There were many highlights and small joys in 2020, despite all the hurdles and disappointments the year held. This moment was one of those bright spots.
One day in the height of summer, I got a message from Thomas, who invited me to an evening video session in Berlin. I took him up on his offer. Within 15 hours, I had written and recorded this song, all sparked by his message and the lovely filming experience he set up.
I woke up that morning and sat on a balcony overlooking the capital city, sipping coffee and listening to the sounds of the neighborhood waking up. It was several months into the pandemic and I was just beginning to realize the extent of my losses and how many more blows were likely yet to come. As always when I am struggling with any emotion, my guitar, a pen, and paper became the key to letting it all go. I thought about my years in Berlin, the spirit of the once-divided city, and the times we were all living through as I picked up my guitar. My fingers quietly began searching for patterns that resonated with my mood. I began to hum as the sun started to press its way through the clouds, and my pen began to scratch words into my notebook. This is the song that came together there, during this pandemic, in the heart of a city that managed to put itself back together after being ripped apart.
That evening I sat on the banks of the Spree River and watched the Berlin Cathedral become a silhouette as the sun set. I saw people with masked faces meander by, their smiling eyes and muffled laughter showing a hundred different happy moments. The air was warm, the lights of the city rose to greet the darkening sky, and I met Thomas.
As we set up our equipment, we talked about the times, our lives, and our art; it was such an easy moment of connection - one that probably never would have happened if this virus hadn’t thrown our lives into disarray. A new friendship, a new song, a new beginning, all opportunities that popped to the surface when the world turned upside-down. And, thanks to Thomas’ talent, we were able to capture that moment and share it with you now. Watching this reminds me of the thousands of small joys that I had this year, and that if a whole city can rebuild itself after being blown apart, I will be able to put all of my shattered plans back together when this is all over. They will be different, but they will be beautiful. Here’s to 2020 - a year of hard lessons and small joys. And here’s to all the wonderful potential that 2021 holds. Happy New Year!
"Berlin" is a song I wrote in midst of the coronavirus pandemic about healing. This version was filmed and recorded live on the banks of the Spree River in Berlin by Thomas from Night LIVE Sessions.