Week 214 // Midnight in the Clearing

December 22nd, 2014

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Candle in the window
Light the way
Light the way
What am I to do?
Sit and wait
Sit and wait
Crack the end of autumn
On the way
On the way
Hold on
Hold on
Hold on

Sound of heavy concrete
Gone away
Gone away
Midnight in the clearing
On the way
On the way
Hold on
Hold on
Hold on

Notes
Last week I wrote of the approaching return of my fiencée from her season of work abroad, and just as last week’s song anticipated, she arrived on Friday, much to our mutual joy relief. I spent the week writing songs in advance of the holiday season and the travel and logistics that often make keeping up with Mount Everest difficult. Having already written of her return, I had intended to explore other subjects and territories, but sometimes an emotion and an event looms so large that I cannot write around it, so I embraced the wait and I kept meditating on it. To that end, here is yet another song about Rebecca’s approaching return, despite the fact that I am releasing it days after the event. There is yet another one like it cued up for a week from today, and both of them were written and recorded last week. Some Monday early in the new year Mount Everest will catch up to real life, no longer lingering on that week’s wait. There was simply nothing else I could imagine writing about.

This song plays with a slightly elaborate electronic arrangement. I pull off a few things with a synthesizer that I haven’t really tried before. I hope you enjoy it.

~M.E.

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Week 213 // Patience

December 15th, 2014

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Way above the freezing rain
You traverse the earth on a flying plane
And it scrapes the sky to inscribe our names
And we see they’re both the same

And that bird that lifts you up
On its precious wing, yes it’s strong enough
And on the day it brings you I raise my cup
To be near you, praise my luck

And if I know what searching means
Then I know the peace of discovery
And the placeless ages that intervened
And we wake into a dream

And if you know what patience is
And I know the world locked behind your kiss
Then we know you carry a place like this
‘Cause we need it, this is it

Notes
Friends, it has been a long fall, and coming to the end of it, I think it was even harder than I’ve given it credit for. My fiancée is coming home from a season abroad in Amman, Jordan. We’ve spent the fall patiently waiting for this coming Friday, fortunate to live in the age of modern conveniences like Skype. But there is no substitute for the real thing. This song is a sigh of relief for her imminent return, as well as a tribute to the accomplishment of diligently committing to our work, and providing support to each other despite the distance. We kicked ass. We have well earned the joy of our imminent reunion.

I’m looking forward to the next few days, because in the absence of my responsibilities to graduate school (which I completed for the semester last night) I am going to attempt a bit of a songwriting marathon to load up Mount Everest ahead of the holiday season, so I can breathe and enjoy friends and loved ones. I haven’t done this in a little while, so wish me luck!

~M.E.

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Week 212 // Ember

December 8th, 2014

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The season gets long
And the stranger it gets
I hold an ember
It’s at the heart of it
And I’ll give it to you
You hold it tight in your hands
I want you to be a part of it

The season gets long
And the stranger it gets
I hold an ember
It’s at the heart of it
And I’ll give it to you
You hold it tight in your hands
I want you to be a part of it

Take a look around
This place was made for conversation

Notes
This song is anticipating a much deeper part of winter, the part when things get a little weird. Any winterdwellers know what I’m talking about. There’s going to come a day not too long from now, after the holidays are over, after the novelty has worn off, when we’ll realize we’re in the very middle of it. Autumn will be a flicker of a memory, and spring will be a bizarre fantasy; a lie somebody told you once. The walls will feel closer. Time will slow down. But then something will happen. It will become a beautiful part of winter, because it will be the moment when we give up on the superficial relief of other less mighty seasons, and we will turn to each other. People keep this little warm thing at their center; they tend to it. They keep it burning. It is precious. One day when the sun is dim they take it out and they give it to somebody else. Winter is about human connection, and as the air shifted this week, and autumn left us, I began stoking the little ember in me. I need to keep it glowing, so it will be bright enough to give away later on.

~M.E.

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Week 211 // A Moment

December 1st, 2014

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Up into the air
Crossing o’er the valley
Something down below
Catches light just like a diamond
What am I to do
But fix my eyes upon it sadly?

Pictures stuck between
Pages of a notebook
Turn them in my hand
Recognize the faces slowly
What am I to do
But fix my eyes upon them gladly

Notes
What I’ve been doing for the past couple of weeks, and what I may be doing a few weeks longer as finals hit NYU, is sort of like the songwriting equivalent of haiku. This is a short song that set out to be short. Here are phrases and ideas that are hoping to be something complete rather than something truncated due to lack of time to flesh it out. This song is really just a moment in time. It has a little sadness. It has a little happiness. It evokes places and people without ever spelling them out. I wanted it to be a song you could run your fingers over, one with a little texture, like a physical object. Maybe I did that, or maybe I didn’t. I enjoy making these little meditations. If I didn’t have Mount Everest, I’d never bother to make a song so small and simple.

~M.E.

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Week 210 // At the Center of the Earth

November 24th, 2014

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At the center of the earth
Not far away from here at all
The buried rocks beneath the dirt
And the hot fire ball

When molten rocks push through the seam
To scorch the surface of the earth
We’re never asking what it means
We only ask how it works

Notes
This is a steady, patient little slow burn of a song. I suppose it’s about our modern proclivity to quantify the world around us, rather than searching for deeper meaning. I must have developed some frustration with this phenomenon during my time in graduate school. It isn’t so much that people never search for deeper meaning. That’s the whole project of the arts after all. I guess my problem is that qualitative perspectives are so easily sunk by numbers in our culture. They amount to nothing but a nice addendum to the figures. It isn’t right. Data drives us so deep down that our critical minds, and perhaps even our very hearts, are losing authority. Reader, Listener, please never cede the authority of your heart.

~M.E.

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Week 209 // Serene

November 17th, 2014

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Feeling safe
Hiding right behind them city walls
But a wall’s a cage
And it captured us all

Feeling strange
Hiding from the rain
Now should it fall
And the streets fill up
And the strangers call

And those lights in the window
Mean nothing at all

Serene
Serene

Feeling frayed
Hide behind your eyelids when they fall
When you lose your edge
And collapse and crawl

Ain’t it plain
Right inside the silence of it all
There a slight refrain
And it’s just so small

And the crack in the doorway
Means nothing at all

Serene
Serene

Notes
In a lot of ways this track is the exact reason this site exists: to compel me to write and record music under circumstances when nobody in their right mind would write and record music. Pardon me, my throat is ragged from a week’s worth of chest cold, and I’m delirious for lack of sleep. I felt compelled to reach for my melodica because it’s been a while, and because I needed to hear it. It calms me down. This song is about a bad week, and under the circumstance I can’t complain about how it came out. Although the vocals are strained, I like the harmonies. Although the melodica has fallen out of tune toward the high notes, it still has it’s authentic earthiness. I’m relieved I squeezed this one in just before Tuesday. Goodnight.

~M.E.

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Week 208 // Kingdom of Circumstance (and FREE download)

November 10th, 2014

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Only one part’s over
Pretty good trick
Convincing us we’re older
Who’d have thought
This would be the year
With the right thought
Anything can happen here

I was alive when
Half the world was burning
It was a crime to
Think that stopped us turning

Watch this moment
When I slow down
I’m sure that she can hold it
She’s got burning ways you see
Through the fire she
Came in on a wave to me

There was a time when
Kindness was worth learning
That was a moment
Earnestly returning

I was alive when
Half the world was burning
It was a crime to
Think that stopped us turning

Moonlight gets away
Was a child when
Last I tried to see this way
Oh the kingdom of circumstance
Once believed that loving was a consequence

This is a moment
Wrapped up in this yearning
Hooked to a comet
Brightest light and learning

I was alive when
Half the world was burning
It was a crime to
Think that stopped us turning

Notes
This week marks four years that I’ve spent making music as Mount Everest, four years of never missing a Monday, of writing music all the time. 208 is a lot of songs. After all, four years is nearly five years! Isn’t that something? When I hit an anniversary, I usually take stock, and this year was no different. On airplanes and subways and interstate highways I have recently revisited much of the now daunting catalogue. There was a time when this undertaking was much easier. These days, I can never make it a quarter of the way through, so I skip around randomly sampling ideas that I used to have, and thoughts that I used to think.

One thing really struck me this time. I’m always writing about how old I’m getting. To be clear, at 29 I am literally not old. It’s probably a function of such a linearly autobiographical project that I keep returning to this concept of aging. Watching the weeks tick by on this website, it’s no wonder I start to feel more than my age. The problem is that I am writing about my life like it’s over, when it has barely even started. This song attempts to redress that error of perspective. It has taken a year that has represented seismic beginnings in my life to recognize that this concept that my youth is behind me is a big trick I’ve been playing on myself. Sure, I’m not getting any younger, but youth is a perspective I’m not yet willing to cede to the next generation.

It is my custom to give you presents for Mount Everest’s birthday. If you click the image below, you will download a compilation of my favorite Mount Everest tracks from the past year.


Thank You for being here!
Here is your free download:


It is a 23 track album; about an hour and twelve minutes of heartfelt thanks for lending me your ears, and (in many of your cases) your collaborative talents, your emotional support, your love, and your friendship. I love you all so much. It means the world to me that you come here to listen. Please come back next week as I kick off year five. The coming 12 months are shaping up to me monumental in my life, so anticipate sounds you’ve never heard!

~M.E.

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Week 207 // When it Goes

November 3rd, 2014

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I fill my capsule in the dark
I close it tight so it stays sealed
I dream of home and then I start
To pick apart the bits I’d steal
And when it goes
Ain’t it strange
To pick the bones
And beg the rain?

And out tonight into the dark
To search in vain for this made real
If out one moment goes a spark
What’s up ahead must fingers feel
And when it goes
Is it strange
To love the cold
And fear the flame?

And goodness knows
That it ain’t strange
That when it goes
We’re not the same

Notes
My parents are in the final days of selling my childhood home. It’s happened to a lot of people, now it’s happening to me. It isn’t a devastating loss. My life isn’t going to change all that much as a result. How many times a year do I even go there? What it illuminates is more about what’s changed already, which is pretty much everything. Certain aspects of this hit me really hard, but mostly it’s this numb acceptance, which is weird. If I ever go in there again, it’ll be something else, somebody else’s. If I ever go in there again it won’t be home. I suppose one pervasive aspect of this is a feeling of coming unmoored. There’s been a long tether between the Boston suburbs and me for as long as I’ve lived. I’m not sure it will be there anymore. Will I just drift off in the current? What does it mean to be from somewhere when you’ve got no place there to go back to? Maybe a lot. Maybe nothing. Sometimes I think this is really going to hurt. Other times I suspect I’m already over it. That house did its job for us. It did it really well. I love it like a family member. I love it like a parent. Maybe it’s good that it can do that for somebody else now. This song is about all of that stuff.

Next week is Mount Everest’s fourth anniversary! Wow. Please come back to celebrate with me.

~M.E.

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Week 206 // The Way Down

October 27th, 2014

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Bet you watch the weather
Bet you climb all spring
And think you reach the top
Some summer day
Bet you brace yourself to fall each autumn
And curse the day you reach the bottom
And there’s nothing to wake up for on the way

The way down
The way down

Bet you never notice
‘Cause it’s lost on all who think
The Sun is all that shows us love
Yes, its light’s so fine to see each other
But the darkest days are made for lovers
To reach out and embrace
They’re on the way

The way down
The way down

Notes
All around me, people are revealing their devastating lack of character. They’re complaining that the weather is getting colder. I’m going to be mean for a moment here: if your favorite season is summer, you were born without an imagination. If you need the brightest sun to show you the beauty in the world, your beauty receptors are malfunctioning. The last thing Mount Everest needs is another song praising autumn, yet here’s one that praises autumn and winter, and condemns summer as typically being substanceless fluff. Don’t get me wrong. I love summer. This past summer in particular was often a work of art. But we get to the real meat of humanity when the temperature drops. With the weather shifting, I find myself looking forward to my fiancée’s wintery return from the Middle East. If she returned any time of year, it would be a momentous and beautiful moment, but she’s coming home when we’ll need each other’s warmth the most. The winter brings people closer together. The summer’s too sweaty for a hug half the time. Anyhow, here’s a little song.

~M.E.

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Week 205 // Prove It

October 20th, 2014

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I can’t believe it
What’s in my hands
Sat on the gravel
With something bleeding
And watched the movement
Across the street

And somewhere sacred
Like in the past
White lights are blinking
And no one’s moving
And there I’m thinking
Are we to blame?

Can someone show me
Whatever you’re thinking?
I’ve got to know it
Or really I’m ruined
It’ll get me through it
Or I’ll explode

What have you
What have you
What have you
What have you got to prove?

Notes
This is a song about the rambunctiousness of youth. But isn’t Mount Everest all about the trials of getting older? Not today, it isn’t. Sometimes you have to look behind you and puzzle over it. Sometimes you’ve got to appraise the indefatigable urgency of yesterday to make heads or tails of right now. I’m on the precipice of my 30s, I’m getting married pretty soon, and somehow I like the idea of responsibility, even if I haven’t really nailed it yet. But once I was 19, and I was really really 19. I think I did 19 about as well as anybody ever did it. I’ll tell you, my being was on fire, and I was fit to burn the house down. I’m pretty relieved I didn’t. This song isn’t about a specific moment in time, or a thing I did or was done to me. This song is the atmosphere of my youth. It’s about the way my skin vibrated like so many barely rendered pixels. It’s about being partially cooked. I suspect that in ten years I’ll write another one just like it about right now. If only I knew.

~M.E.

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