Week of Music '13: (Guest Writer Grant Beachy) Osenga Raising the Dead.
Grant Beachy is a good friend of mine. He currently runs a Electric Angel Studios here in Goshen, and has seen projects with musicians like David Story, and Allison Ann, get such honors as Noisetrade Editors Pick. His own drumming skills found him recording and touring with hardcore band Staple a few years back. His current other than recording exploits include picking up photography, which you will be seeing from time to time on the site (including the photos on this post.) I'm honored to have him contributing today about how Osenga's album triggered memories of his own divorce. I'll be recording my own album with Grant at the end of this month.
When I was 7, my grandpa died. I don't remember much except the time we visited and he wasn't talking as much as usual. Then he died, and we were flying out to Pennsylvania. I peered over the coffin and had a debate with my sister about if hair and fingernails grew after you were dead, because he didn't look very clean-shaven. I reached out and touched his hand, but it didn't seem very real. He certainly didn't pull his false teeth halfway out and chase me around the living room like he used to. So that was that.
The next closest thing to a death for me was just over 4 years ago. The last time I saw my wife, we were married and standing in a coffee shop in Chicago. She was working behind the counter and I was trying to convince her to talk. She didn't want to though, and I left. I haven't seen her since. I moved to Goshen where I didn't know anyone, spent 6 months mourning, and then I started life again. So that was that.
I can still be brought back to the gravesite though. "Up from the grave He arose (He arose), with a mighty triumph ov'r His foes (He arose)." Music does that. It takes a snapshot of a moment, and gives you a box full of songs to pull out when you want to revisit it.
If that old hymn is a Polaroid of my Grandpa's funeral, Andrew Onsenga's record (Leonard the Lonely Astronaut) is a snapshot of the latter story; taken unbeknownst, developed over time, and delivered 4 years later. The production is a touch erratic, and an occasionally a CCM hook pops through, but the detail is authentic. It talks of love, and heartache, and isolation with the power of someone who's been there. It approaches destruction with longing; it speaks of hope with honesty.
It's unsettling really, to listen to an album that refreshes details I had long buried. It's a time-traveling effort and not entirely welcome. I find myself wanting to do impractical things. A road trip sounds nice sometimes. Maybe I should start writing again; visit that era where I felt things. Maybe I should wake the dead.