Posts Tagged ‘New York’

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]

 

 

At The Heart Of It All

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

Patrick-Gibbs-10225-sisters (1)

So here I was, a guy, setting out on a course to write an album full of songs about the relationships of women – Woman 2 Woman. Now I’m no fool and I realized immediately that I would need some help on this so that I would speak with some authenticity and not just from a “guy’s” point of view.

So Julia and I decided to get some advice from her sisterhood of friends out there on the internet.

She asked, “What bonds us together into sisterhood?” The response from the sistahs was powerful. Here are only a few of the many.

“Unconditional love. Through out all my best and most successful relationships with women in my life that’s the thread that binds us. We just absolutely love each other no matter where we are in our journeys. We may not like each others choices much but we still just keep on loving. And laughter. I can’t forget to mention that.”

“I think it’s our sharing from the heart with each other. We listen to each other and share our stories, our experiences. We “feel” for each other.?”

“Honesty, openness, empathy and acceptance — the willingness to overlook character flaws in ourselves and other friends — mostly a sense of humor and intelligence, which seem to go hand in hand. Genuine affection, motherly common sense and the ability to say I’m sorry and forgive.”

 “Unconditional love — it’s the motherly love of grace reflected. Can never leave us. Women are expected to express it.”

“But the sisters who are genuine are the ones who keep listening; who don’t condemn, judge, or advise without being asked for their advice; who are there to help brush you off and set you back on your feet after you’ve stumbled; and who can laugh with you when everything seems to go to crap. The nurturing, comforting, essence of wise women – the unconditional mother-love — the love without ego — this is the strength of women.”

 “UNDERSTANDING…of each other as sisters, women, of the trials and joys peculiar to women, of the emotions women seem able to exhibit that men do not, of birthing in a way men cannot, (even if they do birth ideas.) My husband says he is convinced women share the same brain!”

This vital information provided me with a worksheet for the entire album.

At the heart of it all was a very special kind of sisterhood.

The Singer

shapeimage_2

Jan Horvath is not only a great friend of Julia’s, but also a most special friend of mine. Talent oozes out of her pores. She was a member of the original Broadway company of Hal Prince’s “THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA” and performed the roles of both Christine and Carlotta. Other Broadway credits include “THE THREEPENNY OPERA” starring Sting, “SWEET CHARITY” directed by Bob Fosse, “OLIVER!” and “STARDUST”. In the National Touring Company of “CATS”, Jan played the leading role of Grizabella.

A powerful singer and actress she is also a most promising composer and orchestrator. I had the pleasure of teaching her orchestration the last couple of years that we lived in NYC, and she was simply full of the music and a natural.

The decision to start with Jan as one of our NYC vocalists was made in a snap because she so fit the role of a sister to Julia. She looks like a sister and often sounds like a sister when they sing together. Sometimes, when mixing the song, I lost track of who was who and had to look at the tracks to check.

Special insight: This gorgeous soprano also plays the tuba.

At The Heart Of It All

Music and Lyrics by Peter Link

We come from two different worlds

Brought together by chance

By the unsung

The unseen

And the great unknown

 

Two lives traveling two different paths

Two minds separated by skin and bone

Still there’s something making us like sisters

A thread that binds this love unconditional

We all share

 

And the way we laugh when life seems to stumble

Is a mingling of many things

It’s a balance of emotions

Primitive and tethered

The synergy of sisters and friends

‘Cuz that’s what’s at the heart of it all

Sisters

Yeah that’s what’s at the heart of it all

Friends

 

And the way we weep when life crashes ‘round us

Is to dry our tears and carry on

It’s the picking up of pieces

Through the fire and water

The synergy of sisters and friends

‘Cuz that’s what’s at the heart of it all

Sisters

Yeah that’s what’s at the heart of it all

Friends

 

We live in confusing times

Struggling to get through

But we each have

Each other

And this trusted grace

 

Two souls goin’ at it on their own

Two minds separated by time and space

Still there’s nothing like knowing there is someone

Out there daring love unconditional

Free as air

 

And the way we are

When we are together

Is the real you, the real me

We’ll be dancing on a moonbeam

Laughing ‘til we’re loopy

Free to be whatever we be

And that’s what’s at the heart of it all

Sisters

Yeah that’s what’s at the heart of it all

Friends

 

And the way we celebrate this devotion

Is to take each girlfriend by the hand

And let go when she needs to

And be there when she needs you

It’s the synergy of sisters and friends

And that’s what’s at the heart of it all

Sisters

Yeah that’s what’s at the heart of it all

Friends

Sisters

And friends

Sisters

And friends

And that’s what’s at the heart of it all.

 That’s right!

Why Duets? Why Not?

Saturday, November 14th, 2015
Cynthia Clawson

Cynthia Clawson

I donno, it just seemed like the thing to do. Here we lived in New York City and knew all these fabulous singers that we had worked with over the years, so Julia and I sat down and started to dream about who it would be a gas to work with on a duets CD.

Surprise! The list was 3 to 1 women! Don’t know why; it just worked out that way. So we started to pare down the list to a workable list, a serious list of real possibilities. Finally one day I came up with the idea of Duets – Woman 2 Woman and soon after that, Julia came up with the idea of Conversations With Wise Women In My Life. We liked ‘em both and after going back and forth for a couple of days finally decided to use them both.

So there it is:

Duets

Woman 2 Woman

Conversations With Wise Women In My Life

 A bit long, perhaps, but we felt rather intriguing. I had already begun this song called Nothing’s Impossible and every time I worked on it I heard all these harmonies to the melody, so it seemed the natural one to work on first.

Now the question, “Who to start with?” Well, let’s start with the most improbable choice, one of Julia’s singin’ heroes, Cynthia Clawson.

Referred to many as the “singer’s singer” and called “The most awesome voice in gospel music” by Billboard Magazine, Cynthia Clawson has received a Grammy and five Dove awards (The Christian Music Oscar) for her work as a songwriter, vocal artist and musician. Her career has spanned over four decades with 22 recordings to her credit. http://www.cynthiaclawson.com/

The chances of getting her to do it (or to duet, pardon the pun) were slim, but luckily I knew her husband, Ragan Courtney, a Christian Music icon himself, from the past, so I thought we might have a tiny chance. So I called Ragan after many years and carefully proposed the idea.

Turns out that Cynthia Clawson was a Julia Wade fan! Knew her music and owned some of her albums. A most pleasant surprise and a total coup to start the project with.

We flew them both into NYC from Houston, Texas for a wondrous long weekend of singing, filming, getting to know, and catching up. Had a blast! Recorded the song and also video’d parts of the session for future use.

So we had one in the can.

Then life swerved, as it often does, and the project got mercilessly pushed to the back burner by huge changes in our life. Julia touring, reshaping our staffing, moving out of NYC to the country, rebuilding the studio, rebuilding our lives …

We knew the idea was a great one and we’d had such a great start, but then again there was that old foe, Time, staring us in the face. But I’m a dogged kind of guy. And I own a studio. And I’m married to the singer …

So why not?

And so we began again …

Slowly at first because it’s not easy to schedule 10 busy professional singers – yeah, scheduling was the next obstacle, but that too is just a matter of being dogged, and like I said …

So then there was Georgia, and Jan, and Jenny, and Margaret and Gwen … and Emily …

Stick with me and I’ll share some very interesting stories of the times and trials of Duets and the making of this CD.

What’s It Really All About?

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

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It’s about many things — a webcast, a theatrical concert, an evening of inspirational music, but what it’s really all about is this:

Presented as theatrical concert, “Is Anybody Listening” is a deeply personal search into the concept of Listening — not only listening to music, but also listening to each other, to one’s own heart, to the lessons of one’s own past, and ultimately, listening to God.

Written by composer, Peter Link, it challenges the accelerated pace of our fast moving lives and asks us to slow down and rediscover the lost art of listening.

“It explores this through my own personal insights discovered over a half century of songwriting and 18 of my favorite songs written over a lifetime of composition.” ~Peter Link

With titles like “God Is Your Rock”, “Nothing, Only Love”, “A Walk In The Snow”, “I Think On These Things”, “Let Love Find The Way” and “Watercolor” sung by a cast led by Julia Wade, Jenny Burton and Link, himself, the evening soars musically and inspires us all to think more deeply.

It promises to be an evening both entertaining and evocative, and it comes to you from heart to heart.


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