This is a simple piece of music that I love playing! It carries some of the wistful feelings – longings, yearnings for life. Sometimes these seem inexpressible and difficult to articulate. They are most felt for me as ‘pangs’ of the heart, not only emotional but physical as well.
This song was written in the first year that we came to New Zealand but took longer to finally get recorded! It captured some of my feelings around leaving ‘old familiar places, faces’ and the fact that ‘now we’re worlds apart, learning to trust our hearts’. However, we all have life to live, dreams to follow and new roads to head down. After all, today’s the day to reach for the sky!
It is our usual crowd playing along: Ian and Simon on guitar and Simon playing bass.
A couple of years ago a friend of mine wrote a stunning play called ‘The Manhattan Taproom’, for the school where we both teach. It was a play about young women who make a journey to New York to make it in the artistic world in some form or another, be it as a musician, poet, artist, actor, dancer, writer. Most of the songs used were popular songs the girls at our school know and love and fitted the context of what was happening in the play. There is a moment in the play when one of the characters is involved in a life changing event that crushes all her dreams but there wasn’t really a song that fit that moment. I offered to write one. This is it. I hope this song expresses some of what it is to be caught in between what if and reality.
This song was written in response to a friend who lost both her parents in quick succession. I felt an overwhelming sense of compassion for her which was not so much from me but how I felt God felt for her and about her. This was one of those plop-on-the-page songs. I feel it is a song that is for so many of us on the journey of life. Some of us have parents that have encouraged us and others (for whatever reason) have not. This song expresses my feeling that my Father in heaven knows, understands and sees our ‘child’ hearts – those deepest longings, fears, desires, questions – and loves us!! Just loves us!! If you ever wondered if anyone cared, despite the circumstances of life – a resounding ‘yes’ is what I hope you feel through this song!
This song was written for a friend of ours who worked at the same school as us in Taupo. She had had quite a few complications getting into New Zealand with regards lots of red tape. She is a delightful person with an open heart and beautiful eyes. This was written for her for her farewell with the Science department of which her and Ian were part of, when she had to make a journey back to Ireland for family reasons.
Ian is on guitar, Simon on bass and I am on piano and flute.
This song was written a few years ago but is dedicated to a beautiful friend of mine. Her and I talk a lot about ‘breathing’. I love our deep and meaningful conversations that we manage to have in the business and demands of our teaching jobs. In the mish-mash of our lives we sometimes crowd out the very things that give us life and hope and give our lives a sense of well-being. As a result, we end up living our lives in a smaller manner than that for which we were designed. “Breathing” can take many forms: it can be in quiet moments, celebratory happenings, family gatherings, artistic expressions, being truly who you are.
Life is too short to live small. Besides that, Father, Son and Holy Spirit are the most expressive, creative, free, extravagant, generous beings that I know. As I relate more and more to them I want to live like they do. I hope this song encourages you to breathe.
There are two versions of this song – a studio version and a live version with Embers.
This song is part of the 3 songs that we recorded almost by accident a couple of weeks ago. We had just worshipped to Hope is Rising. Simon reminded us that we do really need to take time to “breathe”. We hung around on the Am7 theme. I played a bit and added in a bit. Then another section came to us an Fmaj7 G Am7 part and variations of that. Tanya took over the lead. You will hear Simon and I “conversing” and echoing each other’s cry for those who have gone before (Anzac Day was just before this) not only in life, but also in the passing down of knowledge about life and how God moves.
We find this kind of music is lovely for those who like to take a moment either in the day, or often for us, it seems to be in the middle of the night. One of the great moments in this song was when both Cheryl and Tanya both “breathed” during the song – just one of those moments…
For tech details see “Hope is Rising”
Simon here: This is the final song that we recorded almost by accident a couple of weeks ago. I wrote it some time back in 1999. Once we got the music out everyone joined in. The song is about God being our refuge, our strength, our rest, our hope… our everything. The song was revived after I was prayed for around “safety”. Safety is a place I call home
For tech details see “Hope is Rising”. I think you may hear Ian singing here too. Tanya didn’t have music so she sang and played shaker.
This song is hopefully the new start of song writing in Hamilton, New Zealand. Simon had an idea and Tanya and Ian added some lyrical ideas. We wanted to keep it really un-religious and so, accessible to everyone. Simon laid down a very quick version – playing a Baby Taylor guitar. The version is so quick that I missed the very start…. Perhaps there will be another more detailed version at some stage. We hope to try the song out at River Vineyard tomorrow.
At the bottom of the chord chart is the voicing of the guitar chords. Listen and hopefully you can hear the variations between related chords. Also, at the very bottom is a line that may replace the very New Zealand line about Whānau (extended family) and Haere Mai (welcome). Feel free to use lyrics for that line that work in your context.
I wrote this song when I was literally at a crossroads surrounding a job and where I should be and where I would fit in. Whenever I am at that particular place (this was certainly not the first time and most likely will not be the last), I often wonder if I am just chasing the wind or whether it is the Holy Spirit leading me on or sometimes both. It takes some measure of discernment on my part as to the way forward, especially when the way is not fully clear and at times can seem impossible. However, God is ever patient, for which I am entirely grateful.
This song started off with an acoustic feel and then I decided to take a different tack with it. It was recorded over several months as I tried to decide what to do with it (crossroads?).
Fave musicians: Ian on the many guitar tracks – sometimes I think he thinks this is an opportunity to have as many guitar tracks as possible! I have to say, that once he laid the first guitar tracks for the opening of the song, I changed my mind about the feel and sound of the song – so thanks, Ian! Simon, on the hollow body Epiphone, for the great guitar solo, which kind of makes the song for me. The usual loops and sounds are from Logic Audio. One day there may be a drummer on the horizon – just fussy since I have played with just so many awesome drummers. You know who you are!
Ask for the music if you would like it.