My Empty House
The music project eventually titled My Empty House started with the raw cold reality of losing my brother, Bobby...ever living that same cursed day now beyond two decades, still so unreal, driving my total self forward into the bad dream like jack-hammering concrete, trying to breakdown the emptiness, while forcing creativity higher with the hope that it might morph into therapy, gleaning weighty words peppered on page after page, wordsmithing the devastation into tighter stronger lyrics - if only I could align my inner perspective more truly. All along, Dan and I working out guitar styles and song arrangements, playing a hundred Dylan, Young, and GP songs in the barn loft, sharing dusty air space with hornets by day and bats by night, breaking down sound equipment in the early morning fog. Then, at last going into the local studio and laying down the songs onto analog reels, accompanied by some friends who kindly lent me their musical talent with open hearts... a few of the images that come to mind as I look back. Only five songs were selected for My Empty House - a few hard, a few soft, each unique. This music was created mainly to connect with victims of crime and with survivors of loved ones lost to homicide. Representative is the song Sometimes My Imagination Wins. When a loved one is taken forever, the world still goes on around you but it all matters much less than it once did. Suddenly, words spoken in public or to you personally often ring hollow or seem meaningless. Who can really know the feelings stirring within the survivor but the survivor? You may be thinking that songs based on the loss of a family member would result in some rather unpleasant music. Certainly the subject is light years from 'happy stuff' but the original concept, the music style and lyrics make for unique songs that engage anyone who has experienced the 'real stuff' of life. Thank you for listening, Brooks Allen The following is from the 2002 News Release: My Empty House - Songs for Victims of Crime - is an original concept that draws on Brooks' personal experience in attempting to cope with the loss of his younger brother who was murdered 14 years ago in Smyrna, Tennessee. His brother's killer has never been brought to trial. For Brooks, this music project is a unique attempt to communicate the emotional turmoil that a survivor feels concerning the loss of a loved one and the never-ending search for justice. These songs touch upon experiences to which only a victim could relate; for example, other's attempts at giving comfort and advice; the loneliness that comes with loss while the criminal goes unpunished; general comments made by the larger community that reveal how little they understand. 'Knowing that there are others out there who have suffered and have survived brings a little comfort,' says the songwriter. Brooks' music speaks to non-victims as well, introducing thoughts and ideas uncommon to most. Meaning at several levels can be found throughout My Empty House. Brooks sees victims of violent crime as 'America's forgotten sector of society.' In the U. S. in particular, our society is intensely focused on criminals and the nature of their crimes, and rarely gives genuine attention to the victims and their surviving family members. My Empty House was made available to two organizations that support victims of crime to be used as a possible revenue source for their programs.