About this project
“Life’s a Song” celebrates creativity across generations. 12 original songs of love and laughter, adventure and home, loss and triumph were composed by 200 people, age 60-100+ in collaborative workshops with 7 professional songwriters. Compelling, delightful and memorable - each song carries the stories, wit, humor, history, melodies and intelligence of those living with Alzheimer's, depression, isolation and other life challenges - and their families, friends and neighbors. The songs are now beautifully recorded and mixed. The CD package, designed for music lovers and care providers alike, will include lyrics, tips about unleashing brain power through song, and resources to inspire and empower communities of all ages.
We’re raising $10,000 to complete this historic project and deliver these songs - and the stories behind them - out onto the airwaves and into the lives of all who can use them. Order today and receive digital downloads by Dec 20th.
Who are we?
We're Judith-Kate Friedman, Matt Sircely, and Keeth Monta Apgar - songwriter-facilitators with Songwriting Works™ Educational Foundation. We began working together with songwriters Anke Summerhill, Aimée Ringle, Daniel Deardorff and Laurence Cole in 2009 to bring the power of collective song composition to communities across Washington state's Olympic Peninsula. Renowned producer Orville Johnson heard the songs and joined us in our mission to represent, honor and elevate elders' diverse truths and musical styles so they can be enjoyed widely.
Why are we excited by this Project? As facilitators, we’ve seen first hand how songwriting can transform lives, awaken passions, dispel depression and galvanize friendships in care facilities, communities and our own neighborhoods. People who’ve never before composed songs find their voices. Those living with chronic illness and advancing stages of Alzheimer’s disease write unforgettable tunes and lyrics from their life stories. Wit and history, words and melodies come together in surprising ways that honor and celebrate the lives of everyone involved.
Giving our musical skills in service opens our worlds as artists. And, as science reveals music's essential role in brain and overall health we're honored to collaborate with researchers who study the power of song.
How do these songs get written? Here’s a look at the process:
What do the songs sound like? Here are some tracks:
(click the >play button. or scroll to any point by clicking on the ~wave)
Title Track ~ Anke takes the lead on this sultry sage of life and longing.
Country Blues ~ with a rugged sense of self-esteem. Catch Matt & OJ!
Sweet Folk ~ Birth to Beyond....it's all about Love. Aimée Ringle w/JK.
Rock ~ AN ANTHEM FOR ALL AGES... Daniel & Laurence w/ Joe. Dig it!
The $10,000 will be used to complete the final phase of production:
$ 500 Editing to weave participants’ voices between the tracks
$ 1,000 Graphics and educational package design including song booklet
$ 3,800 Pay the producer and musicians (balance of fees)
$ 1,000 Mastering
$ 1,200 Manufacturing
$ 1,500 Radio promotion and distribution
$ 1,000 Contingency and Reward fulfillment
What's our bigger vision?
Our “stretch goal” (an additional $11,000) will provide:
$ 4,300 Expand public service through touring, concerts and workshops
$ 3,000 Manufacture and distribute 3,000 additional CDs
$ 1,400 Creation of additional educational materials
$ 1,200 Editing and publication of music videos to support outreach
$ 1,100 Contingency and reward fulfillment
The Plan: Songwriting Works' SongTeam (JK, Keeth, Matt and guests) will tour, publish and distribute the discs and songs widely in conjunction with key agency partners, family caregiver and Alzheimer's support groups, arts presenters and leaders in music education, medicine and the healing arts. We'll get this music to people who need it most: those who are isolated, living with memory loss or caring for an ailing loved one. We’ll also reach the professionals who can make good use of these songs, and the stories behind them, with the people they serve.
Won't you join us? Pre-order the CD today!
Receive the digital version by the Holidays and the disc early in 2014.
Add to the momentum! Share this with someone you know who turns to music for hope, solace, inspiration and an example of what's possible!
Activate via social media: 'tweet,' 'like' and 'link!'
Book SW's touring ensemble (JK, Matt, Keeth, plus special guest) or commission us to write a tribute song! See rewards>>>>
Pass the word: "Life's a Song. Be part of it!"
Celebration concert Dec 11th 7pm Rosewind Common House in Port Townsend, WA. Judith-Kate, Daniel, Keeth, Joe. Join us!
Songwriting Works™ is an internationally award-winning organization and innovative intergenerational process that delivers research-proven results. As an artist-led non-profit we collaborate with diverse partners and serve as consultants to the growing fields of songwriting, creative aging, arts and wellness, music education and service learning.
"Life's a Song" is dedicated to those participants and supporters who've passed on and gifted us with the legacy of their songs and stories.
Thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts for granting us initial seed money to produce this project with Orville Johnson. Thanks to our audiences and presenters of festivals and national conferences who are requesting this CD and our touring 'package' of workshops and concerts. THANK YOU for helping birth this long-awaited historic project!
We look forward to sharing this music with you and your community.
This CD is the next step in our journey.
~ ~ ~ ~
Want to learn more? Here's another short video:
Here's the story of a family who reunited twin brothers as a result of songwriting together. Music video by Aba Kiser.
The musicians on “Life’s a Song:”
Songwriting Works SongTeam & Touring Ensemble:
Judith-Kate Friedman: Vocals, Guitar, Executive Producer
Matt Sircely: Vocals, Mandolin, Guitar
Keeth Monta Apgar: Vocals, Guitar
Orville Johnson: Producer, Dobro, Guitars, Percussion, Vocals
Anke Summerhill: Vocals
Aimée Ringle: Vocals, Guitar
Daniel Deardorff: Vocals, Harmonica, Associate Producer
Laurence Cole: Vocals
Joe Breskin: Lead Guitar
David Michael: Harp
Hans Toyber: Horns
Keith Lowe: Bass
Jeff Bush: Drums, Percussion
George Rezendes/ToolShed SoundLab: Engineer
Neville Pearsall/Synergy Sound: Engineer
Garey Shelton: Engineer
David Lange: Engineer
Plus selected voices of participants from the Olympic Peninsula songwriting sessions
Life’s A Song
Anke Summerhill w/ Matt Sircely, Orville Johnson and Keeth Apgar
Wake Up You
Ensemble w/Orville Johnson, dobro
In Our Time
Keeth Monta Apgar w/ Hans Toyber, horns
Out On the Water
Judith-Kate Friedman & Ens w/Orville Johnson, dobro
WWII Homecoming Song
Ensemble w/David Michael, harp
Aimée Ringle w/ Judith-Kate Friedman
I’m Satisfied (the
Way I Am)
Matt Sircely w/ Keeth Monta Apgar and Orville Johnson, dobro
Way Up in the Air
Judith-Kate Friedman, Keeth Monta Apgar, Daniel Deardorff
A Good Piece of
Judith-Kate Friedman and Matt Sircely w/ ensemble, Orville Johnson and Hans Toyber, clarinet
Gotta Get With It
Judith-Kate, Matt and Keeth w/ensemble
The Happy Life
Ensemble and Orville Johnson
Daniel Deardorff and Laurence Cole w/Joe Breskin & ensemble
The "Life's a Song" Ensemble: Judith-Kate, Matt, Keeth, Anke
Risks and challenges
As noted, songwriting, recording and mixing are complete. We’re well on the way to fulfilling your CD orders. We'll send downloads by Dec 20th and hard copies of the CDs early next year provide we meet our 10K goal here by 1:59pm Dec 12, 2013.
Individually and as a team, we bring decades of experience in album production, promotion, touring and teaching. Songwriting Works' first CD project ("Island on a Hill" cdbaby.com/judithkate3), featuring Singers and Songwriters of the Jewish Home San Francisco won international awards, airplay and acclaim.
We have a plan and a mission. We're carrying the voices of those who've been part of this project, and dedicating this CD to those who've passed on.
We're working artists. As we reach more and more people we become stewards inviting the music that lives inside everyone into the territory of creative risk. Songwriting and collaborative work of this kind prompts risks of realization: more authenticity, respect, and celebration. Music knows no bounds. We say: bring it on!
We look forward to sharing these songs and stories with you and yours, on record and in concert, in the months to come.
Thank you again.
F.A.Q. - if you have questions, let us know.
In the meantime, view Songwriting Works' general F.A.Q. http://www.songwritingworks.org/about/faq.htm regarding the context in which we're doing this work.
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