From My Soul to Yours

During these times of unprecedented challenges as a virulent pandemic grips the world, my thoughts turned to our human condition and the ambiguities of life’s unknowns and how much we crave connection and solace.

If ever there was a time when we need a comforting arm around our shoulder, or a heartfelt hug, it’s now. But these are also the every day human gestures of caring that we are forced to deny each other for the sake of our physical health. All the while our hearts are breaking. Our souls ache. Damn this cursed virus!

Perhaps I had an unconscious sense of what was to come? I feel as if my latest album Soul to Soul was almost prescient in that respect. The pieces are longer, more contemplative. I see the album as a comforting embrace, a musical reaching out, from my soul to yours. Each piece is a journey of meditation and healing, reflective our times.

My composition What If explores life’s universal questions, the “might have beens” and “could have beens” – what if we had pursued one relationship over another? Chosen a different career path or different job or different city? Said one thing instead of another?

And now: what happens if I return to work? To school? Take a trip? Will I be safe? Can I visit an elderly loved one? Will they be safe? These are unknown scary times full of “what if’s”.

You will hear a hint of melancholy and resignation in the piece – sadness that eventually transforms into gentle acceptance, focusing energy on the present, reminding us that to enjoy the present you can not live in the past. Nor can you worry about the future.

Fearing Love is one of the longer pieces on the album. It explores our wanting and needing – yet fearing love, especially so now in times of a merciless virus that has forced us to deny physical contact with fellow human beings.

Love makes us feel vulnerable at the best of times as we ponder where it will lead. It’s natural to fear the unknown. It causes anxiety – and now the world faces a terrifying unknown that has changed the very way we live from the simplest of daily activities to how we relate to the people around us. Tragically, we now fear each other.

Reflecting the endless unknowns that bombard us, Fearing Love starts very tentatively, mirroring the hesitancy around seeking love – or even the company of others – underscored by a mournful cello that quietly recedes as the keyboard melody carefully ventures into more optimistic explorations.

The cello then rejoins the piano, this time a little more upbeat as the music ebbs and flows exploring our ambivalence around love, and our fears about what the future holds. A hint of optimism emerges as piano and cello hold back at first, then surge forward. We must have hope. We must continue to move forward through uncharted waters.

In my two previous albums, With Closed Eyes and Elsewhere, I explored a wide range of musical narratives. Soul to Soul with its longer contemplative pieces is more a reflection upon the complexity of human emotion and existence, delivering compositions intended to soothe and heal during troubled times. From my soul to yours.

You can listen to the album on