Grant Olney, “Who You Are For Me”

Sjimon Gompers

The creative process of finding the most beautiful proofs with Grant Olney. (courtesy of the artist)

Having already moved us with “Not From Body“, Grant Olney premieres the next listen from his upcoming Hypnosis for Happiness by affirming the being and beauty of another in the inspirational, “Who You Are For Me”. An album that took nearly 7 years to make, the morning dawn reckoning and recitations of life were born from a series of stops, starts, and temporarily sidetracked by mathematical career pursuits in the EU and UK (Grant is also a a super advanced mathematician). From diversions and delays due to a fire at Austin's The Sweatbox studio, the collected postponed and shelved sessions bring together an affection for the inner beauty, and peace that are celebrated without control, force, premeditation or pretension.

Producer Eddy Hobizal's synths provide sparse euphoric touches to Olney's power guitar strums while providing the single note droning texture throughout the background. Eddy's brother Dave keeps the tempo of “Who You Are” striking at a constant pace while basking in the song's natural and unwavering light in professing limitless dedication. Grant observes the behavioral adjustments of a lover, “I see you changing who you are for me,” and, “I see you changing who you want to be,” met with the panacea of an unconditional love that is likened to, “a tree so strong and green.”

In the acknowledgement of these evolutions that occur in character through relationships, Mr. Olney shines insight into a personal interior that is not often displayed in modern expression and music. Despite today's rapid rat race toward senseless ends, Grant makes room for life's unplanned detours while reiterating the unwavering, love you just the way you are commitment against any contrived and needless alterations of personality and spirit. “I can't let you, I'd miss you too much, it is you alone who matters in this way, my sea so shaken, you are everywhere”. The message is to let loves be who they are and want to be, while loving them for who they are to themselves and the world around them.

As both a mathematician and a musican, Grant shared a few words with us on the perpendicular cross sections where advance mathematics and songs of searching intersect within the human condition.

“I think that the creative processes of writing a song and proving a new theorem are not so different. In both cases, we've got something we want (need?) to say, something we believe is true. We just have to find a way to say it. The search, the creative process of writing and proving, it's exhilarating beyond words. If we can pull it off, then we're saying something new! With a proof, we've got the laws of logic, and, e.g., the axioms of ZFC (Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory with the axiom of choice) keeping us honest. And once we have a proof, we need to find the most beautiful proof, a proof that explains the most. With a song, there's something else, something inexplicable, sub-symbolic, and basic that keeps us from bullshitting. I wish I understood. But we know it when we hear it, you know? Isn't that something? We really do!”

Grant Olney's Hypnosis for Happiness will be available July 2 via Bandcamp.

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