Posts Tagged ‘New York’

IAL Funder Letter #7

Monday, May 16th, 2016

Dear Friend,

Is Anybody Listening?

Who is our audience?

Audience-1-450

You are.

But it must go beyond you. We speak to the “spiritual, but not religious”, the independent spiritual seekers, the millions of other healers on the planet – those that sit on the neighboring edges of our particular healing nation.

We offer an ‘alternative’ approach to awareness and healing – or perhaps an ‘additional’ approach.

The power of church in many people’s lives is great. But what about the many people who don’t go to church? What jogs their thought to a more spiritual approach and to the spiritual solutions that WILL solve the problems of our world?

Our particular language is music and song. It’s a universal language that speaks to all. It entertains, educates and inspires. It’s a joyful enterprise.

Audience-3-450

Nobody has a corner on Truth. The Truth is simply available to all of us.

Learn More:

Is Anybody Listening

Participate Now:

http://watchfiremusic.com/wfm/is-anybody-listening/donate-now/

 

Thanks for listening,

Peter Link

The Glorious Expansion Of An Idea

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016


Why does a light bulb symbolize an idea? Because it represents the expansion of light – the pouring in of light upon a particular subject.

And that’s exactly what is happening now with Is Anybody Listening? – Concert Theater and Webcast. The light around it is growing brighter every day.

It started out to be a piece of concert theater that explored the lost art of listening through music and song, but it has developed these past few months into a far wider and even potentially mammoth project that through both music, multimedia and live performance will explore the awareness, and subsequently the healing of the problems of the world around us.

Consider the power of Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie’s We Are The World released in 1985 and unifying the world, raising millions for charities and going quadruple Platinum in a few short weeks.

Consider the impact of the Beatles’ All You Need Is Love to the Woodstock Nation of people uniting under the banner of Love and essentially standing up against the war in Viet Nam and working for peace.

Consider Peter, Paul and Mary’s If I Had A Hammer, Paul Simon’s Homeless, Joni Mitchel’s Parking Lot …

 The list goes on and on.

Music is a timeless connective that goes beyond language and culture and has the power to unify thought.

And so Is Anybody Listening? — more than any one thing — is about Awareness.

The first step of healing is always to identify the problem, the cause – not the result, but the mental cause of a problem. This is our intention here at Watchfire Music – to identify World Issues that need our attention – not through fear mongering headlines, but through positive value focus on awareness and healing. And while we’re at it, be highly entertaining.

Have you ever been healed by a song? Many have. Music is one of the most powerful tools of communication that we have to effect world thought.

So in June of 2016 we will first present the pilot performance of this endeavor, Is Anybody Listening? and then run it all summer as we develop it at the Sheen Center for Thought and Culture, New York’s newest arts center.

Our first act’s offerings will explore the World Issues of the universal quest for Truth, the dignity of women, racism, aging and dementia, dissolution and solution, and the present solution to it all, Love.

The second act will take one of the greatest problems we face in the future, that of Global Water Scarcity, and begin to investigate it in depth. Aptly named H2O, the concert and webcast uses nature’s cycle of water as a metaphor for mankind’s journey, his grappling with mortality and its multifarious meanings, and finally mankind’s eventual rise to a higher consciousness.

As water follows its natural cycle from sky to earth, to river to ocean, and back to the heavens, so man struggles in the same metaphorical cycle. “H2O” deals strongly with the world-wide problems with water today, its relationship to global warming, and correlates these issues with man’s moral responsibilities to the planet and its people.

The very same water

That is wetting your lips

May have flowed through the streets

Down in New Orleans

 

Or flowed down the cheeks

And spilled upon the piano keys

As the brilliant Tchaikovsky sat

And wrote his Pathétique.

 

Here on this rock

As we journey through time

We live by the grace of water

For it bears within its essence

This miracle of life

And infuses this life into the world

From “Water”, Music and Lyrics by Peter Link

Here on this planet, “Where there is no water, there is no life.” And yet life is everlasting, eternal. A higher consciousness will some day clarify this seeming contradiction and put an end to this fear of scarcity. This is the kind of awareness that we hope to bring to mankind. We are not governed by the laws of matter as it seems, but rather, ultimately, by the laws of Spirit and the Spiritual world that our Spiritual leaders have been revealing to us for centuries.

We hope to continue this exploration through music and lyrics, using the new and exciting tools of technology that are at our fingertips to communicate our findings.

We hope you will join us in this endeavor.

Contact:

Marivic Bay Mabanag

For funding opportunities and partnerships

Email: marivicmabanag@yahoo.com

Cell: 415.845.5004

Or

Peter Link

CEO & Creative Director

Watchfire Music

Email: peterlink@watchfiremusic.com

908.608.3189

IDEA

Update On “Is Anybody Listening?”

Saturday, December 26th, 2015

IAL_temp_logo_400px

The news is all good.

Our RocketHub crowd funding campaign succeeded on several different levels. Though we did not meet goal, we ended up with $15k plus that we did not have before we started. We not only paid the costs of the campaign, but also ended up with a substantial profit to move forward over the next few months.

We also learned many things about our constituency, our tribe. We learned what kinds of people cared about what we were doing and what kinds did not. We learned who our true fans were and we learned who is content to just watch. And we learned about the types of people that we will cater to and those who are simply just not that involved. This was hugely helpful.

Because of what we learned, we shifted the project and pointed it in the directions of interest. I’ve always said, “We serve you. Tell us what you want in the way of inspiration and inspirational music, and we’ll do our best to provide it.”

You spoke; we listened.

In meetings just recently Watchfire Music will now partner with the Sheen Center For Thought and Culture, NYC in producing a wide variety of inspirational music both as live events performed in and webcast from New York City, and also as a series of 20-minute video modules that can be repurposed for a myriad of events ranging from theatrical to corporate and from church to charity productions.

These modules will address a myriad of world problems, inspire in a most entertaining fashion with pertinent songs and arresting visuals, and tune the ear and eye to a better sense of listening to the heartbeat of the world around us.

“Is Anybody Listening?” will focus the imagination and attention of people around the world on the problems that we face and the solutions that are at our fingertips, and is a clarion call to the world to pay attention.

Our focus audience and clients:

Individuals Seeking Inspiration

Corporations

Fund Raising Benefits

Theatrical Presentations

Nonprofit Charitable Organizations

Church Groups

Here are just a few examples of the issues that the modules would address:

Water — Global Water Crisis

Healing Response to World Tragedy

The Intercession of Science and God in the Universe

Corporate Promotions and Public Opinion Issues

Shootings and Gun Control

Spiritual Awareness

Healing Depression

Terrorism

For those of you who donated, we are working now on fulfilling our obligations to you and clarifying your part in this endeavor over the next few weeks. Thank you and welcome to the fold.

We now have well over a hundred dedicated people working on this project. Our goal is to now add some zeros to that 100. We need each of you to reach out to others who share these interests and would like to help.

These monies and these ideas are just a start, but there is a strong professional foundation underlying this project that insures its success. Between the Sheen Center and Watchfire Music and other great professionals that we will attract, this project will move forward and through music will inspire the world to better listening and therefore better action and reaction.

Join us. It’s a most exciting road we travel.

Great News!

Monday, December 14th, 2015

funder_community_4 - 450

Just in. As of last Friday and a two hour creative meeting with the staff of the Sheen Center for Thought and Culture, our project has taken a quantum leap forward!

In addition to the webcast, Watchfire Music in conjunction with the Sheen Center would also create a series of 20-minute Music/Video modules that address a myriad of world problems from a library of interchangeable video songs that will provide the content for each 20-minute module.

This all comes under the banner of “Is Anybody Listening?”

The modules would be used to focus the imagination and attention of people around the world on the problems that we face and the solutions that are at our fingertips.

The modules would address a number of issues and can be re-purposed at will to fit the needs of organizations around the world. They would be presented through webcasts and video streaming with live hosting by, but not limited to, the following:

Individuals Seeking Inspiration
Corporations
Fund Raising Benefits
Theatrical Presentations
Nonprofit Charitable Organizations
Church Groups

Here are some of the issues that the modules would address:

Healing Response to World Tragedy
Water — Global Water Crisis
Corporate Promotions and Public Opinion Issues
Corporate Workshops
The Intercession of Science and God in the Universe
Shootings and Gun Control
Non-Denominational Spiritual Seeking
Terrorism
Spiritual Awareness
Healing Depression
Life, Death and Beyond
Armed Conflict and the Nuclear Potential
Celebration
Poverty and Hunger
Epidemic

So even the Theatrical Concert and Webcast, “Is Anybody Listening” can be shaped to fit your organization’s needs in length and content.

Pretty cool, huh?

Your contribution will support all of this. Campaign ends this coming Wednesday, the 16th.

Thanks for listening.

Ya’ Don’t Hafta Be A Singer To Sing

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015
Georgia Engel guest stars on EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND

Georgia Engel guest stars on EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND

As it turns out, Julia has had a most sweet friendship for about a decade now with comedienne, Georgia Engel. When it came time to record this CD, Georgia was one of the first approached. We were delighted when Georgia said, “Yes!”

Working with her was always a joy. Fitting into her busy schedule was most difficult, but Georgia was always graceful in making it work.

A little background on Georgia … (Her full resume would fill this digi-book)

Georgette & Mary Tyler Moore

Georgette & Mary Tyler Moore

“Georgia Engel’s golden comic talents are only matched by her unmistakable blonde locks and remarkable zeal for her craft.” ~All Movie Guide

“Throughout her distinguished career as a comedic actress in television, film and on the Broadway stage, Georgia is best know as Georgette in The Mary Tyler Moore Show.  She has also received great acclaim for her recurring role as Pat MacDougall on Everybody Loves Raymond for which she received 3 consecutive Emmy nominations as outstanding guest actress in a comedy series from 2003 – 2005.

“In 2006, Georgia returned to her theatre roots and appeared on Broadway as Mrs. Tottendale in The Drowsy Chaperone.  She has most recently appeared in the new Annie Baker play John, which opened Off-Broadway at the Signature Theatre in NYC.  Currently, Georgia is in production for the new musical, Gotta Dance, in which she is starring.  It will premiere in December 2015 and will run through January 2016 in Chicago. “

Georgette with MTM Gang

Georgette with MTM Gang

I knew I had to find an idea that would take advantage of Georgia’s very special sense of humor and character, so I first met with both Georgia and Julia to discuss what they might like to sing about.

Georgia kept going on and on about how she did not consider herself much of a singer, but having just finished a leading role in a Broadway musical made me take her humility with a grain of salt. I also knew that she was a strong dancer and consequently would have a solid sense of rhythm, so I knew I could write something that was musically sophisticated but not terribly rangy. Both women had specialized talents and I knew that I needed to take advantage of both ‘s talents and write something that was both funny and truthful.

There’s another side of Georgia that most people don’t know about and that’s the deeply spiritual side of a true seeker. So it couldn’t just be a fluff song. It had to have content.

The idea of the song came out of that first meeting. I decided to go with a good ol’ Broadway show song.

Georgia & Betty White

Georgia & Betty White

Ya’ Don’t Hafta Be A Singer To Sing

Music and Lyrics by Peter Link

Julia (Rubato)

Lily Tomlin

Gracie Allen

Carol Burnett

Lucille Ball

Tina Fey

Whoopie Goldberg

When it comes to comedy

Giants all

 

Sad to say

I’m just a singer

How I wish I could make ‘em laugh

But when it comes to comic timing

Guess you might say I’m just better at rhyming

Perhaps this funny business

Is just not my call

Georgia

(Spoken)

Ya’ don’t have to be a comic to make ‘em laugh, Julia.

Like you always say, “Ya’ don’t have to be a singer to sing.” Being a comedienne is a lot like being a singer.

Just make the best of what cha got!

Julia
(Spoken)

But women like Gilda Radner and Bea Arthur are just naturally funny. And Betty White … and Ellen Degeneres …

Julia (Continues and sings)

Now take me, for instance, Georgia

I ain’t exactly Madeline Kahn

And I could go on and on (As you know …)

But I manage to get a few laughs in each of my shows

So I thought I’d come to you

I just had to resort to a little support from a friend

Georgia

I’m here for ya’, girl.

 Ya’ know, when I’m with you just hangin’ ‘round

Don’t cha know, we laugh all the time

And the truth of it is

You’re just as funny as you can be

Julia

I know …

I’m a natural ham

A rattlebrain is what I am

Therein lies the funniest facet of me

Now I see!

Yes a natural ham

A rattlebrain is what I am

So I make the best

With whatever it is I be

Right?

Georgia

Now ya’ got it!

Julia

It’s like you say I always say …

Ya’ don’t hafta be a singer to sing

Georgia

That’s right!

Anyone can do it in the shower

It just takes a dash of courage

To get over your reserve

A tablespoon of confidence

And a bucket full of nerve

Julia

You don’t hafta have a great big voice

Or God’s gift of rhythm in your soul

But at least ya’ got to know enough to carry a tune

Dare to stick it out there past the fear an’ get a grip

Both

Have the stuff to get up on that stage an’ let ‘er rip

But ya’ don’t hafta be a singer to sing

Ya’ don’t hafta be a singer to sing

Georgia

Now take me for instance, Julia

I ain’t exactly Maria Callas

And I never played the Palace

But I’ve managed to croon a few tunes on ol’ Broadway

Now my range is kinda short

So I sometimes resort to a little support from a friend

Julia

I’m here for ya’, girl.

Georgia

Ya’ see most of my notes are so remote

That, to me, I sound like a Billie goat

But I’ll tell ya’ my secret

If you promise to never tell

I got four good notes

An’ none of them’s a money note

But beyond that,

It all sounds to me like a yelp

That’s right!

I got four good notes

An’ none of them’s a money note

But beyond that, girl

I probably need some help

Julia

But remember Georgia …

Ya’ don’t hafta be a singer to sing

Georgia & Julia
(Trading lines)

Yeah …

Anyone can do it in the shower

It just takes a dash of courage

To get over your reserve

A tablespoon of confidence

And a bucket full of nerve

You don’t hafta have a great big voice

Or God’s gift of rhythm in your soul

But at least ya’ got to know enough to carry a tune

Dare to stick it out there past the fear an’ get a grip

Both

Have the stuff to get up

On that stage

An’ let ‘er rip

But ya’ don’t hafta be a singer to sing

Ya’ don’t hafta be a singer to sing

Georgia

Well here goes …

If yer tryin’ to be a singer

Baby ya’ gotta want it

If ya’ got it

Better flaunt it

Whatever it is ya’ got

Both

If ya’ think you can swing it

An’ yer out there tryin’ to wing it

Don’t think twice, just bring it!

Whatever it is ya’ got

 

So what if ya’ ain’t got the chops

Ya’ can’t be afraid of the flops

They ain’t gonna call the cops

So pull out all them stops and give it

Whatever it is ya’ got

 

No ya’ don’t hafta be a singer

Don’t hafta be a singer

Don’t hafta be a singer

To siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing

So siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing!

God Is Your Rock

Monday, November 30th, 2015
Ragan Courtney Back Then

Ragan Courtney Back Then

“God Is Your Rock” is a make over of a song that began decades ago from the pen of lyricist Ragan Courtney. Ragan was my best friend at the time and we roomed together in Greenwich Village and lived our hippie lives.

Ragan was also an aspiring NYC actor at the time and we had met studying acting at NYC’s Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theater where we studied with Sanford Meisner, one of the fathers of American Method acting.

The song, lyrics by Ragan and music by yours truly, was entitled “I’ve Tried Hard” and referenced the Biblical lines about foxes having holes and birds having a nest, but Jesus (as a baby) having no place to lay his head. It was catchy and fun, but strangely a downer because ultimately it said,

I’ve tried hard
I’ve done my best
But now there’s nowhere to go except the road

And that’s just what Ragan did. Eventually, he left NYC and went back home. However, here’s where the story takes an unexpected turn. He became a huge star both as a lyricist/playwright, actor and inspirational leader in the Christian Music world. There he married one of the top singing stars of that world, Cynthia Clawson, and the two of them had wondrous careers and even had their own very popular church for a decade or so in Houston, Texas where Cynthia sang and Ragan preached.

Ragan Preachin' / Cynthia Clawson at Piano

Ragan Preachin’ / Cynthia Clawson at Piano

I was always proud of my pal, Rags.

When Julia and I moved a little over a year ago out of NYC to the country (after 40 years living two blocks from Times Square any place with trees is the country) I reorganized all my past files and notebooks of decades of writing into new and better files. I found myself sitting in my basement for a week every day going through my life as a songwriter and looking through hundreds of songs. With most of them I could remember parts and pieces – the ones that never got recorded, but a few I could not remember at all.

Then I came across “I’ve Tried Hard.” As I read through the lyrics, the entire song came back to me as if it had been written yesterday. I thought to myself, “Hmm, this one’s really sticky. I could really do something with this.”

So I started fiddling with the lyric and one day I just decided to turn it positive and out popped the God is your rock concept. So I finished the new lyric, using much of what Ragan had written before, and called him to see if he might approve.

He did and “God Is Your Rock” was born again.

Jenny Burton

Jenny Burton

It did seem the perfect song for Jenny Burton. You might call it a Gospel flavored rock-a-billy song and I knew she could eat it up. I needed a song for Julia’s Duets album that both she and Jenny could sing together. Julia, being a classical crossover artist would not have been my first choice to sing this funky little song with Jenny. But the idea kept coming up.

Julia Wade

Julia Wade

For a period of time Julia grew up in Georgia, so she had a sense of southern funk to her. On top of it all, Julia’s an actress and is great at morphing into characters when she performs. So we went to work on it. I’ll have to admit that she really surprised me. I think she did herself proud on this song and further expanded her amazing range of styles.

Jenny was a big help as well leading the way stylistically. For her it was a natural and she brings both a spiritual commitment and also a fresh sense of humor to the song.

When you get a chance to see and hear our theatrical concert and webcast, “Is Anybody Listening?” you’ll see the song performed by the two songbirds. It’s truly a fun moment in the show and raises the roof a few inches.

God Is Your Rock

Music by Peter Link

Lyrics by Peter Link and Ragan Courtney

Julia

Foxes have holes

Birds got a nest

But Jesus had no place to lay his head

And now I know

Just how he felt

 

Mountains are high

Oceans are wet

Well I’m about as low as I can get

And I know

I’m all by myself

 

I’ve tried hard

I’ve done my best

Jenny

But maybe your best just ain’t good enough

Without the Lord in your life

 

Girl it’s a long hard road

Julia

Yes it is!

Jenny

When you’re goin’ it alone

Julia

It’s so lonely

 

Jenny

So why not make it a little easier

Julia

Uh huh …

Jenny

Uh with the Lord by your side

He’ll carry you all the way home

 

Remember God is your rock

God is your rock

And his faith in you is solid as stone

 

Julia

You mean he’d carry me

All the way home?

Jenny

That’s right!

Julia

There by my side?

Jenny

Yes sir!

Julia

Bearin’ all my burdens like a long lost friend …

Well I don’t know girl

I think I been gone too long

 

Jenny

But Julia

God don’t hold

No bad blood

Forgiveness is the essence of His humble heart

God is your rock

An’ He don’t let ya’ down

 

Julia

I’ll try hard

I’ll do my level best

To open my mind back to letting him

Come in and be in my life

 

Jenny

And when the road gets long

He’ll always be your song

Step by step settin’ your mind at ease

With all the rhythms of His soul

They’ll carry you all the way home

 

Remember God is your rock

Julia

God is my rock

Both

And His faith (in you) is solid as stone

 

So people take heed

We got what we need

God is always with us when the trouble comes

God is your rock

Mighty in His power

 

Foxes have holes

Birds got a nest

An’ now ya’ know the truth about what God knows best

That God is your rock

And God IS your home

 

[Ad lib Section]

 

God is your rock!

Hungry

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

Emilybindiger

EMILY BINDIGER is a NY singer who has performed on hundreds of recordings, including commercials, movie soundtracks, industrials and records, as well as concert stages worldwide. For several decades she has been a first call studio singer of industry renown. You may not know her name, but you’ve heard her voice.

National jingles include campaigns for Advil PM, Downy, Pepsi, Wendy’s, DHL, Kodak, Crest, Verizon, Bounty, American Express, Gillette, Toyota, Hanes, and Disney World, among many others. She has sung on “One Life to Live” and “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee,” in musical comedy skits on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and “The Drew Carey Show,” and can be heard on dozens of movie soundtracks including Woody Allen’s “Bullets Over Broadway” and “Everyone Says I Love You,” “Donnie Brasco,” “The Hudsucker Proxy,” “Michael Collins,” “Mission to Mars,” “The Stepford Wives,” “A Chorus Line,” and the animated feature “The Tune.”

The list goes on and on.

Emily 1

I’ve known Emily through those decades and worked with her and recognize her as a pro’s pro – my highest accolade.

So when it came time to record this CD, she was a no brainer. And she did not disappoint. Rather, she came in totally prepared and used all her studio craft to turn in a terrific vocal in record time. The session was a blast and I don’t think she hit a sour note in the entire two hours.

The lady can sing.

Emily (R) and Her Pal, Margaret Dorn (L)

Emily (R) and Her Pal, Margaret Dorn (L)

As to the song, when Julia and I first started exploring subjects for Conversations With Wise Women In My Life, certainly one of the first subjects that came up was food. Women just love food! (Men don’t?) But women talk food whereas men are more likely to talk football. I’ve sat squirming through many dinner parties where the women get going on recipes and diets and favs and all things related.

So Hungry started out to be about food, but moved on in the second half to other more far reaching insights to hunger. Why? It just seemed like that’s where the song wanted to go — knowing the two characters performing it. And what better way to present the lust for food and success than in a tango?

The song was simply a blast to work on and I think both ladies really turned it out!

One thing for sure – we laughed a lot.

Hungry

Music and Lyrics by Peter Link

First Woman

What’s that you got on your plate, Lady

It looks just like something I’m dying to eat

So chocolaty gooey deliciously sweet

The pastry chef’s triumphant piquant sweet treat

I find myself ravenous

Filled with an avarice

Weak-kneed and flushed

With a rising heat

 

Watching you swoon

From across the room

I am eyeing your spoon

With jealousy

Simply put

GIVE IT TO ME!

I’m hungry!

 

I’m hungry

I’m famished

I’m craving

I’m itching

I’m thirsty

I’m starving

Insatiable

A bottomless pit

If I could, I’d quit

 

No an’ I can’t get no satisfaction

Chasing ev’ry wild attraction

Life’s become a mad distraction

Always being hungry

I’m hungry!

Second Woman

However, hunger comes in many colors …

For instance …

 

What’s that you got on your mind, Tootsie

You’re livin’ a life that I’m dyin’ to try

You’re pushin’ ahead with that look in yer eye

As you grab at each chance and you reach for the sky

I’m simply too tenuous

But find myself envious

Filled with ambition

But much too shy

Watching you soar

From across the floor

And my mind’s in a roar

With jealousy

Simply put

Wish it were me!

I’m hungry!

 

I’m hungry

I’m famished

I’m craving

I’m itching

I’m thirsty

I’m starving

Insatiable

Two bottomless pits

Two voracious misfits

 

No an’ I can’t get no satisfaction

Chasing ev’ry wild attraction

Life’s become a mad distraction

Always being hungry

I’m hungry

Why can’t we just calm the rabbit down?

 

JW So …

What if we changed the ultimate aim?

EB Yeah, what if we changed the game?

 

What would you change in your life, dear Jules

 

JW I’d wish contentment with all I require in life

I’d wish to turn off the pain of desire

And I’d wish to cool down this raging fire

 

EB Ah the malaise of your life’s discontent

It troubles you so

In your hunger and lust

And the thirst to succeed …

 

JW Why don’t we stop

Oh and just be at peace

With the good life that God has given us

 

JW Simply put

Why don’t we cool the desire

EB I’m hungry to cool down the fire

JW I’m hungry to just be myself

BOTH I am hungry to stop being hungry

Hungry to stop being hungry

 

No an’ I can’t get no satisfaction

Chasing ev’ry wild attraction

Life’s become a mad distraction

Always being hungry

Hungry …

Hungry!

A Language Of Its Own

Saturday, November 21st, 2015
Margaret - Back Then

Margaret – Back Then

I’ve had the rich opportunity to work with many great pros during my career and one of the best of them over 4 decades has been a superb musician and fantastic lady, Margaret Dorn. We first met when I cast her in a leading role in my rock opera, The Wedding Of Iphigenia, that played both in London at the Old Vic and in New York at the New York Shakespeare Festival’s Public Theater.

In the years since, Margaret and I have worked on countless projects together. And in that time she became one of the top call studio singers and vocal arrangers in New York in a great career that spanned decades.

Here’s a short list of some of the many she worked with as a vocalist, an arranger and a keyboardist both in the studio and in concerts around the world: Celine Dion, Bette Midler, Jennifer Lopez, Carly Simon, Lionel Ritchie, Donald Fagen, Michael Bolton, Boz Scaggs, Willie Nelson, Barry Manilow, Jessica Simpson, Michael McDonald, Garth Brooks, The Chieftans, and Diana Ross.

So when it came to doing this Duets album, Margaret was the first woman we thought of. She has such an incredible ability to sing in just about any style, so I was having a hard time nailing down a song for her because there were simply too many directions we could go. So I kept waiting for just the right impulse.

Then, when we were close to finishing the CD, sadly I learned that she was not available to work with us. This was a crusher to both Julia and me. How could we do this album without Margaret?

One day I was searching through some old files trying to find some old tracks to a song and I came across the TV Tracks for my album, Thru Me, recorded about 15 years ago. (A TV Track is a mix of a song with everything on it except the lead vocal, used when the singer might need to sing without her band.)

Margaret had both done the vocal arrangements and sung with the other background singers on the album. I played through the TV Tracks one day and was blown away by all of her fine work on the CD. I was listening one day in the car driving and I got to one song called Playin’ The Fool and remembered that Margaret had come to me and asked me if she could handle the background voices on that song by herself. She said that she had an idea for an approach that might be interesting. I agreed instantly and when she did the session solo she basically just came in and sang emotional riffs in between the lead vocal lines on the song. She used no actual words – just sounds like “oh” and “ah” an “ooo”. It worked great.

So there I was driving in my car, 15 years later, listening to what she had done way back then, and I was so struck by the mastery and beauty of what she had done that day that I had to pull off the road and stop and listen to the song 3 more times. I couldn’t even remember what I had sung as the lead vocalist. I couldn’t even remember how the song went!

Later I played it for Julia and she had the same reaction to Margaret’s mastery.

Then Julia came up with a brilliant idea! “Why don’t you use this track on my Duets album and I’ll sing along with Margaret?” I’ll have to admit that at first I was not too enthusiastic about the idea. Who wants to hear a song with a couple of women singing “ooo” and “ah” throughout?

Several days later I was out taking my walk and thinking how I could satisfy Julia’s insistence, and the thought just came to me that Margaret simply blew me away with pure emotion and no words. There is so much music in that woman that she doesn’t even need words to touch the soul.

The phrase, “Music is a language of it’s own” came to mind, and I knew I had a starting point. I rushed home and dove into the finished track – finished 15 years earlier. It was good that I did not remember so well the original song that I wrote because I wrote a completely different song to this already finished track. I no longer had the multi-track files of the original song, so I had to work only the finished mix of the TV Track, but the ideas came easily. Margaret always led the inspiration.

Julia was thrilled … and then thrilled me with her gorgeous performance. It certainly is one of my favs on the album.

Margaret - Today

Margaret – Today

A Language Of Its Own

Music and Lyrics by Peter Link

 

Afrikans

Mandarin

Portugese

Bengali

Sundanese

Japanese

Arabic

Hindi

[Margaret – 4 bars]

So many languages

So many tongues

So many people tryin’

To touch each other’s lives

And missin’ just the words to say

But music has a language of its own

And everybody hears it

And everybody understands

[Margaret – 4 bars]

So may I introduce you

To my ol’ friend Margaret

[Margaret – 2 bars]

This lady can sing sing to the world

[Margaret – 2 bars]

Sing it Margaret

[Margaret – 4 bars]

 

She doesn’t need words

To get right down to your soul

She doesn’t need language

To pierce the heart

 

Cuz the universal language of music

Is a language of its own

And everybody knows what you’re sayin’

And everybody knows how you feel

So sing to us of love Miss Margaret

[Margaret – 6 bars]

Oh yeah ee

Yeah ee yeah

Yeah ee yeah

Yeah ee yeah ee yeah

[Margaret – 3 bars]

Oh oooo yeah

[Margaret – 2 bars]

 

Yes the universal language of music

Is a language of its own

And everybody knows what you’re sayin’

And everybody knows how you feel

[Spoken]

Let’s talk.

[Margaret (Interlude 6) – 4 bars]

Aaaahhh

[Margaret – 1 bar]

[Julia answer]

[Margaret – 2 bars]

Do dah do dah do dah do

Dah ee yah ee yah ee yah ee do dah day

[Trumpet solo – 2 bars]

Now give it just that classical touch

That makes me love ya’ so much

And brings the tears to my eyes

[Margaret (Soprano Solo – 4 bars]

Sing it to the world now, Margaret

[Margaret (Wah ooo) – 6 bars]

 

Afrikans

Mandarin

Portugese

Bengali

Sundanese

Japanese

Arabic

Hindi

 

But the language of music

[Margaret – 2 bars]

It really gets ya’ goin’

[Margaret – 2 bars]

It really gets ya’ goin’

[Margaret – 2 bars]

Yes the universal language of music

Is a language of its own

Yes it do

Ooo ooo ooo

[Trumpet solo]

 

 


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