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.
A little peek into my home life this month– For whatever reason, my husband
talked me into and I agreed to get a puppy this fall. We’ve talked about it a lot over the years, but always said it wasn’t the right time. Well, an opportunity presented itself, we went with it, and now are the parents of a 4 month old Australian Shepherd named Samba. While he does bring a lot of fun and laughter there’s no shortage of challenges also. Raising a puppy is no joke!
But we shared a sweet moment yesterday that made my heart melt a little. Samba had turned up his rowdiness, but I had some piano practicing to do before the day was finished. I took him in the piano room with me. After a few minutes of piano playing he proceeded to sit down next to the piano, curl up, and chill out!! We may have to try this tactic more often! Win-Win, I say! Piano for me, and quiet time for the puppy!
Hmmmm… If it works for the puppy, maybe it’ll work for you too! Wink, wink. By the way, there’s a new piano album for the holidays coming SOOOOON! It’s a great backdrop for the most beautiful, but busy, season and an easy gift for all the busy people in your life who need a relaxing moment! Check out the preview here! Blessings!