Earlier this summer, I had the opportunity to record a music video of “Hallelujah”. What an experience! I am amazed by all the helping hands that came together to make this possible. From the incredible production team, to the generous family who owned the piano and property where we filmed, to the loving support and extra set of hands provided by my husband and dear friend, it was an experience for which I am most thankful!
Why this song? As an instrumentalist, it’s most often the melodies and harmonies that most catch my attention and draw me to a piece of music. While the beautiful chord structure of the original song is very familiar in our ears, in my arrangement of the piece, I’ve tried to take it on a journey of sorts – through different moods, to unexpected keys, and back again.
A Little Deeper: The word “Hallelujah,” is simply an expression of praise. What I love about this song is that through all it’s simple moments, it’s expressive movements, it’s darkness, it’s rises and falls, there is this constant echo of “Hallelujah.” What better example of how to live life could we have? It’s easy to be thankful in the simple, sweet moments. But even through the darkness, in the struggles, there is still a light shining for us on the other end.
There is always a reason to sing “Hallelujah.”
The New Year is underway and that always prompts me to think over the past year and appreciate it’s joys, contemplate the coming year, set goals and make plans.
Recording, releasing, and performing my Christmas album “Wonder: Songs for the Season” was most certainly one of the most ambitious, most challenging, yet most invigorating projects I have ever tackled. I can’t say I loved every moment along the way, but seeing it all come together and hearing the responses from the listeners makes it a rewarding experience.
That project was the biggie- but that’s not the typical day for me. So much more real life happens outside of the recording and performing.
Last fall, my dear friend and talented writer, Kate Meadows, interviewed me for her blog series that features artists and writers. I was honored to be included and have her share a little behind-the-scenes look into my life as a musician. While I SHOULD have shared this with you all when it first came out, I’m actually happy to share it now as I’m willing to bet, if your life is anything like mine, things are a little slower for you now and you may actually have time to read! Read the full interview here!
I get this question a lot and I have a tough time answering it. My style doesn’t fit cleanly into any one category. But that’s a good thing, right? It’s called C-R-E-A-T-I-V-I-T-Y!
I’m both honored and humbled to have received a 5 star rating on a recent review of my Christmas album! You can catch the whole review here: Music Review
Here are a couple snippets from the review that are about individual tracks. Take a listen. What do you hear?
“Prelude” is the first track and is a whirlwind of musical sensations and is one of the two original works on the album. A cold wintery blast to get you in the mood for the holidays, this short composition is bursting with seasonal wonder and hope. Piano movements, bells, electric guitar and percussion elements marry well and give a host of good tidings to all.
“The Little Drummer Boy” is unlike any other piece on the album. With a decided Middle Eastern flair, this piece encapsulates the journey of the Little Drummer Boy as he travels to see the Christ child in the manger. Fraught with danger and wonderment, this piece has the traditional flavor, but using musical improvisations, Williams was able to make it quite unique. The percussive elements, electric guitar, strident piano playing, multi-instrumentation and foot tapping rhythm inspired me to play this song over and over again.
“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” is the last song on the album. The pensive electric guitar, ringing of the bells, percussion, elegant chimes and piano whirl together in a wintery song that speaks to the season. The snow falls, reminding us relationships, not shopping lists are what is important. As we go about our hectic lives, jostling through crowded shopping malls and highways, remember what this season really stands for. The joyful love of that new puppy you took in from the cold or the steady gaze of your husband or wife as they capture your eyes in an elusive moment of quiet. Family. Relationships. These are the gifts we should be most thankful for. This is the star that tops the tree and shines brightly in this season of wonder.
I’m sure you’ve noticed. The red and green are popping up in stores. The decor is beginning to sparkle with silver and gold. Some of you are thrilled and some of you aren’t.
I won’t lie- I’m one of those who’s ecstatic about the fast approaching Christmas season. Having the new album of holiday music and preparing for the upcoming concerts is part of it. But not all. There’s more to it than that.
My brother, his wife, and 2 small children spent the past weekend at my house. Before their visit, while I was excited to have them come, I kept running through my to-do list and thinking of all the work that had to be done. I kept thinking that the timing was bad. Couldn’t their visit be at a different time of year? This is my “work-hard and git’er-done” season. Make my list, check it twice. Check it off.
But now, reflecting on the weekend, the timing was perfect. Spending time with them and playing with my niece and nephew was the exact reminder I needed as we plow into Thanksgiving and The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. It’s not the stuff. Not the shopping. Not the checklists. Those things aren’t wrong, they’re just not the main point.
Relationships on the other hand, They matter. They take time. And they’re worth investing in.