Posts Tagged ‘Singer’

Singer/songwriter Peter Wise debuts with new CD

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Guest Blogger, Amy Duncan

tumblr_mzs8h7fAGH1qe3rn2o1_1280There’s nothing new under the sun, or so they say… but Massachusetts raised and NYC based singer/songwriter Peter Wise proves otherwise on his new CD, When Day Breaks, which he partially describes as a story about the ups and downs of growing up, becoming aware of ourselves and the world around us.

It’s true that Wise, who is a student of Watchfire Music’s very own Peter Link, flirts with bits and pieces of many who have gone on before him (Paul Simon, Tracy Chapman, and Steely Dan come to mind)—I kept thinking as I listened, wait! where have I heard that before?—and yet there’s nothing derivative here. So yes, there is always something new under the sun for the simple reason that each sincere and genuine artist, singer, composer, performer, etc., can’t help being his or her own self. With Wise, this is revealed first and foremost in his utterly charming voice, and then in all the subtle and original touches of his arrangements, extended instrumental interludes, and the simple, yet captivating twists and turns of his melodies.

The title tune, When Day Breaks, for instance, is an expansive ballad with a soaring interlude that builds and builds and then builds some more when Wise’s voice enters, to a satisfying climax, and then fades out to a delicate keyboard riff. Getting Older offers a beautiful bell-like piano accompaniment, gentle melody and introspective words, and St. Helens is a happy nod to Paul Simon…yet Wise’s own voice soars strong and clear, especially on the chorus. And then there’s the lovely, conversational Abigail, a ballad delicately punctuated by a repeated octave interval on the piano that’s the perfect vehicle for the cozy intimacy of Wise’s voice. The remaining tracks are equally individual and engaging.

To change it up, Wise closes with some humorous, good-timey old yeehaw on I’m a Rock. A nice ending to this promising debut, and pure Americana.

Peter Wise




















Interview with Rebecca Minor

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Guest Blogger, Amy Duncan

ChasingLight_197pxSinger/pianist/composer Rebecca Minor has recently released her first CD, Chasing Light, an engaging collection of five original songs that explore her deepest feelings and personal life experiences. Although her background is in musical theater, opera, and singing at concerts in churches, Rebecca has taken a brave and successful leap into the world of pop music. Here she talks about her new album and her career.

Rebecca, tell me a little about how you first became interested in music…do you come from a musical family?

I don’t recall a time when I wasn’t interested in music. My mom says I was humming before I was talking. My older sister was taking piano lessons, and one day I climbed onto the bench of our upright piano and started playing melodies I had heard. At age 6 I began taking lessons myself. Everyone in my family enjoys music, but I am the first to pursue it 1

You graduated in performance from Ithaca College…what was your dream at that time?

I had studied opera and classical repertoire at both Principia College, where I studied for 2 years, and at Ithaca College, where I got my degree in voice performance. At the time the dream was to sing in operas, in concerts, to continue soloing in churches, and perhaps sing the role of Christine in The Phantom of The Opera on Broadway some day.

You have sung in operas, musical theater, concerts, in shows and at churches. Do you have a preference for any of these, and has it changed over the years?

It seems at different stages throughout my life I was passionate about each of those. During childhood I was 100% into music theater. In college I was all about opera. After college, in the midst of pursuing both of those industries, I fell in love with songwriting. I’m very happy where I am at this point: writing and performing sacred music at The First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, and for Watchfire Music, and also writing and performing mainstream pop music. I feel blessed to be on a journey that already feels so good, and has the potential to lead to any number of possibilities and opportunities._MG_6066

You’re also a pianist. In addition to reading music, have you studied harmony and composition?

Yes, throughout my piano lessons and in my musical studies through college I learned music theory, harmony, sight singing. However, I never studied composition, and often wonder what my music would be like today had I gone through a composition program. I’ve had the invaluable benefit of being coached on songwriting and lyric writing by Peter Link, and studying it further isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

And you’re a composer. Tell me about the inspirations for the songs in your debut CD, Chasing Light.

The songs on Chasing Light were born from my own experience over the past 10 years of my life, mostly while living in NYC. There is a clear issue being grappled with in each song, and what has been so remarkable about completing and releasing the album is that I look back and realize that each of those issues or questions has been answered. I struggled with the idea of sharing such personal and vulnerable material, but the feedback I’ve received over the years is that many feel inspired by the questions I’ve sought answers to, or simply feel a kinship with the situations I describe, so that’s why I chose to go forward with it. I would hope the spiritual foundation from which I seek to live my life is apparent in the songs, despite them being of a more human, personal nature.

How would you describe the style of your CD? Who are some of your influences in pop music?

I am still learning about musical classification and branding, but basically I describe the music as piano driven pop music. Some influences are the great piano rock music of Elton John, the classic Beatles, Van Morrison, and also Sara Bareilles, Sara McLaughlin, John Mayer, and on and on.

Did your background in sacred and inspirational music influence the music on your CD?

I wouldn’t discount that the sacred solo music I’ve sung over the years has had some influence on my writing, but definitely the ideas and values of Christian Science I’ve studied my whole life have influenced this CD. I like to think that Chasing Light represents much of what I was working through before I “got it”—you know, before the light broke into what is now a new chapter in my life. Singing at TMC, moving out of NYC, finding a truly loving partnership, and a deeper sense of spirituality are some “answers” to the questions I’ve asked in these songs.

At this point in your life, what direction would you like to pursue with your music?

I’d like to continue along this vein of writing and performing sacred music, continuing to develop within my soloist position at The Mother Church, and also working on mainstream music of all styles with other writers. This year I plan to focus on collaboration, and exploring co-writing. Nashville is a community I plan on exploring for co-writing. I can’t wait!

Aside from singing, playing, and writing music, what do you like to do in your free time?

I’ve recently begun teaching voice and piano, and I find working with children enriching, so this is a particularly fun challenge. I also love traveling, meeting new people wherever I go, playing around with friends, going to the beach, and spending time with my beloved family, who are pretty spread out over the US. There is never a dull moment.

If you could give any advice to young, aspiring singers, what would it be?

Advice would be to not limit yourself in any way! Study with as many people as you can, learn the “rules,” but don’t lose your unique vision. Take chances, and believe in what you do! Something that has always been helpful to me is asking WHY I’m doing what I’m doing. If you’re clear on that, and it’s good, you can’t go wrong!

You can read more about Rebecca, as well as listen to samples of her songs and buy her CD at:

You can see samples of and buy Rebecca’s sheet music here:































The Watchfire Music Listening Room

Monday, July 26th, 2010

I’m excited to announce the beta of a new series of house concerts for Inspirational music right here in little ol’ NYC.

We’re calling it the Watchfire Music Listening Room. WFM artist, Julia Wade, will do 3 nights in the next 3 months celebrating and developing her new CD at Jenkins House Concerts just off of Central Park West.

Thursday, August 19th @ 7:30
Thursday, September 16th @ 7:30
Thursday, October 7th @ 7:30

Opening for her will be singer/songwriters Rebecca Minor in August, Megan Neale in September, and WFM artist and composer, Margaret Dorn, in October.

The purpose of the Watchfire Music Listening Room house concerts is to allow WFM artists to develop their music in front of a live audience. (more…)

New Recording Artist – Lisa Pressman – Pianist

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

Lisa Pressman - Angel Dreaming a New DreamExciting news! Watchfire Music will soon be adding another artist to their family.

The magnificent Sonoran Desert that surrounds Lisa Pressman, a new recording artist, inspired the recording “If The Sky Was Home”. The vast openness of the land and the amazing skies of Arizona painted the musical landscape.

Also, Lisa’s intimate recording Angel Dreaming: a new dream is a sonic footstep of her own spiritual journey. The music is deeply personal, yet touches all who listen.

Ms. Pressman’s new CD arrives soon at Watchfire Music. Stay tuned for more info.

For more information about Watchfire Music and their artists,
please visit us at Watchfire

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