I offer these songs as a conversation about some of the deepest questions we ask ourselves about religion, death, human suffering and joy. The songs vary widely in style and theological perspective to reflect the journey I have traveled. On the last 2 tracks I sing and play guitar. "Wayfaring Stranger" is my own original arrangement for guitar, cello (played by Liz Burns) and violin (played by Jane Hart Brendle). Accomplished blue-grass fiddle player, Trevor McKenzie joined me for the last track: "I'll Fly Away." Although I've performed publicly for many years, this is my first studio recording.
Maureen Howell plays piano on 10 of the songs (including the very difficult Copland pieces). This recording honors the memory of her son, Andrew Howell, a talented musician who studied horn performance at the University of Cincinnati and played and sang some of these same works (notably "Pie Jesu" which he sang as a boy soprano and "Deep River" for which he played horn accompanied by his mother, Maureen, in his last public performance). Contributions can be made to a scholarship fund in his name via the Office of Development and External Relations, College-Conservatory of Music of UC (513-556-3142).
The styles of songs on this cd vary widely and lend themselves quite well to the current digital age. You can choose the style of music you like and just download those songs or, if you are the kind of person who chooses "shuffle songs" on your ipod, download the whole album for a mix of songs. The songs are all reflective in mood and will play well in the background or are perfect for a contemplative afternoon. Enjoy these songs from some of the greatest and most popular composers and oral traditions; they come from the heart.