It has been a long time coming, but I have finally finished, packaged, and started distributing a solo album - Lost in My Skyfront. This has been a labor of love that I am just thrilled to be able to share it now.
First...a little on how I got here...
You see, I have always written music. The first original I ever played in public was a little piano composition entitled, "Autumn." I had written it, but decided to play it for my sixth grade music class as an assignment. Somewhere in the madness of my music closet is a little staffed notebook with this tune painstakingly transcribed for my assignment. When writing, the song came quickly to my hands and ears, but very slow to my eyes and the paper. This is the curse of a brain that works faster than my motor functions. I suffered through the agonizing ritual of writing it down. I got a good enough grade, but more importantly in my mind, someone heard my song and "got it." Fast forward to my high school and college years, I continued to write all the time including a project for a lyricist friend (who was really more of a poet), arranging songs for friends' musical theater audition pieces, and figuring out my angst-meets-piano sound. I also tried to be in a couple of garage bands, but was shown the door on more than a few occasions. I guess a Chopin-playing, swing choir gal who loved ABBA didn't fit in most '80's garage metal or pop bands. Huh - go figure?
My post college years were filled with theater, work, some significant Billy Joel and Pink Floyd concerts, and more theater. These experiences further illuminated the fact that I think in soundtracks. I'm not talking about that ear worm stuck in your head for the next two days, but rather that I tend to think, feel, and express in music easier than I communicate in any other way. Because of this, I found that my skills lent themselves to writing scores for live theater productions. Probably one of my favorite compliments was from an audience member who noticed the score. She commented at the act break that she couldn't figure out why she was getting so tense. She knew the story of the thriller and what was about to happen, but she found that her anxiety level still kept raising. She said that it finally occurred to her that the music was drawing her into the stress of the scenes. That was a mission accomplished in my eyes!
I also enjoyed working with other local artists and theaters by adding music to their lyrics for albums and shows. If you have only ever written alone, you are missing out on a hugely creative opportunity! I learned so much about my writing while working with others, and I even gained a few writing credits out there as a result.
During this time, I was also performing by covering artists I always loved (Carole King, Melissa Etheridge, Aretha Franklin, Elton John) and artists I discovered later in life to love (Pink Floyd, Simon and Garfunkel, Foo Fighters, among MANY). I found myself listening carefully to the hooks, the performances, and the arrangements. I sang with my best friends, Jack and Sherry Winchester Schultz in Acoustic Alternatives for over twenty years covering these artists, and really got a handle on watching crowds, finding the fun in performing, and honing in on how to handle the "Freebird!" shout.
Which brings me to the present...
I started playing out solo again in 2013 after a 20+ years playing with the trio. I started sneaking in a few of my originals and was pleasantly surprised at the warm reception they were getting at the venues. I also noticed that my gifted music friends all had CDs to sell, and I would get asked by audience members if I had one available. Although I had many scores available on Bandcamp.com site, there were none of the tunes I had just performed. It was time to get serious and "get-er-done."
So, Lost in My Skyfront was conceived, written, and recorded. I decided to throw caution to the wind and just tell musical stories in whatever style with which they spoke to me. Some have a jazz feel, some are intended to be a light-hearted ditty that you might listen to on a road trip, and some are meant to capture a powerful moment in the way only a piano ballad sometimes can.
However, I'll write more about the album later. I think I've been long winded enough for today...