It is a distinct honor to write the set description for Mike Ballan - one of my true best friends for about the last 7 years. I have known since I first heard his music during my Junior year of highschool that he was going to do great things with his songwriting. Since then I have had the pleasure of producing his music in somewhere between 4 and 5 recording sessions, including this most recent One Night Music session.
If one takes songwriting as a serious artform, they owe it to themselves to download the high quality versions of these tracks, turn out the lights, lay down, close their eyes and let the journey begin. Mike tells stories through his music. What is the plot, moral, or conclusion of these stories? I have yet to find out. His stories aren't linear - they are a web of tangents, spirals, and mazes that tell the gutwrenching tales of far off inexplicable emotions that come from the depths of torment and frustration with this world. They challenge listeners to open their minds and allow words to flow in that represent emotions, ideas, fears, and images, and somewhere on the fringes of society, in a world that is defined by uncertainty, collapsing thoughts, and provocative ideas, these words realize themselves in a beautiful manifestation of poetry and questions about life and love. Mike's music challenges the parameters of conventional song structure. His expression comes first, structure comes second. This ideology lends itself to unexpected cadences, unanticipated swaths of musical narrative, and fractalized lyrical journeys.
Recorded in the One Night Music Studio, Santa Barbara, CA on December 22, 2008.