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  • Writer's pictureBill Stauffer

Gratitude Friday 04-19-24 – From the Dark Side of the Moon

“The wheel is come full circle.” - William Shakespeare


Growing up I was a huge Pink Floyd fan. Not just the more popular albums that came out starting with the Dark Side of the Moon in 1973 but even some of the more experimental works of the mid 60s featuring lead singer Syd Barrett. I would still argue that their music broke ground that changed everything that was produced afterwards. 50 years later, the music is still relevant, although the meaning of some of the work, like their classic Shine on You Crazy Diamond has changed for me as I have watched a lot of bright people whose light no longer shine in our world.


Julie, my wife, also loves music but never quite caught the Floyd vibe. When I met her in the late 80s, she introduced me to a whole range of other music I would have never appreciated as I do. Music helps connect us as it does so many people, even if we do not have identical playlists. One of the bands she introduced me to was the October Project still one of my favorite bands from the mid-90s. Julie used to be a cytotechnologist, eyeballing human cells to spot cancer. She would listen to a lot of music as she peered through her microscope working in healthcare.


She discovered so much cool music, and October Project was one of those bands. She would share her finds with me. We would go see emerging bands and take in a lot of really great live music, often at $5 and $10 shows before some of these artist made it big. We saw people like Jason Isbell on his first solo tour and Justin Townes Earle on his first tour as well as bands like Bright Eyes when they were playing small venues. I loved every minute of it. I have always loved music. I saw almost no shows in active addiction. Addiction took it, recovery returned it. Most of those experiences with Julie, other than a Miles Davis show in the late 80s. Music is very much a part of my recovery pathway of healing.   


A few years ago, we learned that Mary Fahl the lead singer from the October Project was playing at the Mauch Chunk Opera House a really cool hidden gem of a venue in nearby Jim Thorpe Pa. She ended up performing From the Dark Side of the moon. It was amazing! To take this body of music on takes courage. Her cover of Brain Damage and Eclipse in this video clip from that venue is  particularly genius in my opinion. In many ways I prefer it to the original.


At the end of the show that night. I had to have this CD, I went to buy it, but it was cash only, I had none. Her husband was her merch person. He said that that was not a problem, handed me the CD on the honor system and asked I send in a check to the address he handed me on a small piece of paper. He said to me that every person he ever did that with made good on the purchase. I did as well, and when I sent the check, I included a business card of Julie’s as I am a shameless promoter of her amazing art. I noted on the card that they seemed to have similar artistic styles, I wrote her a note suggesting as much and jammed her card in the envelope with the check.


I forgot all about it, but a few months later, Julie mentions to me an email she gets from Mary Fahl. Long story short, Julie ends up creating art for a number of CDs that Mary produced. One of the things that Mary decided to do was release her interpretation of Pink Floyds Dark Side of the Moon in 5.1 high resolution blue ray audio. She asked Julie to do the art for this rerelease. I could not be prouder to see her work on such a masterpiece interpretation of one of the most recognized albums in music history. Julie’s design for From the Dark Side of the Moon is above.


Over the years, it has become clear to me that little things have a way of coming back to you. I dropped the card in an envelope, and that act ended up helping form a connection that led to a productive creative collaboration between two wonderful artists. All those years ago listening to Pink Floyd and then two decades later to the October Project came together in ways I could not imagine. People got to experience Julie’s art in a whole different medium. There is a saying in life that you just don’t ever know. It is true, you just never know what little action can lead to an entirely new direction and brand-new experiences. Grateful for these connections and to experience all this amazing music.


One of the cool things about life are the way things that do around come back around. Seeing Mary play and then having her connect with Julie and work together on such a gem of a work reinterpreting one of my favorite albums of my youth is an example of that cycle. The lesson here is taking the chance when an opportunity presents itself, because you just never know. I am grateful for these kinds of circular dynamics that life is made of. This one was one of my favorites.


What are you grateful for today? 

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