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After high school I moved to Minneapolis and spent the dead of winter in Minnesota working the graveyard shift at UPS. By default, everyone hated me and I hated being there so I moved home, got another dead end job and wasted a semester and a half at Riverland Community College thinking I could make something of myself (it wasn’t a waste because the college was “bad” but because I couldn’t make myself do the work and eventually got myself onto the academic probation list and thrown out). This is when I started producing music. How it all ended up working out, I’ll never know.
Mid-semester I read a short story by Ambrose Bierce for one of my required english courses, a story called "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" that had a profound effect on me. It wasn’t until later that I discovered the 1962 French film adaptation that ended up changing my general outlook, my frame of mind, my point of perspective, and my entire life from that moment on. It was a hammer between the eyes and I remember driving my white beat-up 92’ Caravan to work at Coke with tears in my eyes because of the ironic and obvious spiritual comparisons between my life and the impact of the story.
Read it for yourself or watch the film if you wish to draw your own conclusions. I find both totally inspiring and incredibly powerful. The film is one of the most beautiful pieces of cinema I’ve ever seen.
People tend to ask me “why Owl City?” and it’s not the kind of answer I can explain in thirty seconds during a loud meet-and-greet while the opener is soundchecking in the same room two people are trying to converse in. Even if you and I had half an hour and a quiet coffee shop, it’s not that simple.
Make of it what you will. After reading the story or watching the film, I always walk away feeling like I’ve gotta start living… an emotion I believe we all need to feel more often than we do.
Each time I think about it, the character in the story is me… and all I have left is a little bit of time.
That’s why Owl City.