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Mother Earth is Crying Out! How Can We Help?

mother earth 2We have all witnessed, either in person or through social media, the recent devastation brought about by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. I was moved on many levels: as an American, as a citizen of the world and as a musician. With dramatic climate changes bringing about ever-more catastrophic weather events, I know we all agree nature must at last be soothed and celebrated, not exploited.

In 1997 when I was recording my debut album SELF, The Land Had A Dream was a brand new song that I wanted to include last minute. I received a lot of comments and questions relating to my writing about the environment–such as, “what do you mean the land had a dream? how does the sky have a dream?'” etc. I was really convinced that THE LAND HAD A DREAM was the song to feature when we discussed a music video to promote the album. There was push back however I stood my ground (no pun intended) and we made the video. We had great support from many and to this day, I realize what a big task we took on! Always up for a challenge, we made it work!

At the time there weren’t a lot of pop songs based around environmental themes. I feel the song continues to be relevant even more so today as we all join together to share our messages of concern and the need for change. Check out the quote at the end of the video we added in – during post production.

Today I hereby pledge the following:

  1. All money coming from downloads of the track THE LAND HAD A DREAM between September 13, 2017 and September 13, 2018 will be donated to Hand in Hand.
  2. If you cover the song ( guitar, piano, acapella) and put a video up on YouTube I will donate $25 to Hand in Hand at the end of the year for each video that is created. Please be sure to let us know when you post your video! keymediagroupnyc(at)gmail.com

https://handinhand2017.com/

To download THE LAND HAD A DREAM link

Denise Marsa-The Land Had A Dream From The Cd Self

Basic Chords: B E A D Cm D# G# G
Lyrics: 

 

THE LAND HAD A DREAM Words and Music:  Denise Marsa

Man had a dream without illusions

Washed up in rivers and lakes of concrete and stone

When I see your face, I’m closer to home

Outside our shelter it feels so alone

 

What about the land the land had a dream

What about the sky the sky had a dream

What about the trees the trees had a dream

What about the sun the sun had a dream

 

What is a prayer without confusion

Simple is sometimes the best we can do

First there was one followed by two

Three maybe four we crowd our lives with ourselves

 

What about the land the land had a dream

What about the sky the sky had a dream

What about the moon the moon had a dream

What about the sea the sea had a dream

 

Man had a dream without illusions

Washed up in rivers and lakes of concrete and stone

 

What about the land the land had a dream

What about the sky the sky had a dream

What about the trees the trees had a dream

What about the sun the sun had a dream

© 1997  Marsa Music/ASCAP

 

 

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Reigning it in: Staging a Production

Tiger

As a musical performer I’ve been told I often use sweeping and dramatic gestures and move about a lot on stage. What I’m learning now is that being a singer with a band is a lot different than doing a one-woman show. As I rehearse my show THE PASS it’s been brought to my attention by my director, Gretchen Cryer, that I need to stand still–at least once in a while! During my rehearsal yesterday I was pacing around the stage, thinking and moving spontaneously as I would in life. But this can be distracting for an audience, even off-putting. I’ve been advised to block out all my moves so that when I speak and sing I will be standing in pre-arranged places–no more wandering around! I’m a free spirit who enjoys making each performance different; I even sing my songs with slight variations every time, to keep them fresh. It’s just the way I roll.

However, for THE PASS, the first run-through, which is September 28th, is an invitation-only performance and will be trying out a new style: one of stillness. I will perform my anecdotes and sing my songs according to a pattern that I’ll have pre-determined, as much as it is within my power to do so. Varying my act a bit, by tweaking the way I usually perform, will be a big challenge. But it will also keep me aware of both myself and the audience in a fresh and exciting new way.

I am thrilled (and nervous) to be preparing for my first showing of THE PASS and will be sure to let you know how it goes.

Being a Parent: Questions and Answers

parenting-title-image_tcm7-188622Let me start off with I am not a parent; however I have great respect for those that take on the endeavor–it is an experience unlike any other. Often times requiring a balance of unconditional and conditional love, it is an intense task to be a parent and it can hold both great rewards and challenges.

The depth of my respect continues to grow as I watch and am close to those carrying their first child, bringing up a toddler, going through rough times with teens or young adults and often being 100% responsible for their grown up kids, men and women in their 50’s and 60’s depending solely on a parent or parents to survive.  In my mind, parenting doesn’t stop when a child reaches the age of 18. All people mature differently; I have met a 30 year old that seemed like a 17 year old and vice versa. Every day, every moment, every second a new baby is being born somewhere and parents must realize they are the ones shaping these babies and teaching them how to inhabit the earth. Every living thing creates synergy, energy, motion at any given moment, and influences the world we all live in. We, adults and children, are all responsible, accountable for what happens on this earth.

I heard a scene from a screen play last night, The Violent Men (1955), a Western. A character says, “Men will always find reasons to avoid peace.”  I found this statement profound and wonder how much more relevant this statement is in these times of strife, anarchy, disrespect, violence, and random senseless brutality. Of course we have those standing up for love, union, equality and homemade cookies, too. What kind of a parent are you?

TheViolentMen

Whether or not you have children, we all seek answers to the question: why is this happening?  Today Hilary Clinton released WHAT HAPPENED. Looks fascinating. She addresses many things including her debate with Trump; how he acted in a menacing way during the debates and how she allowed it. She asks her own questions and gives the answers to some of ours.

HilaryClinton_WhatHappened

As I ran through the script of my show THE PASS yesterday, I heard a recurring theme and it is… What just happened? I ask you, if you are reading this blog, what is happening, in your own words…please share.

BE YOURSELF – INDIVIDUALISM IS THE NEW TREND

chants-field-mirror-4-by-alex-baker-photographyFor several decades now, since the highly individualistic 60’s, people seem to have gravitated more to group dynamics than to self-expression. Until recently that is. With the election of Trump, and with corporate politics being constantly questioned, people are again realizing the value of forming their own opinions, instead of having their ideas dictated to them via peer pressure.

Too often we put ourselves into boxes and then stick labels on them, so we are stuck with whatever judgment or perceptions these labels have generated.  In time we may need to get out! Staying fluid, we may come off as wishy-washy. Is there a way to keep your opinions fluid and on a personal level? Leaving the generalizations and stereo types aside and hence allowing more diversity in our lives.

My show, THE PASS, is very much an individual journey. I have always seen the value of following my own path – listening to my own voice even when there were others doing everything they could to convince me otherwise – was often a challenge especially when I first got started. I titled my first CD SELF and the front panel (a sticker made from Mylar on which we printed only the word SELF and inserted into the package; we went to great lengths to find these!) acts as a mirror when people pick it up.  Self-awareness when you pick up my music was the intention.

SELF Denise Marsa

Be an individual, stand out from the crowd and listen to your own voice. That way you’ll always be sure to be heard.

FLIRTING WITH THE FLIRTS

The early 80’s was a frivolous time; I was dividing life between NYC and London. Before I went to London, I was asked to sing on two records for The Flirts, who were then a big dance/disco project masterminded by Bobby Orlando. Orlando did try to sign me but I was already on my way to London to sign a Warner Brother’s deal. He had a formula for success; he mimicked hit records and he hired different singers to perform at the recording sessions. I did a buy-out for HELPLESS (YOU TOOK MY LOVE) and MAKING TIME–on which Belinda Carlisle sings backup. (Buy-out means a negotiated rate and no royalties. This was a non-union session.) Turns out HELPLESS rose to the top of the charts. Initially, the group was made up of models and performers-seven or eight of them–who impersonated a group. Now with millions of views on youtube for HELPLESS I want to set the record straight–it’s my voice!

My Own Barber Pole

As I continue to prepare for my one-woman show, THE PASS, in which I tell stories about my life & career, I have been thinking of my past successes. This has led me to ponder the nature of success in general. Some people experience success as one straight line like a rocket vaulting into the sky; for others it is winding, a fluid motion like the stripes of a barber pole that can lead them from top to bottom to top again. I feel this pattern is most apt in describing my own music career.

 My brother David and I recently found cassettes of my music from the 80’s and he wanted to transfer them to CD! We did at a studio in NJ – here’s CHEMISTRY- a very early song of mine.  The song resonates with the rousing vibrations of youth and an interest in a new love. 

Larga Vida el Paso – Meet Marta Sanchez

After months of searching, I am happy to say I have found a great pianist Marta Sanchez to help me launch my show THE PASS. Marta is from Madrid, Spain and is currently living in Brooklyn.  She has an impressive background with degrees in both classical and jazz composition. Marta has toured the US, Europe, South and Central America and, among her many accomplishments, she was awarded MacDowell Fellowship in 2017.

I’m particularly engaged by the energy and commitment she brings to my songs. Rhythm has always been a big part of my composing and I have felt that through the years my recordings have not always reflected that ingredient. I like what she brings to the music!

You can check out Marta’s website at: www.martasanchezmusic.com