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  • Writer's picturedjSwade

Between Dawn and Sunrise

While I was creating my newest single, "Before Sunrise," I had a chance to explore what that time of the day means to me. I'm not an usually an early riser. In fact, I sometimes associate twilight and the time before dawn with foreboding, when bad news comes. However, at dawn, when the sun begins to makes its appearance on the horizon, I usually feel hopeful and renewed. I have many positive memories about that time. When I was a kid, I remember being up early, tossing and turning in bed, waiting to see what Santa brought on Christmas morning. I can vividly recall mornings before a trip to Disneyland, excitement getting the best of me as I awaited daylight. Then there's the time my wife and I were on our honeymoon and we decided to drive to a beach just south of the town of Kapa'a, Kaua'i to watch the sunrise.

Cultures have been worshipping dawn and the sun for centuries. The Greeks had a god named Helios who drove a chariot from below the horizon, arcing through the sky before dipping back below on the other side. The Egyptians celebrated sunrises, when their sun god, Ra, would emerge from the underworld after vanquishing monsters all night. The Romans had Aurora, their goddess of dawn. There are many other deities and assorted characters associated with dawn, the sun and sunrises: Ch'aska, the Incan goddess of dawn and twilight; Savitr, the Hindu god of the sunrise and sunset; Anpao, the Sioux spirit of the dawn; and Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto, the Japanese Shinto goddess of dawn.

The time around sunrise gets quite a bit of attention in the arts as well. Impression, Sunrise, by Monet, is often said to have launched the Impressionist painting movement. Monet also painted the famous Twilight, Venice. Caspar David Friedrich created a work titled Woman Before the Rising Sun. Then, there is the striking Sunrise in the Rockies by Albert Bierstadt. Classical music has returned to the theme again and again. Some of the most famous classical pieces include Scene 3 of Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé, Strauss' Alpine Symphony, Grieg's "Morning" from Peer Gynt and Delius' "Daybreak" from Florida Suite.There's a movie with Ethan Hawke called Before Sunrise and another called Tequila Sunrise, which is also a song by The Eagles and, of course, a popular drink. In literature, one of my all-time favorite books is The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway.

My new song "Before Sunrise," went through several iterations before I was ready to call it "finished." I was shooting for a bit of the foreboding I mentioned at the beginning of this post, mixed with the sense of quiet and contemplative spirit I experience during that time. I really enjoyed the process of crafting the song and the chance to grow musically and spiritually.


You can hear "Before Sunrise" on Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Music, YouTube Music and other online stores). You can watch the video supporting "Before Sunrise" on and YouTube. You can also check out my artist pages on Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Music and YouTube Music, where you can listen to my first album Audiostrata and my singles, including "Lemon Cello," "Ascending Acoustic" and "Waverider."

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