Music Inspires

The process of working on piano songs has been musical glue in my life. I love exploring the beauty of each song’s melody. The creative versions (that come before the melody) are fun to create. They utilize my songs’ chords and the vibe is unique for every single clip.

Credit has to be given to the wonderful pianist I work with – Devin Farney.

My “Set You Free – Magical Piano Medley” is almost there. I only have two songs left. After this medley, I have no plans to do any more piano songs. I am wondering what music I will create next!

I am posting songs here that I haven’t yet shared. Please enjoy them.

HANG ON

MY SHINING STAR

THE KEY

SOMEWHERE I CAN’T SEE

MUSIC SAVED ME

Spring Thawed My Pain

Last spring, I illustrated several varieties of fruit blossoms. Many of those same trees have already begun blooming again.

In January, I completed a complicated painting that I named “Pomegranate Tree.” Technically, pomegranate blossoms are long gone by the time the fruit appears. However, I used artistic license to add them back in.

On the topic of seasonal change, my newest meditation track “Autumn Hope” is now live.

The various guitar parts for this instrumental really spoke to me. Each one was composed during the course of a year. The sections that were created months apart had different rhythms, but I was amazed how everything flowed together once it was finished.

Clicking on this image plays my track on the meditation app, Insight Timer.

Utilizing my Autumn Hope painting as my instrumental’s song cover was especially satisfying.

This past fall held many challenges for me; I honestly felt like my last blog post was a downer. But my instrumental “Autumn Hope” perfectly embodies my beautiful catharsis back to positivity. On the Insight Timer description, I wrote “I found a way to conquer my sadness,” and that line alone was very empowering.

I recorded the solo guitar part over a period of two days. Editing those guitar recordings took weeks. When I finished, I wasn’t satisfied with simply one guitar. My song felt like a recipe – there were many flavors within the passages that called for another guitar part.

So I went back to recording again and transposed all the chords into another key. That way, I could play a higher version using a capo. I created many choices of sounds – light finger-picking, strums, and oodles of delicate harmonics. Just learning the harmonic part alone required a lot of notation and practice.

The actual composition of Autumn Hope is about 16 minutes. I repeated it and added more guitar additions to the second half. I especially loved the ending.

My recent painting of passion fruit shows that passion is definitely part of my life!

I continue to work on piano songs for a new medley. In keeping with the theme of seasonal change, last week I completed a new solo piano clip for my song “Every Season.” The title of this post is taken from a line of lyrics for that song.

When my son Jason died in 1992, grief was exquisite torture that ebbed and flowed with the seasons. I remember the pain, but do not experience it anymore the way I used to.

Because Jason died in the fall, “Autumn Hope” has even more significance. Hope is a driving force in my life and my energy is devoted to uplifting anyone struggling with grief. Never let go of your hope!

As the smell of blossoms surround me this spring, I’m grateful for so much in my life.

More about my song can be found with this link: EVERY SEASON

 

Set You Free Magical Piano

Even though it was gray outside when I took the picture above, I still marveled at the beautiful shapes of leaves holding on. I walked while listening to my latest instrumental “Autumn Hope.” Music continues to inspire me!

Every week, I perform 8-10 songs live on Insight TImer. Although I am not feeling confident about singing much these days, opening my heart to such a warm and loving audience has been a blessing to my life. It’s also wonderful that I am playing my songs regularly so that I don’t forget them.

I am still in the process of finishing my latest guitar instrumental to release soon. It consists of almost 30 minutes of solo guitar, which I gleaned from over 4 hours of recording. My last post has been updated to share a better recording of this new song. I’ve decided to name it “Autumn Hope.”

Although I finished solo piano renditions for all 50 of my songs, I’ve decided to redo 10 of them. My first 20 songs were created working with another pianist. They were much simpler and I am eager to hear them fleshed out with my current piano arranger, Devin Farney.

I will have 10 songs with creative and faithful versions. I plan to name the entire medley “Set You Free Magical Piano.”

I really enjoy the process of creating piano songs for this new medley. The songs I’ve chosen are very special ones. Two are already finished and I am sharing them here: So Real Magical Piano and Set You Free Magical Piano. Please enjoy them!

My Hopeful Heart

My newest painting above is named “Autumn Hope.” I have included close ups of it with a slide show at the end of this post.

I am excited to share that last month I heard a new song forming! Exquisite guitar passages enveloped me and my heart swelled with joy. Just when I needed something to uplift me, this new music appeared!

It has been at least three years since I last composed anything new. I plan to record my new song, but am still exploring the multitude of passages and combinations.

I played my new guitar instrumental live on Insight Timer and tentatively named it “My Hopeful Heart.”  It felt like a perfect title to describe my optimism about the New Year.

I share a solo guitar recording excerpt of the meditation that will soon be released on Insight Timer.  My final decision for the song’s title was “Autumn Hope.” It seems that title for my painting was lurking in my subconscious. I share also an introduction for my song during a live session when I was composing it.

This is another version that I’m sharing, which was recorded a week before my Insight Timer performance. It’s much faster and I haven’t decided the speed for my new composition yet.

Door To My Heart – Vocal Medleys

I recently shared my vocals for the “Door to My Heart Medley” on Insight Timer. There is a Part 1 and Part 2 and each one holds five songs each. I have a song page for these medleys that lists more about the songs. Links to lyrics, stories and other recordings can be found on this page:

https://myjourneysinsight.com/door-to-my-heart-vocal-medleys/

To hear these tracks on Insight Timer, click on the images below:

Healing Piano Melodies

For the past three years, I have been creating piano solos for all 50 of my acoustic songs. Translating a vocal melody line to piano has held challenges, but I have happily enjoyed solving them. The last few songs had busy finger-picking that I wasn’t even sure would work – but somehow they did. I have just finished my third medley.

When I created “Healing Piano Melodies #1,” it was in order for me to create short clips to end each one of my course lessons on Insight Timer. I had no idea that the clips would become more complex as I went along. For that reason, my first medley has 20 songs while the other two have 15 songs each.

Now that I’ve finished all 50 of my songs, what is next for me? I am actually going to go back to redo 10 of my earlier songs. And after that I have some ideas. I love growing my song garden!

You can hear the individual song melodies with these links below:

HEALING PIANO MELODIES – PART 1

HEALING PIANO MELODIES – PART 2

HEALING PIANO MELODIES – PART 3

Clicking on the images will play these Healing Piano Melody tracks on Insight Timer:

Piano Magic Continues. . .

Clicking on this image, plays my track on Insight Timer.

With so many lovely melodies, I have just released a track named “Healing Piano Melodies – Part 2.” My first one has been very popular. Working on Zoom with my pianist arranger, Devin, has yielded many more intricate recordings. In the beginning, my piano solo songs averaged a minute and a half. Now they are twice that long.

Last week, I completed “Rainbow Through My Tears.” The melody just soars and brings me joy.

I still have over a dozen songs left. I might even go back to those shorter piano songs and enhance them. So much to work on and I am loving every minute of it!

Feel free to check back, as I might add more videos here later on.

The Magic of Piano

https://wp.me/aOH49-7PX

I begin this musical update with one of my recent solo piano songs named “Misunderstood.” It wasn’t on my radar to work on earlier, but it has some of the most beautiful melodic passages of any of my songs.

I recently commented to a friend that I am always in love with whatever I am currently working on (and that applies to my paintings, too). Her observation was that this was an incredibly mindful approach – of being “in the moment.” I like that!

I don’t understand how I can love a song so much, and then a week later I’ve moved on and am in love with my next song. Two weeks ago, it was “Alabaster Seashell.” Then it was “More Than You Know.”

And right at this moment, it is “Misunderstood!”

More about this song: MISUNDERSTOOD.

https://wp.me/aOH49-7PW

There was a brief period of my life when I studied classical guitar. I even took a piano class, but I don’t remember any of it.

I’m a guitarist. I’m a passionate singer/songwriter. I’m a musician healer. I’m an Insight Timer teacher. I’m a meditation music creator. These are all ways I’ve described myself and pianist is not one of them.

I often mention during my live performances that I’m not a trained musician. To be honest, I’m ambivalent about it. More musical training might have been nice and certainly helpful. Yet part of me revels in the fact that I am self-taught and perhaps a little unconventional.

The most important part of creating music for me is to keep it magical. Magical is such an inspiring word. Alternate meanings are: enchanted, mysterious, and fairytale-like. When I am in love with the music I’m working on, that’s exactly what infuses my life.

And working on music is work. Not in the sense that I’m slaving over it or even getting paid. It just requires many hours of time and concentration.

That leads me to talk about “magical piano” and the solo piano tracks I am creating for many of my songs. I have gone down a rabbit hole of editing complex piano compositions. That actually doesn’t seem negative to me if I’m conjuring up Alice in Wonderland.

I work with computer files that are midi. With midi, every note can be completely adjusted in a myriad of ways. The tempo, key, attack, sustain – every part of my song is affected by my editing decisions.

This is an example of something I was working on recently. The gray track in the center shows sustain areas. I adjust them for most every chord change.

I started creating solo clips of songs when I created my first course on Insight Timer named “Healing Grief Through Music.” I continued with my second course “Songs of Healing and Hope.”

Every one of my lessons was named for a song and would end with a short piano solo. I appreciated how the simplicity of piano captured my song’s chords and melody in such a sweet way. But I also like hearing the creative versions of my songs. Those creative clips worked well for dramatic moments behind my spoken audio.

At first, I worked with a wonderful pianist named Bobby, but during the pandemic he wasn’t available to me.

I turned to another musician, Devin Farney, who has added lovely piano to my many of my guitar tracks. Solo piano songs with him didn’t work well remotely, and after a few tries I gave up. But then a few months ago, we decided to try using Zoom. It was fantastic!

Now every week, Devin and I have a routine. I send him a song with chords, vocal and guitar tracks. He transcribes it and prepares for our session.

At our live sessions, Devin plays my song as many times as I need him to. He gives me many choices and I can directly share feedback in real time. Later on, I stitch everything together on Pro-tools, which requires a lot of patience.

Devin occasionally lets loose on the creative versions – he can get very jazzy. Sometimes I chuckle when he goes a bit far. Recently as a joke he started playing a Disney song for the ending of one of my songs. My chords were just too reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast!

I have been working on ten songs for a third course, which I plan to name “Door to My Heart.” Last week, he and I finished the tenth song. Even though my course hasn’t been recorded yet, I have released several medleys of those ten songs on Insight Timer. There is a solo guitar medley, guitar and piano medley, and now there is a “Magical Piano” medley.

Click on this image to hear the track on Insight Timer.

I have tried to keep organized links for all of my Insight Timer medleys, which can be accessed using that menu on top. The piano clips for all ten songs can be listened to separately at this link: DOOR TO MY HEART – MAGICAL PIANO MEDLEY

It seems to me that the intricate piano work Devin and I are collaborating on has added a lot of magic to my life. I thought I was going to stop with the ten songs for my next course, but I’ve decided to forge ahead and do all of my songs. I might even revisit some of the overly simple piano songs created when I first started this process.

Week by week, I move forward with a new piano song. It does seem a bit funny because I’m a guitarist, but it’s all part of the magic that music adds to my life.

A recent portrait, courtesy of my amazing daughter.

Never Gone Away & With Me – Magical Piano

I apologize for not sharing more about my music. Performing live sessions on Insight Timer has been really wonderful for me. I’ve been practicing all of my songs, which has been time consuming.

I’ve continued to slowly write another course for Insight Timer. Just choosing the songs has been so sweet. There are many stories I could tell about every one of my songs!

For this post, I am sharing two song lessons I’ve recently completed.

Both my songs “Never Gone Away” and “With Me”  have lovely melodies. My piano arranger did a great job with both of them. I share a clip for each song. They start with a creative ambient version that is followed by the more faithful melody.

To read my lessons, I am attaching the main song story links where there are also performances and older recordings.

WITH ME

NEVER GONE AWAY

Beside Me Always – Podcast

I am excited to share my interview with Brian Smith. My beautiful healing journey continues and I hope my story will help anyone navigating grief to hang on to hope.

To hear the podcast, click on this link:

https://www.buzzsprout.com/695488/7681984

My course is free and can be accessed by clicking on the picture below: