgado, Vince & Donna Lee DiLoreto, Bob Duke & Judith Jellison, Lucy & Bill Farland, Michael & Carol Fields, John & Miwa Flaherty, Ford Foundation, Kendal & Ken Gladish, Google, Laura Gutierrez-Witt, H-E-B, Ed & Janet Hess, Jacqueline Fox & Frank Hoffman, Richard N. Jernigan, Jewish Communal Fund, Jim & Marion Jirsa, Jim & Jennifer Judkins, Kaman Foundation, Elaine & Michael Kasper, Patrick Keel, Kristopher & Carey Kepler of Crossfit Central, Kodosky Foundation, Marty Kopra & Tom Gretzinger, Bob & Mary Pat Kozdemba, Karrie & Tim League, Debra Lewis, Long Foundation, Richard Mattingly, Katherine & Reid McCoy, Louise Epstein & John Henry McDonald, Carson & Michele McKowen, Mercedes-Benz of Austin, Bill Metz, Meyer Levy Charitable Trust, Mike Levy, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Delia & Ryan Mitchell, Kathleen Monahan & Mike Mullen, Patricia Ann Morrison, MFS Fund at the North Georgia Community Foundation, Christa Pandey, Lazan & Bill Pargaman, Lloyd & Ferrell Pond, Kyle Pratt & Linda Longoria, Kerry & Carole Price, Rich & Caryn Puccio, Marcia Raff, The Raley Family, Raj & Sally Randeri, Drs. Simone Scumpia & Ion Ratiu, Rea Charitable Trust, Rick & Valeri Reeder, Peach & Cynthia Reynolds, Jacqueline Rixen, Robert Rodriguez, Ruth J. Rubio, Shanti Foundation for Intercultural Understanding, Stark Martin Charitable Trust, Judith Stich, Still Water Foundation, Alexis Takvorian, Texas Bar Foundation, Texas Commission on the Arts, Texas Women for the Arts, Tom Green & Company Engineers, Inc., TIAA, Russ & Janey Trowbridge, Brian & Virginia Urban, Webber Family Foundation, Maria Wells, White Lilacs Fund at Austin Community Foundation, Duwain Whitis & Barbara Vinson, Catherine & David Wildermuth, Suzanne & Marc Winkelman, Jack & Vanessa Wolfe, Leslie & David Wolff Family Foundation, Greg Wooldridge & Lynne Dobson, Wright Family Foundation, Zack Zamora


Bonus Item

In our last concert of 2022, something beautiful happened. ACG’s Matt Hinsley, Angelica Campbell, and Justice Phillips did a special rendition of one of the world’s most beloved songs. Enjoy!

Gratitude: A Reflection on Home by Justice Phillips

Support ACG! We’ve just announced our end-of-year $250,000 fund drive goal to support our programming in more than 60 local schools, juvenile justice centers, medical centers, and shelters, as well as the activation of our new ACG home, The Rosette! Donate here.


This year’s season theme, Home, is probably the most personally meaningful theme I’ve been a part of during my time at ACG. 

I believe Home has a lot of different meanings, and I believe exploring them is a super powerful thing to do. During my young life, I called many different cities, places, and people home and I cherish each and every one.

Gary, Indiana is the place I have the most memories from my early childhood. I lived there from ages 4 through 9 with my mother and my brother. That experience had a profound effect on me. 


Writing a piece about Gary was a way to honor the experience I had as a child because I find myself missing it sometimes.

In the piece, Gary, Indiana, I intended to create images of the cold, snow, and Christmas because that’s how I remember it best. I did this by using ethereal harmonies and a floating texture. 

This piece is specifically linked to one Christmas memory I have from when I was 7 years old. My mom, my brother, and I were opening presents and there was a news crew there to document us doing so. I remember loving that experience a lot, and when I went back to school some of my friends even mentioned to me that they saw me in the paper!

Listen to Gary, Indiana here:

I Am Strong: A Reflection from Music & Healing Artist Arnold Yzaguirre

ACG Music & Healing brings human connection, beauty, and expressivity to individuals facing isolation and challenge, through collaboration with a skilled and trained ACG Artist. These services are available to a wide variety of clients through partnerships with more than a dozen social service providers including hospitals, shelters, residential rehabilitation facilities, parental education and family health organizations, and veterans service providers. Learn more about ACG Music & Healing.


From our first meeting, I could tell that Misty was/is a beautiful person inside and out. She loves bringing joy to others and her family. I don't know from experience but I've heard it's incredibly difficult to bring others joy when you're dealing with your own pains. Misty does this with ease. So... naturally, we wanted her song to be uplifting and joyful...while telling a little bit of her story. Misty wrote a beautiful letter talking about her first moments in the hospital and how uncomfortable that was but towards the end of the letter, she focused on her love for God and the strength given by that high power. This helps her put things in perspective so that she can be the light for others because, this is the way she wants to spend her time here on this earth.

I sent Misty the very rough draft of the music and after a few days she said she knew of a person who would be perfect to sing on her song. Her friend from church and a beautiful singer, Anita, was delighted to be included. Misty was correct, Anita's voice was the perfect choice and missing piece to this song. 

I had such a wonderful time putting this song together with Misty and Anita and I hope that others can be inspired by it. This is "I am Strong" by Misty.

"It was truly a team effort,  Arnold's amazing music talent, Anita's beautiful voice, I give God all the glory for giving me the right words to express how I was truly feeling in the beginning and now. It was an  honor to be able to work with Arnold and get to know him. I think it's so awesome to be able to turn something that sometimes seems like a death sentence into a beautiful piece of hope. I didn't realize it at the time, but this genuinely did help me more than I can say. It was a little hard putting my feelings on paper and explaining everything. I'm glad I got to have this opportunity though, cause it has been a healing & uplifting experience!!!

I hope you guys know that y'all are all like shining lights to others that have been through rough, heart breaking things in life. 

 You guys help bring hope to all struggling in a difficult time. 

Y'all are a true, rare treasure, showing love, giving your hearts and time for complete strangers. That means  so very much, and all I can say is THANK YOU BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE!!!!!" -Misty


Home #4: Marek's Arrival

Our season theme is HOME. We will dive into the natural world, culture, and human connection, and we’re inviting you to participate all along the way! Learn all about Home and the centerpiece concert of our season with Artistic Director, Joe Williams, and Director of Education, Travis Marcum, in our upcoming ACGtalks: Home breakfast on Wednesday Feb. 8 at 9:30am. We hope you’ll join us. Learn more here. We would like to thank atsec information security for their generous sponsorship of Marek’s residency and our home project. 

We are so thrilled about Marek’s arrival from Poland last week! There’s already so many exciting things happening!

During his 2022-23 residency, Marek is working with more than eighty guitarists of all ages, across Texas, to make a monumental tribute to our planet that we’ll premiere on February 18.

They had their first large rehearsal at Akins High School last week!

The ensemble was separated into five groups of differentiating ages who will be preparing a stand-alone movement of the work for the performance in the Spring. Each group will be connecting with Marek throughout his residency in preparation for the premiere of this amazing work. 

This collaboration is inspired by the natural world and our season theme, Home. Learn more about the creative process and themes here.

Marek will spend the next few weeks not only continuing this collaboration, but connecting with our community in profound ways. He has already met with some of our Community Ensembles like the ACGYO and has met with the UT guitar studio for a master class!

 We are so grateful for Marek’s presence here with us! We are looking forward to the many magical and educating moments we’ll get to share moving forward in his residency. 

Read the next story in our Home series here


Cypress Tree: A Reflection from Music & Healing Artist Lydia Froncek

ACG Music & Healing brings human connection, beauty, and expressivity to individuals facing isolation and challenge, through collaboration with a skilled and trained ACG Artist. These services are available to a wide variety of clients through partnerships with more than a dozen social service providers including hospitals, shelters, residential rehabilitation facilities, parental education and family health organizations, and veterans service providers. Learn more about ACG Music & Healing.


Cypress Tree was written in September and October 2022 by Neil with ACG Music and Healing Artist Lydia Froncek. This collaboration is in partnership with Texas Oncology. Lydia is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer, also a member of Austin folk outfit Ley Line.

"The process of writing this song together was pretty natural. We listened to some of Neil's favorite songs and drew inspiration from their use of nature imagery and metaphor and the bluegrass style of music, rhythm and songwriting. The idea for the song began with the image of a cypress tree that brings him a lot of peace and clarity when he takes the time to sit and let his thoughts settle. Then the song goes on to explore a relationship with his friend. The chorus carries us to the river rushing by the cypress tree, offering a way forward even in troubled waters. The bridge is moment to ask some difficult questions about the relationship that ultimately bring us back to the hopefulness of the chorus. The song comes full circle to the cypress tree where the main character reunites with his friend, either in his thoughts or in reality, it's open to interpretation.

To write this song together we explore the deep feelings and questions that come up in a shifting relationship with a close friend that struggles with substance abuse. Neil really opened up and was willing to channel these questions and experiences into poetry, both detailed scenes for the verses and larger metaphoric ideas for the chorus. I worked on the track to give it a bluegrass quality with acoustic guitar, mandolin and bass. Then Neil had a chance to record vocals for the first time in his life! He did a great job of gaining confidence with the singing as we went and the hardest part in my opinion is listening back and choosing takes but he was very patient with himself and this process.

After he recorded I added some harmonies to help build the song towards the end. We really enjoyed writing and recording this song and I think it captures an honest moment in Neil's life that has some very universal themes." -Lydia Froncek