Hi there, I’m Jonathan Maiocco and I create music. One day, I came up with the crazy idea to release one track of music a week for a whole year.
And so that’s what I did.
From October 29th, 2018 (my 25th birthday), all the way to 10/28/19, I released music every Monday for a whole year, totaling to 53 tracks. (I know it sounds like it should be 52, but it’s not because there were 53 Mondays...should have picked a different day lol.)
To be perfectly honest with you, it was really difficult and I would never do it again. I can’t tell you how many meltdowns and panic attacks I had. Sure, I learned a lot and wouldn’t change anything. But damn. I’m glad to be done.
Here, you will find the complete discography of all the music. There’s covers, instrumentals, acoustics, and pop songs. I had a lot of fun, but quite frankly, am very tired and will be taking a hiatus. And maybe a vacation. And probably go back to counseling.
Thanks for listening.
The first nine tracks that I released are covers of some of my favorite songs. (I’m not allowed to upload the songs on my website because of copyright stuff, so definitely go check them out on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, etc.)
Soli Deo Gloria is my very first symphony. It is thirteen movements that run seamlessly together. (This has been a dream of mine ever since I was a kid, to write a symphony, so I’m incredibly proud to share it!)
There were some fun technical things that I did while creating this. It is an acrostic, meaning that the first letter of each piece spells out S.O.L.I. D.E.O. G.L.O.R.I.A. Also, the first movement starts in C and then, movement by movement, moves clockwise around the circle of fifths, ultimately arriving back in C at the end.
On the Horizon
Into the Void
Eye of the Storm
On the Inside
Out of the Ashes
Into the Dawn
A Swiftly Tilting Planet (Epilogue)
This is the second set of covers that I did. Again, they are songs that I love and feel connected to.
Back in 2017, I released four EPs of “pop” music. It was a really fun experience that made me realize what kind of music I wanted to be making. I really liked the songs from them and always wanted to do acoustic versions of them - so here we are. :)
I was able to team up with some amazing musicians on these. Make sure you check out their work! Also, Michael Maiocco (my brother) did all of the album artwork for these. Make sure you check out his work here.
Not only is this the world’s longest song title, but this is probably the most fun I had out of all 53 tracks. Kyle is so much fun to work with, has an amazing voice, and is incredibly talented. The outtake at the end is because I accidentally started recording her a measure early and so she reached the end and thought there was more, and then said, “I don’t know what happened there,” and then me laughing in the background.
This, strangely enough, was my first time recording real piano for a track. It was nerve wracking because it was definitely a new experience — but I guess it turned out alright! I love this song and was really excited to bring it back to life with a piano only version. A huge thank you to my old-work for letting me record piano there after hours…I think I recorded this around midnight? So tired.
The Stolen Pages, a.k.a. my best friends Patrick and Sally, are some of the most authentic, genuine, and talented people that I know. We picked this song to do together. (Because of scheduling conflicts, we actually had to record their vocals in their closet lol.) Patrick played guitar, Sally wrote the harmonies, and my friend Neal Rodack played the beautiful strings that you hear.
Out of all the songs I’ve written, this might be my favorite. Even though I wrote the song early 2017, everything about it still feels relevant for me. Being able to do a piano version with strings was so much fun. I feel like, in a way, this version is always how the song was supposed to be - I just didn’t know it until now. Huge thank you to Joseph Cho and Nan Kemberling for the beautiful strings. Thanks for listening. <3
My friend, Neal Rodack, is an amazing musician and all-around amazing human being. He told me he loved my song It and so, when it was time to make acoustic versions, I was like, “Hey, you should cover It and make it completely different.” All the credit goes to him, I literally just sat there and recorded him. (Oh, and I did the snaps. The snaps were 100% me. So it’s still all about me, phew.)
Chelsea has an angelic voice like no other. I wanted to do a “lullaby” version of Valleys, and so I knew she would be perfect for it. I think this is how the song should have always been, so I’m glad we did it. A huge thank you to Tyler Blalock, who played the beautiful guitar for this track. Make sure you check out both of their work!
Nan Kemberling might be my favorite person ever. Like, ever ever. She’s an amazing cellist, songwriter, animal-activist, super funny, and just genuinely such a great person. We decided to team up and cover Noise. She played all the cello that you hear and sang all the crazy high notes at the end. Make sure you check out her work, AND, if you live in Atlanta and ever want cello lessons, make sure you take from her! <3
I think this is the fourth song Jake and I have teamed up on. Working with him is always so much fun AND super easy, because he is a literal one take wonder. (Make sure you go check out his music!) It was really fun to reimagine this song and make it acoustic. A huge thank you to Joseph Cho and Neal Rodack for the wonderful strings on this track.
I decided to come out this year on July 29th, 2019, because I wanted to start releasing music about my experience with coming to terms with being gay. The Call by Regina Spektor felt like the perfect song to come out to. The lyrics that really resonate with me are, “Just because everything's changing doesn't mean it's never been this way before. All you can do is try to know who your friends are as you head off to the war. Pick a star on the dark horizon and follow the light.”
To put it very simply, The Point of Contingency is about my journey of deciding that being gay would no longer be a point of contingency in my life. Because of my religious upbringing, this decision isn’t one that I made lightly. I had so much internalized homophobia (i.e. self-hatred and shame) that I could barely function for a very long time. This album is a raw and unfiltered version of that journey to self-acceptance and deciding to love myself exactly for who I am and where I am. It wasn’t easy, but it was so worth it.
There are two things I would like to say before you keep reading.
1.) All photography was done by one of my best friends and one of the greatest people I know, Andrew Woodman. I could not have done this project without him. He constantly encouraged me and challenged me to keep going, even when I didn’t want to. He has been one of the best friends I’ve ever had, especially through this whole journey. Andrew - thank you. Thank you for this. I couldn’t have done it without you.
2.) I am being transparent about my experience, but I have decided to speak vaguely enough to protect other people and places. This journey isn’t about the people or places that have hurt me, whether they did it intentionally or unintentionally. This journey is about me exclusively and not anyone else. So please don’t make assumptions about who is who and who did what. It’s not about them.
I guess I always believed doubt was bad. Growing up in a religious environment that orbited around certainty, questions weren’t welcome. But the thing is, I had lots of questions because there was a lot I was hiding. Not to be dramatic, but everyday was an existential crisis, trying to dig to the core of Reality and Truth and Meaning. I couldn’t stop questioning everything that was all centered around my deepest darkest secret of being gay. And in the mainstream Christian world, being gay is bad. I was well respected, so I didn’t want to let anyone down. So I buried it all deep inside of me and tried my best to believe what I was told. And you know what? That worked. But only for just a bit. Eventually, I couldn’t handle the pressure of feeling like I was a complete fake.
Because of the doubt, I never felt like I could let people in. I had this vast emotional landscape inside of me that I was too scared to navigate, let alone allow anyone else to see. No one around me seemed to be struggling or asking questions — everyone seemed to be content and have all the answers. And so I presented a version of myself that was collected and very put together. It was a very depressing existence, to have so many people say they know and love you when the person you’re presenting to them isn’t even you. I guess somewhere along the way, I believed that if people really knew me, then they wouldn’t really love me. And so I broke myself up into tiny, organized boxes to try to find some form of control and to present the best version of myself that I could.
So much of my life was wearing a mask. I would transform myself into the person that I was expected to be and the person that the people around me needed. The culture around me seemed to encourage it too. A lot of Christianity seemed to be putting up a front and being nice and being good and having your shit together and all of that. At the base of modern Christian teaching is the belief that you are a wicked and corrupt creature and that you’re lucky God even dares to love you. So under any circumstances, do not be your true self, because that is evil. The only option then is to wear a mask and to wear it strong. That is not all Christian teaching, but it certainly is what is common now. And so that is what I did. I had my mask and I knew all the things to do to fit in and be accepted.
As time went on, I grew tired of the masks and the lies and the politics of it all. I felt like I was spinning in this endless dance that I never wanted to be a part of in the first place. I wanted to change, I just didn’t know where to start. And the more time went on, the faster the dance got and the more burned out I became. No one around me seemed to be thinking or feeling the same things I was, so I became really good at the motions. People seemed to revere me, congratulating me for having it figured out and having my shit together. But deep down, I knew something was still wrong. I knew there was something more to life, I just didn’t know what it was. I didn’t know if there was a God, but if there was, I prayed to get out of the cycle because I knew I couldn’t do it anymore.
I very slowly and very carefully started to voice the things inside of me. I told some people about my doubts, about being gay, and how I just wanted to figure some things out. Very few of those conversations went well. A large majority of them ended with people trying to reconvert me and warning me that I was falling away. I started noticing that people weren’t even listening. It didn’t matter what I said or what I thought. Most of the people assumed they held “ultimate truth” and that I would be ok if I just believed what they did. I began to speak louder and began to have actual words for these thoughts and feelings. The pushback became greater. And then one day, I decided, fuck it, I’m gay and I’m going to figure this out. And then the drama started.
People who actually know me know that I’m not out to start drama or cause shit. I’m not perfect, but I genuinely try my best. When I told people I’m gay, I was not expecting what happened. The rumors, the agendas, the coffee dates that turned into arguments, the passive-aggressive text messages. I was treated like a completely different person. I lost so much respect from people that I valued. They seemed to forget everything else about me except for being gay. And so I did the only thing I could think to do - I embraced the drama. I jokingly started calling myself the drama king. I’m not out to stab people in the back and cause forest fires, but if that’s what people thought of me, then fine. That’s who I’ll be in their eyes. I’ll be the drama king. And I’m going to wear a fucking crown.
And sometimes, it was kind of funny how dramatic things became. But most of the time, it sucked. I lost so many relationships and so many people. To get through it, I turned up the noise. I would literally put in my headphones and blast music so loud I couldn’t think. So I wouldn’t think. I drank way too much. I watched tons of TV. I didn’t want to think about all the shit that was going down. There was a huge void in my life that I didn’t know what to do with, left by the people I missed so terribly. Looking back, I see it was time to say goodbye and move forward. But I didn’t want to. I wanted to feel safe again and go back to those people and places that made me feel like me. It sucked. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. But honestly, it was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.
It’s always sad to say goodbye. I didn’t want to, but it was time for me to leave and find some peace. I started to realize that, even though I wasn’t perfect throughout the course of this journey, I wasn’t the one who closed the doors or burned the bridges. Yes, I was the one who said I’m gay, but I wasn’t the one who said You’re going to hell. I stopped blaming myself and for the first time in my life, saw things clearly. Holding onto all of those conversations and the careless words and the hurt was only holding me back from moving forward. And most importantly, it was holding me back from loving the people who hurt me. Bitterness tastes good. But it’s deadly. I don’t want to be a bitter person. Yeah, I was angry and sometimes still am angry. But I know I’m so much more than anger inside of me.
During all of this, in the newfound silence and emptiness in my life, I couldn’t stop thinking about death. I didn’t want to be alive anymore. I would wake up most mornings and think Shit, I’m still here. I felt like a failure. I didn’t feel like I belonged. And to the friends that were still left, I felt like a burden. I wasn’t the happy-go-lucky person that I once was. I couldn’t stop thinking the thought, I wouldn’t want to be friends with me. There was a moment when I realized I had a plan to kill myself — it had been lurking in the back of my mind and suddenly, it was all I could think about. I started crying and immediately called a friend to come stay with me, because I didn’t trust myself to make it through the day. These were some of the darkest moments of my life.
I guess it’s in the darkness that light is the brightest. I was really hurting and struggling to find a will to live. It was in these moments I kept hearing Something say you’re worth it. (I think it was God — you can call it whatever you want.) I slowly began to tell myself You’re worth it over and over again. Over time, I started to believe that it was true. I found a new sense of self, knowing that I’m worth it, regardless of anything else. For the first time in my life, I saw myself as valuable — not for what people thought of me, but for who I actually am. I had never seen myself as beautiful — I had only believed I was a perverted creature who was worthless and a lost cause. But looking in the mirror, I finally saw a new person, someone who I had never seen before. I saw myself for who I was. And he was beautiful.
At the end of it all, I was left feeling tons of emotions, things I had never felt before because I had never allowed myself to feel so deeply. I was genuinely sorry for everything that had happened. I was still hurting from everything that went down. And I was angry. So fucking angry. And at the same time, I was hopeful, that somehow, maybe one day, it would all make sense. I felt so many things all at the same time. And that was ok. Finally, it was ok to exist in the messiness of it all and to experience things as they come. I didn’t have to keep it together or tie a pretty red bow on everything or have it all figured out. I could just be. (As I’m writing this, please know that I am still in the mess. I don’t have anything figured out. And that’s ok. I don’t have to. And you don’t have to either.)
So yeah. Life sucks sometimes and the pain is very real. I think the thing that has annoyed me the most is that I thought things would get easier. And in a way, things have. But in other ways, my life is definitely more difficult. I really don’t like false hope or sugar-coating anything, so I won’t say that it’s all sunshine and rainbows now. But. I do see things more clearly. Even in the pain and the confusion, I can see the hope in it all, even if it’s just a glimmer. They say “it gets better” — and it really does, they are right. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it gets easier. And that’s ok too. I won’t lie to myself anymore and pretend like the pain isn’t there. It’s ok to admit there’s darkness, but it’s also ok to look for the light. I remind myself all the time to “dream in color” — to see things as they are and for what they can become.
I wish I could say I have it all figured out. But I don’t. I reached the end of all of this thinking that I would be stronger now. But I’m not. If we’re being honest, my life is still scary and it’s not easier at all. I’m still sad sometimes and none of it really makes sense. But. Through losing the love and respect of others, I learned to love and respect myself. Through losing everything, I learned I already have everything I could ever need. I am no longer my greatest enemy. I am, in fact, my greatest asset. And if I know anything, it’s that life isn’t easy, but it’s still worth it. So I choose to be brave. And I choose to stay.
And that’s it I guess. Honestly didn’t think I would make it. But here we are.
This journey and experience was so far from perfect. There’s so much I would have done different looking back. But I am still very thankful and truly believe it was worth it.
I’ve been asked, “What’s next after this?” And the answer is…I don’t know. I have some projects I have to do in the future, but personally, I really don’t have a plan. I know that I need to rest and take some time off and probably not commit to any more challenges like this. As my grandparents say, “The plan is there’s no plan.”
Thanks for listening. It’s been fun. Never forget that it’s worth it. <3