My songs arise out of the fabric of my life, my relationships with beloved family, friends, teachers, students, colleagues, mentors, animals, plants, stone people, star beings, terrestrial and celestial forces always in constant communication, the living universe within and all around me, the co-evolution of seen and unseen.
In 1986, I composed Spiraling into the Center. While weaving a shield out of shirts I wore when pregnant with my daughters, I awakened from a dream in which I saw these words written in golden light:
I am the weaver
I am the woven one
I am the dreamer
I am the dream
I recorded Spiraling into the Center and eleven other songs on Winter Calls in l989.
Two of the songs on this album came to me in dreams. The drawing on the CD is my attempt to capture an image of the Wishbone Drum, with which I called forth the butterfly people in my dream and in the song. Persephone came to me while lying on the earth, sleeping under the stars. This song honors my continuing relationship with my friend, Ali, who died three days before her 55th birthday in 2008.
The Woman in White and The Seal Woman’s Daughter incorporate personal and collective images from outdoor workshops led by my friend and teacher, Ulla Schorn, who traveled from Berlin, Germany to California every summer to guide us in dancing and drawing, listening and giving voice to the wisdom of our bodies and our connection with the natural world. Cindy, who worked with me on graphics for this album, attended these workshops. Her experience with the last remnant of a mother redwood tree provides the core image for The Woman in White. Ali wrote the words to The Seal Woman’s Daughter to describe her experience of dancing with the ocean during one of these workshops. After she died, Ulla sent me her words and I collaborated with Ali to create this song.
Misty Dawn celebrates a day in the park with my niece when she was five years old. Two songs came before the births of my daughters: Rainbows, for Thea Maria, who plays cello on The Woman in White, and Star of Heaven, for Zoe Reina, who provided the cover photo of my shield, woven from shirts I wore while my children were growing inside my belly.
Time Out of Mind came to me on a windswept beach, after the death of my teacher, Avon Gillespie. Man of Gold and Silver emerged slowly during a summer with my daughters and my father, at the cabin he built with his father by a glacial kettle pond in the pine barrens of Massachusetts.
In 2008, I graduated with a Masters of Fine Arts Degree in Music from California Institute of the Arts. I moved eight times during the three year period preceding and following my four semesters at Cal Arts. I drove a U-Haul truck that sang different pitches according to the surface of the road and the speed at which we were traveling, transporting boxes of journals filled with words old and new from Santa Monica to Northern California. On the way, I assisted my friend and teacher, Patrice Vecchione, during a Thanksgiving week writing workshop at Esalen. I loved tending the fire, watching the transformation of wood into coals and ash as we shared our stories of death and rebirth in the safe and spacious container provided by Patrice. I wrote and sang Wayfarer Fare Well at the end of this workshop.
Prayer for My Brother was originally written for one man. Now I offer this song to all of my brothers everywhere who are suffering and seeking the courage to love and live again.
Years ago, my friend Melissa discovered she had been born on a star. That evening, while singing my daughters to sleep, Melissa’s Lullaby was born. Melissa’s Lullaby is the only song from Winter Calls that also appears on Wishbone Drum. Carolyn’s desire to sing this song to her grandchildren motivated me to produce this album.