The sixth and final episode of The Second Muse, season one, is now available for listening. In this episode, Drew Miller interviews Andrew Osenga about his album The Painted Desert, specifically his song, “Mercy.”
Over his twenty-year career in the music industry, Andrew has occupied many roles, including artist, producer, session player, and A&R representative. In our conversation, we talk about how his roles as artist and producer have combined to give us his latest gift of an album, The Painted Desert. The album arose from a period of personal hardship and transition for Osenga—he’s said that its “writing and recording was a journey through grief, discouragement, friendship, and healing.” The result is an album shot through with light, even as its narrative deals directly with darkness.
If you’re new to The Second Muse, here’s the podcast in a nutshell: the title is taken from a Wendell Berry quote in which he references two distinct muses—the Muse of Inspiration, “who gives us inarticulate visions and desires,” and the Muse of Realization, “who returns again and again to say, ‘It is yet more difficult than you thought.’”
It is this second Muse of Realization with which we concern ourselves in The Second Muse, specifically in the context of songwriting and record producing. In each episode, Drew interviews a different artist along with their producer about a song that gave them a great deal of trouble, whether in the writing or recording process or both. The song is then explored from the inside out, breaking down the components of the mix and how each element works towards making the song effective as a whole.