Healing Music

December 3, 2021

Cover Art for “For Children of All Ages”,by You and Us. Album to be Released Soon

An interesting new music album is on the way soon. Nicole Porter Davis and her band, You and Us, have created an album of songs that reflect the various stages of Art Therapy Trauma Response, developed by Porter, a Registered and Board Certified Art Therapist, following the Sandy Hook School tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.

The first single from the album is available to be heard now here.

As a retired Art Therapist, myself, I am appreciative of the creativity, imagination, and initiative involved in this project.

You can read and subscribe to her new newsletter here.

This article from Psyche rings true to me. I have had many conversations with friends and colleagues who have encouraged me to take whatever creative product I have just shared and monetize it by finding a commercial outlet. While I find this flattering, I also am displeased by their extrapolation of the product of a creative moment to the realm of the commercial. I know from my experience that thoughts of commercial success and the behaviors that would be expected are dampeners to my imagination and creative process. Although I would enjoy the attention that commercial success implies, I would not trade it for the joy of the imagination, the interaction with the media and tools, the problem solving, and sense of completion- however fleeting. The striving takes me out of the moment, or replaces the in-the-moment joy with attention to the future rather than the now and away from the intensely personal experience into one that invites the judgement of others. I have been fortunate to not have to depend on my amateur interests to make a living- my career took another path related but not the same. And so now retired from that career I can spend more time and attention what I love.


When I rekindled my relationship with the piano and tapped into my inner amateur, I discovered a quiet room of my own
— Read on psyche.co/ideas/feel-free-to-stop-striving-learn-to-relish-being-an-amateur


I recently met Tom Holmes and, after discussing his work, I decided to check out his web site. There I found hundreds of images of a variety of media- metal, wood, stone, and even ice. A NEPA resident, Tom has shown his work widely. I recommend taking a look at tomholmes.com to see his prolific and imaginative art.



In a grand gesture of imagination Ornette Coleman created Harmolodics, a radically creative and innovative approach to playing music that is accessible to all. His first Harmolodics album, The Shape of Jazz to Come, was released in 1959. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 2007. Reportedly, he was dyslexic, which may have played a role in his imagining the opening of the structures of music. Follow the Open Culture link below to read more and listen to Coleman play in several videos.

From Open Culture, text and video about this creative genius:  http://www.openculture.com/2020/07/how-ornette-coleman-freed-jazz-with-his-theory-of-harmolodics.html


Music and art as an “accumulation of wisdom, the context art gives us that puts life into perspective, (Sonny Rollins) and transcends politics. From an article in the New York Times, May 18, 2020, as told to Ian Carlino.

Beautiful and moving-


Dave Brubeck’s iconic “Time Out” jazz album was a synthesis of American jazz and world polyrhythms. I loved this album as a boy, saw the quartet perform it live, and love it still today. Its a good example of a form of creativity. This short video from Open Culture breaks it down and explains.


Get Together Now– a new song by Bob Schoenholtz (Lead vocal, guitar, and piano) with tracks by Randy Light (guitars, vocals, and bass) and Andy Pace on percussion and vocals. Recording and production by Randy Light. Thanks, Randy!

Lonely Girl Recording Pic1

Listen to a new recording of a song I wrote many years ago. It is so beautifully sung by Ekat Pererya and recorded and rendered by Lou Pererya. That’s me on keyboards. Enjoy.

Lonely Girl ©

My first Native American flute build. This is from a kit sold by Blue Bear Flutes and is made of cedar. I added some detail of my own, of course, with an inlay of poplar along two sides and a crow totem on the sound block. Thanks to Charlie Mato-Toyela for his great YouTube video guidance, supplies, and book on the subject.

Listen to a brief recording of me playing this flute.


I sang two original songs at an open mike benefit for suicide awareness. I was nervous, and it showed. But it was received well and was great fun. Just the beginning for me!

Here is a link to the Open Culture web site where they have a post with jazz piano great Bill Evans talking about improvisation. The accompanying video, “The Universal Mind of Bill Evans”, is about 45 minutes long. Worth the time and attention.


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Joshua Wolf Shenk has a new series on Slate.com on creative pairs, Two is the Magic Number. Accompanying a long essay is a 3+ minute video on John Lennon and Paul McCartney's creative relationship. Related to the previous post here on creative relationship evidenced by remixing, this article explores in depth the "myth of the lone creator". This is Part 1, here is Part 2Part 3. Enjoy.

Everything is a Remix

September 14, 2010

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Led Zeppelin, 1968

Everything is a Remix is part one of what promises to be a very interesting and well done web series video by “Kirby”. Lasting about 7 minutes, this first installment covers the relationship of elements from some music sources to another in hip hop and rock. The creative journey has many avenues. Cool. I’ll be waiting for the next parts. Watch it here. (Thanks John Gruber)

September 16, 2010

Here is a link to a response to the above written by songwriter John Woods furthering the discussion- and some responses to him as well.

This video brought tears to my eyes. Stand By Meperformed by Ben E. King and written by Ben E. King, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, is a great song to begin with, but this takes it to a new, universal level. I wonder what the story of the making of this is- who made it, how, and why. I wouldn't be surprised to see this one become very popular, at least for a time. 

Enjoy- and imagine!


Together Again

August 25, 2008

Two titans of imaginative music have recorded together again after 30 years. David Byrne and Brian Eno have released a new album, "Everything That Happens Will Happen Today". At this time, the album is only available from their web site, Everythingthathappens.com, and is available in many formats. Generously, they have provided a way to embed the album on web sites so here it is! See if you like it- it's all here! What do you think about the music, the business model, etc.? 



Music into Writing

July 10, 2007

Haruki Murakami is a novelist with a series of well-written imaginative and surreal books including two favorites of mine, The Wind Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel and Kafka on the Shore. His newest book is After Dark.

In an essay published in the New York Times Book Review on July 8, 2007, Murakami describes the role that music played- and plays- in his writing. From the essay:

Whether in music or in fiction, the most basic thing is rhythm. Your style needs to have good, natural, steady rhythm, or people won’t keep reading your work. I learned the importance of rhythm from music — and mainly from jazz. Next comes melody — which, in literature, means the appropriate arrangement of the words to match the rhythm. If the way the words fit the rhythm is smooth and beautiful, you can’t ask for anything more. Next is harmony — the internal mental sounds that support the words. Then comes the part I like best: free improvisation. Through some special channel, the story comes welling out freely from inside. All I have to do is get into the flow. Finally comes what may be the most important thing: that high you experience upon completing a work — upon ending your “performance” and feeling you have succeeded in reaching a place that is new and meaningful. And if all goes well, you get to share that sense of elevation with your readers (your audience). That is a marvelous culmination that can be achieved in no other way.

This short (half page) essay is worth reading and so are his books. What do you think?