Notes: Kathleen says she caught this comforting song while lying on a huge rock next to the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, crying her heart out over a relationship that was transforming. A beautiful oak tree was growing out of the rock, and as the song was born her sorrowful feelings washed through with the sound of the river, and she was left feeling whole, and at peace with the way things were. She also shared this story with me, "One time I sang the song in a show with a group of women drummers. Their teacher, a lovely African man, also played with us in the concert and rehearsal. After I taught them in the rehearsal and we had played it for a while, the African drummer told me that the song felt like an African song to him. That was one of my happiest moments, since I have for so long felt inspired by African diaspora music. And I did not really feel like I wrote that song... it just came through as a whole as I cried by the river."
Songwriter info: Kathleen has been writing, collecting and sharing songs for over 50 years. Her songs were awarded a North Carolina Arts Council Songwriter Fellowship. She currently leads the Bodies, Voices & Spirit Choruses in North Carolina and Maine, and is also a Dances of Universal Peace leader. She's a student of the Heart, and she facilitates The Work of Byron Katie.
Kathleen's blogpost & recording of Ancient Green with guitar, bass, piano, and drum. (So much fun to sing with!)
Kathleen's online presence: www.kathleenhannan.com
Kathleen's chorus: https://bodiesvoicesandspirit.weebly.com/
Kathleen's song blog, which is searchable by title, subject or excerpts from lyrics: https://www.kathleenhannan.com/song-blog
Kathleen's most recent CD is Seen & Unseen: Songs from the Light of Midlife
Purchase CD here: https://www.kathleenhannan.com/seen--unseen-cd1.html
Lyrics are here: https://www.kathleenhannan.com/lyrics--credits.html
Photos from the recording process: https://www.kathleenhannan.com/photos.html
Nuts & Bolts: 4:4, Ionian (major), round with possible harmonies, or optionally could be taught as a layer song
Notes In 2018, Lyndsey made a quick facebook recording of Well Held, and she said, “This little ditty tapped me on the shoulder, came through intact, and has basically been hanging out in my lap…” That's very much how this song is for me -- it just gently rumbles around in my head, letting me know that even while there is part of me that is anxious or jittery or grieving, there is another part of me singing this song -- it has my back, can remind me to breathe, and reassure me to pay attention to this very moment, in which all is well. Such a relief!
Here's Lyndsey singing the original song, shortly after its appearance in the world...
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Born and raised in Rantoul, IL, Lyndsey is no stranger to the strange, plain beauty of small town spaciousness. After studying painting at the University of Illinois, she fled to St. Louis, MO for a decade of community art & rambunctious collaboration, letting kids nurse back the creative soul that art school stole and letting the south side streets be the hard knocks school of social justice. One healing crisis, two superhero bike tours, a yoga teacher training, and a permaculture design course later, she followed insistent gut-tugs to move back and rekindle the Home fire, with these new treasures in tow. Led by the embodied inquiry: "What does earthspeed, restorative culture feel like from the inside?" ~ for 7 years, she practiced weaving a hyperlocal web with Song, gardens, circles, and art, as well as creating a small yoga studio and doing healing work with her blood family. During the pandemic, she closed the yoga studio, moved, taught art at the local juvenile detention center, and began gathering online groups to dismantle internalized scripts of patriarchy and white supremacy through community singing, study, & story-sharing. Now she’s asking in (covid-safe) travel motion:: if “grief and Love are sisters”, what rituals and pathways are needed now to tend this unique cultural threshold wisely and grow our bandwidth for building Beloved Community?
You can find Lyndsey lots of different ways online:
At her Patreon Account
On Facebook: We Belong Community of Song
On Youtube - "Song as Prayer" channel
On Instagram @lila.gaia
And a website!
Nuts & Bolts 4:4, melody with optional lower harmonized layer, Aeolian (natural minor)
Notes Tembre shares her song that was created in a bathtub during lockdown, "Brave This World". I learn it as she teaches it. We talk about free-ranging children in the natural world, cold water, slowing down, expanding, spicy sweet potato soup, how Tembre can SEE someone find their voice, Ireland, and more. Tembre has been leading group singing since May of 2001, and developed a beautiful online presence hosting "May We Sing" during the lockdown. She says, "Having an English accent and a French name growing up in a rural community here in Ireland was challenging at times," yet the strong connection she has to both the natural world and music means that Ireland has been a beautiful, nurturing home.
Tembre's website www.tembresong.com
Tembre's daughter, Amelia on instagram, going by the name of DECARTERET
Also find Amelia on Spotify
Joni Mitchell's Blue album
Nuts & Bolts: 2:2, Aeolian (natural minor), 3 part layer song
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Take 2 has arrived! After listening, Tembre realized I was sharing an early, unfinished version of this song, which later evolved into a version she loves and shares. Tembre said, "As I remember when Rolling River was complete for me when the extra parts/delayed harmony was created , it was a special moment, as I felt this song was complete in that moment and it is loved. I love the simpleness of the melody, as the other parts are added, it slowly becomes something that is resonant, full and fluid. " So here we have the version of Rolling River Tembre loves and would like shared... I'm wondering if, for those who heard the first, mistake episode, if that's like owning one of those special stamps that was printed backward?
Notes Rounding, smoothing, softening... I love the way this song invites us to relish the tumbling flow of life and let it comfort and carry us, let it reassure us that we are enough, we are home. There's a rocking, rolling melody, which can be harmonized, and then a lovely descant, or upper line, that responds to the melody. I love the way this song lets me, (not an eager swimmer!), sense the release and acceptance of allowing the water to carry me. Next episode, a conversation with Tembre that includes cold water swimming, how she supports singers who might not be matching yet, finding time to songwrite, what makes Ireland a special place for a songleader, and more!
Songwriter info Tembre de Carteret lives in County Clare, Ireland, and has led a beautiful online singing circle called "We May Sing" during the pandemic. You can learn more about her and the way in which she facilitates, mentors, and builds song communities at her website, www.tembresong.com
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Nuts & Bolts The song is in 4:4, in 2 layers, one of which is harmonized. It is Aeolian (natural minor).
Notes I love the way songsharers around the country during the pandemic dug into music as a way of healing, comforting, hoping. So much new music came out of this time that helps us uncover the wellness that's already there, inside us. Now you might think those songs would all at tempo=comfort, or heartbeat pulse, or something else that soon feels trite. But this song, for instance, has a driving urgency as well as the sense of smiling just a bit, which feels fresh to me... and as it is unexpected, I can hear the message in a new way.
Elisa S. Keeler is a composer, song leader and retreat facilitator who has taught voice workshops since 2003. She holds degrees in Music Education and Vocal Performance from Ithaca College and a Masters in Transpersonal Psychology from Sofia University with a focus on the therapeutic benefits of singing in groups. Elisa is the founder of Freeing Your Voice program for adults and the Music for Unity and Social Change program for public schools. As a songleader she has worked with Threshold Choirs, the American Association of Choral Directors, religious organizations, community choruses, colleges, universities, and staff community-building retreats. Since 2011, Elisa has facilitated personal and spiritual growth retreats for adults as a co-teacher of the Hidden Treasure Program at Light on the Hill Retreat Center. She lives with her family in Ithaca, NY.
www.elisamusic.com for music, scores and information about workshops and retreats
www.patreon.com/elisaskeeler for Patreon account
Nuts & Bolts 4:4, harmonized song with a bass line, Aeolian (natural minor)
All 1:1 (Unmetered) 12:8 2:2 3 3:4 4:4 5 & 6 Mixed Meter 6:8 Accept Acceptance Sing Be Grateful Belonging Be Present Calm Celebrate Change Darkness Dawn Earth Empower Farewell Fire Flex Flow Friendship Gather Generosity Grieve Grow Heal Hope Journey Light Listen Lullaby Moon Night Notice Nuts & Bolts Open Pain Play Release Rest Scale: Aeolian (minor) Scale: Dorian Scale: Ionian (Major) Scale: Minor Scale: Mixolydian Scale: Mixolydian Flat 6 Shadow Song Form: Ballad Song Form: Call & Response Song Form: Harmonized Song Form: Layer Song Form: Round Song Form: Unison Song Form: Unison With Separate Harmony Line Song Form: Verse And Layer Song Form: Verse & Chorus Song Form: Zipper Songwriter Conversation Stars Sun Tend Trees Trust Water