With Courage

dragon-warrior-858

With courage I will slay the dragon
That hurls blazing fire into my dreams
Hissing flames, obliterating wishes
Imagined over years, yet so precious
They crumble in the face of terror

With courage I will seek the valley
As he follows, gliding, stalking
And the wisdom of the trees will hold strong
Forged over centuries that no dragon
Could penetrate or break its shield

And when I have amassed the power
Of the ancient woods, collected its
Secrets hidden within the pines and soil
I will rise up the mountain and thrust
Into the leviathan’s heart its final blow

And when he is dead, I will not grieve
Though he had warded away
The other ghouls I could not face
But with courage
I will take the first step
Into the valley of life
Without his shadow

I strongly believe that creativity, and sharing creativity, takes fearlessness — the courage to open the floodgates of passion, expression and emotion that we so often keep pushed deep down.  It’s more than just about producing music, writing or any other piece of art.  It’s about working to gradually break down the walls that prevent you from being who you are.

~ Cafe <3

Happy Creative 2015!

music-newyear

The winter blahs and pesky flu bug are enough to suck the songwriting inspiration straight out of anyone’s soul — mine’s sadly included.  Although one of my biggest goals for 2015 — ah, no, not an NYR — is to take the songwriting muse by the horns, the creative aspirations have been temporarily laid to rest as catching up on Sherlock episodes takes top precedence (man, I love that show).

So what did you all get up to this holiday season?  And did you decide to take the plunge with a big goal for this big year? :)

~ Cafe <3

The Art of Collaboration

The first time I collaborated with someone on writing a song together was about a month and a half into my songwriting journey, just over a year ago.

It was such a nerve-wrecking idea that I would be adding my own creation to someone’s else’s creation in the hopes of making it bigger and better!

Well, I have to say that partnering up with Adam Boddy was just about the best introduction I could have asked for to the art of collaborating.  What makes an awesome collaboration partner?  Someone who is a good communicator and responsive (both in a timely sense and in giving you constructive feedback), as well as encouraging and honest.  It also helped that we both just happened to be on the same page about a lot of things!

It doesn’t always come that easy though.

Some of you have heard our song “For Simone” before but I’m putting it up now as I’m currently into a new collaboration and needing to find some inspiration somewhere!  Anywhere!

I guess it’s this way with anything in life — sometimes you have to work with people who maybe don’t do things the way you normally do.  And you’re given a challenging task and could use all the encouragement and feedback that you can get … but, instead, there is silence on the other end.  [Cue the cricket chirp].

Well, we can always learn something from the experience though and use it to better our half of being a collaborative partner.  Always a silver lining to everything!

Have you ever had a challenging collaboration that you worked your way through?

~ Cafe <3

Music Therapy

music notes head

To me, it’s a no-brainer that music has always had the power to help people heal.

There’s so many pent up thoughts and emotions in people’s heads these days.  So many things we don’t feel comfortable saying or expressing because we’re afraid of how others might see us.

Music — whether we’re taking it in or the ones letting it out — takes the place of having to say the words we often feel can’t justify our experiences anyway.

Taking it to another level, I’ve been learning about how music has even been used to treat certain diseases or disorders with its therapeutic benefits for people with Alzheimer’s, addiction, and depression.

For example, music therapy can apparently “increase motivation for treatment in patients with substance-abuse disorders, improve decision-making skills and help prevent relapse.”

How does music achieve this?  Well, this might be done through certain music exercises that strengthen the part of the brain involved in decision-making or, say, by participating in a drumming circle as an alternative to verbal therapy.

Songwriting is also a way to help people process certain feelings — as is probably a lot of other art forms.  Of course, I can really relate to this!  Even if the song isn’t about my life, getting to channel certain emotions through my songwriting and singing can really be cathartic.

Life often seems to be a journey to freeing ourselves from our own minds.  If music can help you to get there, why not lean on it? :)

So, how has music helped YOU to heal?

~ Cafe <3