an open letter to Devin Townsend 

Dear Devin,

I am writing this a few days after your Toronto show because I needed time to compose my thoughts and feelings.I sat in the balcony of the Danforth Music Hall, weeping, several times during the show. Your music has meant so much to me over the past few years as I’ve rebuilt my life from the foundation up.

You see, my husband of 15 years died in 2013 after a 7 year battle with cancer. My Dad died one year later and circumstances finally forced me to face and finally deal with an ugly truth about what happened to me when I was 13 years old.

I ended 2014 with a nervous breakdown and considering quitting my career as a musician, selling my home and walking away from it all.

Throughout all of this, Ki, Addicted, Deconstruction, Ghost and Epicloud were a major part of the soundtrack to my grief, my own dissolution as a human being and my subsequent efforts to rebuild myself.

I particularly gravitated to Ki and Epicloud as they were both introspective and positive in outlook.

As a longtime fan of yours – I first heard and saw you on the Vai “Sex and Religion” album and tour and have since followed you through Strapping Young Lad, solo, Devin Townsend Band and DTP efforts. I was kind of unthrilled with Z2, knowing that it was one last visit to your ego and “craziness” run amok – perhaps that’s why I listen to Deconstruction the least as I feel it is essentially a Ziltoid album at heart.

So I approached Transcendence with trepidation and hesitation.

When I first listened to it, I was walking through the city park near my home and actually had to stop, sit down and LISTEN. Stormbending brought on the first set of joyful tears, followed by Stars and From the Heart. I still can’t listen to From the Heart without my eyes welling up.

Thank you.  

For seven long years, I cried out of pain and sadness. Your music finally made me cry from joy.

Hearing Stormbending live, followed by Where We Belong and the closers Kingdom, Ih-Ah! and Higher was pretty much the perfect concert for me…

If Ki and Epicloud were the soundtrack to my grief and reconstruction, Transcendence has become the soundtrack to my rebirth.

I performed my first live solo show on August 28 (I covered “Divine” in tribute to my husband), followed by a week in the recording studio, working on an all acoustic album of the music written during the past seven years. The original four DTP albums gave me the strength to go through the mountains of notebooks and cull the ten best ideas and finally get them out there.

I am now ready to move on with my life and Transcendence seems to be the ideal audio representation of that. I thank you and the band for “being there” for me when I was overwhelmed and couldn’t do anything but sit/lie down and listen to music.

Wishing you peace and grateful for your music through the years.

Myke Hutchings

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

P.S. Apologies to Beav – I was going to have a bass lesson with him in Toronto, however my bronchitis got the best of me and I didn’t want to share it with the band and crew.

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