For almost all of high school, I was documenting musical ideas at home with a cheap tape recorder. I never wrote songs so much as came up with motifs or chord progressions on the guitar and piano. In the months before I went away to college, I developed tinnitus which became a source of anxiety and disappointment for years to follow. I listened to music at college constantly, but for reasons that still aren't quite clear to me, I totally stopped making music. I don't completely recall what made me want to start trying again in 2005, but it was likely some combination of being inspired by friends' pursuits in music and art, my father dying suddenly, and my subsequent relocation home.