Dear Friends, Fans & Family....
It is a gorgeous summer here in Colorado, and we are getting out into the wilderness as much as possible. At the same time we have chained ourselves to the recording studio so we can get our new CD finished and manufactured by late September. Hopefully the summer breeze is finding its way into the music.
This is going to be a GREAT album, and we are really excited about the new songs. Two of our favorites were written in the course of one magically inspired week in May. That creative period felt a little like the first stages of falling in love, all new and rosy and intriguing….the phase where everything seems possible, and words & music fall into place easily.
And then the heavy lifting begins: All the details of recording each individual track as perfectly as possible while still retaining the soul of the music. This is usually fun, but then we get to the mixing process with a million tweaky little technological choices. It’s a teeny bit tempting, at this point, to fall into squabbling or existential despair, but we’ve been here before. We know that it’s our job to brighten our attitude, do the right thing, and get the final product out into the world…because maybe, somehow, somewhere, it will do somebody some good.
JD and I were recently listening to an interview about Creativity with Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of “Eat, Pray, Love.” (Check out this and other podcasts from Krista Tippett’s wonderful radio show “On Being.")
Both of these very soulful and successful ladies suggest that we be kind to ourselves as we all dance (and slog) through our creative projects, and that we look upon ourselves and our works of art with friendly curiosity and stubborn gladness. The Mystery wants to co-create something lovely with us, through us, and if we are patient and keep on showing up to do the work, the treasures will eventually appear. And in the meantime, a whole lot of what we end up doing in the process will be tedious and boring.
But we must be patient. It will all be worth it in the end.
In the spring of 1986 I wrote a song called “Tenderly Calling” for an original high school musical play here in our valley. The iconic bluegrass band Hot Rize sang it on their “Take It Home” album, and then John Denver recorded it in 1990. I got paid $5,000 in up-front royalties, and for playing piano and singing harmonies on the tune. I bought a funky old VW Jetta for my daughters and me, and figured that was the end of it.
Then, this spring, when daughter Annie was teaching in Dubai, she met the Lebanese fiancé of one of her American friends. He had grown up in the United Arab Emirates speaking French and Arabic, but he loved American music, especially (I have no idea why) John Denver. Annie mentioned my song, and immediately this guy started singing, with great emotion and in perfect English, “Tenderly Calling.” He knew all the words, and got all misty when he sang them. This was exactly 30 years after I had originally buckled down to write the song for those local high school kids in Carbondale Colorado.
Who knows where our creative babies might end up? Whatever it is that you love doing, keep on doing it! It makes a difference. The world will be a better place for it, sooner or later.
Happy summer, and Love from Jan & JD
Click here for details of these and all coming events
• October 9
Special Music at Center for Spiritual Living Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs, CO
• October 14 & 15
Keynote Presentations at Great Lakes Regional Music Conference
New Thought Unity Center
• October 16
Music & Message at Unity of Garden Park