On December 23rd 2016, a package arrived at the local coffee shop (guaranteeing someone was available to sign for the delivery). The project we had been working on for the past six months was a gift we'd hoped give our friends and family for the holiday.
My hands trembled and face flushed with joy as I opened the box to inspect the contents. This small box containing the first 100 CD's of Bards Songs -- a last minute delivery in the nick of time. For me this was no ordinary package. I had carried this work with me for twelve years. It took that long to find the right composer to bring the music in my head into the world, to represent the hope I have for humanity.
Waves of emotion rolled over me. I was elated to hold in my hand the physical manifestation of months of hard work and perseverance. At the same time it represented an end to something and an entirely new level of unknown. How would friends and family respond? How would we take it to the next level -- we'd missed our opportunity to bring it to stage as I had hoped, as least for this year. In bringing this piece into the world, had I finally honored my Father and Mother as I had hoped?
The sad part but all too common experience for artists is that I hardly gave myself a moment to celebrate before I began lamenting the idea, what if I had gotten the project done sooner perhaps it could have made a difference -- perhaps, it still can.
Backstory: Bards Songs, started twelve years before, shortly after the death of my Dad was killed through no fault of his own, in a car accident. I was crushed. I was an orphan. I was inconsolable. My only peace, found with my fingers pressed on keys of the piano. The songs that came through were songs that I had sung with my Mom as a child on the way to school - specifically, Christmas songs. Yes, twelve years is a long time to finish a project and grief is a dastardly companion to grapple with on our path. Despite depression and fear of imperfection I have persevered in bringing this first phase (physical CD) to the world and I am proud of this accomplishment. More importantly, the music continues to offer comfort and hope to me that together we might lift our voices in harmony and be heard, breaking through the fear mongering of those who seek to keep us separate. I am reminded of the words in the song OH HOLY NIGHT, "Chains we shall break for the slave is our brother and in the name (of love) all oppression shall cease." This is a central theme to the piece a constant reminded of why we must stand together against injustice.
As much as I hate to admit it, there was a new urgency that had pushed me to completion of the project an unscrupulous man was running for election as 45th commander-in-chief. These songs came to me at a time when another President was bragging of dropping bombs and causing "shock and awe to our enemies" As my hands touched the piano keys, I saw in my mind the wings of angels surrounding the earth, trumpets sounding and a star blazing. A young woman, pregnant, homeless, on the run from a tyrant willing to kill all the children in search of one who was rumored to threaten his power. The story of abuse of power continues to be eerily familiar and I wonder what it will take to end it.
About the album: This music, although it contains lyrics from traditional Christmas carols is woven together with techno, hip-hop and world beats. The choruses weave together the sacred names and sounds of many religions. This is how I imagined the Angels singing as they held vigil over the world. They called for celebration in the languages specific to the hearts that heard them.
Our Goal: We want to bring this music to the streets. We want to use it as reminder to our politicians and spiritual leaders that we are all one. We want the music to inspire us to use our voices to sing and use our bodies to dance even if we have gotten out of the habit and forgotten our power. We want this work to life us up and celebrate our lives together, here on the planet, together - making way for harmony.