Gandhi said, 'if we want to change the world, if we want peace in the world, we have to begin with the children'.
Music and arts heal, light up a child's world, and connect us all. The songs on this CD “Unusual Musical Cat” have been written over many years and all are inspired by children or reflect a view of the world sympathetic to a child. I hope the songs will be as much fun for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, godparents, and neighbors as they are for children.
o “Unusual Musical Cat” comes from a time when my daughter and her friend spent a share of their time as cats – many parents will recognize this – and we had a cat who loved to watch the bow of my daughter’s cello as she practiced.
o “Madagascar Elephant Bird” is the true story of my response to the opening of an exhibit of this egg at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C. I hope that egg is still there for children to see.
o “Which White Witch” was written as an entertainment and Halloween dance song for children at the School for Contemporary Education, McLean, Virginia. They loved it, and I hope your kids will as well.
o “Rex” is the story of Tyrannosaurus rex, the tyrant king of the dinosaurs, written to help my 5 year old nephew Ben overcome a fright from having seen Jurassic Park. The unusual view of T. rex seems to appeal to children’s sometimes ironic, sometimes sentimental perceptions.
o “Lavender Whale” grew from a discussion with my students on a rainy day in Ubud, Bali, about the danger these great mammals and their cousin dolphins face.
o “Melati Flower” is a traditional Indonesian song we sang as we planted trees in Penestanan Village for the Yayasan Kayonan Bali (Tree of Life) conservation organization.
o “London Song” came to me as a first winter snow began to fall as I walked down a street near Hyde Park in London. (I was near a child myself then, or so it seems now, then having just graduated from the University of Washington.)
o “Rainbow Children” was written to enchant and distract my younger sister, Jillian, from the pain of a childhood illness.
I love that children and their families and teachers have been eager to learn and sing along with the songs, and I especially love seeing children’s drawings inspired by the creatures and stories of the songs; their eyes alight with wonder, curiosity, and joy.
Recording this CD was inspired in part by my experiences with children in Southeast Asia in 1989-1990, and more recently as a therapist addressing trauma as part of a team of international educators in Sri Lanka after the 2004 Tsunami.
I’ve always loved children, am a mom and a grandma, and am committed at this stage of my life to finding ways to aid children and families in the most urgent of circumstances around the world. A percentage of profits from this recording will be dedicated to assisting efforts such as those of Sarvodaya (http://www.sarvodaya.org), an international NGO based in Sri Lanka.
Anyone who purchases this CD “Unusual Musical Cat” instantly becomes a welcome participant in this small effort for world change. I would also like to thank many friends who have been hugely supportive in this endeavor.
Anyone interested in more biographical information may find it at www.marilla.us. A link to a web page where copies of the CD can be purchased also appears there.