Writing music has never been part of my life plan. I recall being in high school and having an idea for a song, which I promptly wrote down and played with a little...but after an hour or so, I decided my idea was stupid and that no one would like it. So I put the song away, determined never to attempt to do such a ridiculous thing again! Although as a Music Major I was required to compose from time to time as an assignment, I never was brave enough to use music as a means of self-expression. After all, that would mean baring my soul to the world, a thing I was hardly able to do to myself, much less to anyone else.
I attended college with the intention to graduate with a Bachelor's Degree in Music, but, having married young and starting a family immediately, with only one year left to finish my degree, I decided to put my education on hold indefinitely so I could focus on what has always been most important to me – being a good wife and mother to my little family. That little family grew quickly, and before I knew it, I was the mother of EIGHT amazing human beings, and my life was complete! I will be honest in saying that I never intended to go back to school to finish that degree...but my husband encouraged me to complete the work I had started twenty years previously. So, after much persuasion, I went back to school to finish up the required credits outside of my Major so I could FINALLY have that piece of paper showing my accomplishments in higher education! Since I had some background in theater, the majority of the classes I took were in that department. Although I had even spent a couple of seasons working professionally in theater, I had never considered myself an actress, and so I took every acting class that was available.
During the first semester back at school, a professor of mine insisted that I was a good candidate for film work. I had a "marketable look," he said. I laughed at him and shrugged it off, because who would want to hire a 40 year old mother-of-eight-babies?? Still, he persisted in asking me regularly if I was looking into that. Finally, I began submitting myself for acting roles on camera...and surprisingly, I was hired practically EVERY time I submitted! After about a year and a half of regular amateur work, I decided it was time to go professional, and I signed with an agency as an actress, and about ten months later, as a model. I found that I truly enjoyed working in this industry, but I also discovered that although I felt qualified as an actress, most of the work I was getting was commercial work...smiling and selling a product or service. I wanted to ACT! Determined to begin building a reel of actual ACTING footage, I wrote a short film and collaborated with an amazing photographer who wanted to break into film work, and together we made the short film, "The Most Precious Gift".
The Most Precious Gift
This film told the story of a mother and her desire to find the perfect Christmas Gift for her little boy. Having no dialog, we set the film to popular Christmas music that set the mood for the story we wanted to tell.
Our film won awards in local festivals, and even went on to become a finalist in a larger festival, but a comment was made by another filmmaker that the film would have been more powerful if it had been set to its own soundtrack. That comment troubled me, and for days I pondered where I would find someone to write a soundtrack for me. My husband laughed at my concern, stating that since I held a degree in Music, I should just write my own soundtrack! Of course I dismissed that comment as ridiculous, and continued to worry about finding a "real" musician to write for me. Two days later, I was driving around town thinking about my dilemma, when a melody popped into my mind, along with the words Losing You. "Well that's a nice melody," I thought, and I immediately went home and transcribed it onto paper. I then wrote a little more melodic line and set it to a harmonic structure, and within a half hour or so, I had written the music in its entirety...and, surprisingly, I actually thought it was decent! I ran around the corner to my dear friend Julie's house, and played it out for her on the piano, begging her to help me write some lyrics to go with it.
Instead, she opened up a blog of a friend of hers who had lost a child unexpectedly a year previous to this. (A Journey Without Brittany) I read just a few paragraphs of this blog, and I instantly knew exactly what I wanted the song "Losing You" to convey. I wept tears of sorrow as I wrote the lyrics out, imagining how difficult it would be to experience sudden loss, and reflecting on my own sudden loss only a year before this, when my father died unexpectedly from Mesothelioma.
Later that day, I made a very amateur recording of me sitting at the piano and playing and singing the song, then I uploaded it, and that night I sent it off to a few close friends and family members for previewing. As soon as I had done it, I had what I will call "writer's remorse," feeling overwhelmingly embarrassed to think that I actually had the nerve to send this terrible piece of music out into the world and reveal myself in this manner. I don't think I slept that night, fearing the repercussions of such a foolish act. However, I believe that this "foolish" act may have been my saving grace. Though it may sound silly to most of you, I can't describe the courage it took for me to get out of bed the next morning and face the world after exposing myself that way. And I can't describe the gratitude and relief I felt when my friends responded with positive comments and encouragement after listening to my music. I don't think I would have ever written again if they had responded in any other way.
After writing "Losing You", I figured that this sudden birth of a song was a one-time occurrence. I fully expected that what happened that day was an event that would not repeat itself again in the future. It was another six weeks or so before I felt inspired to write another song, but after the second song, the music has poured from my soul like a fountain unleashed. "Losing You" was written just this last Christmas. Since then I have completed my first album, with several additional songs ready to take into the studio for recording. Writing music has brought happiness and healing to my heart, and I am forever grateful for the people and the events that made it possible for me to move forward in this endeavor.
"Losing You" describes the inconsolable heartache that comes when someone precious to us is taken from our lives. I think everyone on this earth can relate to those feeling of loss in some form or another, which is why this song is so powerful. I have had several friends who have listened to my music tell me that this is their favorite song on the album, even though it makes them cry. I truly hope that as people listen to this song, they will feel the great emotion I intended for it to convey, and perhaps find healing and consolation in the message it portrays.
Keep singing and smiling!