Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Grace (II) (be sure to read Grace (I) first) I was listening to this song, originally written by Danish singer-songwriter Mads Langer, the expansiveness of the phrases as they climbed to the climax felt to me exactly like the energy of expansion that I feel from Kieran's spirit after his passing. As I was driving through the beautiful hills of New York state this sounded to me like an exact sonic expression of the limitlessness that Kieran was striving for.  At this moment, I got a sudden, deep knowing that somehow there was a connection between this music, this "coincidental" stumbling upon the Bobby McFerrin concert with Roger Treece and Vocal Line and the commission of the song to celebrate Kieran.  I didn't know exactly what this all meant, but it all felt very grace-filled and perfect.  Somehow, something, someone in this would lead us to the composer of the piece.

As we drove homeward we listened to the Vocal Line CD five times through in a row; we loved it so much. We were more than half-way home before finally taking a break from that recording!

The following Friday, Roger Treece came to St. Marys, Ontario to give some workshops.  His first workshop was with local high school students. I only attended the tail end of that session, but I was so impressed to hear Roger speak to these students very sincerely of matters of the heart and of the soul.  I doubt these kids hear things expressed at this level very often.

Following the workshop, I was introduced to Roger and unashamedly began to gush and spew forth my story of how I had stumbled upon the Bobby McFerrin concert in NYC the week before, about listening to the Vocal Line CD, and about Kieran and the project to celebrate his life.  We spent an hour or so over a beer, and I am sure I was a little much for a first meeting, but Roger was super gracious and apparently interested in my stories.  I was so moved by his response when at one point he clicked on his iPhone recording app and asked me to tell him what kind of person Kieran was.

The following day was a joy-filled workshop for the Festival Youth Singers with Roger.  I joined in, as did Siobhan. He worked with us in the process he calls "circle singing", which involves living in the moment, improvising, and singing communally...all of which fit very well with my state of BEing.

Over the course of our first conversation and a couple of further conversations that weekend, things unfolded toward the point where it seemed clear that indeed it was to be Roger Treece himself who would compose this song celebrating Kieran.  I dared not ask, yet it seemed that this was indeed of interest to Roger. Right from the start of our conversations, I strongly felt that Roger really got it: he intuitively understands who Kieran was and the effect that he had on so many people, and he is very tuned into how important it is to express this musically for the community.

If someone had suggested to me that I should ask Bobby McFerrin's record producer and musical director to do this project, I doubt whether I would have taken them seriously. But, as I keep saying, this is absolutely a grace-filled and perfect fit. Kieran deserves nothing less.


  1. This is such a beautiful story! So happy to hear that you have found such an incredible musician to share Kieran's story and love of music. Best of luck and can't wait to hear the piece!

  2. Thanks, Kristina. Stay tuned as this's very exciting.

  3. I am so happy to hear this story, but I can't say I'm surprised. Kieren's memory deserves nothing less than fate and the cosmos crashing together in a beautiful symphony of music.