Blog

December 28, 2017

Happy New Year!  (Almost).  I am very excited to welcome 2018 and see 2017 in the rear view mirror.  Although, it has been a wonderful year for me personally, I am acutely aware of how difficult it has been for so many others.  Innumerable calamities (both natural and man made) to endure and transcend.  I marvel that the threads in our fabric are holding together.  In retrospect, it seems miraculous we’re still in one piece!

I wanted to share something amazing that happened to me a few weeks ago.  I met with a young woman who does tarot readings, and something quite interesting occurred.  She “saw” me writing books, particularly for young people.  Not stories, but books that educate, guide, encourage, support, etc.  It was something utterly unexpected.  Me, write? Mystified, I asked her what I should write about.  She paused for a long time and said: you already know.

Well, that sounds pretty woo-woo, doesn’t it?  The odd thing is, on my way home, a book concept flashed into my mind – fully formed.  Complete with title, chapters, format, layout, and general content.  Literally within minutes, this perfectly packaged idea burst into my brain, and it felt completely “right.”  Along with it came an equivalent feeling of certainty that I would be spending 2018 writing this book!

The target audience for the book is young people (teens and young adults) who are struggling to find there way in life.  Perhaps with drug and alcohol problems, or just problems coping.  Those who feel dis-empowered, overwhelmed, lost and confused.  I expect my own problematic youth will be inspiration for me…  Smiley Face

Wishing you all many blessings in the new year!

 

December 15, 2017

Hello All!

I am so excited that this wonderful book store, Wellington Square Bookshop  in Exton, PA is now selling boxes of my note cards in their store!  Just in time for holiday shopping.  They are displayed on a shelf in the back room.  A variety pack of 5 cards will be sold for $19.95.  The store is located in the Eagleview Town Center.  The address is 549 Wellington Square, Exton, PA.

These are the images selected for the boxed set.

Cards are still available directly from me, as well, in any combination you like.

2017 has been a wonderful start to my new venture.  I appreciate all the support and encouragement I have received from all of you.  I am already planning some new ventures and projects for 2018 to keep up the momentum.  Will keep you posted on developments as things unfold.

Have a wonderful holiday season!

December 11, 2017

On the heels of finishing “Angels Lament,” another piece of music just started to emerge today, so stay tuned!  I just have an opening theme so far…

I wanted to share my most recent art project.  Recently I was asked by the husband of my friend, Linda, to create a collage made of hearts that he could give as a gift to clients of his.  I thought this could be an enjoyable project.  There are unique challenges when you are working to make something that meets someone else’s expectations or according to specific parameters, but it is also fun to have to work within certain constraints, giving the project a particular focus.  The three pieces below were the result of this effort.  They are 9″ x 12″ in size.

It took me a few days to come up with these ideas and execute them.  I tried 3 distinctly different ideas because I didn’t know what style might speak to him.

Heart Design 1       Heart Design 2       Heart Design 3

Dave liked the one in the middle best (which is also my favorite).  So it is now framed and ready to deliver to him tomorrow.  Not sure what’s next, but I’ll keep you posted!

 

December 4, 2017

The new piano (Korg G1 Air) arrived! Randy put it together for me on Saturday morning. Its sound is much richer and more resonant than my old piano, and there are more choices and features, which will be fun to explore in the coming days.

My latest piece, “Angels Lament,” is finished.  I thought it might be interesting to share some aspects of the composition process with you.  NOTE: If you want to jump ahead and hear the whole thing, go to the very end of this blog or click on my “Piano Music” page.

As I mentioned in my blog on November 11, I began this piece with one small set of notes.  Literally four beats repeated once.  The progression just captured me and I kept playing the notes over and over.  It all started with this:

First few notes

Then I fleshed out that initial theme with what became the first movement.  I call this movement “Exhortation” because its music made me think of angel trumpets blaring, pleading with us to heed the warning bells clanging loudly and urgently all around us.  Calling us to action.  Calling us to wake up and repent our perilous fall from grace.

Exhortation

Then I started work on the second movement.  I thought of the tinkling sound of angel voices, their flapping wings, more and more joining the chorus, imploring God to help us.  The name for this movement became “Invocation.”  A prayer for divine intervention on our behalf.

Invocation

Finally, the third movement.  I wanted to integrate the “voices” of the first two movements.  My hope was that the final movement would be a reconciliation.  All would be well.  Divine victory would prevail.  But, the actual music doesn’t seem to reflect that wish. It took me awhile to identify a name for this movement. Then the word “Capitulation” popped into my mind. To capitulate is to surrender.  To cease resistance.  To give in to more powerful forces. Who capitulates?  The angels?  We, the people? To what do we capitulate? Our highest nature or our basest instincts? The ending is more somber than I wanted it to be.  It is slightly dissonant, discordant, and unresolved, yet it also feels like a perfect resolution! What it conveys remains a mystery to me.

Capitulation

OKAY!  So here is the full composition.  Would love your feedback, impressions, etc.

Angels Lament

November 15, 2017

I continue to work on “Angels Lament.”  The second movement is almost complete, and ideas are percolating for the third movement, which will be a a synthesis of the themes in the first and second movements.

I’m thinking of calling the last movement “Reconciliation.”   Its meaning: “to make one view or belief compatible with another.”  I reflect on the current polarization in our country.  Wouldn’t it be nice if there could be a way to reconcile such disparate perspectives?  Did this song come to me because the angels truly do lament our human dysfunction, or is it because I need reconciliation within myself?  Maybe it’s both!

We will be purchasing a new digital piano for my upcoming birthday in February.  I’m very excited.  The piano Randy (my husband) bought for me two years ago is a basic “entry” model.  We didn’t know at the time that I would play it very much.  Turns out I play every day, at least an hour, sometimes many hours.  With all that playing, unfortunately, a number of keys have become “loose” and they clack annoyingly.  It is driving me absolutely NUTS!!!

SO – we’ve done a lot of research, and the next piano will not only be much better quality, it will also enable me to record directly on the piano itself.  I may hold off recording this latest work until I have my new toy.

Stay tuned… (pun intended) 🙂

 

 

November 13, 2017

I sent an email out to many of you, but want to mention here, as well, that the note cards on my Shop page are now on sale for the holidays.  Individual cards are $4.00 each.  The boxed set of all 8 designs is now $30.00.  Envelopes included, of course.

This sale will continue through the end of 2017.  Happy Holidays!

 

November 11, 2017

Today is apparently an “auspicious” day.  In numerology, 11 is considered a Master Number and is said to hold an angelic vibration that makes wishes and dreams manifest more easily.  11 is also believed to be the number of spiritual awakenings and signifies the rising of consciousness.  Of course, we all know 11 and 7 are considered lucky numbers.  So I hope everyone experiences good fortune today!

I thought it would be cool to share with you on this particular day that I’ve been working on a new piece of music, and it is, serendipitously, titled: “Angels Lament.”  The piece will have 3 movements, which is standard practice in classical composition.  It will tell a story, much like my earlier piece: Election 2016.

The first movement is finished.  It started with one small progression of notes.  Literally just one measure of notes.  But their sound intrigued me, and compelled me to keep playing them over and over.  Eventually more notes came, and then my fingers sort of flew around the keyboard striving to flesh out that initial theme that was calling me.

The way I compose is a bit strange, I think.  I don’t hear the music first in my head. I find it on the keyboard by stumbling around on the keys and discovering what I’m NOT hearing in my head when I don’t find the “right” notes!  It seems to be a backward process, but it works.  I completely defer to my fingers.  They take me where they want to go, and then my ears let me know when I’m on (or off) the right track!   The conscious brain just watches the whole thing unfold.

My concept/title for the first movement is “Exhortation,”  which is an appeal, or a call to action. In the biblical sense, it is a call to repent.  I am currently working on the second movement, and its concept/title is “Invocation.”  In this movement, the angels summon divine intervention and assistance.   I have some ideas, but the third movement remains TBD!

Please stay tuned.  I will post a recording of the piece when it’s complete!

Jill.