Saturday, April 30, 2011

photo by Jason Brown of Revival Art Studio

I've shared a bit about Rebecca before... I love this photo of the two of us just before the Love Shines concert.
This precious girl loves singing and I want to encourage this gift in her.  There is something that she experiences when she sings that I identify with - it is a way to express a part of yourself that doesn't come out any other way.  When Rebecca sings, people pause.  She sings from her heart, from her soul.  she sings with a voice that understands that life is complicated but also that life is beautiful.  She sings with emotion and with passion.  When we sing 'Ordinary Miracle' together, there is a tenderness we share as well as a passion from the heart.  Rebecca has a dream to sing for the rest of her life.  I want to be part of making that dream a reality for her.  In the meantime, I will enjoy inviting her to sing with me and she will continue to step out on her own as well.  This week Rebecca, Boris (her dad) and I will be performing in Abbotsford at the Songs, Strings & Steps performance.
I will enjoy every moment of singing with Rebecca again.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Cathy & her band of men
photo by revival art studio

  This photo was taken just before the Love Shines concert on April 16th - you may not be able to tell - but there were still a few butterflies in my stomach at this moment!  These guys really were fantastic that night and I want to tell you a bit about each of them ...
On the far right - Philip Janz.  Philip is the guy that produced the whole CD and engineered and mixed it as well.  He is incredibly talented as a musician and as a producer.  He has an amazing ear and understood the direction of many of my songs as I shared them with him in a simple form at the beginning of the project.  Philip believed in me and pushed me to be the best.  He was an amazing support for this release concert and played drums and sang with me.  I love this guy!
Beside Philip - Peter Davyduck.  Peter is a new friend of mine and I love his positive energy.  He was so supportive in the studio and gave his all at our rehearsal and performance on the 16th.  Peter - I want you to join me again!
Between me and Peter is Kevin Boese. Kevin I have known the longest of this gang....for around 16 years.  He has been a faithful friend and a huge supporter of my dreams.  He has served me in a zillion practical ways with setting up sound equipment, performing with me and encouraging me in my dreams. He is a great friend and was an awesome support at this concert.
On the other side of me is Brian Thiessen.  Brian did an incredible job of playing various guitar-like instruments on the recording.  His musical touch adds a lot to the Love Shines CD.  Brian put his back out on the week of the concert and was in tremendous pain that night.  But he served me in the midst of his pain and played incredibly.  Thank you Brian.
Beside Brian Thiessen is Jonathan VanDyke.  Jon and I have been friends for around 5 years now and he has an incredible voice.  It was awesome to have him there at the concert to add some harmonies and textures vocally.  thanks Jon.

On the far left is Boris Sichon.  Many people after the concert came to me and told me how much they loved the concert - and then they would add......and that Boris!!  Wow!  Boris has travelled all over the world performing on many world stages with his talent.  To have him support me in my musical dreams has been a deep honour.  I have learned so much from working with him and have enjoyed every minute of it.  Lots of laughs and good times we have had sharing music together.
what a great group of guys to surround me as I sang my heart out!!
photo by Jason Brown of Revival Art Studio

Sunday, April 24, 2011 thoughts today
photo from revival art studios

Easter - my thoughts from walking in the woods today.....
I see in nature that things ends.....
and I also see that in the dead stump of an old tree a new tree coming in the centre.
I find evidence of death and new life everywhere -
that this IS life -
things die - and things are reborn
This is resurrection.
To embrace in life a knowing, an understanding
that sometimes you have to let go
sometimes you need to yield to death
but even as you do and you don't know what will happen
because you really, really have to let it go
there is a mystery that happens in the dying
a mystery of life
that new life emerges
where a death has occurred.
This I know.
This I have tasted
A Life Reborn

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Stories about children from Saturday's Love Shines 
CD Release concert:

8 year old male student of mine during Land of the Silver Birch, 'Mom, I just love this song. I love it when Cathy sings it for our class.  it is soooo beautiful.'  He said this with tears in his eyes.

8 year old female student of mine that found me back stage and gave me the 'thumbs up' at half-time to her mom,  ' mom, I just went and told Cathy she is doing a good job.'

5 and 6 year old brother and sister of my new friend from drumming - both crying during Breathing Together....they were thinking of their grandmother in Alberta and were overcome with emotion from the song.

7 year old girl who has listened to the CD and has put 'Every Time' on replay until her mother is going crazy!!  She was so delighted that we did it TWICE in the concert and was dancing away.

I have been so touched by children.  I heard once that you can tell your connection with a child by the light in their eyes.  If the eyes are sparkling and shiny, you are able to communicate...but if the eyes are downcast and dull, very little can be transmitted from you to them.  The power of connection with a child is always amazing to me and one that I never take for granted.  To know that children, even very young children, emotionally connected with the music of Saturday touches me very deeply.
To have a child also want to give me the 'thumbs up' is so precious - she wanted to let me know that I was doing OK - because that's what a friend would do....and we're friends.

Listen to samples from the Love Shines CD

If you want to hear some can get a taste here on the Emerton Records site.
you can order a digital copy here too - and hopefully a hard copy soon.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Day of Gratefulness - time to give thanks

photo by revivalartstudios

Yesterday marked the celebration of a dream;
the dream of a girl to sing and to share her songs.
It was a beautiful day and I am so grateful.
I had a thank you speech prepared for last night - and I forgot to give it!
But maybe this is better, because I can get it all out here and make it public
Yesterday was huge day in my life many small baby steps to make one big step
I have taken many of these steps in solitude
in the hidden places of my heart
but recently these steps have had to be more public and I've taken more 
risks in sharing my dream with others...
and then allowing them to join me in my dream.
Last night I felt so honoured by so many who have come to 
believe and celebrate this dream with me.
I felt incredibly supported and surrounded
and I want to thank those who gave of their energy yesterday and in the days 
leading up to this event in incredible measures.
I want to thank the musicians for encircling me with their presence and musicianship - 
Philip Janz, Brian Thiessen, Peter Davyduck, Kevin Boese, 
Jonathan VanDyke, Boris Sichon, & Rebecca Sichon.  You all were such a joy to work with last night.
I want to thank Terry Neudorf for all the incredible work he did for me with the sound.
I want to thank Steve Klassen and his team for setting up my 'forest' and creating the space for my heart.
I want to thank the women who baked for our half-time food - the money donated goes to support someone going on a Silent Retreat at the Mark Centre; 
Joyce Kehler, Brenda Janz, Cathy Crawford, Evy Klassen and Wendy Vandenberg
I want to thank Deborah Handley and her team for organizing the 
front door and CD sales - incredible job!
Thank you to Charlie & Connie Peters for being the fire wardens for the evening.
I want to thank Darcie & Jason Brown for their photography which has been donated for this Love Shines CD and Release Concert. Your work has brought beauty & dignity to this project.
Thank you to David Vandas who did the video work last night - it was a privilege to have you come and share this night and record this memory!
Marika - your energy these past two weeks towards making this evening the best it can be has been such a beautiful gift.  You have gone way past any expectation I ever would have had and have blessed my socks off.  Wow - and wow.
thank you to everyone from Emerton Records who came out and supported this event and supported me personally throughout the evening.
I want to thank Evy Klassen for introducing me and being the amazing friend that she is in my life.
I want to thank my family who was there; my husband Brent and my daughters Pera & Brianna - all my siblings were there; Grace, Val & Randy - and their spouses; Steve, Ingrid & Dave.....
 my nephew Steve from South Carolina, my neice Karen from Vernon.
Thank you to all the other friends, extended family, and all other guests for coming and making 
April 16, 2011 an incredible celebration of Love Shining!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Jonah, the time in the whale is over
photography by revival art studio

This morning I was telling Marika, my new friend...
(more about this amazing woman in another blog!)
how I've related to the story of Jonah.  It really is a great story - of being swallowed up.
It has been a story I've related to as I've gone through  a huge period of my life where
dreams felt swallowed up and it was dark in the belly of the whale.
We've been conditioned to be afraid of darkness.....and I was very afraid of my own darkness.
We've also been conditioned to disapprove of unproductive periods in our lives -
but when you're in the belly of the whale - it's hard to be
extremely productive.
We forget what happens in nature in the darkness.
Under the ground is all darkness - but that is where growth happens..
it is where a seed is safe enough to develop...
it is where the roots of a tree develop to sustain a marvelous plant
 that gives life to others.
It was in my darkness that my soul was born again.
I came alive there in the was slow
but it was real.
And is a new day.
I've been spit out of the whale. It feels a little scary at times.
But it is time.  Time to tell the stories.
Time to sing the songs.
The songs that came in the darkness have powerfully impacted me
and I am ready to share them
with you.
Hope to see many of you at the concert tomorrow!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

'and this is invitation to be beautiful'

this week an angel came to me
her name is Brenda
She's a real person, but this week she was an angel too.
I guess she was paying attention to something beyond herself
She was thinking of me and felt she was to give me a song
She bought me a CD and brought it to my house
She had no idea what was going on for me
She had no idea what I needed
But she listened and followed through 
and showed up at my door
with a gift
of a song
This song has a line in it that has been going 
through me over and over
'this is invitation to be beautiful'.
Sometimes it is easier to wear clothes of shame, guilt, fear or anxiety.
It takes courage to 'rise up' and put on clothes of dignity, self-respect, and beauty.
To own our 'beauty' we must believe in our intrinsic value as a human being.
To embrace our 'beauty' we must know deep down we are treasured.
To embrace our 'beauty' we must BELIEVE
that we ARE somebody
To embrace 'beauty'
is to embrace a belief that Life is beyond just 'survival' - 
Life is worth celebrating.
Life is beautiful
We are beautiful
Let us see the beauty in each other.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Love Shines
Release Concert - this Saturday April 16th - 7:30pm 
Matsqui Auditorium Abbotsford
tickets available on-line:  Emerton Records

Love Shines now on ITUNES!!!!!
special pre-release price this week

Life is full .......full of joy and sorrow - all mixed together!  A friend from my faith community died this past week, my parents are in frail health, and life feels fragile on multiple levels.  At the same time, I am captivated by watching an eagle soar over my head as I pause in the woods, the beauty of the daffodils blooming in my studio, the smile of a child, the clear, kind eyes of a stranger looking at me, the glory of a song, the warmth of a friendship, the warmth of the sun on my face.  On Saturday I will sing.  i will sing with my brokenness.  I will sing with my humanity.  I will sing with joy.  I will sing with knowing of great beauty and the power of love that is beyond all things.