Chris Friesen

Prisoner's Dream

Prisoner's Dream by Chris Friesen
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For fans of:Jon Foreman, Andy Gullahorn, Andrew Peterson, Andrew Osenga, Josh Garrels
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  1. Born Again
  2. Here Before
  3. Growing Pains
  4. Reaching Out to You
  5. Little by Little
  6. Enough
  7. Wrinkles
  8. Prisoner's Dream
  9. Someday
  10. This Place Doesn't Feel Like Home Anymore
  11. Satisfied
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This album began with the thought: "what if the White Stripes made an album with Andrew Peterson?"
Now of course I am neither of these artists. My music has neither the aggression of the white stripes nor the often epic scope of Peterson's work. Nevertheless, there's something about the idea of these two artists coming together that excites me. I'm neither artist, but there is something about both the playful, messy, organic, DIY sound of the white stripes and Peterson's lyrics which manage to step beyond the merely personal out into a larger world.

At the time that this idea came to me, I was also in the process of moving into a Mongolian Yurt (which is a very DIY process, I'll have you know.) On the property was a large Quonset (look it up if you don't know) which was originally from an old army base on the top of the nearby Saskatoon Mountain. It had been used for a summer camp and now it was basically storage, and it was an inspiring place to make music! It had a wonderful echo that encouraged you to sing out, and made everything you did sound lonely and mysterious.

So I took my recently acquired Tascam 424 and some old mics and got to work. There was something very freeing about working to tape-with only 4 tracks-I think it made me get to the bottom of the songs. I had to throw away many grand ideas, many things that the songs could have been to find out what they were.

I think somewhere Jack White talked about leaving mistakes on his recordings, because they were "beautiful human signatures." I really like that. There's a lot of beauty in imperfection. I'm also a stage actor, so I know that there's not really any "getting it right." There's only this performance, and the most exciting moments are when things "just happen."

And of course I know that recorded music is different than live music (more like film acting than stage acting). And yet there were many moments where I pressed record without quite knowing what I was going to do-and something happened. Those are the moments I want to save.

These songs come from many places. They were written over about four years-during which time I went to arts school, met my wife, got married, and moved into a very unconventional living situation. They weren't consciously written on a theme. And yet a theme emerged (which is kind of what making an album is all about).

It seems to me that many of the songs are about the same thing, but seen from a different vantage point. And I do think that that thing is God. But it's not a neatly packaged God: a safe and manageable God. It's God as I have met him in my life.

As G.K Chesterton says: "Some things are too big to be seen," the reason being that you are inside the thing. To use my analogy of "vantage points:" it's like a number of different people looking at a landscape, but one of them is on a hill, one is in a valley, one is on top of a mountain, one is in a thicket, one is looking forward and one is looking back the way they came-and they're all calling to each other saying "look at that!" But the things they can see are all different, though the world around them is the same.

So these are my songs about God, as seen through the tangled thicket of life. I hope that something in the words or music connects to you and helps you feel less alone.


Artwork by Jenna Friesen.

For fans of:Jon Foreman, Andy Gullahorn, Andrew Peterson, Andrew Osenga, Josh Garrels
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