“One Chord and One Lyric Line”
I definitely feel like I am different from most people. I wish I could truly describe how it has felt for me to live a “musical life.” The release I have achieved by singing follows me throughout my day. My heart sings and my soul feels light. Melodies play inside of me and overwhelm me with their beauty.
What fills me with amazement is that at the same time that I am living with the magic of “music in my heart,” my life is quite stressful and ordinary.
Wherever I go, I find myself drawn to people and I share my joy. When I performed on Sunday night at Border’s, two people told me I had touched them with my music. Their tender words have caused me to glow for many days afterwards.
I love my new song; it definitely has a life of it’s own. All week long, I felt inspired by my new song’s beautiful and complex chord progressions. I spent a lot of energy transposing and recording my song in different keys. I constructed my recordings into beautiful instrumental pieces.
Still there was something missing in my song. Yesterday, I went to my voice lesson hoping for feedback from my vocal coach, Peaches Chrenko.
Peaches is one of three, very special people in the “musical of my life.” Those three people have allowed me to express myself musically in ways I never dreamed possible. I believe Peaches is a gift sent my way for a reason. Peaches, Steve, and George are all blessings in my life.
Steve is my childhood friend. Until we began working together on my music, I had not seen him for forty years. And then there is George. George is an older man who was a musician his entire life; he truly is a musical genius. George knows how to take my songs and arrange them with exquisite instrumentation.
My lessons with Peaches are held at a public park and they are affordable for me. Peaches is a songwriter and an extremely intelligent woman. We have worked together for over a year, and from the beginning I have brought a digital recorder to our lessons.
I shared with Peaches that my new song has definitely emerged from the way she had heard it a week earlier. I even played it at the open mic night held at Kulak’s Woodshed the day before. I told her my mind and heart were taken over by its captivating melody.
My lesson was more productive than I ever imagined. Although Peaches was reluctant to steer me, I finally extracted from her some excellent suggestions for my song. She told me she preferred the way I had played my song a week earlier.
Then she suggested one chord change and that was all it took. The one chord she suggested caused me to cry. It overwhelmed me because it was so very beautiful.
I have had the realization that although my new song is another “goodbye song” the expression is completely different. My new song carries a message of acceptance.
I have been unsure about the title. I explained to Peaches that the words “To be free” jumped out for me. My subconscious created the lyric line that turned out to be the most meaningful line of all. It was why I had written my song!
Originally I wrote: I want you to be free
But then it occurred to me that this was more than a wish.
It became something even more meaningful for me.
It became an active choice.
I decided it was far better to say: I need to set you free
This way, I was choosing something that would lead to freedom for myself and for my loved one who was leaving.
“How Long Can You Stay?”
I left my lesson to spend some time with my father. I was taken aback when I saw him. Although he has been quite weak for a while now, this time it was different.
His face was ashen and skeletal. His neck bulged and his lips were dry. When he spoke, his voice was unrecognizable. My father who was such a brilliant man, a professor with a PhD, kept repeating many sentences to me. Since his eyes were glazed as a result of pain or painkillers, I understood.
He told me his day began with excruciating, lower back pain. My heart began to ache. I spoke with the nursing supervisor and asked that a doctor be called. I did not feel that my words were completely heard and I tried not to panic. I was told his vitals were good and they would monitor him closely. When I told my father I wanted to call his doctor, he became very agitated. He was resigned to his condition and did not want anything invasive done.
I let go of my panic, and spoke to him with a voice that was gentle, patient and loving. My song reminded me of the process that old age and death represented.
Mostly, I cannot stand to see someone I love suffer!
Although it was a most painful visit, my father’s love and appreciation for me wrapped around my soul as I left. The line he repeated most often while I was there was, “How long can you stay?”
I stayed as long as I could and went home to have dinner with my family. My husband and son had watched me perform my new song at Kulak’s Woodshed on Monday night. The performances for that venue are broadcast over the Internet. It was nice to know that they both were interested in watching me sing.
During my performance, I announced at the very end that my song was dedicated to my father.
In all honesty, my song was inspired by my father, but was also about many people in my life. I certainly want to set my children free someday.
My song reminds me about how I am also setting my grief free.
Well, my family told me my song was “incestuous!” There was a line I sang that especially had them feeling that way. It was:
Forever you’ll be deeply inside me
My husband and son felt it wasn’t appropriate to sing those words in regards to my father.
It was late at night. I worked on my song and incorporated the new chord Peaches had suggested. I rewrote the one lyric line to:
Though I long for you to hold me, I need to set you free
I tried and tried to sing my song. But I could not.
Each time I tried to sing it, my throat closed up with tears and I was overcome with emotion. I finally allowed for up and out and put my guitar down so I could truly cry.
My song was now ready for me to record.
© Judy Unger and http://www.myjourneysinsight.com 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.