I started composing this album in the middle of creating the “concept album,” Making better choices for the thesis of my Master of Counselling degree. Through Making better choices I exhumed and acknowledged the steady strum of trauma and loss (brought by complications of my budding [homo]sexuality, and the concurrent AIDS crisis) I experienced up to the beginning of my 30s. With nearly every song, I cried – both over the loss, but more so over my new appreciation for the ways I and the people around me struggled to find and tend and grow something of beauty… something to cherish amid the rejection and loss.
A lot of the songs on this album are about or reflecting on experiences that happened within the timeframe of the Jimmy song on Making better choices. A complex and rich time (that the song barely grazes)… no doubt both because of all the shit that went down, and because it occurred in my “memory bump.”
For a time, I was going to call the album Adrian Lyn, the name I created for myself (after an episode of sexual assault) for about six months (and dropped when I couldn’t cash a paycheque)… and then had what I called a “nervous breakdown,” where I pulled away as much as I could (much through substance use) from the sticky, complex things in my life… including my name change.
I settled on a “final” name for the album, Re-sil[i]ence… indicating while there was much resilience I was uncovering, there was also a lot making me feel I had to immediately cover up again… or re-silence myself (mostly due to now being executive director of a youth-serving organization in a conservative city… exactly the challenge I feel suits me, but concurrently complicates openness about the tawdry details of my life).
When I tried to submit Re-sil[i]ence, it was rejected by online stores for its queer punctuation. So I settled on using the opening line of the song “To Adapt Is to Die” as the album title… as it strikes the kind of thoughtful absurdity that I appreciate.