Archive for the ‘Authors and songwriters’ Category

Sunday, March 20, 2011 (1:52am)

  

I have always loved books. Some of my earliest childhood memories revolved around reading. I became a believer in Jesus after reading the Bible by myself without a big whop-de-do. After that I had an insatiable urge to get to know the Jesus I found there better. I was fortunate to find great authors who acted like signposts to point me in the right direction. I found so many quotes that inspired me and encouraged me in the faith. I was thinking that it would be nice to share some of those voices here on my blog and to share some of the things that have been meaningful to me over the years.

I thought I would start with a few quotes from a woman named Elizabeth Rooney. Many years ago I read a book called Bright Legacy. (I believe the book is out of print now but I have found copies of it used on amazon.) In it, several well-known Christian women wrote about another woman who had deeply touched their lives. One of my favorite authors, poet Luci Shaw was one of the contributors. She wrote about Elizabeth. She was a woman she met at one of her poetry workshops. Over time they struck up a friendship and Luci Shaw wrote about her surprise at finding a woman with an amazing talent for writing poetry which was something she began fairly late in life. In the book they included some of her poetry which was very moving to me. They also included some of her journal entries that I loved. She wrote about her growing love for God and her desire to be with him, and the awkwardness at trying to share that with others. Being a night owl I could relate to her late night encounters with God when she was alone with him. Elizabeth passed away several years ago, but her legacy continues through the books of her poetry that her daughter published after her death. Several years ago I contacted her and ordered the poetry books. I was able to tell her how much her mother’s writing encouraged me over the years. You can find her family’s website at Bingham farm by typing her name into google or follow the link here :http://www.brighamfarm.com/index.html

 

On the website you’ll also find examples of her exquisite poetry. Here are just a few quotes from her journal I appreciated:

“God intends us for himself and with our eager cooperation or with our rebellious reluctance he works to achieve this. He respects the reluctance; he will hint and then wait, ask and then wait, urge and then wait. And wait and wait!”

“This evening my heart and veins and arteries and my whole system have been filled with a joyousness I can hardly contain. I want to pray or read but feel as though I shall explode. I need to tell someone how wonderful God is!”

“Four A.M. I got up and found it had stopped snowing, leaving about a foot of new-fallen snow in great white billows under a full moon. Mike woke up and asked what I was going to do and I said, ‘Go to the bathroom,’ which was a deception, since after I went to the bathroom I was going to pray and write and wander about as usual. I have to stop lying to people about how much God means to me, just because I’m embarrassed by it or think they won’t understand. What if Sts. Peter and Paul had acted like that? Stroke victims have to practice and practice speaking in order to learn to speak again. I need to practice speaking about God, his love, his immanence, his active presence, his willingness to participate in our lives if we’ll only let him.”

Here’s one of her poems:

Wild Geese
Barking and calling courage to each other,
The singing skein sweeps south across the sky.
We hear their legendary cry
Saying goodbye to summer swamps and sweetness.
They know some ancient mystery of weather,
Of daring and of caring for each other,
Which we have lost.
Shrouded in sheets and city streets,
Our stifled hearts half waken at their sound.Something within us trembles, flaps its wings,
Falls back against the ground.
We dress for breakfast, start the daily round
And wonder, why we must know only fenced yards,
And shelled corn, until we die?

10/16/78

©1978 Elizabeth Rooney

From Storing September

Thursday October 28, 2010 (4:23am)
 
Things I Think About Late at Night…

It’s the middle of the night. I was asleep for a few hours and now I’m awake again sitting here again in front of the computer. I am still such a night owl. I love this time of night. It’s so quiet and peaceful. My days are filled with so much noise and busyness. I love that too. I love getting the chance to spend my days with so many different people with so many different stories, one on one. There is a lot of learning to play music and learning to live life going on. At the end of each day they leave me with a lot to think about.

There are a lot of things I would like to blog about if I get the time and the energy. I would love to hear from others about some of the issues that keep coming up again and again when I talk to my students. I would love to tell some of their stories. There is so much to learn from them. I would like to talk about how the educational system is failing them and how the adults are failing them by not raising hell at their schools, with the school boards and at the national level to reclaim their chance for an education… about how “no child left behind” is destroying their education and at how much stress they are under. I’d like to talk about how as a generation we have over sheltered them from things that could have made them stronger and then left them to fend for themselves in areas when they really need us to step up and be the adults and the parents and care for them.

I would love to explore more how much having a creative outlet can be so healing for our lives. About art and faith and beauty and how they can go hand in hand. I would love to explore what we could do to encourage that creativity in each other.

I would love to have a deeper discussion about the huge cultural divide between the Christian community and the LGBTG community and what to really do with it… how to build bridges instead of walls.

I would love to look at why there are so many of us who have a passion for Jesus who feel so disenfranchised from the American church, and what we can do with that longing for something more real and authentic with each other.

It would be great to discuss what books and music have had a real impact on our lives. I can think of a list of several great books that have totally effected my life and faith that you’ll probably never see on the shelves of “Christian” bookstores. … and with that why it is that with so much music and so many books published every year, so little of it really has much substance or makes much impact.

Those are just a few of the things rattling around in my head. What about you guys? Are you interested in discussing any of those things? What do you think about late at night? Who knows, maybe this is the beginning of the discussion, and maybe, just maybe I’ll be able to sit down more often to write.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

15 Albums That Influenced My Life… The Cheaters Version…

TO MY BLOGSPOT FRIENDS…

This is one of those surveys that has been making it’s rounds on facebook. I decided to post it here too because music is an important part of my life. Most of this list contains material that helped shape who I am as a musician now during my “formulative years.” Music was a great outlet for me when I was young, and one of the few safe places to express what was really going on inside of me. It helped me to deal with the the trauma I experienced as a child and as a teenager. Here’s my entry as it appeared on facebook:

Think of 15 albums, CDs, LPs (if you’re over 40) that had such a profound effect on you they changed your life. Dug into your soul. Music that brought you to life when you heard it. Royally affected you, kicked you in the wazoo, literally socked you in the gut, is what I mean. Then when you finish, tag 15 others. Make sure you copy and paste this part so they know the drill. Get the idea now? Good. Tag, you’re it…

FROM LINDA:
Ok, so I’m never good at playing by the rules, and you can’t expect a music teacher with a bizillion albums to be able to hang with 15 albums. I decided to divide stuff up by musical grouping part of the time with the stuff that shaped and formed my life and the way I play. There could have been a lot more.
Motown – (Early 60’s) Some of my earliest memories in California were hanging out with my next door neighbor listening to early Motown, especially Diana Ross & The Supremes.

The Beatles – Life as we previously had known it would never be the same after they showed up. For me it was not one of their albums it was the total package and the way they kept changing and morphing and creating such an amazing variety of really good music. I wanted to play the guitar after that. I learned about the power of a great melody from them. So many of their songs had these out arrangements on the recordings, but most of them still work with one acoustic guitar. It was because of the Beatles and The Beach Boys album, Pet Sounds that I became interested in multi-track recording.

Led Zeppelin – (1969 – 1980) I was blown away by their creativity and the sheer variety in their music. I think all of them were amazing musicians individually and together I don’t think there’s ever been a rock band that’s quite that strong as a unit.

Great guitarists, most who died too young. These guys totally influenced my life and my playing just a few of them were Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton, BB King, Buddy Guy, and Bonnie Raitt. (On a side note I would love to have her voice.)

Singer/Songwriters: Cat Stevens – Tea For the Tillerman (1970) Helped me see the power of the song. Simon & Garfunkel -Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970) All these years later I’m still blown away at the power and beauty of these songs. Bruce Hornsby – The Way It Is (1986) That album, and especially that song, still powerfully resonates with me. That was the theme song for my life for a long time. The basic idea… people say this… “but don’t you believe it.”

Carole King – Tapestry (1971) The first album I ever saved up my own money to buy. I loved the lyrics and melody and the percussive piano playing. I wore it out from playing it so much. It was the album that helped me survive middle school, my mother’s death, and the sudden death of my childhood.

Neil Young (All the early stuff) I loved his rawness and crustyness.
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – The guitars! The Harmonies! (Especially Deja Vu)
David Crosby – If I Could Only Remember My Name (1971) I was stunned by the harmonies and the music.

ZZ Top – Tres Hombres (1973) La Grange and Jesus Done Left Chicago Robin Trower – Bridge of Sighs ( 1974) Both of these bands made me want to play blues rock in a big way.

U2 – Their early albums were so passionate. They are still a great rock band. Every worship guitarist on the planet owes a debt to The Edge.

Progressive Rock – At the same time I was starting to play blues rock I was also drawn into progressive rock. Some of the first stuff I played in bands in high school was in weird timing etc. Some of the bands I loved to listen to and play on guitar were early Genesis, Gentle Giant, Yes, Emmerson Lake & Palmer and later Dream Theater and Rush.

Christian Artists: 2nd Chapter of Acts – With Footnotes (1974) Raw Christian music with good lyrics and amazing vocal harmonies that would go from “pretty” and almost too vibrottoy to edgy screamy rock. When Annie Herring sang “He took away my sin and shame,” I knew it was true for me too. Seeing them live a bunch of times was amazing. They did a tour that was them, Phil Keagy, Barry Mcguire, David Souther and some other great musicians that made me want to get better on my instruments. KEITH GREEN – His whole body of work (1975 -1982) Keith was an amazing songwriter and musician. I loved seeing him play live and at home in California during the early days of what would become Last Days Ministries. I think his death in a fiery plane crash in 1982 was the catalyst for a much needed reevaluation among many in the contemporary Christian music industry. A lot of people didn’t like him because he was so extreme… but I did notice that a lot of the artists that had been straying away from their original ministry goals did refocus after that. RICH MULLINS – Such a great songwriter and odd guy who didn’t give into the system and wasn’t perfect… a good role model. DANIEL AMOS/DA – These guys were way ahead of their time and were one of the most creative bands to ever get pigeonholed into the CCM category… Alarma and Doppelganger are amazing.

Stevie Wonder – Innervisions (1973) and Songs In the Key of Life (1976) – Completely amazing. The rhythms.

Heart – Dreamboat Annie (1976) and Little Queen (1977) I grew up in a world without many female rock roll models. Here were women who could sing like crazy and play too. It’s sad that I was a senior in high school before these guys showed up on the scene.

David Wilcox – Once again it’s not just one song or album. It’s the entirety of his career. David’s not that well known, but he’s an amazing songwriter and guitarist. He’s that rare breed of musician who’s not interested in being a rock star. He wants to practice his craft and be able to support his family. He tackles tough issues and sings about faith in a way that makes the gospel live without cramming it down peoples throats. He uses weird tunings, and makes the acoustic guitar sing.

Patty Griffin – Living With Ghosts (1996 ) I’m overwhelmed by the power of one focused voice and guitar with passion and great material. I never get tired of listening to this album… or any of her stuff for that matter. I want to be like her when I grow up.