"Forever Be Yours" by Beth Patella "Coming Home Album"
From the day I was born, I was singing! My Dad was a huge Frank Sinatra fan and “My Way” was his favorite song! By the time I was 18 months old, I would stand on the stair landing and sing “My Way” with the expression and passion I heard come through my Dad and Sinatra himself.
My Mom is a concert pianist, and she directed a music school in New York for 30 plus years, so I grew up with music – I was always singing, playing and studying music. I couldn’t get enough of music. By the time I was in high school, I was in numerous musical groups: choirs, wind ensembles, concerto competitions and State competitions.
During my first few years of Under Graduate work, I really began writing my own original songs. At the time, much of my writing reflected the difficulties of my growing up, and writing was just such a great outlet for me.
It wasn’t long before I wanted to perform my tunes and collaborate with other musicians! Since I just moved to Connecticut, I really didn’t know many people; therefore, I’d go around to open mics looking to network with musicians. That’s where I met Jim. Jim was an amazing percussionist and just incredible spirit! One night, at an Open Mic, he hopped up onto stage to play percussion, and I was so taken with his talent and ability to integrate so well with my songs.
Jim and I instantly clicked, and he introduced me to a lot of people in the area, and we became closer as the months went on. Finally, one night, he told me he loved me, and we had a wonderful romance for a couple of years. We were very much in love and relished in playing music, entertaining and doing what we both loved to do: sharing the love of music!
However, unfortunately, Jim harbored a deep sadness - Jim was loved by so many, and he could instantly light up a room. People flocked to him. But he so deeply felt alone.
Very tragically, Jim took his own life in October of 2004. I’m not really sure that words can even express what it’s like to lose someone to suicide. It was such a great tragedy, and I truly feel I was in such a fog during that time period of my life.To be honest, it is all so vague to me now. I just went through the motions of the day-to-day stuff and completely retreated from the world. I hardly saw anyone or went anywhere – I only spent time with my family and closest couple of friends.
I put music completely away: it was only a reminder of Jim and our time of playing together and being so in love. All of my songs were so intertwined with him, and “Just to Hear You Say” I wrote for him when we were madly in love. About 4 months after he died, I wrote only one song, “Jim’s Song,” which will be on this album. After that, I stopped singing and went into a deep sleep.
Four years after Jim’s death, I began to re-emerge and realized that I really missed music! One day, I sat down at the piano and tried to sing. I couldn’t believe how difficult it was to make a sound! I hardly had any range even to sing some of my own songs that I had written years before.I was so disheartened by how my voice, which used to sing so freely, was locked up inside of me.
My Mom encouraged me to return to voice lessons to help rehabilitate my voice. That’s when I found my good friend and current voice teacher, Tiffany Jackson. My first lesson with Tiffany was something I will never forget: I told Tiffany that I wanted to sing again, and she said, “Well, do you know that the throat and voice hold grief?” I looked at her and said, “No. I had no idea!”
And that’s where so much of the journey back to myself began. Tiffany was so patient with me: there were times at my lessons when I told her there was no way I could do what she was asking. She’d look back at me and say, “Get our of your own way! You can and will do it!” And, miraculously, I would do it: I was singing notes that I thought I’d never be able to sing again. I was truly singing!
Incredibly, my voice came back stronger – fuller – ready – determined. It’s as if it went to sleep a young girl and woke up a woman. Technically, my voice was reaching new levels than it had never before, and I was really loving my time studying!
Once my voice started remerging, I wanted to perform again. I began performing one of my favorite genres of music: the Great American Standards. It felt great to perform again and perform music that I loved: music I grew up with, as my Dad filled this genre of music in our house.
In 2010, I declared that I would finally record my solo album. I really wanted to record my songs, as my singer/songwriter career had gotten so derailed after Jim’s death.
“Coming Home,” was released in April of 2013. The album has done so well – even better than I expected! Within a few months after the release of the album, I was asked to open for Blues Traveler at The Milford Oyster Festival in Milford, CT! It was a great honor meeting John Popper and spending some time with him! A day later, he even endorsed me on social media! It was amazing!
Through my way back from Jim’s death, I truly found my voice – my outer and inner voice. I knew others were also dealing with trauma and grief, just as I had for those years. I became a Certified Sound Practitioner and started my own program called, “Finding My Voice,” which is based in Sound Therapy: using music and sound as a therapeutic modality to help those with emotional and physical traumas.
In addition, I went back to school for another Master’s Degree in Recreational Therapy. My Mom and I opened The Therapeutic Recreation Center located in Woodbridge, CT. It’s an all-encompassing center, where we have educational and therapeutic programs with the main concentrations in music and Animal Assisted Therapies.
One day, my absolute dream is to have, what I call, “The Ranch!” It will be a Therapeutic Ranch, where we will have Therapeutic Horseback Riding, canine programs, camps and year-round programs for those with disabilities.
My first album, “Coming Home,” has done so well, and it has been so exciting! The incredible response from current and new listeners has been extremely positive and so well received! Many people have rallied behind me and believe in me! It is so inspiring and spurs me on to continue moving forward; thus, I want to record my Second Album!
I need your help for my Second Album! To keep going, takes money! I am so excited for these new songs! One of the new songs, “Iron Butterfly,” is dedicated to female soldiers and is currently underway to be used in a documentary film representing the courage, sacrifice and, many times, unacknowledged bravery of our female soldiers!
It’s been a wonderful journey watching myself grow as a singer/songwriter, and I know this next album is going to represent and show the continued growth! Please consider making a pledge for this project! And, to all of us everywhere, “May we find our own voices and way back home!”
Risks and challenges
Like all recording projects, to complete a well-produced and well-put together album takes time and money! Luckily, I have the musicians lined up and ready to record these next set of tunes! The $5,000 raised from this campaign will be a great start to get the project rolling! Throughout the next few months, I anticipate a couple other fundraising concerts to fund the final production and manufacturing of the Album. Of course, we may just raise more than $5,000 here, and that will finish the entire project!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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