PURPLE MOUNTAIN American Indian Tribute The creative process knows it's own time...making an entrance at some of the most unsuspecting moments...often while amongst large groups of people...or in the middle of dinner, fork and knife in hand, mouth open...ready to taste the tiny morsels of food... Whoa! What is that song playing inside my head? Have I heard it before? Is it new? Should I write it on paper? Go to my keyboard......push record? Yes!!! Always push record lest the notes flee from memory in seconds...learned this lesson years ago. Also, developed a notation code for those times when no keyboard is available! Thus said...here's how PURPLE MOUNTAIN evolved... While meeting with the minister at Hope Lutheran Church in the North Georgia mountains (this happened in 2000) to select music for the upcoming month, he suddenly realized the Lectionary was in his office...my cue to go into the Divine Flow at the piano...As he walked back into the sanctuary, he asked, "What's that you're playing?" "Oh...just a song that's flowing through me," nonchalantly I replied. "Don't you think you should write it down?" Startled at his question, I slowly nodded... yes!(Thankfully, I already knew the notation code.) The words and music came simultaneously...so fast!!!! "Purple Mountain...wait there for me...I've been away but return today...I'm coming home to stay." Another interesting flashback...Album One...Jennifer St. Clair...was released in 1999 and upon completion of this CD, I had returned to St. Simons Island for some R & R. Distinctly recall the moment on the wet, dark, sandy beach when the title of my second CD was announced..."Purple Mountain"!!! Hummmm...confirmation resonated on a deep level; yet, absolutely no idea about it's purpose or any connection to the American Indians. Also...Song No.10..."Wipe the Tears\' had already been written in 1999 while residing at a little brown cottage situated along a gurgling brook just outside Ellijay, Georgia...the music came first...but what title? As I played it over and over again, lyrics began to form, faintly at first. Thought surely I misinterpreted..."My heart is crying...Wipe the tears away..." No more lyrics came for over seven years!!! Only after listening to this song and 39 other originals while driving to Atlanta in 2007, trying to decide which to include on CD did I realize the tears referred to "The Trail of Tears"...Ohhhhh!!! Wow! By this time, I had decided to honor the American Indians with this musical production. Yet, months passed before receipt of final lyrics!!!! This huge project had a life all it's own!!!! (from start to finish!) One song almost did not make it! Now, whether you have personally experienced ghostly encounters, or are still undecided about such events...the fact remains...SOME THINGS CANNOT BE EXPLAINED!!!!! Such is the case with this entire project!!! And one original composition in particular..."Talking Leaves"... Summer a year ago, I opened my kitchen door to walk outside when I immediately noticed a colorful red maple leaf on the top step. I smiled at it...and knew to let it remain there. Then...hummm...realized it was not autumn yet. Are there anymore red leaves on the trees? Not. Does this little leaf hold a message for me? Maybe? Two more days passed and still the little red leaf held it's place of honor, despite winds up to 30 MPH...More information was needed for the storyline of "PURPLE MOUNTAIN" so I was at my computer reading about Chief Sequoyah developing the Cherokee alphabet after he and fellow Cherokees witnessed the printed pages of the white man... they called them..."talking leaf"...What a great title for a song! Do I have any untitled music on my floppy disc in keyboard? Rushed upstairs to see. Randomly, I pushed No.44 and began listening to the music. Did not recall this piece on downloaded CD version which Brent had recorded for me several months earlier...the same one I described in previous paragraph regarding "Wipe the Tears". Ahhhhhh...Now it became clear to me. That was the day the two ghosts played havoc with my equipment!!! Brent arrived at my lil' gray house in the trees around 2:00 pm with new equipment in hand ready to assist in downloading my original songs from keyboard. (Technical, I'm not!) Hooked everything up as need be...ok...ready. Nothing happened. His new recording devices did not respond to my keyboard. An hour passed. Frustrated, he decided to bring my computer upstairs and see if it would work. Voila. Success at last. Songs are recording beautifully...what? Silence. Equipment shut down! My keyboard screen showed "No files found"...Panic!!! Have all my songs been lost? Furious, I pushed eject button!!!Let's try again. The same message on screen! What to do? Although unidentified as to WHOM or WHAT, this was not the first time equipment had failed. Let me correct the word 'failed' to broken beyond repair!!! My previous computer had stopped working and the tech told me it contained no useable parts whatsoever...Then my stereo system, the same thing. The repairman (electrical engineer) said in all of his 25 years, never had he witnessed anything remotely resembling what he saw in my device!!! There was nothing to salvage! Guess you can imagine the predicament I faced. Lifted binding prayers Heavenward to remove from the premises anyone...anything...not invited!... popped in a recording of some sacred songs used while on St. Simons Island to complete my plea for help...WHEW! Thank you, God and Angel Team. When I reinserted the disc again, music began playing....recording along...several songs completed...STOPPED again.....oh boy......this happened four times! Finally, we had just completed No.40 when the keyboard stopped once again. Enough. Told Brent this was it. By the way, the clock had struck midnight!!! So you see..."Talking Leaves" was one of those songs not downloaded that day. Brent mentioned a douser in Atlanta his friend called upon for assistance in those 'times of the unexplained' circumstances. This had been too close for comfort. The time had arrived to alleviate the Ghosts!!!!! And come to find out, that's exactly who played the pranks on my equipment or should I say...me! Two ghosts had taken up residency in my lil' house. Not anymore!!! Pooph!!! Gone. Evermore and evermore. Amen. The episodes around this huge project could go on endlessly, however, one final tale. As my research began on the American Indians, a legend pulled me into it's storyline and holds me there to this day. It's about the Cherokee Rose, Georgia's state flower. You see, the Trail was barren and cold and and at times hot and hurried. No time allotted to grieve the losses along the way. The women mourned hopelessly. Chiefs became so concerned for their welfare that they came together in Prayer making special request of Great Spirit to send a 'sign' to lift the women's spirits. The legend says after that prayer, wild roses started blooming along the Trail where so many tears were shed. Song No. 11 on my CD is titled: "Cherokee Rose" with a subtitle: "Roses bloom where tears once fell"... Who of us have not experienced their own 'Trail of Tears\' along this Human-BeComing journey? My wish for each listener out there is to understand we are all more alike than different. The characters may possess other names, but the story somehow remains the same. The injustices, the prejudices, the greed, the cruelty and the unfairness that life seems to throw our way become personal. 'Cause you see, like the Lakota words...mitakuye oyasin...we are ALL related...ALL relations are ONE!!! May "PURPLE MOUNTAIN" touch your heart and reveal messages for you and generations to come that will assist in your Sacred Paths to healing and forgiveness.......... Blessings to you.......Jennifer St. Clair.
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