Welcome! ‘Edge of Forever’, my latest album featuring diverse styles of music, is now available. I’ve also released a piano instrumental CD, ‘Glimmerings’. Feel free to browse the music page to listen to my other releases.
Join the mailing list on the right side of the page for free song downloads.
Last month I sent out an email to those subscribed to my mailing list and asked for suggestions and thoughts on some titles for my upcoming album. The theme of the album is detachment and I would love to hear your ideas also. The two front runners are ‘Infinite Bounty’ and ‘Boundless Love’.
I also asked for ocean photos and am grateful for the many responses. I have received quite a few photos so far and have decided to make a slideshow of them to accompany one of my upcoming pieces (my daughter will be creating the video). So thank you to those of you who sent photos from all over the world. I look forward to sharing the slideshow once it is finished.
I would love to know which title you prefer (you can comment below): ‘Infinite Bounty’ or ‘Boundless Love’.
I was recently asked to write an article for the Multicultural Kid Blogs to commemorate Nelson Mandela day on July 18th.
When Mandela passed away, I felt the best way I could pay tribute to him was through music. During the 27 years he was in prison, Nelson Mandela found great solace in the poem ‘Invictus’ with its stirring message of faith and perseverance against all odds (“It matters not how strait the gate/How charged with punishments the scroll/I am the master of my fate/I am the captain of my soul”). Reading about his life I felt inspired to set the poem to music. You can hear the song here.
I have now finished all the vocals for my upcoming CD and am now looking for a cover photo for the album (the theme is ocean). I have received some lovely submissions on my mailing list and wanted to make the option available for friends on my blog to share photos also.
As part of the album, I plan to make a booklet with more ocean photos so please feel free to submit any photos on that theme. If chosen, of course your photo will be credited and a free gift CD will be sent to you. To submit photos, you can email me through my contact page or on my Facebook music page.
Recently I was invited to give a talk at an elementary school to 3rd-5th graders about music and my career. I enjoyed putting together the powerpoint presentation explaining what I do, when I started my career, how I compose as well as sharing some of my art work. Just before I began the presentation, all the children sang one of my compositions (‘Advancing Civilization’) in English and Chinese that they have been learning at school for the end of term! I was honored as they sang it so beautifully! In the middle of the presentation I played one of my compositions, ‘Final Journey’, on the piano and explained how we are all like instruments that can allow creative energy or inspiration to pass through us and make something special. We also played some drumming rhythms together which was also a lot of fun. We finished with singing as I taught them a call and response song with the beautiful quotation, ‘So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.’
Here are some of the questions they asked me at the end which I thought were sweet. They asked: ‘Do you love your job?’, ‘How much money do you make?’, ‘What do you do when the people you work with annoy you?’, ‘How old are you?’, ‘How many albums do you sell?’, ‘What kind of music do you like?’
I shared a personal story with the children… When I was 14 and walked in to my piano teacher’s home for my lesson, I heard her play one of the most beautiful classical pieces I had ever heard. I asked her if I could learn to play it and she responded by saying that it was too difficult for me. I was determined to prove her wrong so I went home, searched for the notes and learned to play the first page. That was a pivotal moment for me, knowing that I could play that piece gave me so much confidence and courage. I told the children that whatever you set your heart on doing, you can achieve it.
Below are some photos from the session…
So lovely to meet these curious 3rd-5th graders
Showing the children the CDs I’ve working on
Playing ‘Final Journey’ live during the presentation
As I wrote in my last blog, my daughter just graduated from middle school. It definitely feels like there has been a transition in the family as I now have two high school students living in the house.
When my son graduated from middle school three years ago (feels like yesterday), I composed a spontaneous piano piece for him to celebrate the occasion (it is now on my ‘Glimmerings’ album and is titled ‘Commencement’). I was inspired to do the same for my daughter, and I composed a piece on the piano that I have named ‘Dancing with my Daughter.’ This piece is special in that it is composed with two piano tracks which I have never done before (there is also a third piano that comes in near the end)! The first piano symbolizes my daughter dancing and the second piano is me, her mother, who comes in to accompany and support her. They play together and finally dance in harmony at the end which is my favorite part.
I played the piece for my daughter and am happy she enjoyed it. She had a smile on her face when the song finished.
My daughter graduated from middle school last night! I feel torn – excited and pensive all at once. The child I once knew is no longer. She is a young lady now, more independent, more wise and full of life. I made a collage of the evening to keep as a memory.
I composed a piece in my daughter’s honor a couple of days ago and look forward to sharing it in my next post.
May 29th is a Holy Day for Baha’is as we commemorate the passing of the Prophet-Founder of the Baha’i Faith, Baha’u'llah. I wanted to share a beautiful video that a friend of mine, Glenn Franco Simmons, created for this particular Holy Day. I am honored that he chose to use one of my pieces called ‘The Power of Thy Name’ from my album, ‘Fire and Gold’. Thank you Glenn for the beautiful photographs and the carefully selected quotations.
A small miracle happened today. I was trying to record the piano and vocals for the last piece on my detachment album and it was just not coming together. I was having challenges with the ending as I hadn’t finished the composition when I recorded the demo several years ago and I also felt unsure whether I even wanted this piece on the album. As it happened, I had guests arriving at that moment so I decided to come back to the song after visiting with them hoping it would become clearer in the interim.
As my friends and I were talking together about life and the challenges it often brings, one of them shared a prayer on the theme of detachment that he often recites in times of difficulty. As he was saying it, I felt a huge sense of joy and confirmation knowing at once that this was the quotation that I needed to add to the album instead of the one I was trying to work on earlier. After my guests left, I rushed to the piano to set the prayer to music and felt confirmed as the piece flowed so easily. I usually rehearse the piano and the vocals several times before I record but I decided to record the piano part and just play what came to my heart without knowing how the words and the melody would come together; I just had faith it would all work out as it was meant to be. When I sang the vocals I didn’t know exactly what melody to sing and just allowed it to flow from my heart. I was amazed that the words I sang finished exactly where the song ended – that was a little miracle as I had not practiced it at all beforehand! I finished recording the demo and sent it to my producer to see how he would arrange it. He loved it just as it was and shared that he felt the song had already been written in the universe and that I had just plucked it for everyone to hear!
I love how life brings moments of confirmation especially when we are open and aware of the little gifts that come our way. If it weren’t for our guests today, I would probably still be stuck on the same song. I’m grateful for these moments of clarity and the small miracles that are shown to us when we are willing to be open and detached.