- Patriotic Songs Put To A Beautiful Piano and Full Band Arrangement -
(2015) A powerfully healing group of patriotic songs put to Jeffrey’s own piano and full band arrangements. These patriotic songs are all instrumentals except for the beautifully written, ‘Sovereign Country’ featuring his vocals and lyrics. During a long recovery from mercury toxicity, Jeffrey used natural detox methods, music and meditation to regain health and balance. This CD of patriotic songs developed out of those meditations. It is both in honor of his own father who served in the Navy and all Veterans who selflessly served in the name of freedom, our America.
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ADDITIONAL NOTES FOR THE PATRIOTIC SONGS…
The Star Spangled Banner is the song that really started off this journey. I was coming out of an intense mercury toxicity illness and using natural healing methods such as raw foods, reiki, music and a lot of meditation. In the meditation practice, one of the aspects of it involves noticing coincidences in your life then taking action once you know the meaning behind it. Well, shortly after I started, I was having many coincidences around patriotic music, veterans, Washington D.C., etc. A good friend of mine even said he often thought that my style of music would sound great with patriotic songs. Since part of the practice is to take action once you know the meaning, I decided to say yes to the project. As it says on the cover of the CD, powerful intention is embedded in the music helping Veterans and Americans to heal. Although this may sound like a bold claim, throughout the whole process of creating the album I was consistently using meditation and a healing intention, so I know that it is infused into the music.
Battle Hymn Of The Republic starts off with a haunting and poignant melody using an acoustic guitar sound with a serene, floating synth pad. It eases gently into the famous melody and coaxes a ‘memorial tribute’ type of feeling out of you. Then, by the end of the song, you’ve hopefully had the chance to revisit any feelings of guilt or fear you may have held and let the music wrap your forgiveness around it so you arrive newly open and free.
I was thinking about how healing the song, Amazing Grace is but I wanted to really add my own flavor and feeling. So even though the melody is the same as the original I changed some of the chords underneath it and decided to name it My Amazing Grace. The name also implies that to really experience Grace you need to allow it to enter into you, sort of like claiming it as your own but in an allowing way. The song really builds with the new chords I added and brings a passion into the healing Grace.
With the desire to really add my own style and arrangement to these American treasures came the desire to write an original song with lyrics. Sovereign Country came out even better than I expected. The words communicate the unity, sharing and hopeful destiny that we all share. Rich, emotional strings open up the track followed by piano then into the lyrics. The bridge is particularly interesting using evocative chords and phrases that portray, to me anyways, the diverse melting pot that America has always been. We are many unique peoples and yet share one Sovereign Country.
Army Air Corps is upbeat and positive with a sense of… you guessed it, flying. I had a lot of fun with this song. I found a really old piece of sheet music that was probably one of the original published versions. Of course, this was before it became the Air Force in 1947. I focused on the soaring, uplifting aspects of the song and also on making it somewhat more modern sounding.
America The Beautiful is such a wonderful melody. There is a lot of piano in this arrangement and I used a majestic string/synth sound to carry the expansiveness of the message. I always enjoy playing this treasured piece.
Canadian Sunset may seem like it’s on the wrong album, but it indirectly fits in. You see, my father who was a Veteran for twenty years in the Navy loved this song very much. I often played it for him at his request as I was learning the piano. It is a tribute to him in a couple of ways. First, the song itself, and second, the piano solo that happens a couple of times is a tip of my hat to my dad’s one little piano song. He would jokingly sit down at the piano and proceed to randomly play all the black keys, which turns out is a nice sounding scale. So I incorporated that scale into the solo and it always reminds me of him and his little ‘black keys’ song.
Oh Shenandoah is the one solo piano piece on the album. I thought the purity and simple beauty of the song called for the ‘unplugged’ version. I wanted to stretch out and allow the piano to show it’s colors as the wonderful instrument that it is. The melody has a longing to it and yet for me, it is also incredibly rich and beautiful. I hope you enjoy it.