Posts Tagged ‘Watchfire Music Artist’

On Fear And Aging

Monday, February 20th, 2017

A number of years ago I decided to spend some time looking at the great inevitable transition in life called death. I decided to face it head on through music. I seem to think best that way.

What transpired was an album of songs on the subject of eternal life called “Goin’ Home – On Heaven and Beyond – A Gospel Cantata.”

I recently sat down and gave the album a listen and very much enjoyed the experience. It brought up for me first a plethora of thoughts that stayed with me for days and touched inner chords that I didn’t know I had. It got me to thinkin’.

And though the album presents a totally positive view of life and transition, I let my thinking wander occasionally onto some dangerous ground. And occasionally maybe that was not so good, because I got a bit suckered into the world suggestions of aging and body and all the confusion that comes with facing the transition that I suppose each of us will make one day.

A couple of mornings I woke up to an unrest that was disturbing to me and produced a grumbling of fear and depression and even anger that at some point I would have to go through this transition. Hey, I love my life and I love being Pete and I can’t see doing anything else but staying on the track that I’m on. Yet I began to fear the future and regret the so-called inevitability of transition. It was not fun and for a guy who leads a pretty positive life, I was simply not myself for a period of a couple of weeks.

I struggled with this – not all the time, but periodically when I was not caught up in my work. I had turned to my work to get away from this fear that began to haunt me. I found that I spent far too much time thinking about it and became frustrated with myself for doing so.

Then one morning I woke up very fearful. I couldn’t seem to get on top of it as the day went on and it produced a lethargy in me that I understood was simply feeling “OLD.” Yikes!

Wisely I took my stand. I knew that if I were to keep up this kind of thinking that I would just be at the result of my thinking and I am in no way interested in slowing down in life.

One thing I know for sure is that fear of the future and regret of the past are traps that we all fall into and are simply no good for us. I also know that the way to conquer these mistakes is to BE HERE NOW.

Literally, in an instant, I applied this truth. I thought to myself, “Get out of the fear of the future and into the nowness of your life, and work, watch and pray that you stay in the nowness.” I was instantly healed of a depression in that moment and have applied this simple truth each time the bad habit has tried to reappear.

It has not been hard to do this. Being here in the now simply works. It’s the way to live. Even when I’m planning the future, I’m in the now of organizing my life in a positive way. There is no fear in the now because I’m dealing with the best of me that I can see and live. This simple step has wiped away the bad habit of the fear of aging and I am so much the better for it, so much the younger for it, so much the healthier for it, and so much the happier for it.

There’s no struggle in now; there is simply the application of dealing with whatever it is that I have to do, and seeing ‘worry’ as a waste of time and energy.

“Be here now.” Three simple words that say a whole lot on the subject of how to live happily ever after.

Listening to the album fulfilled the album’s original intention. It made me deal with my thinking and some of the weak points in the process of my approach to life. It alerted me to some slippage in my thought process that needed a greater understanding. It reminded me of the reason that I produced the album in the first place. It brought me back home to the best of me. It restored my positive energies.

So I’ve learned once again to make the best of my NOW. It works! Give it a shot.

Update On “Is Anybody Listening?”

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

Jenny Burton and Cast – “The Times They Are A’ Changin'”

The news is most positive. As of January 15, 2017 the video editing and remix of the show are now complete and ready for webcast production. I worked with Pamela Radat of J6 MediaWorks digital film and video production in New York who did a masterful job with the two show/ five camera shoot that we filmed last October.

The work was most stimulating and rewarding and we’re all very happy with the result. Simultaneous to Pamela’s editing process, I took the multi-track files that we had recorded during both shows and remixed the entire show for webcast production. Both shows were shot in Hi Def and capture the sound, look and feel of the exciting and standing ovation shows.

Those of you who gave and gave to this production will be happy to see your generosity come to such fruitage.

Julia Wade – “A Still Small Voice”

Now we move on to the next iteration of “Is Anybody Listening?” with much anticipation. In March of 2017 we will begin the webcasting to various interested parties around the world. We’ll have a special evening for all of our past donors, several church presentations here in the U.S., and cap it all off with a series of webcast cyber parties direct from the Sheen Center in NYC to raise investment monies towards a long run in the late spring.

We’ve gone back to the drawing boards, having learned a great deal about our show this past fall in its 4 concerts presented in NYC. Since this entire endeavor is running the cutting edge of a new technology, our initial timeline has changed, and, in fact, lengthened so that we could present the concept in as professional way as possible. We’ll be doing some re-casting, further staffing and actually adding several new songs to the show as well.

Here’s a little teaser as to the look and feel of the show.

Link to YouTube Audition Video of the Opening Song Here.

Many of you have been such a vital part of this with your generous giving and support, and in these most interesting times, we have learned that this show has a very necessary place in our changing world. It’s a right idea in its time. The theater critics concur:

“There is a perfect storm going on over at the Sheen Center, and you are going to want to be totally immersed in the experience.

 “To call IS ANYBODY LISTENING? a concert is doing it a disservice. It’s a bone-chilling soul-searching arousal of humanity and its ability to survive and thrive. EVERYBODY should be listening. One more show – go, go, go!” 

~Laurie Lawson – Electronic Link Journey

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

IAL Funder Letter #4

Sunday, April 10th, 2016

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Dear Friend,

Is Anybody Listening?

There is something in the stillness

Calling softly to me

Even though I’m all alone

And the sound is like nothing

I’ve ever heard or seen

And it’s calling from the deep unknown

That’s right. It’s a calling. This project is a calling. We’re accepting the call.

Then the mountains move

And the cold wind roars

And the fire fills the sky

But temptation always passes by

Leaving something in the stillness

Calling softly to me

And so, we’re listening.

We believe there is a better way of fixing the problems of the world that we all face going forward, a more spiritual way of healing these issues.

It’s a still small voice

Oh a still small voice

Can ya’ hear it?

A still small voice

Calling to me

 And so I’m listening. And I’ve found that …

There is something in the silence

When I quiet my mind

And the water’s rolling over me

And the hush it is endless

And the song runs free

And the voice is like a melody

And I believe that music is the messenger in the communication of these profound ideas of restoration that every one of us already knows.

And the time shall come

When the choice is made

And the voice deep inside

Will stay with you and be your guide

Through the waters ahead

 Well, that time is now.

 It’s a still small voice

Can you hear it?

We each have the power to heal. We do it every day – in small ways, in big ways. Join us in this healing work.

Can you hear it calling?

Learn More:

Is Anybody Listening

Participate Now:

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

 

Thanks for listening,

Peter Link

Lyrics from It’s A Still Small Voice, Act II, Is Anybody Listening?

IAL Funder Letter #3

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

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Dear Friend,

So far in my first two letters I’ve asked two questions: “What is the evening all about?” and “Why are we doing this?”

Here’s a third: Who can solve the issues we face in the world ahead?

And here’s how “Is Anybody Listening? will answer it.

Well here we are

Now at last together

Here we are

Soldiers seekers healers are we

What brings us to this mountain top?

What questions lie upon your tongues?

Tell me all about it

What questions lie upon your tongues?

 

Who will heal the world?

Who will save the children?

Who will cleanse the waters of the earth?

Who will heal the world?

Who will stir the ashes?

Who will bring the barren land to birth?

 

Who will rescue the fallen man?

Mend the broken hearted

Build the families

Give back the dignity

That’s now been taken away?

 

Who will heal the world?

Who will bridge the waters?

Who will break the barriers between man?

 

Now you know the answer lies with God

But the task he gives to me

 

So send me up to the mountain top

Send me into the valley below

Send me out into the wilderness

Here I am send me

Here am I   send me

Here I am

 

Who will heal the world?

Who will end the famine?

Who is there to multiply the loaves?

 

Now you know the power lies with God

But the hour belongs to you

 

So send me up to the mountain top

Send me into the valley below

Send me out into the wilderness

Here I am send me

Here am I send me

Here I am

 

Send me into the prison yards

Send me into the heart of danger

Send me out into the battleground

Here I am send me

Here am I send me

Here I am

 

Send me into the broken homes

Send me out into the asphalt jungles

Send me deep into the troubled sea

Here I am send me

Here am I send me

Here I am

 

Send me into intensive care

Send me where the people are dying

There my brothers will be set free

Here I am send me

Here am I send me

Here I am send me

            Lyrics from “Who Will Heal The World”, Act II, Is Anybody Listening?

Won’t you join us in this great adventure? Have you thought about what you can do to make a better world for yourself, your kids, all of mankind?

Here’s how you can participate:

 Donate Now:

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

Visit the web page:

Is Anybody Listening

 

Thanks for listening,

Peter Link

 

IAL Funder Letter #2

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

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Dear Friend,

Once again I ask, “Is Anybody Listening?”

If you are, read on.

So now to the question, “Why are we doing this? To what purpose?”

We are doing this to enlighten. We can all change the world by bringing awareness first, and then healing. And music is the medium of communication. Music, a language of Spirit, is a most wondrous medium.

“Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.” ~Martin Luther

Is music powerful enough to move mankind to a spiritual basis? If it is not, what language is? For music is a universal language.

Using music as the great communicator is powerful, but not enough. One must also have content. One must also have the answers to the problems. Those answers, we believe, are found not in material solutions, but spiritual.

Love is the answer.

Let’s look at terrorism as an example.

Evil cannot be solved through material means. Unfortunately, that’s the way the world tries to solve the issues we all face. But as we look around us, we see pretty clearly that that’s not working.

Well, there’s simply a better way to go about this.

Love is the answer.

And if you lose your faith in man

And find your life in disarray

And question how it all began

And why you went astray

And looking back you wonder

If you had only worked from love

And left regrets to yesterday

And let love find the way

 

Where would you be today?

In a quiet space

In a holy place

If you only had worked from love

And let love find the way

 

Then heart to heart and eye to eye

The bond between becomes restored

And all is well in one accord

When you let love find the way

Lyrics from 1st Act Closer, Is Anybody Listening?

 

Only by becoming more conscious of our spirituality will we triumph over the world’s evils. This is what must be learned and demonstrated by all mankind.

How do we convince them (and ourselves) of this? In the same way we teach children — by setting a great example and communicating the truths of existence in a clear and loving way.

Love is the message. Music is the messenger.

Thanks for listening,

Peter Link

PS – Interested in supporting this project?

 Donate Now:

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

Visit the web page:

Is Anybody Listening

 

IAL Funder Letter #1

Saturday, March 26th, 2016

 

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Dear Friend,

We’re close.  We’re almost there.

I am writing to bring you news of the progress and great growth of our exciting project.

As you probably already know, our company, Watchfire Music, along with the Sheen Center for Thought and Culture in New York City, is now producing a new project called

“Is Anybody Listening? – Concert Theater and Webcast”

It is an evening of inspirational music designed to bring awareness and healing to many of the world issues we all face.

The pilot production, performed by some of NYC’s top talent, opens this July at the Sheen Center in Manhattan and runs through the summer. The show is designed as a live concert piece that will also be filmed for use in shorter segments and webcast all summer to a world-wide audience.

Here is a further insight into the project.

In my over 40 years working as a composer, music producer and stage director in the entertainment business I can’t remember being so excited as I am now.

What is the evening all about?

It’s about the Scarcity of Water, the Dilemmas of Racism, the Dignity of Women, the Struggles with Aging … and it’s about Love – and its potential to heal these problems and more.  And it’s all communicated through the power of music and song.

It’s a new and groundbreaking idea.  It melds the power of Internet technology with live theater and music in a way that’s really never been done before.  So this summer we’ll be developing this idea in a pilot production and webcasting it to the world with the confidence that “Seeing is believing.

We’re writing to you as potential “early believers.” Our RocketHub funding campaign brought us to this point and provided monies for casting, staffing, music preparation and start up costs. We’re now poised, cast and ready to go into rehearsal after five years of careful experimentation and preparation.  Now, we turn to you — our friends, families and followers — for your financial support.  As an “early believer,” you will give light to this project.”

Want to learn more?

Follow these links:

Donor Levels

http://watchfiremusic.com/wfm/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/IAL_Donor_Levels.pdf

Visit the web page:

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

Listen and Watch:

http://watchfiremusic.com/wfm/is-anybody-listening/listen-and-watch/

Imagine Your Own Customized Concert Webcasts

http://watchfiremusic.com/wfm/is-anybody-listening/listen-and-watch/#just-imagine

Donate Now:

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

Thank you for joining us and being part of this inspiring journey!

With love and appreciation to each of you,

Peter Link

Interview With Mezzo-soprano Isola Jones

Thursday, February 25th, 2016

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Guest Blogger, Amy Duncan


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American mezzo-soprano Isola Jones is a highly acclaimed opera singer who sang at the Metropolitan Opera for 16 seasons (over 500 performances) and has sung with many opera companies throughout the U.S. and abroad. Isola was born in Chicago, and her striking looks reveal her ancestry—African American, Native American (Cherokee) and European.

Isola Jones is best known for her portrayal of Carmen, her signature role, however she also collaborated with James DeMars and wrote an aria for an opera written for her: “Guadalupe, Our Lady of the Roses.” She is an adjunct faculty member at South Mountain Community College, where she shares her gifts with her students. She has earned her Masters and is now pursuing her DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts) from Arizona State University.

Isola recently participated in a recording for Watchfire Music—a collaboration with pianist/composer/arranger and WFM recording artist Deborah Offenhauser, in Deborah’s debut as an orchestra arranger and her first time recording with a vocalist. The album, “Child of God,” illustrates the Creator’s loving embrace for his children, and is the result of several years’ work by Deborah in writing the music and lyrics.

 

INTERVIEW by Amy Duncan, Guest Blogger — “Tending The Fire”

First of all, I know you’re working on your Doctorate Degree. I would love to hear about that and what made you decide to undertake this at this particular time in your life.

I don’t plan to retire anytime soon and I love the academic environment. Earning a terminal degree (Doctor of Musical Arts) provides me with the necessary credentials to control my future. I received an Honorary Doctorate twenty years ago from Providence College in Rhode Island, but an earned doctorate is the Holy Grail in education.

Second: Tell me a little about the new CD and your experience working with Deborah’s music.

I’ve known Debbie for over twenty years, and when she asked me to

record her music, I was happy to be a part of the project. She was gracious in allowing me to make some changes in the vocal line that better suited my style of singing.

How would you describe your style of singing?

In 1975, I auditioned for Leonard Bernstein who was casting his newest musical, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. He was amazing and charming and I will quote exactly what he said to me: ” You belong in an opera house.”

Tell me about when you first started singing and when and how you realized it was your calling.

 I suppose I’ve always known that I wanted to sing. It wasn’t until I heard Leontyne Price sing on “The Voice of Firestone” television program in the ’60’s that I decided that the opera was my passion (I was eleven years old). Leontyne Price possesses the most beautiful voice on earth!!

Fourteen years later, when I was the mezzo-soprano understudy with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Sir Georg Solti who was conducting the Verdi Requiem (a major orchestral piece with orchestra, chorus and four soloists), I was called in to sing the final dress rehearsal because the guest artist (mezzo) was sick!

When I arrived at Orchestra Hall I was introduced to the other soloists and we began the rehearsal: on my right, Leontyne Price, on my left Luciano Pavarotti and on his left was Welsh bass, Gwynne Howell.

My career began that day! Solti offered me the role and the recording of the part of Mary in the Wagner opera “The Flying Dutchman.” Decca London Records contacted me about performances and a recording of the Gershwin opera “Porgy and Bess” in Cleveland with Lorin Maazel conducting. “Porgy and Bess” won the Grammy that year for Best Opera Recording.

 You’ve had a broad and varied career in opera. Has this been your only love, or have you sung (or wanted to sing) other genres?

 I appreciate all kinds of music, regardless of genre, but I, however prefer to sing classical music because of its supreme beauty and its power to transform both performer and audience.

 Are you happy with the way your career has developed, or is there something else you have wished for or still wish for?

 I love my life and I’m doing what I love to do! I’m singing, teaching and will graduate on May 9, 2016 with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree.

How do you feel about the future of opera, considering the financial challenges many of the arts are facing today?

I believe the answer is in marketing the product (opera) correctly.

I teach in South Phoenix where the musical culture gravitates to hip-hop, rap and mariachi music. For the past eight years I have given classical recitals to raise money for South Mountain Community College’s annual Stars Concert: music scholarship fundraiser.

Five of those eight years, I’ve sung with my students: solo arias, duets and ensembles. In September we performed the opera “Carmen” to a packed house! We posted notices on social media websites and we had gorgeous posters to distribute.

This is all to say that those who work in public relations need to use their imagination and present a compelling reason for the public to come to the theater. If Madonna can be famous, anything is possible!

Do you have any advice for young opera singers just starting out?

 Young singers need to simply sing well! And what does that mean? It means that they need to know and understand the science of singing in order to have excellence and longevity as the voice matures.

 


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