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“It was difficult to find a title for this song. Although it was deeply moving to write, at the same time, I had to recognize it as being part of myself. It’s like when you draw something in your sketchpad, and somebody looks over your shoulder and says, ‘Why did you draw that?’ You examine what you did and figure out where it came from.
“The process of writing it was all about realizing there was a part of me that needed to prepare for a farewell, but then it shifted to wanting to stay very positive. How do you celebrate the contribution of life while acknowledging that, although it’s certainly an ending, it’s also about the memory that you’re going to carry around with you?
“I had all kinds of titles – Farewell, Goodbye – but it was all too negative. I wasn’t able to connect with the right word or words. Then I came across something about the pile of stones as a marker, and I thought, ‘Yes, that explains it.’
“The piece was done innocently. I improvised it on keyboards, and then I sat back and listened to it and said, ‘Wow, what is that?’ Because it started with this Beatleseque organ, so it was very drifting and full of attitude. I picked up the guitar – and it was the first thing I think I ever recorded with the Sustainiac – and it just took off. I turned the volume on the guitar down and tried to get a more subtle tone. Then it was like, ‘Whoa! Where did this come from?’
“It felt so real, the recording, but I thought it needed some type of orchestra. I wanted something different, though, and so I focused on the trumpet, trombone, English horn, French horn. The song was getting closer to what I was describing in my head. I wanted the music to make people feel good; it shouldn’t be a bummer. If anything, it’s supposed to be a celebration.”