All Alone – Musical Thoughts from the mind of a 14 year old

When I was a young teen, I spent a huge portion of my time alone in my room.  Music was my only voice to the outside world.  It carried on a frequency that seemed to transcend class, race, social status, and age.  The loneliness inside was buried deep, and cast a purple, obstructive hue on everything I I dared to dream about.

I loved music, but complications like dyslexia and my unusual way of comprehending lessons made it near impossible for me to understand musical theory, or even read music well.  All the music I heard around me was trapped inside my head, and played in endless loop.  I feared being driven to the edge of insanity.

One year, my parents purchased a piece of music writing software called Cakewalk.  The software had a special feature that allowed me to click on the musical staff and in real time hear the note through an external midi instrument generator.  For the first time,  I didn’t need to know how to read the music.  I could just click on the staff until I heard the pitch on the midi meet the pitch in my head.  Despite this process being painfully slow, I composed a dozen pieces including a  3 movement Requiem, and a Musical scored for a full scale symphony orchestra.  I even won the Ga State title in composition for a piece called Tarantella Russo.

How Sweet the Moonlight Sleeps – a musical no one has ever heard

My musical came to me during first outpouring of musical compositions at age 14.  A scribbled a basic dialogue, designed a few scenes, and wrote all of the major performance pieces.  It was one of the few times I wrote words along with my songs.

The story is about a girl named Catarina, a lost and lonely girl who is so in love with music she fears she will never have the capacity to fall in love with another, until one day when she meets a guy who hears the same song in the moonlight as she.  Originally, I only shared this piece with family and close friends performed without lyrics or layers on the piano.

After performing this piece in public for the first time at Northern Arizona University, the response was overwhelming.  For the first time, I got to feel the reaction of a crowd to music that poured from the deep inner workings of my my lonely, 14 year old self.  It made me wish I could somehow traverse time into the past and whisper to that girl that one day, her music would connect to others.

I plan on finishing the work I started 22 years ago.  For now, I want to present to you the lyrics to the song All Alone.  You can read along while listening to me perform the piece on my violin.

https://soundcloud.com/thelauranadine/all-alone-performance-version

The Lyrics

The night has just begun, and the moonlight fills the sky,

This eve feels never ending, I should be glad to say it’s mine.

All my dreams away they run, never turn to say good bye,

To them I send my blessing, ‘cause with me they’ll never be.

Here I stand, all alone, underneath the whisp’ring moonlight,

Like a bird, sing a song, soft and sweet.

Can I feel the deep green ocean, and with my dreams set sail?

Can I let my mind come open and my thoughts prevail?

Here I stand, all alone, right beside this star struck river,

Like a tree, stroke the blue and velvet sky.

Will I only see a lifetime, where I walk it’s paths alone?

Will I ever cry a tear of joy?

(Instrumental interlude)

Here I stand, all alone, held within a vast horizon,

Like a rock, stern and cold, but always seen.

I won’t fade into shadows; I’ll stand among the bold.

Mark my words, I’ll march on.

The night has just begun, and the moonlight fills the sky,

This eve feels never ending, why aren’t I glad to say it’s mine?

Farewell Catarina, Farewell to Love

As I am a creature of patterns, though there is a vast difference between patterns and repetitious outcomes that slap me in the face. Despite my prodigious optimism, to see past persistant repetitious outcomes, I am mourning the reality that one particular area of my life may be settled into a pattern opposite of what I desire. The area of romantic love.

Despite my best efforts, it occurs to me that the universe has somehow thrust into me a desire to fall in love, but had been too busy to put me in love’s reach. The passion in me feels effervescent, pushing through to the surface, and translated into tender movements that none desire of me, at least not for any reason past their own selfish sensations. It’s as if I am a flower that some desire to watch bloom, but do not wish to wallow in the scent.

I am doused with confusion. Why is the world from which I hear such sweet melodies, filled with such paltry moments? When it comes to love, are people purposefully disguised as mirages?

I fear that my writings of my youth are all too insightful. Perhaps it was insight, not naivety, that led my pen to create Catarina, a girl who thought that her love for music was so great, she would never feel the arms of romantic love.

As I write this, I realize I have no clever quotes to give, or stories to tell. The pain is just to great. So, tonight I play the sounds of love’s departure from me. I suppose I was not built to share romantic love, I was built only to bottle it in song. Should you ever see a melody from me called Farewell Catarina, you will know it is my farewell to love.

A Song A City – Opening Thoughts

A Song A City – Opening Thoughts

For as long as I can remember, everything around me has a song.  My mind is linked with the universe through music, as if we all are laying on the same sound fabric.  I call these songs Shadow Songs, and the art of listening to them, Shadow Listening. Over the years, I have kept the songs to myself, fearing the reaction.  What if people didn’t like their song?  When I would visit a place, I would hear my song, and then search my ipod for other songs in the same key and mood.  This was all I was brave enough to share.Then, an opportunity came to me.  I was invited to play at an event in Macon, Ga.  The crowd seemed to enjoy my performance of classical pieces.  It struck me, afterwards, that the pieces I had selected were not pieces that the general public would consider ovation worthy.  These just weren’t hugely popular pieces.  So what was it that made the crowd so happy?Following the program, my daughter and I approached the guest speaker, Nancy Grace.  She really loved the music and invited us to play on her show in recognition of autism awareness month.  We were honored and excited.  Now, I just had to figure out what we were going to play.  I reflected deeply on the crowds reactions to my playing.  It occurred to me that my unusual view on music, led to unusual expression in my playing.  Maybe the world was interested in hearing my shadow songs.With a little over a week to prepare, I opened up garage band and recorded the violin part.  One by one, I layered in the other instruments, using a midi keyboard.  In two days, I had a complete song to present.  Once I was in touch with Ms. Grace’s show, I learned I had 2 minutes of air time.  I went back to the computer and cut down the song to 1 minute and 55 seconds.

Our time on the show went by quickly, but I was still very grateful for the exposure.  Fueled by the momentum, I uploaded the song, Stone Shadow, to iTunes.

The reception of Stone Shadow has been amazingly positive.  It seems listeners, fans and friends alike, enjoy my work.  It just seemed foolish to stop there.

A song a city is born

To write more shadow songs, I need to experience the shadows of more places.  I can only hear places I visit first hand.  To make that happen, I need the help of all my fans and friends.

Visit Indiegogo to learn all about the trip, and to be a part of making A Song A City a reality!

A Song A City

Thanks to everyone who has supported me over the years!

Laura Nadine

Stone Shadow

Join me as I debut my new shadow song, Stone Shadow.  In honor of Autism Awareness Month, I will perform on my violin along with Allana Rain on:


Nancy Grace
Monday, April 22, 2013
8:00 pm EDT
 
 
If you enjoy the song, you can help me make more.  Using Indiegogo, a fundraising website, I am raising funds to travel with a crew to 4 major US cities in order to experience new shadow songs.  I am calling this adventure, A Song A City.
 
Beginning in Atlanta, we will visit Boston, New York City, Denver, and Los Angeles.  As we visit each city for a minimum of 3 days, I will compose songs for each city, and along the way, my crew of two will broadcast a web series of my trip so you can follow along.  Ending in Los Angeles  I would release the A Song A City album of all the songs I compose on the trip.  Donors at the Platinum level would also get to enjoy exclusive behind the scenes material, and even a chat session via Skype!
 
So many wonderful new things can be born in the next few months.  Please tune in to Nancy Grace and hear us play.  Then, follow up with a visit to Indiegogo and make a contribution.
 
 
Thank you for your support!  I have amazing fans!!
 
Laura

Autism Awareness is in My Blood

Despite all that has gone wrong these past few weeks, I still feel it is important to do my part for autism.  Awareness is a huge effort and must be given our best efforts.  Since the 1970’s, the Autism Society has set aside the month of April to celebrate autism awareness month.  Many American’s join in with ribbion wearing, blue lights on the porch, and a host of community events.  Other organizations, such as Autism Speaks, has taken this idea a step further with World Autism Awareness Month in an effort to make autism awareness a global collaboration.  The movement is growing.April is certainly a big month for autism, but what about the year round efforts of smaller groups?  One such group that grabbed my attention was The Six Degree Project.  Spearheaded by autistic student Carly Fleischmann, and students Emily Albert and Mia Kibel, these students didn’t wait for April.  This group of students from Northern Secondary School in Toronto, picked the often frigid month of February to raise awareness for autism.  The project sent long, warm, blue scarfs to celebrities and patrons, asking them to wear the scarf during their public appearances, and then post the photo to the Six Degree Project’s Facebook page.  Acting as a wonderful metaphor, the scarf seems to illustrate the warmth that grows in the heart of the communities who embrace autism by spreading a positive image.

I was so moved by this concept, I immediately contacted the group.  They promptly responded to my inquiry and seemed excited that I wanted to participate, despite my non-celebrity status.  Delighted, I sent in the form an awaited the release of the scarf.

The package arrived on a cold, wet afternoon.  Ecstatic, I ripped open the padded envelope right there at the mailbox.  It was like I was a child receiving a special delivery from Santa!  I was pleasantly surprised to see quality and detail in the design, and that the scarf was long enough to be utilized as more than a decorative item.  I was pleased.

It didn’t seem enough to just wear the scarf.  I had been planning for months to make an autism awareness music video that would shed a positive light on autism, and the abilities of autistic people.  With the scarf as inspiration, I picked the song You Raise Me Up, laid out the storyboards, and began the search for participants.

Since autism is such a sensitive topic for many parents, I struggled to find families willing to brag about their autism.  At first, I was deeply disappointed by the lack of involvement, but then I realized how much we needed to make this video.

Frustration during a creative project is unavoidable, it seems.  Creativity also seems to be accompanied by a truck load of self-doubt.  Perhaps this is how we stay humble, or how we keep therapists in business.  Whatever the reason, I was 2 days from the deadline, and practically paralyzed by my erratic executive functioning skill set.

Not knowing where to turn, I texted my good friend Anna, “Why aren’t I happy with anything I am producing today?”  Using the exact number of words she knows I need to not be overwhelmed, she eloquently replied, “Because your ambition is being held back by your means.”  She was right.  Budgetary limitations and lack of access to programs has been a huge burden on my process.  Why were my means limited?  I am a hard working, productive member of society, but I just can’t seem to get that leg up I need to be truly independent and financially secure.  I didn’t need to make this project only for the Six Degree Project, I didn’t need to make this project only for the parents who feared being public about autism.  It was apparent that I also needed to do this project for me.  With a renewed sense of energy, and the positive reaffirmation of my good friend, I dove head first into the video.

Working until the early morning hours on the eve of my 36th birthday, I completed the autism awareness video.  The video below is on my YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/liquidc2

Visit my website for more information on what I do, and to watch the official countdown timer on the homepage!  http://www.lauranadine.net

Don’t forget to visit The Six Degree Project and show your support by purchasing a scarf.  http://thesixdegreeproject.com/

I am proud to support autism and the creative movement started by The Six Degree Project.  I hope the world will one day be warmed by the love that comes with awareness, and acceptance.

Laura

I Heard This in the Shadows

It has been a tough couple of weeks.  Love seems outside my grasp, no matter how brave I am or how deep into the darkness I reach.  So, the shadows grew louder, and louder, and louder, to the point that the melody made my nerve endings pulse – like when you have spent 4 hours at a heavy metal concert and you can still feel each beat in your lips and finger tips.On a rare occasion, the shadows carry a few words with the tune.  Haunting in nature, the words come in small, angry mobs, directing themselves toward the one I feel is responsible for my pain.  This time, the words were abstract and vague.  I am angry at no one.  I blame no one.  It just the pain of keeping to myself, and the throbbing of a void.I heard this in the shadows:

Lies can’t protect you, all they do is kick you out
There are no words, gifts were already exchanged
Six inches from you is where I stood,
But the forest has no trees
Passion burned them down
Cause you didn’t put out the rage

I can’t fight or I’ll die
I can’t drown or I’ll live
I can’t be everything you don’t want me to be
But when I’m left to just be, 
I’m visible to only me.


The tune is whispered by voice, and carried by guitar.  Its simple, its sad and stranded on a isle in my mind.  Maybe some day I will be brave enough to share it.  Right now, though, I will keep it close for it is my only companion.  The only painful reality that I must sling over my shoulders like a dead albatross is that I am a walking song; I’m only loved until the tune is faded by the sounds of a different one.