In the spring of 2004, I was a student at Berklee College of Music in Boston, working on a class assignment in my friend Joe’s basement apartment. The two of us were tasked with co-writing a song. Joe had Van Gogh posters in his room, which brought to mind an exhibit I had seen at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; these visual cues eventually became the inspiration behind our song, “Van Gogh Heard.” It is one of my favorites, combining my loves of music, history and art.

I Know

Fast-forward five years to Nashville, where I now live as a singer-songwriter. I keep thinking about the initial spark that leads to creativity. If art could inspire a song, then why not the other way around? I have seen examples of this before: kids asked to draw what comes to mind while listening to classical music; music appreciation classes where the listeners close their eyes and observe the images evoked by a song. Last year I read an article about a music duo that wrote a collection of tunes and then asked authors and visual artists to create works inspired by the songs. This concept resonated with me immediately and I knew I wanted to do something similar with my own music.

This past year I released an album of original songs called Peace or Drama. I found 13 visual artists (one for each song on the album) to create a piece of art based on the music. The artists listened to the album and gave their top three song choices. Once songs were assigned, the artists were free to interpret the piece in any way they wanted.

I will be touring with the art for over a year (starting in September 2010), performing concerts in art galleries and similar venues. I will also have for sale an exhibition book to accompany the CD, featuring lyrics, images and artist commentaries. At the end of the tour (late 2011) an auction for the art will be held to benefit PeaceTones (, a charity that helps artists in war-torn and underdeveloped nations to digitize and sell their art or music.

This project is called Peace or Drama: A Journey through Music and Art. As music and art are reflections of experiences, these 13 visual artists are from the 7 states I have lived in: CA, FL, MA, NC, PA, TN, and TX.

View all the paintings at