Stretch Yourself – Part 3

When I first started working with my producer, Peter Link, I had to literally learn a new musical language.  He came from pop and theatrical music as well as the studio world of creating lyrics and recorded music first.  The sheet music always came well after the singers had made the recording of the song or album at hand.

Peter was accustomed to writing music, initially with his guitar, and later sitting at his computer keyboard and playing in melodies, chords, bass parts, —  orchestrating as he went along.  So when the singer (me, for example) came along to learn a song to record and/or perform, sometimes, there would be simple lead sheets (melody only) but usually I was given a study track and lyrics.  To this day, these are my starting tools whenever I do studio work with Peter and, most often, with other producers as well.

So, Peter comes from the school Composers who work with Ear Musicians — singers and instrumentalists who listen and learn from the study tracks and lyric sheets.
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September 28, 2017 at 6:22 pm Leave a comment

Stretch Yourself! – Part 2

Hello again, good friends!  Here is part 2 of the Stretch Yourself series of blog posts.  Included here are excerpts from Watchfire Music’s free Info PDF download included in Peter Link’s new Solos For Sunday Morning Song Bundle.

The Informational PDF covers some of the issues in negotiating contemporary church music and its particular challenges.

At WFM, we have realized that we have not communicated nearly enough about the many wonderful Study Tools that a large majority of our WFM Composers are offering to church musicians to aid in their preparation of the music.

If you are a church musician or a passionate supporter of sacred music and musicians, I hope you will find  this series helpful.  Maybe it will spark some conversation around the music in your church!

If you are just discovering this series, click here to start from beginning to read Part 1.  You can also download the whole PDF here.

If you are up to speed, here is Part 2:
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September 25, 2017 at 11:10 am Leave a comment

Stretch Yourself! – Part 1

Several years ago, I began to write about the learning process that we performers go through to learn a song, a scene, a role, an entire concert or show.

It’s time to share again! I am going to start here by writing about Study Tools that I have used over the years that have truly aided me in my preparation for performing.

Why talk about it now? Well, this has come to the forefront of our thought at Watchfire Music with the release, this past weekend, of Peter Link’s new “Solos For Sunday Morning” Song Bundle (digital song book). It’s a wonderful collection of 13 new songs composed especially for church soloists. You can explore the songs here!

Peter Link not only composed the music and wrote or adapted the lyrics for these songs, but he also provided a whole set of Study Tools – Study Tracks and Accompaniment Tracks for each song —  and for each key version of each song!
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September 13, 2017 at 10:59 am Leave a comment

Live In Peace

Life has been jam-packed.  I believe it is for most everyone these days.

My “jam-packed” is filled with music projects, deadlines, rehearsals and all things Watchfire Music, while currently recording my newest album. It’s a sacred CD that will also offer digital sheet music for many of the songs so that they may be performed in local churches and inspirational events around the globe.

It’s been several years since I recorded a CD of specifically sacred-centered or church-focused music. This sacred music is my foundation, though, from which all other music and projects spring.  It’s a total joy to work on this.  It’s home.

As part of my preparation for the CD, lately I’ve been going on rehearsal-walks: I take my iPod and ear buds and head out to the nearby park.  I walk several miles and dive deep into the music tracks — living the lyrics, feeling the harmonies, and walking the rhythms.  I dream the stories in each song.
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May 5, 2017 at 10:22 am 2 comments

Is Anybody Listening in 2017?

Oh my! Here we are in the New Year, and it’s hard to believe that we are already a month into 2017.  Where does the time go?  Where DID it go?  Where did 2016 go?

There are an infinite number of answers to those questions.  For me, however, 2016 was defined by three words:  “Is Anybody Listening?”

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January 27, 2017 at 1:58 am Leave a comment

Simple Praise for Thanksgiving

wheat-field-harvest-sunset

 

I love this time of the year.  It’s a season for gratefulness.  It’s a season for giving gratitude for the harvest of thought, action and progress manifested in our lives!

One of my favorite songs in my sacred repertoire, “Simple Praise,” is one that I performed many times in church as well as recorded on my “Story For The Ages” CD.  It seems absolutely fitting to share with you now.

Just click the link below and listen to my full recording of “Simple Praise” by Craig Courtney and Pamela Martin.
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November 2, 2016 at 6:08 pm Leave a comment

Back to the Future at TMC!

Julia at TMC in Boston

A return to a spiritual/musical home in my life!

Recently, I had the great privilege of attending the morning service on Sunday at The First Church of Christ, Scientist – also known as The Mother Church (TMC). It’s the worldwide headquarters of the Christian Science church where I served as the Soloist for 7 years.

It’s been 4 years since I took my last turn as Soloist at TMC, and it was a joy to return and be a part of the congregation.

While there, I felt the past, present and future all combined in one. The past: feeling the foundation of this church!, wonderful memories, being back in this grand place, and seeing friends and colleagues. The present: experiencing the perpetually holy and healing service in full bloom as a congregation member. The future: Sitting with a congregation of new faces which included new Readers about to begin their tenure! (more…)

May 24, 2016 at 1:04 pm 1 comment

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Inspiratus by Julia Wade

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