Mondays On the Move: The pigeon song

Just a week ago, Sarah and I were able to meet at the Fedasil Arrival Centre known as Petit-Château Klein Kasteeljte. It was our first visit to the center since the lockdown that began in March of this year. We were so thrilled to be reunited with a place that has so much meaning and…

Mondays On the Move: Give me a chance

This week’s “Mondays On the Move” song is called “Give me a chance.” We wrote this song with a young man from Yemen, who told us he was so grateful to Belgium for welcoming him. All he wanted was to be given a chance to give something back in return. This year has been a…

Mondays On the Move: Let me be free

It’s Monday and time for another “Mondays On the Move!” This week, Sarah and I quite literally on the move in different corners of the same country. Sarah is on holiday in the south of France with her family. I have been driving around the northern Nord-Pas-de-Calais region with my husband and our big white…

Mondays On the Move: I am a word

It’s Monday, and we are “On the move” again! If you are just tuning in, Sarah and I recently created a new project we are calling “Mondays On the Move” to promote freedom of movement. Each Monday, we choose a different place to perform one of the migration songs we have written with refugees and…

Before the music

This Monday at Petit-Château was about as dismal at a November afternoon in Brussels can be. A friend came with me who had wanted to experience our poetry and songwriting for a long time. I am always nervous on these occasions because I want them to have a positive experience. My first snafu was nearly…

Two steps forward

There was a Paula Abdul song that was particularly popular when I was growing up. The chorus went something like, “Two steps forward; two steps back. We go together cuz opposites attract.” And so on, and so forth. Thinking on these lines now, I find myself puzzled. I thought the term was two steps forward,…

Bless and Release

During my time in the Sandbox, my emotions seem to shift as capriciously as the sand in the metaphorical box. At times, I feel like a 10 on the scale of possibility. Just as easily, I can crash to a 3 or 4 and feel completely overwhelmed. “You are competing against the world,” Sandbox guide…

Symbiosis and Songwriting

A story. It has meaning, layers of meaning. It has a face, depth, and personality. It has a life. A song from a story is all these elements with the added dimension of music and the heart, soul, and spirit of a life. This morning, a friend from my childhood came to Lowell. In his…

Examples of Story-to-Song(s)

To try to shed a little more musical light on Story-to-Song, which I typically refer to in short as STS, I thought I would share a few examples of different kinds of StorytoSong(s) that I have written. Example #1: A short song I wrote with a friend when I was learning how to write a song…