Posts Tagged ‘religion’

Healing Of Poisoning

Sunday, January 24th, 2016

Bible

One morning while brushing my teeth I called my wife over and asked her to check out an itchy place on the upper back of my left arm – a place hard to see in the mirror. She responded, “Yeah, you have a little red rash about the size of my thumb there. Just keep it clean and it will go away.”

I forgot about it for a couple of days; then I decided to check it out myself using two mirrors. The rash had not gone away and, in fact, was bigger. The following morning it had spread down my arm nearly to my elbow.

At this point I made a big mistake. I went on line and typed in the description of it in Google hoping to find a quick and simple holistic cure. What came back at me was frightening. On several sites my description matched up perfectly with a known disease that was curable, but all sites told me that this problem would be recurring now for the rest of my life – it would come and go, but there was no permanent cure for it.

I’ve been taught that there are 3 steps in healing: 1. Identify the problem, 2. Cast out the erroneous belief, the mental cause of the problem, and 3. Fill the void with powerful truths that establish that I am the perfect child of God.

My mistake was that I thought that identifying the problem meant that I needed to become aware of the name of the disease. Not so.

Along with my growing fear, the rash progressed rapidly and by the third morning my entire left arm was covered with red boiling skin and I wondered if I had been bitten by a spider because my arm had clearly been poisoned. I could see it. It began to swell and the pain in my fingertips was like needles stabbing whenever I touched anything.

I had never had anything remotely like this in my life. I wore a long sleeve shirt and then a glove so that my wife could not see this because I did not want to scare her and have her hold this image in her mind.

In my life I’ve never gone to doctors, never taken medicine and never gone to the hospital because I’ve handled all my physical problems with prayer and a scientific approach to healing that I’ve been able to work for over 60 years. Also as a child my mother was a terrific healer who taught me the principles of not only healing, but also simply staying healthy. I’ve led a blessed life.

So I never considered going to a doctor or finding a medicinal cure. That idea was just not in my system.

I knew I had to really tackle this because the condition was advancing so rapidly and I could feel and see it moving from my arm into my body.

I told my wife, Julia, that I was going to go into our bedroom, shut the door, and not come out until I had this thing under control. I told her to stay out and just leave food at the door and knock. She completely supported my wishes.

The first day in my room I prayed, I read and studied the Bible and several books and articles on healing that gave me powerful truths to work with and think about in my quest.

I knew I had to first dispel the fear and quickly realized my mistake in going on line and identifying the name of the disease. This act had given me nothing but fear to contend with.

I realized that the first step of “Identifying the problem” did not mean to identify the physical problem, but rather it meant to identify the mental cause of the physical manifestation. I asked myself, “What mental thoughts had poisoned my thinking resulting in a poisoned arm?”

I made a list. I spent several hours that first day looking deeply at my life and my erroneous thinking. I searched through relationships with other people, my business ethics, my confusions of sexuality, my angers, my resentments, my regrets, and I came up with seven or eight real confusions in my life. I wrote these down in a notebook that was full of uplifting thoughts that I had collected. Some of these confusions were more recent and some were life long. I approached my thinking with a fine-tooth comb and left no stone unturned (to mix the metaphor).

I went to sleep that night determined to right these wrongs in my thinking, but exhausted by the day’s concentrated metaphysical work, upset with myself for letting my thinking get away from me, and still afraid that this might be too big a problem for me to handle.

When I woke up the next morning the rash was much worse. It had spread across my chest and stomach and was now half way down my right arm as well and crawling up my neck into my face. I remember looking in the mirror into my own eyes and saying out loud, “Well, Pete, it’s now or never. You’ve got to take a mighty stand here and align yourself in God’s Love for you.” I knew I needed to see only the perfect man, destroy the tremendous fear that was welling up in my body and mind and find out for once and for all if I could handle this healing thing with strength and assurance.

I went back to work. I looked deeply at my seven ‘sins’ and sorted out the errors of my thinking until each wrong was righted, promises to myself made and right thinking restored.

I did not work at all on healing a rash, my arm or the name of a disease. I worked on healing and eradicating poisonous thought. Better said, I eradicated poisonous thought problem by problem, step by step. I worked on my commitment to my own purity, and where I saw impurity, I cleansed.

I decided not to check myself in the mirror because I knew that the physical manifestation was not the cause but the result. So my only concern was the cause. Eliminate the cause and there can be no result. This made perfect sense, so I stayed with this practice and demonstration for about 6 hours.

Julia would occasionally knock and ask, “How ya’ doin’?” I would answer, “Hold only the highest thought for me.” She did.

About 6:00 that evening of the second day of seclusion, as my fearful thought began to break, the skin on my arm also began to break and drain. I had to change my shirt several times that night and I did not get much sleep because of the itching, but I knew that the itching was a sign of healing and one time when I changed my shirt I did notice that the rash had not progressed the way fear had suggested it might.

I finally got about 2 hours sleep after the sun had risen on the 3rd day.

When I woke up, I went right back to work purifying my thought. Julia had been sleeping out on the couch in the living room, brought me breakfast, knocked and left it at the door. I ate and went right back to work. I made deep promises to myself, and deep commitments to my understood truths of behavior and thinking.

One example of the depth of my thinking was this:

As a young boy I was always fascinated with war. My playmates and I would spend long hours every afternoon lying under the bed or hiding in closets fending off the Germans or the “Japs.” I carried these childhood fantasies forward in my life in the following way. Often at night as I lay in bed trying to go to sleep, I would imagine myself in a foxhole with a machine gun. The enemy would be coming across the no man’s land before me in the darkness and I would shoot up a flare to light their approach and mow them down.

The foxhole was safe. I knew I would never die. It was my way of feeling protected from all harm. It was a weird and very false means of personal safety. In my work during those three days, I clearly understood the fallacy of this bad habit. I also understood that I had gone to sleep for far too many nights killing people. I was shocked at this realization and so clearly saw the error of my ways that I committed to never allowing that scenario to enter my mind again. I have since refused to pick up a gun in my imagination. I’m done with that fantasy.

I had to then find peaceful ways of entering sleep and I did.

This habitual error of thinking was clearly poisonous. Actually the habit was easy to stop because I so clearly understood the wrong of it.

About 5:00 that afternoon on the 3rd day. I opened the door to my bedroom and came out for the first time. I said to Julia, “I’m healed.” And she responded, “I know.” The rash was still there, but I knew the cause was gone. No cause/no result.

When I work up the next morning the rash was only on my arm and had totally disappeared from the rest of my body. By mid day the rash had disappeared from my hand and forearm and within the next day was gone completely except for one little spot high up on my left arm where it had started.

I cannot even begin to describe the feelings of gratitude, triumph and joy I felt at this wondrous healing. My skin simply came back to its full normality with an instantaneousness that was a true testament to the power of mental healing.

An interesting note here: The 1”x1” spot hung on for two weeks on my arm. I saw it as a reminder that I had several major new commitments in life to demonstrate. It was a warning not to let go of the truths that I had learned and realized in my 3 days. In a strange/odd way, I was grateful for it. It said to me, “Don’t forget this lesson. Don’t become complacent and let things slide. Stay committed to your new-found principles. Prove the efficacy of your realizations. When, in the next two weeks, I was able to reconstruct my life with new and better habits, the spot disappeared – for good.

A very wise track coach once said to us in an inspirational prayer meeting before a track meet, “Boys, a healing, as you know, is no further away than your next thought … but then the thought after that, and the thought after that, and the thought after that, and the thought after that, …”

This always stuck with me.

I’ve stayed with the truths discovered back then in my life and in the four years since have experienced no further rash, poison or recurrence. I’m clear that as I stay to my principles, I am safe in the arms of Love.

That one healing was so worth the agony, the fear, the pain. I learned from it – big time.

I’m a better man for the experience.

 

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.

All Will Be Well

Saturday, December 5th, 2015

GivingVoice_500px

Margaret Imrie was the epitome of grace. She’s no longer with us on the planet, yet remains in her music. Her husband was a great friend and supporter of both me and my music back in the days of The Jenny Burton Experience. Together we produced the group and had a blast doing it. Gordon and Margaret (Peggy) lived in a brownstone up on West 74th street and raised 3 totally precocious boys who were all, at one time or another, in my Sunday School class.

I knew about Peggy’s grace as a woman long before I knew of her grace as a vocalist. In fact, her great voice came as a surprise to me years into our relationship because I only knew her as a mother and the breadwinner of the family.

I don’t remember when I first heard her sing – probably at one of the funky musical soirees that the entire Imrie family would put on occasionally with their antique player piano.

But once I heard her sing, I became her champion. She had a nine to five job at the time that was really a morning to midnight job and Gordo was Mr. Mom, so here was a voice that never had a chance to get the exposure that it deserved.

At the time I was the music chair of First Church, Christ Scientist in Manhattan. Since it was located only 3-4 blocks from the Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Center, the church had a history of most professional and powerhouse classical soloists. One could call it the home of some of the greatest vocalists ever to grace the platforms of that religion.

As music chair I led the selection of these vocalists. Peggy did not have that kind of powerhouse operatic voice. She had great chops, but not the paint-peeling-off-the-ceiling kind of volume that the congregation was used to. But Peggy understood the text and communicated the word of God far beyond the paint peelers. So I pushed for her to be the soloist. Finally, I put in a hidden mic at her soloist position and that took care of all the problems. People would remark, “Well Peggy, how your voice has grown!”

Because of her deep spiritual understanding and ability to communicate, she became an instant favorite in that church and held the position for many years.

She passed tragically, early in life.

Last year I got a call from Gordon announcing that he had over 400 cassette recordings of Peggy’s performances. Now we all know that cassettes were never the best quality of recording. In fact one could call them the low point of fidelity in the past 70 years.

“Couldn’t we somehow make an album with some of these recordings?” Gordon asked.

I answered, “Possible, but not probable … but it might be worth a listen.”

Gordon replied, “Good. Then I’ll send you all the recordings and you can listen and find what you think might work.”

I answered, “No my friend, you will go through them and find the best 30 and then I will pick from them.”

A mammoth job. But Gordo did it. That’s what love can do. Make it all possible.

The rest of the story is the result of additionally my work in restoration and the brilliant mastering work of my dear friend and accomplice, Phil Klum of Philip Klum Mastering, NYC.

This resulted in Peggy’s first CD, Margaret Imrie – Giving Voice, a beautiful CD of church solos.

“All Will Be Well”, the closing song on her album, is one of my favorite hymns of all time. It’s a beautiful ancient Welsh melody that is innately harmonizable. I’m one of those guys in church that loves to sing the harmonies every time we stand up to sing, so I’ve been working on that one now for about 50 years – and the new harmonic ideas keep coming.

Long story short: (or perhaps even longer) I had Phil bring forth Peggy’s voice on the old recording and make it louder than the piano, then orchestrated the stereo mix, and wrote a series of vocal harmonies for Julia that she added to Peggy’s original recording. If Natalie Cole can do it, so can I.

It worked. So the song is now on both albums – Peggy’s and Julia’s.

Peggy lives on and Julia holds her hand.

All Will Be Well
AR HYD Y NOS

Music: Ancient Welsh Melody
Lyrics: Mary Peters

Through the love of God our Saviour
All will be well
Free and changeless is His favor
All must be well
Precious is the Love that healed us
Perfect is the grace that sealed us
Strong the hand stretched forth to shield us
All, all is well
Though we pass through tribulation
All will be well
Ours is such a full salvation
All must be well
Happy still, in God confiding
Fruitful, when in Christ abiding
Holy, through the Spirit’s guiding
All, all is well
We expect a bright tomorrow
All will be well
Faith can sing through days of sorrow
All must be well
While His truth we are applying
And upon His love relying
God is every need supplying
All, all is well

 

God Is All

Sunday, November 22nd, 2015

Gwen Eagleton

Gwen Eagleton is the newest of soloists sharing the position with Rebecca Minor at The First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston – the Mother Church and world-wide headquarters of the religion.

Julia Wade held that position by herself for seven years and ended her great adventure just three years ago.

As it turns out, Gwen lives just down the road a piece from us here out in the hinter lands of New jersey, so it seemed only natural to invite her to sing on Julia’s album. But what would these two inspirational ladies sing about?

What else but high minded spiritual concepts?

At the end of each Sunday service in a Christian Science church Mary Baker Eddy’s Scientific Statement of being is always read from the podium. This statement may be the most famous writing of Mrs. Eddy’s work. The first half of the quote is this:

There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter.

All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all.

Growing up as a Christian Scientist, I have probably repeated this statement both for its clarification of my own being and also as a prayer tens of thousands of times. My favorite part is the second of the sentences above. If true, it is as powerful a concept as any ever made.

As a child, growing up in the religion, of course it was true. It’s what we always said in church. But as I grew older, and presumably wiser, and absolutely more skeptical of the myriad of ideas that came my way regarding God and my being, I began to challenge this statement as well.

Not to prove anyone wrong, but rather make sure that I was understanding what I preached or taught or thought.

I have always been a seeker and have had a lifetime of explorations into many of the worlds leading religions and philosophies. I consider myself, at heart, a Christian Scientist and am a member of its church, and my thinking is always open to new ideas, new language, and new ways of insight into the great truths of existence.

Though a member of a church, I’m basically an anti-religious type guy. I definitely prefer the term spiritual seeker and feel that the basic differences between most great religions lies in the separation created by language and its ingredient confusions.

But that’s another day’s blogging …

The fact that Mrs. Eddy states that “… God is All-in-all” is never-endingly fascinating and curious to me – both at the same time. I’ve gone around and around on it for hours at a time considering its implications to my own life and existence and also the impact of this statement on the matter world as we know it.

Simply said, I do not take this sentence lightly.

So why not write a song about it?

And then on top of that, give it to two of the great musical leaders of that church to sing?

What a concept!

Eagle On The Water

God Is All

Music and Lyrics by Peter Link

In the allness of all

God is all

God is good

All is goodness

 

In the allness of all

God is love

Love is God

All is love

 

In the allness of all

God is life

Life is all

Life is eternal

 

How can all these things be true at the same time,

In the same breath

In the same moment?

A most perplexing synchronicity of coincidence

 

How can allness be one thing

And at the same time be another?

How can this be possible?

 

Because God is all

And ev’ry idea is of God

Because God is the compound idea

Of all things perfect and true

That includes me and you

Now what on Earth are we all gonna do

With this piece of information?

 

In the allness of all

God is all

God is peace

All is peaceful

 

In the allness of all

We are all

In the palm

Of God’s hand

 

And when each of us falls

God is there

In our life

God is everywhere

 

So how is it that we can fall at the same time

God is with us

In the same moment?

A most perplexing antithetical of coincidence

How can imperfection be

When at the same time God is perfect?

How can this be possible?

 

Because God is all

And this fact is simply all there is

And with all of the rest just illusion

We spend life tryin’ to break through

This includes me and you

Now what on Earth are we all gonna do

With this piece of information?

 

Just hold on to the thought

That God is always

With you

Over you

Around you

And through

The Kingdom of God is in you

Just choose it

 

Just hold on to the thought

That God is always

With you

Over you

Around you

And through

The allness of God is in you

Just choose it

 

Just hold on to the thought

That God is always

With you

Over you

Around you

And through

The allness of God is in you

Just choose it

 

Just hold on to the thought …

Interview With Noah Marlowe

Friday, April 18th, 2014
Noah Marlowe Celebrating Life w/ Butter Beer

Noah Marlowe Celebrating Life w/ Butter Beer

Noah Marlowe – Age 12

Broadway
Act One                                    Mossy/Bernie                        Lincoln Center

Off-Broadway
Fun Home                                Christian                        The Public Theatre

National Tour
Elf the Musical                          Michael                                    National Tour

Boy Stuff
Baseball, Basketball, Skateboarding, Dance Ballet, Dance Jazz, Dance Tap, Singer

Recording
Miracle Of Faith                        The Boy                      Watchfire Music

Interview Conducted by Amy Duncan

So Noah, have you always enjoyed singing?

When I was little I’d always sing with my sister in the car…we’d always sing Seussical, the musical, together.

Have you had any musical training? I know you don’t read music, but how about vocal lessons?

I’ve had four or five years of vocal training, which started when I was around seven or eight.

Do you think it’s important to know how to read music, or is it enough to have a good ear?

I think that reading music is a really good skill, but in the projects that I’ve done, I haven’t found it necessary because they’ve always just taught me the music, so I haven’t had to learn how to read it.

So you must have a really good ear, then!

Yes, I try…thanks!

You made your Broadway debut in Mary Poppins when you were ten. Did you do any performing in public before that?

I’d done some regional work before that, but not anything of that caliber and prestigiousness.

Actors and singers often say they perform differently each night because the audiences change. Is that true for you?

Yeah, I think it’s very true. The audiences respond differently every night, and so do the performers. What I find really interesting is that with lines that aren’t even funny, people laugh—audiences have their own way of taking in what’s going on, so I feel like the actors often change their performances due to the audience’s reaction.

I bet you can feel the audience’s vibe the minute you walk out onto the stage.

The first time I was in front of an audience, right when I got out there, I was like, I want to do this for a living. Once you feel the audience’s presence like that, it’s just really amazing.

I see that you’ve studied dance. Have you done any dancing in your performances?

We’ve done a lot of choreography, kind of like jazz, but not any tapping or ballet or that kind of stuff. But in Mary Poppins, for instance, there was a lot of choreography.

Let’s talk about Miracle Of Faith, the project you did with Peter Link. What did you think when your dad told you about the job?

It sounded really interesting, and I looked up Peter, and I was just amazed at how much he did. And at the first appointment I had with Peter I knew that this was going to be an amazing project.

And what about when you saw what it involved? You’d never recorded in a studio before and you don’t read music…how did you feel about that?

It seemed like a challenge, but I knew that Peter and everyone would help me through it. He always emphasized getting into the character, which was really helpful in terms of learning the song. Peter’s a great guy, he’s really nice.

It’s a long song, too! How did you go about memorizing it?

In the recording booth, there was a music stand just in case I needed to look at it. But I knew about 95% of it, because we went over it every night, constantly saying the lines and continuing to go over them. Eventually when you familiarize yourself with it so much, it just kind of gets into your bones.

There’s hardly any information about this boy with the basket of fish and bread in the Bible story. As an actor, how did you prepare for the character?

Well, the lyrics did a lot of that for me—they were very informative and I thought they were very good, and as you get into the character you find the story. So once you get into the character, you just kind of make these acting choices. And Peter did so much, and he helped me so much with making this character what it is, with forming this character for myself.

I listened to the recording, and thought it was magnificent. I kept thinking it would be great if it could be staged—did you feel that, too?

Yes, it was a very powerful album and I thought it was great—that’s very funny you should say that, because I was thinking that before! (laughs)

What about your school? What happens when you’re touring?

Normally I go to public school, but when I was touring, unfortunately they didn’t provide the tutors, so we got a lot of work from our school and did that. But I’m doing a show at Lincoln Center right now, and during the rehearsal process they provided tutors—multiple tutors for the different subjects. There are only two kids in the show.

What do the kids you go to school with think about your career?

I don’t really think that they take notice, I mean I don’t really go around talking about it. When I leave school they notice, but they don’t really have any interest in this field, so…

Getting away from music for a bit, what do you like to do in your free time?

I love to read—I read all the time. I always have a book in my hand. I loved The DaVinci Code, and I’m reading a book right now that I really like a lot called Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. He’s a famous author, and it’s just a really good book about an author and his mentor.

Have you ever wanted to be a writer?

Uh, yeah! Just seeing the process really fascinates me, and I think it would be really fun to write some day.

What else do you do in your free time?

I play video games on my computer and on some of the consoles that I have at my house. When it’s nice out I like to go biking, and, uh… I guess that’s kind of it!

What do you think the best thing is about living in New York?

You don’t really see it where I live, but I love New York because you get to meet so many different people—so many different types of people. And it’s really amazing getting to know all these people. Especially in this business, you get to make your own family in the cast, which is one of the reasons it’s so hard to close a show. I keep in touch with some of them…a lot of them have a lot that they’re doing, but I do keep in touch with them.

Do you think you’ll want to do what you’re doing now when you grow up?

I definitely want to do this. It’s so much fun, and you just feel like you can escape from the world when you’re on that stage, doing what you’re doing. It’s really great, so I think I want to do that when I get older, also.

So you really enjoyed the experience of singing in the studio and recording. Would you like to do more of that?

Yeah, it was so much fun with Peter, and it’s just a great experience recording songs, so I’d love to do that again.

 

 

Miracle Of Faith – Part 12B

Friday, April 11th, 2014

MiracleOfFaith-CoverNote: I suggest that if you haven’t yet read Miracle Of Faith – Parts 1-11 yet you start there.  This way you’ll get the whole story.

Installment 12B

So as I write, the masters have just come back from the masterer.  I’ll listen to our album for the first time in it’s finished state in about an hour.  I see that Craig has just emailed to us the finished CD package graphics.  We’ll run a test on them this morning.  There’s proofing to be done and then the manufacturing of the CDs.  We do that here at Watchfire Music and have a factory in a closet with printers, paper cutters, CD burners, and shrink wrappers.

I’ll finish this last post, prepare the pictures in PhotoShop and insert them into the Digi-Book content document that I’ve been working on for Craig for these last 3 weeks.  He will finish up the design and implementation of the Digi-Book today and get it back to me tonight for final check and proofing.

Our staff is already hard at the promotions of this CD on FaceBook and Twitter.  We’ll do LinkedIn blasts and this Blog will become the content of the Digi-Book.  It’s a massive task for our little company, but one we seem to accomplish nearly every week.

I have truly enjoyed every moment of this Musical of the Imagination.  It’s always a great lift to see an idea come to fruition – to hold the finished CD in your hand and remember the countless hours that went into its making.  This one even more so because of the way it all started with an idea of Dora Redman’s brought to me with a hope and a prayer.

I truly believe that God has watched over this project.  It could be no other way.  Far too many things have evolved in grace with relatively little effort on our parts – the development of the lyrics when it was apparent to me from the beginning that it just might be over Dora’s head, the ensuing collaboration, the finding of our boy, Noah, the scheduling resulting in the release of this album the day after tomorrow – April 10, 2014.

Originally I said it probably could not be done.  I was wrong and I’m delighted that I was.

So now it’s all up to you.  It starts with a good thorough listening.  The whole CD runs a little less than 40 minutes.  We ask you to take that first listening at a quiet time where you can really relax and let your imagination soar.  It’ll be worth the ride.  Give it a try.

And then if you have had anywhere near the experience that we’ve had making the CD, tell your friends.  Share the experience.  It’s a story told over and over now for over two thousand years and continues to bear repeating.  A story of some bread and fish – and a boy and his faith – and a man and his understanding.

It’s a story about what most would call a miracle, but we’ve come to understand to be a natural fulfilling of a need.  It’s a story of what could be,  if only we each could have the faith of a child.

It’s the possibility of what lies out there, or in there, for each of us if we just lead a more spiritual life.  It’s the truth in action.

Enjoy!

Miracle Of Faith – Part 11

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014
Julia Wade

Julia Wade

Note: I suggest that if you haven’t yet read Miracle Of Faith – Parts 1-10 yet you start there.  This way you’ll get the whole story.

The Session:

The first two sessions of this project certainly had their degrees of unfamiliarity for me.  First recording an inexperienced 12-year old boy and secondly, recording a very experienced myself put me in somewhat of a different zone.  So it was only fitting that the third session would go smooth as silk.  And it did.

Julia Wade is as pro a vocalist in the booth as I’ve ever worked with.  She comes in totally prepared for the work, she’s smart and experienced and has all the chops necessary to accomplish just about anything I want.

On top of that, she loved the song and had been singing it around the house for weeks.

There’s not much drama to this story because Julia simply came in and did her job.  We did 7-8 takes and fixed a few rough spots and were finished in a couple of hours.

The comp was difficult frankly because I had so much good stuff to choose from.  Most of the time I sweat going through the comps praying that I have the takes, praying that I have at least one great take per line to work with.  With Julia, there were always a plethora of choices to choose from.

Also, if I may further praise my artist (and wife), Julia is a committed actress deeply involved with the subtext of the songs she sings.  That, coupled with a great and highly trained instrument, makes her a joy to work with.  People often ask how, as man and wife, we work together both as artists and partners in  business running Watchfire Music.  We also run most of the business out of our home and our studio is also in our home.  This means we spend 24/7 pretty much together.

Well, beside the fact that we love each other, we trust each other.  We don’t spend much time looking over one another’s shoulder.  We each do our parts and run our divisions and trust that each of us will do our jobs well.

Recently she took on a new manager and that was a real lift for me.  I was her turn-to manager for the last 15 years.  I did it out of necessity, but never really loved the job.  It always seemed like one thing too many.  So when her new manager, Reggie Bahl, came on board I breathed a sigh of relief and went back to work.

It’s also interesting to note here that Julia has had a twenty-year fascination with the life of Mary Magdalene.  She’s read many books about her, poured over every mention of her in the Bible and already played her once several years back singing a song of mine named I Was There.  So this experience, for her, was a continuation of the exploration of that character.

Hers is a voice that I can hear in my imagination as I write, so I know pretty much how it’s going to sound as I’m writing – a great gift for a composer.  Also I know her instrument so well that I can orchestrate a song without her having previously recorded a scratch vocal because I can hear her in my head.  This way the orchestra and Julia can work as one.

It’s a good partnership.

And more importantly, we have a great time together workin’ it.

Miracle Of Faith – Part 10

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014
Mary Magdalene - Pietro Perugino

Mary Magdalene – Pietro Perugino

Note: I suggest that if you haven’t yet read Miracle Of Faith – Parts 1-9 yet you start there.  This way you’ll get the whole story.

The Third Song:

As I mentioned earlier, Dora’s and my first inclination was to write this song for the character of Jesus.  I was never comfortable with this idea.  The master’s words are so iconic, so immortal that I did not want to in any way dilute the power of his thoughts.  I decided to let the master be the master and so we switched the character to Mary Magdalene.

Besides, we needed a chick in the band.  :o)

Again, we went to our imagination and suggested that she might have been there at the site of the miracle and also because, in our imagination, she was so close to Jesus, then she might have some special insights as well as a woman’s POV into the whole matter.

We called the work Miracle Of Faith not because of Jesus’ faith, for in our minds Jesus worked much more from a point of understanding  than faith, but really because of the boy’s amazing innocence of faith.  He so easily believed that the master could heal his mother that he was willing to give all he had to feed the 5000.

It says in the Bible (Hebrews 11:1), “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.”  If this miracle is not the perfect example of this quote, then I don’t know what is.

Dora and I talked a lot about the “magic” of pulling rabbits out of a hat.  The magic of pulling enough food out of the boy’s basket to feed the multitude.  The idea of the many clowns at the circus all coming out of the tiny little car mush to the audience’s delight.  This image has thrilled people’s imaginations for centuries.

But Jesus was not a magician and what he was doing was not magic, but supremely natural.  The creation of supply through thought.  If matter is an illusion to begin with than why would this not be a natural occurrence for Jesus.  We even considered not using the term “Miracle” in our title for just that reason – because most people see miracles as some form of magic instead of being what they really are – simply God’s laws in action and abundance.  But then again we decided that the title was appropriate for just that reason as well – to clarify just how natural the occurrence of a miracle is.

We saw Mary Magdalene sitting back on a rock watching the whole event and, having seen so many of the master’s ‘miracles’ before, simply seeing the entire event as normal and understanding it all perhaps even on a higher level than the disciples themselves.

The Evidence Of Things Unseen
Mary Magdalene

Lyrics by Dora Redman & Peter Link
Music by Peter Link

And so he spoke
“They need not depart.
Give ye them food to eat.”
Give them food for thought,
The food of light,
The light of sustenance
Don’t send them away in their time of need
Feed the flock

But his disciples were not in the mind of Jesus
They struggled to raise their faith
And though miracles had abounded throughout the days
They were stuck in the world’s worn out ways
They knew not God’s law of infinite abundance
And I watched as they muttered amongst themselves  hmm
“Feed them with what? There’s nothing to eat
No apples, no almonds, no meat”

Then a boy stepped forth
With a basket of bread and two fishes
Well you know the rest
The five thousand were fed
And we all saw the power of his wishes
And the evidence of things unseen
Oh yes the evidence of things unseen

You ask, “What is that evidence?”
It’s the substance of faith
And no seeming dreams that lie in between

There, by his prayer
Pulled out of thin air
In a miracle of such routine
(As I witnessed so often, again and again)
Was the evidence of things unseen
Yes, the evidence of things unseen

Yes a boy stepped forth
With the spirit of “Nothing can stop me”
A boy, just a boy
And five thousand were fed
And we all felt the power and the glory
Of the evidence of things unseen
Oh yes the evidence of things unseen

And right there, by his prayer
Pulled out of thin air
In a miracle of such routine
(As I witnessed so often, again and again)
Was the evidence of things unseen

The man
The miracle
The son of God
Hallelu!!!
And all this from two fishes
And five loaves of bread

The writing of this song was a total joy.  Once we had the lyric locked down and finished, the music of the moment simply poured forth almost effortlessly.

Why?  Because it was the third song in the trilogy, because the moments had been so researched and discussed for many months and we had lived in the shoes and already written the scene twice from different points of view.  Because we understood the characters, because we saw in our imaginations the whole scene like a movie.  In essence it became, for me, like a three camera shoot of the same scene.  I was this time camera #3.

I know that Mary, for instance was over, somewhat behind Jesus, back there on the left, sitting up on that rocky abutment quietly watching it all go down.  I know what she was wearing and I know how the shadows fell as daylight turned to dusk.  I know how much she loved Jesus and stood with him in these oh so special moments.

I know the mood of the hungry crowd and hear the murmuring as the food is passed out.  I feel the incredulity of the multitude and the gratitude and the wonder.  I feel the shame and the pride of Thomas juxtaposing his wonder.  I feel the calm assurance of the master and wide-eyed excitement of the boy.  I dive into the mind of Mary and the music simply comes forth, it passes through me, through pen and paper, through the keys of my keyboard, through the digital zeros and ones of my computer, through the vibrations passing through the air to your ears, through the wonder of the oneness of people connecting through this amazing language called music.

The song does what it is supposed to do.  It ties the knot; it ties the bow.  It explains the miracle as natural without trying to explain the science behind it.  It says that there are things beyond our understanding that are yet to learn.  And that a little boy of twelve can actually work the principles of this science without even understanding the science like the master, but just simply through his own innocent child-like faith.

The song sings itself.

Next: The Session.

 


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