Recently, my mother-in-law sent me a link to a TED talk. First of all, Martha is 87 years old, second of all she emailed a link, WOW, and most importantly, it was a relevant and inspiring link to a great talk by Benjamin Zander, conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. And so, if you are someone who loves classical music, it’s a wonderful reminder of why you do. And, if you are someone who doesn’t give much attention to classical music, I am certain that by the end of this 20 minute talk/performance you will be transported and transformed. 
I was very fascinated by Zander’s language and  thought processes. He was funny, articulate and really spoke to my passion for music and life. I was curious about who he is. I thought that perhaps he was a graduate of Landmark Education AND HE IS. I also found his wife, Rosamund Zander, who is as cool as he is! In her words, her work is, in all its capacities, about growth. Her writing, teaching, and coaching creates pathways to lives that are authentic and meaningful. She has written a book: The Art of Possibility with her husband using uplifting stories, parables and personal anecdotes. I haven’t even read or listened to this and I’m inspired to become a passionate communicator whose life radiates Possibility into the world. The audio CD has musical examples. I’m getting that because Benjamin Zander’s musical commentary in his TED presentation was hilarious. He really made very good life points using music as his examples.
What is it that kindles your life passion? Can you find that pizzazz, that excitement, that shining-eyed wonder day to day, moment to moment? Let this video remind you.

Song du Jour

December 21, 2008


Going Home Lullaby

This is a heartfelt, comforting and grounding piece written for the somewhat happy ending of the film, Against the Tide.

Grinch or Not

December 20, 2008


This is the season where a simple phrase like “Let it snow…” will set my brain into running a song over and over. Bill teases me by singing the first line of “Chestnuts roasting on…” and off my brain will ramble. These songs are so deeply programmed that I find it close to impossible to turn them off or ignore. They are everywhere. Haunting me in the supermarket, on the radio and internet then following me home, while I work and while I sleep. Please, please can the holidays be over sooner than later?

There are music greats who have capitalized on the holiday and have written terrible songs but because of who they are, the song gets played. Case in point:  “Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney. What happened to his great writing like “Yesterday” and “Sargeant Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band”. Play those songs a lot. I could listen to those songs forever.

My bottom line is that  although I know I am in the minority, I don’t want holiday songs foisted upon me in public spaces even if I do get the warm and fuzzy of it all. Random Connections rants about XM radio’s devotion of an entire channel to Christmas music and it’s not the classics, it’s doggies and meowing cats and strange original songs, Twisted Sister singing “O, Come all ye faithful? Please give me a break.

Although I don’t like the repetition and the constant reminder of Bing Crosby or Frosty the Snowman, I am taking a deeper and more generous look at the songs this year and this has reminded me of powerful yearnings we all have to be merry, to bring light into the early darkness. There is the warmth and closeness I love when I am together with my family around the fire, laughing and celebrating our health and good fortune.

Along the same lines, this year we are not giving gifts, we are making donations to support others who are less fortunate and we are going to spend me ore time appreciating our friends an family verbally and through written notes. Micah has written a letter to all his friends encouraging them to do the same.

He says: ” This season of giving, I wish to be the change I want to see in the world.  For me that means instead of buying things for myself or my family, I will write them letters. Cards and note are personal – objects are meaningless. I don’t plan on writing one-liners, or buying hallmark cards, I plan on telling people I love them and that I’m happy to be present with them and some things here and there. I will donate some money to a charity or two that can do some good. If it’s not about the gift and it’s the thought that counts, then screw the gifts let’s share our thoughts and our feelings. Spoken words, and written letters are more powerful than shiny iPods and colorful shoes. This is a chance for me, for us, to spread love and happiness and laughter and togetherness”. 

I couldn’t agree more. Let’s just choose great music.

Song du Jour

December 3, 2008


Night School

From my art•i•facts CD available from CD Baby. Music to accompany our exquisite and mysterious night skies this week.