Month: January 2016

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. – A song co-written by San Francisco elders

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. – A song co-written by San Francisco elders

We thank Martin Luther King, Jr.  for moving us toward justice with undying passion, compassion, and dedication to liberation for all. As Mary Lee Lightfoot (pictured below), who marched from Selma to Montgomery said when this MLK birthday song was written: “the sound of his voice is still with me – to carry a plan or a dream. In the name of the Lord I’m still willing to fight….” (Lyrics follow). The song was co-written by elders at St. Mary’s center in San Francisco in 1991. We’re grateful for the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. and for 25 years of community songwriting!

maryleel

 

Mary Lee Lightfoot with Judith-Kate Friedman at St. Mary’s
center in San Francisco, 1991.  MLK birthday songs were composed
by St. Mary’s community of elders in 1990 and 1991.

 

 

 

“Still With Me”

The sound of his voice is still with me
To carry a plan or a dream
If I had the strength I’d be willing
To take the truth out to the streets
In the name of the Lord – I’m still willing to fight
for unity – for black and white

Martin Luther King changed our world
Some people are still trying to live
Under the same old lie
We can’t do that anymore

We started each day with a vision
And ended each night with a prayer
For if you put the Lord first
You stay true to your work
And the church of your heart is right here
There are so many doors that he opened up
All we need to go through now is a little more love

Martin Luther King changed our world….

But there’s so many people giving up on believing.
Can we come together peacefully now to do more than 500 years
of grieving?

For greed and more greed and more hatred
Prejudice, drugs, fear and war
Heartlessness, hopelessness, envy and hunger
Loss of pride and loss of faith worst of all
For the sake of the children – Are you willing to fight
for unity – red, yellow, brown, black and white?

Martin Luther King changed our world
Some people are still trying to live
Under the same old same old
But we can overcome
Will we overcome
Together we can overcome
Will we overcome
Together

And the sound of his voice is with me
– Co-written by elders of St. Mary’s Adult Day Center in San Francisco with Judith-Kate Friedman with support of the California Arts Council and Artworks at the San Francisco Institute on Aging.
(c) 1991 Composing Together Works

Video: 2013 Port Townsend WA
Judith-Kate Friedman, vocals and guitar
Daniel Deardorff, guitar and backing vox
Laurence Cole, percussion and backing vox
Velda Thomas, backing vox
Ash Devine, bass and backing vox
Joe Breskin, camera

1/12, Second Tossing of “Tossed Salad” Radio Show with Phil Andrus and SW’s Judith-Kate Friedman!

1/12, Second Tossing of “Tossed Salad” Radio Show with Phil Andrus and SW’s Judith-Kate Friedman!

Don’t miss a “second tossing” repeat of last Friday’s “Tossed Salad” radio show where SW’s Judith-Kate Friedman joined KPTZ’s Phil Andrus to discuss the power of song, near and far…Tune in tomorrow night (1/12) from 11:00pm-12:00am (pacific) at 91.9 fm or listen to the live stream online at KPTZ.org!

On the segment, Judith-Kate shares music that she studied at the recent Yiddish New York festival before talking about the history of Jewish songs after WWII.

Towards the end of the segment, she also performs an a cappella rendition of “Into the Mystery” in honor of Myles Carroll (pictured below) whose memorial took place the following day. The song was begun in May 2011 by a dozen SW workshop participants (pre-teens to 60+) at the Boiler Room, Port Townsend’s youth-run all-ages-friendly coffeehouse.

Myles, then around 19 years old, was central to the songwriting. Though powerful enough to be excerpted in “works-in-progress” performances, “Into the Mystery” was never completed until this week, when, in tribute, SW’s Judith-Kate Friedman and Aimée Ringle, who both facilitated the original workshop sessions, finished the second verse and performed the song with Daniel Macke accompanying on mandocello at the memorial service.

Here are the lyrics to “Into the Mystery”:

I’m on the spot
Something’s waiting for me.
Don’t know what
Wearing the mystery
Wearing the mystery

In a strange place
Everyone knows the rules
They know how to play
I don’t have a clue
I walk in the room
All heads stop and stare
I’m wearing a jean jacket
Wearing the mystery

Clever reflex failing
Mask of self slipping
Leaves changing with the seasons
Disappearing into the mist

Who sees me coming
Who sees me going
Where am I going

Into the mystery
Into the mystery

Into the mystery
I have no history….

I’m on the spot
Something’s waiting for me.
Don’t know what
Wearing the mystery
Into the mist….

2011, 2016 composed at the Boiler Room by workshop participants (including Myles Carroll) with Judith-Kate Friedman and Aimee Ringle.

Myles Carroll, SW participant and principle songwriter of “Into the Mystery”, was honored in Port Townsend on Saturday.

1/7-2/28, “The Artist Within” Art of Alzheimer’s Exhibition Highlights Vibrant Artwork By Elders Living With Dementia. Songwriting Works is Featured on 1/7/16 (music) and 2/5/16 (workshop)!

1/7-2/28, “The Artist Within” Art of Alzheimer’s Exhibition Highlights Vibrant Artwork By Elders Living With Dementia. Songwriting Works is Featured on 1/7/16 (music) and 2/5/16 (workshop)!

 

In this first exhibition of its kind in Seattle, The Artist Within will feature surprising, delightful and inspiring art that opens hearts and minds, enabling us to see the simple truth that those who are living with dementia are still here, living with creativity, dignity, and joy.

On January 7th, Songwriting Works’ Judith-Kate Friedman will sing “Way Up in the Air” as part of the exhibit’s opening reception, between 4-6 pm.

On February 5th, songwriters Judith-Kate and Keeth Monta Apgar will bring interactive songwriting to the exhibition! In this free two-hour session, participants will tour the galleries before coming together to create an original song based upon their impressions of the artwork. No prior musical background is needed. Participants will experience the magic of collective reflection and song composition using SW’s 8 Principles of Creative Engagement – access, inclusion, originality, authenticity, respect, reciprocity, restoration and celebration.

Free and open to all, the Art of Alzheimer’s Exhibition will feature fascinating artwork by people, ages 60 to 101, who live (or lived) with dementia. Throughout the seven weeks of the exhibition, a series of activities developed in concert with community partners—catalysts for knowledge, empathy, creativity and involvement. Songwriting Works is proud to be a part of this dynamic series!

Presented in cooperation with the City of Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, the Department of Neighborhoods and 4Culture, The Artist Within will be held at City Hall’s Lobby Gallery & Anne Focke Gallery, January 7 through February 26, 2016, 600 Fourth Avenue in downtown Seattle, Monday—Friday, 7am—6pm. The Opening Reception will take place on Friday, January 7 from 4—6pm.

For more information on The Artist Within, click here.

Photo Credit: “Vista”, featured in the exhibition, The Artist Within. Courtesy of Arts of Alzheimers.