I have been creating artistic work since I can remember. Whether it was music, dance, drawing or creative writing, it was, and is, an unending search of discovery about who I am and the world around me. I believe all experiences are felt on a deep emotional level and impact us in ways we don\'t realize. They manifest themselves when least expected: a gift of unorganized knowledge that inspires my creative process. This album is a collection of some of my favorite work - songs written over the past 12 years. They reveal some of my life experiences and the emotional footprints they have left across my heart. I wrote \'Gracefully\' for my parents. I always wanted to write a song for them, but could never complete one until I became a parent and began to understand their perspective and the emotional tornado that is born with it. \'Time\' was inspired by long hours of commuting and coming to terms with my lack of patience. Dad always says I need to \'learn to relax\'. A rock song with underlying tension that I'm still trying to let go of... \'I Will Make Room\' is my \'mantra song\'. When I divorced (7 years ago now...) one of the beliefs that helped me cope was knowing it was up to me to move on and understand that time can be a salve to a wounded soul... if you allow yourself to embrace hope and forgiveness. Since I felt such strength and beauty in forgiving that became infused with the song. Ironically, \'Experience\' was written in my 20\'s. Ah, to be young and idealistic! This song still makes me smile for it's joy and belief in love and life. Although the lyrics are simple, they have come to mean different things through the years starting with happiness in young love to the appreciation of family. Ok, not the family part on the bridge, but you get what I'm saying. Sometimes my need to find an answer for whatever worry is plaguing me means I have a bit of a hard time letting go. It's good to laugh at yourself sometimes and remember not to take life so seriously and find a moment to just be calm. "Oblivion" is my search for some of that calm before I churn things up and life becomes stormy again. It's also a reminder that I'm usually the cause of my stress and not the rest of the world. "Alone" sprang from my fingers late one night after I had just moved into my townhouse. Recently divorced, it felt like everyone had someone but me. Self-pity is harsh and self-defeating but it does make you think about where you don't fit in...which led me to discover where I do. The way the song builds reflects my building anxiety as I removed myself emotionally from life. The word "Alone" becomes a siren, a call for help. When I finally did begin to date again (I had been with my ex for 10 years) I relived all those wonderful insecurities you experience when you are trying to find someone who matters. The guy I fell for was (ok, he still is) a perfectionist about most things he does. I wrote "Superstar" to let him know that it's OK to let go and be your self; especially since I fail miserably at being anything else. Obviously, I could write something about every song on the album, but I hope that this gives you a sense of who I am and why I've been inspired to create my music. Well. And if that wasn't enough, here's probably what they call a rather unconventional bio below: I began creating music on the piano at age 5...merely for the joy of creating simple melodies that sounded beautiful. I was first inspired by my father's playing. He used to rip up and down the piano alternating between rock, blues and classic tunes...not to mention a wicked version of 'Chop Sticks' (the first song he ever taught me...I can still remember my fingers being too weak to actually press down the keys at age 2). I've been singing for as long as I can remember, most notably making up songs about anything I happened to be doing at the time. It's doubtful anyone's going to hear my 'vacuuming' or 'set the table' songs or how I sang my way to the troublesome conclusion of an ice-cream song which ended with an empty container and a brother chasing me all over the house. I never sang to impress anyone and didn't even think about whether I was good or bad at it...I just enjoyed it. It was a defining moment at age 11 when a fellow student told me that she admired my singing voice. Umm...what? Flattered and embarrassed (I had just moved from Florida to the Netherlands and was extremely shy) I saved the singing for home and danced and choreographed at school instead. It was less intimidating. Go figure. It was around this time that my mom hired a tall, beautiful black man from Carousel to teach me piano. He was so tall I could feel my neck break and my knees wobble just looking at him. He was appalled at my lack of rhythm (counting, what's that?) and, of course, asked if I'd ever taken piano lessons before. And while it was tempting to say 'no', I had taken 7 years of piano with the sweet old lady from church who thought it was important to just have fun, I admitted to it and averted my eyes while he cringed. Everything changed with Gilbert, he was able to give me the musical training I craved. He helped cultivate a solid sense of rhythm that still influences my music. For years, I had focused on creating instrumental melodies on the piano and lyrics....everywhere else. At age 18, I finally merged the two. It was out of a need to start to understand who I was and where life might take me that I created 'World of Shadow' for a musical composition class that I took at University of Washington. "In the mirror of time I see, not one but 2 different me's...one who lives in a darkened place, the other in a blinding light, caught between I am stranded in a world of shadow..." was the beginning of many insightful songs that allowed me to grow and explore. It wasn't music for music's sake anymore, but a journey of understanding. My emotions influenced the melody, the energy of that feeling propelled the rhythm and my confusion slowly melted away when the words I could only sing, but not say, would pour forth. I have been a professional dancer/choreographer/teacher for 17 years, but I've always held music in my heart like a hidden treasure. I've never stopped writing music, and in fact, after a particularly difficult dance audition I would turn to the piano for comfort. About 9 years ago, I started playing my music on stage before dance shows with one or two other musicians. Though completely terrifying at first (dance has always been easier, all that energy has someplace to go!) I fell in love with sharing my music with others and have been doing it ever since.
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