Posts Tagged ‘Writing’

On Lyric Changes For Your Church Services

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

Recently a gentleman commented to our FB Solo Thoughts Group with a statement that we hear all too often.  In essence, he stated that when he would choose songs to sing in church and the lyrics in places were inappropriate for his service, he would simply rewrite those lyrics to fit.

Julia Wade, our Director of Digital Sheet Music, brought the comment to me for a “yet again” discussion that was now becoming far too repetitive.

She had written him back the following:

Thanks so much for your contributions to the conversations here in this group!

With respect to changing lyrics, you bring up a relatively constant issue that has come up again and again over the years. It was interesting to me that your comment came on the heels of an hour-long conversation with a soloist/music committee chairperson who called recently to discuss the changing of lyrics for a composer’s work represented on WFM.

That conversation, combined with your comment, showed me one more time that this issue is a timely issue. So, I asked my partner, Peter Link, who is a successful and experienced composer, to give a definitive statement on this subject.

Since this topic of changing lyrics is a new subject, Peter has posted his response to all concerned in a new conversation thread.

Here is his answer:

On Lyric Changes For Your Church Services

One does not even consider rewriting Shakespeare to fit their needs. No one would ever consider taking someone’s movie and adding their own scenes to it to make it “better.” I can’t imagine anyone buying a Picasso and bringing it home and adding their own brush strokes to the work to “improve” it. Would anyone ever rewrite the fourth chapter of a Hemingway novel to better the writing?

Perhaps one could get away with doing these things in private, but never in public.

These works of art belong to the artists who created them and are sacrosanct and inviolable to the original artist who created them whether or not the original artist is a master of his/her work or a beginner.  Their “intellectual property” is clearly protected by copywriter law.  So, consequently, changing someone’s lyrics or music to “better fit” one’s needs is not only illegal, but also immoral.  Simply put, their work is not yours to change, whatever your philosophy.

Rather, we would strongly suggest, if the song’s lyrics do not fit your message, go back to your research work and find another song that does.

If your neighbor’s new car is blue, yet you wish it were red, you may not repaint it to your satisfaction.  It belongs to them.  There is a principle here that really needs a deeper understanding by many, it seems.

In essence, “Thou shalt not steal.”

Respectfully submitted,

Peter Link

CEO & Creative Director

Watchfire Music

Nuff said.

 

Water

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

All the water there will be,

Already is …

“The very same water

That is wetting your lips

May have flowed through the streets

Down in New Orleans

Or flowed down the cheeks

And spilled upon the piano keys

As the brilliant Tchaikovsky sat

And wrote his Pathétique.

 

“Did ja’ know that

Here on this rock

As we journey through time

We live by the grace of water”

With all the water on this planet, who ever thought we’d run out?  They’re certainly not worried about running out in Houston.

And yet water is their biggest problem.  For some it’s too much; for some, too little.  For most, what there is, is unusable – too salty, too chemical, too dirty.  And for me, well, I’m told I should drink more of it.

“The very same water in the apple you eat

May have fallen as rain

Half-way ’round the world          

Or could have been used

A hundred million years ago

By a mighty mama brontosaur

To bathe her baby girl”

“Water”, a song from our concert, “Is Anybody Listening?” is sung by a trio of sterling singers, Freedom Bremner, Brian Collazo and Jonathan Singletary on our new CD just out.

If you’re listening, you’ll find it much worth the listen.

“Yes the very same water

That grows the cocoa bean

And brings the sweet taste of chocolate

To the hungry world

May be the mystery

That carries forth the seed of life

As it brings to pass the life and times

That spring from you and me”

Water – it’s the stuff of life.

“One part oxygen

And two parts hydrogen

Put ‘em both together an’ whadda you got

Clean

Clear and cool

Pure water”

 

“Water” – Music and Lyrics by Peter Link

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On My Way Home – A New Song

Friday, June 16th, 2017

Immigrant – A. Einstein

“Is Anybody Listening?” continues to develop and evolve. Looking at the issues that we all face as a people going forward, we decided to explore the issue of immigration. What better way to do this than to put myself into the shoes of one actually going through the experience? Though this lyric is of my imagination, it comes from a deep research into 5 or 6 heartbreaking stories of modern day immigrants that I found exploring the Internet.

The song itself is a tour de force soaring and heartfelt performance sung by one man who represents so many experiences.

I’ve enjoyed getting to know him.

On My Way Home

Music and Lyrics by Peter Link

Enter a man, either Middle Eastern or North African, dressed in an expensive subtly pinstriped suit, white dress shirt, no tie. He’s elegant and from all manner looks to have been a most successful business man, however his suit is filthy, perhaps torn, his shirt has been on his back for days and is dirty and stained, and a rough stubble completes his unshaven presence.

Man

Look at this face

Look at these dirty clothes

Look at these worn out shoes

Ah yes, I’m one of those

Just look at this face

Look at these filthy clothes

Look at these worn out shoes

 

I come to you by land, by sea

On foot, I come

By raft, I come

A refugee

I seek your asylum

A cup of your kindness

I come from a place of nothing but blindness

 

I run for my life

A flight into exile

A fugitive from the heart of darkness

My lot in life, yes, a refugee

My future, so far, unknown

I live in a chaos that spans the world

 

I look to find my family

I search to find the man I used to be

 

I know so well this road of desperation

I carry what little hope that’s left

In my frail imagination

 

And I carry my past life

In this pack up on my back

I carry my past life

In a sack

 

With all that I’ve worked for

Gone

All that I’ve fought for

Gone

And all that I’ve lived for

Gone

 

Here am I

A man of no place

Lost out here in space

But on my way home

 

Look at these hands

So sad what this life can bring

Look at these wasted hands

These hands that have built such things

 

And look in this heart

This heart of a worthwhile man

Look at this broken heart

 

I offer you a man of dignity

A fruitful life I’ve lived

But now, a refugee

I seek your asylum

I seek your compliance

I beg you renounce your thoughts of defiance

 

What I’ve left behind …

A life of such promise

A family with its long traditions

But along the way, yes, I’ve let them go

My future, so far, unknown

To live now in peace is my only need

 

Each night before I sleep I ask

What wrong I must have done that brought me here

 

I cannot find the answer to this question

I carry this damning pain of guilt

Like a rancorous obsession

 

And so I run from my past life

Yeah, from one to the next

Confused and disheartened

So perplexed …

 

And all that I’ve loved now

Gone

And all of my dreams now

Gone

My life as I knew it

Gone

 

Here am I

A man of no place

Lost out here in space

But on my way home

{Shouts}

Afghanistan

Somalia

Iraq

Sudan

 

I come to you, a man

Trying to stay alive

Trying my best to survive

While I’m on my way home

I’m goin’ home

Lookin’ for a new home

Yes I’m on my way home

 

Yeah I’m goin’ home

I’m goin’ home

Ooh I’m goin’ home

Aaaaahhhhh

I’m goin’ home

 

 

To Webcast Or Not To Webcast

Friday, May 5th, 2017

On May 2, 2017, at 10:00 AM, right after receiving our first general public flyer promoting “Is Anybody Listening? Webcast”, a person, who shall remain anonymous, wrote to me:

“With all due respect, there is nothing like sitting in front of an orchestra as they create sounds with their instruments. I feel that webcasts do not allow us the human contact necessary to intermingle with one another, or watch the person sitting next to you as they smile when they hear a piece of music that thrills them. Or from the beginning of a concert, the search for ones seat, which is such a part of seeing live music.

“Thank you for your suggestion, but I will pass.”

I answered his thoughts with the following:

Hello (Sir),

Thanks for writing back.  You are correct, of course, and that’s why we run the concert live in New York City as well as our webcast. We too love a live show.

But for those who can’t afford to get on a plane from Dallas, TX, much less Paris or some small town in Australia, at one tenth the price of our New York Live show, it’s a pretty compelling experience.  A ticket to a Broadway show now costs between $100 and $500 and up, not to mention the cost of getting there and the extras that “just going out” incur. To view our webcast will cost the individual around $10 or less. And the viewing can be from the comfort of their living room chair with a live visit backstage to meet the stars for a personal talkback at the end that has, so far in the first two webcasts, lasted around 40 minutes plus. In all, a two hour entertainment.

Also, don’t forget television.  It’s not “live”, but it is a powerful entertainment and communication phenomena. I saw a Sting concert the other night on TV that was terrific.  His tour did take him to Madison Square Garden here in NYC, but I was traveling at the time and missed it. I was most grateful to at least experience the better part of it.

Yes, a webcast is an alternative way (with no commercial interruption) to enjoy a performance, and perhaps not as ‘live human’ an experience as one might wish desiring a “live human” performance.  But for those who could never make it in the first place for a large variety of reasons, it’s attracting an otherwise impossible audience all over the world.

One last consideration before I get off my soapbox: We all love our movies.  I used to go out the movies once or twice a week.  Now, if I go, it’s more like maybe once a month and I now watch twice as many movies as I used to from the comfort and enjoyment of my living room chair.  It too is an alternative experience that I’m quite comfortable with.  Also far less expensive …

I don’t expect to change your mind here, rather just give you a deeper insight into why we have gone through so much to do this.  For those who live too far, or cannot afford, we’re finding a most grateful nation. And for those who might just want to stay at home and invite a few friends in for the evening — a great fun and personal experience.  It’s a new world we’re dabbling in and yes, an exciting alternative to a changing world.

I, myself, will renew my Philadelphia Orchestra concerts seats at Carnegie Hall this year and certainly look forward to that!  We hope you will reconsider one night in the future and join us for an extraordinarily reduced cost.  Or join us in the fall in NYC for the next live iteration of “Is Anybody Listening?”  Thanks for listening!

 

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

Creativity

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Creativity-450

All of us are creative people. After all we each create a new experience every day. For some, that experience is pretty much the same —  day in and day out. Get up, do your stuff, eat breakfast, go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch your program, go to bed.

For others, perhaps the more creative types, the days take on various shapes as we try to diverge from the norm, we try to expand life into an experience of greater color to keep things interesting. We re-invent our lives daily and refuse to get bogged down in the sameness of the routine. So we create things, we make it up as we go along – just as I’m doing now.

Creativity isn’t difficult. It’s actually the easiest part of life. Personally, it’s what I live for. Oh I can get bogged down in the routine just like anybody else, and when that happens, I find myself fluctuating between the edges of happiness and unhappiness. I would love to be creative all the time, but that just doesn’t seem to be possible here on Planet Earth. No matter how hard I try, the routines keep popping up.

And when they do, I find that life goes by faster, time flies, the weeks spin by and leave little memory. What’s to remember? Not much. Just the daily grind?

So I revolt. I break away from the routine. I brush my teeth differently. I try sleeping in another position. I change my schedule, try a different breakfast combination, water the grass at a different time of day, read a book in the middle of the afternoon. Get creative.

creativity2

Not all these ideas work. Some are complete failures. Others are “take it or leave it” ideas. Occasionally one makes total sense and so it becomes part of my routine. It’s a good idea that sticks.

That’s what it means to be creative. Try something new. Break the mold. Lean out over the edge. Chance to fail. Chance to fall.

Creativity often results in mistake. It has to. After all, you’re out there in no man’s land, in an atmosphere of danger, not always knowing where you’re going, rarely sure of yourself, trusting something beyond the tried and true and the routine.

You want to be creative? You have to build the muscle – the muscle that allows failure, the muscle of determination to get up off the mat and try again, the muscle to lose and yet still march on.

You have to be willing to make a mistake and then make something of it. In music, there are musicians who read the music and stick to that no matter what. Then there are musicians who improvise – who take the chance to lean out over the cliff and go where their heart and soul takes them – not their brain.

When you do that, mistakes will be made, but that’s where the muscle comes in. The muscle is the ability to turn the mistake into something unexpectedly creative, to right the wrong in such a way that the wrong becomes a brilliancy. Improvisationalists do this all the time, and they pull it off because they are rooted into the music — the chord progressions, the groove, the feel — in such a way that they are tied to the cliff and cannot fall, but rather can lean out farther and farther. Because they have the muscle of the bedrock of music under them.

sitting-at-the-edge-of-a-cliff-450

The same goes with all art – whether it’s watercolor, sculpture, or writing. Be willing to go where no soul has gone before, be willing to try the untried, be willing to fail. It’s a brave man’s game. It takes courage.

If you fail all too often, you’re liable to say, “Well, I guess I’m not very creative.” But that would not be correct. It would simply mean that you’re not yet rooted enough in your craft to lean out so far over the edge. If we fail too often, we become dis-couraged – we lose our courage. We lose our ability to be creative.

Creativity5-450

So go back to work on your craft. If you’re a musician, practice your scales. If you’re a writer, read more. If you’re a painter, study the masters. And if you’re simply human, try reading the biographies of great people.

Study greatness. Feed your roots. The size of the tree above the ground equals the root system below. If the tree above the ground becomes much bigger than its root system, that tree will eventually die and fall over. It’s the way of the world.

“The comfort zone is the great enemy to creativity; moving beyond it necessitates intuition, which in turn configures new perspectives and conquers fears.” ~Dan Stevens

“Passion is one great force that unleashes creativity, because if you’re passionate about something, then you’re more willing to take risks.” ~Yo-Yo Ma

Creativity 1

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” ~Scott Adams

IAL Funder Letter #4

Sunday, April 10th, 2016

IAL_temp_logo_blue-450

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?


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