A Priceless Meadow – My Debut CD Release!

“Do you have a CD?” That is a question that every musician loves to hear. It is lovely acknowledgement that someone likes and appreciates your work. What a great feeling!cover front

As a solo harpist, I think we probably get this question maybe even earlier than some other musicians. There is just something about the harp. But the thought of actually making a CD? AHHHHH!!!! And the process of actually DOING it? AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!! It is alternatively – scary, fun, exhilarating, terrifying, frustrating, tedious, expensive, torturous, amazing and …… Bottom line. It is a lot of work and worth every second.

I am thrilled to announce that after almost three years of hard work, my debut CD is hitting the market. For many years as I played at hospice or performed at a restaurant I would get the question about a CD. I deferred for a long time. I didn’t think I was up to it. It is hard when you compare yourself to your idols and think “I could never match that so what do I have to offer?” But gradually, slowly, I decided that I did have something to say and I did have something to offer. I can’t compare myself to some of my idols and I’ll never be like them. I’m just me and that is fine.

So starts the process of making a CD – planning, picking songs, getting permissions, designing, making arrangements, recording. And repeat and REPEAT! I never thought it would take this long but it did and it really was worth it. Every delay actually turned into a blessing.

First, my long suffering husband. He bore the brunt of this process in many ways putting up with so many harp hauling duties, practice sessions, recording sessions and questions. He has spent a lot of time listening to me which he doesn’t mind as long as he’s drinking a beer (kidding! Sort of 🙂 ).  Man, he is a patient soul and I’m the luckiest woman in the world. One hint – part of the CD title is an ode to him. Additionally, he was my first sound engineer and together we spent a lot of time doing recordings.

After each recording session we would go home and I would review and edit everything. First, I had to learn the sound editing program Audacity and later I had to learn Adobe Audition. Challenges. Worth it. Eventually, I decided that I still wasn’t getting exactly the sound that I wanted in the spaces where we were recording so I called Darren Crisp. Darren has a fabulous studio here in Fayetteville and has done CD mastering for some of my friends including Candy Lee. Getting to record and work with Darren has definitely been a highlight for me.

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Picking songs – now there is a challenge! Trying to find the right mix of songs between things written for the harp, traditional, things you need to get permission to record, things you have to pay royalties on, things you’ve written. I admit that I feel a sense of failure that I didn’t include anything that I have written on this album. It is something that I have been working on but just haven’t quite been ready to share with the world. Maybe someday. In the meantime, I am honored that several wonderful people that I know were willing to share their talents with me. First, my friends RoJean Loucks and Carolyn Bame who both write the most beautiful songs specifically for lever harp. Narrowing down the options was the biggest challenges with their songs. I’m thrilled to play their songs and thankful for their shared gifts. Also, I was lucky to find a song that came from my parent’s church in Portland, Oregon. The song, “Come to Me”, was written by two members of the church for their choir. I think it is such a beautiful song for the choir and it was a challenge to bring it down to just a solo instrument. I hope they think I’ve done it justice. There were many songs that I worked on for some time that in the end didn’t make the cut for one reason or another. I had a really joyous time coming up with my own creative “mash-ups” of some traditional songs and I’m very proud of that work.

Designing… designing… Luckily, my friend, Rhonda Dillard, got me up and running in the design stage but eventually I had to learn Adobe Illustrator to work on the CD cover and other promotional materials. I’m still learning but I’ve made progress. The thing about this process… You are a musician but you end up being all these other things as well! A lot of hats. Since my soul will always be a photographer that is an easy part of the process for me. Dave and Sharon Thormahlen have given me great pieces of art to photograph and I love taking my harps and giving them a chance to shine in nature. The cover photo for the album was taken at Petit Jean State Park in Arkansas and I’ve been using that photo as my logo for a while. However, in the end, I did my final recording on my new harp which is the same model just a different color and a little bit bigger bass sound. I don’t think that is false advertising since they are so closely related.cover thanks

Now comes the marketing, press releases, release party and, hopefully, sales. Obviously, I hope for sales. It would be nice to think that all of those people that asked over the years will come back and buy a CD. It would be nice to recoup my production costs, pay for the harpmobile and be able to buy my husband a beer. Mostly, I hope that people will enjoy it. I think they will be happy to have it at Circle of Life Hospice where I volunteer. I will be glad that I have finally accomplished this challenge and I am proud of all the work that I have done. It was worth it!


PS. The CD is available available for pre-order on my site if you want a physical CD. It will also be on iTunes, Amazon and CD Baby soon too!

A Priceless Meadow CD

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