Today I am delighted to share my son Joel's newest musical venture, Melodies for the Mended Wood, Volume One! For those of you following his creative pursuits in recent years, you may know that he has contributed his talents as a narrator for the audiobook versions of S.D. Smith's children's fantasies, The Green Ember, and Ember Falls. Now, Joel has entered into a new collaboration for Smith's creative world, by writing an album of ten original compositions inspired by scenes from the first book in the series. These glorious orchestral pieces will inspire you, lift your spirit to new heights as you enter the beautiful world of The Green Ember. I've asked Joel to share a bit about how this project came to be. I hope you enjoy!
Buy your own copy HERE.
Our Clarkson home was buzzing all around me, but I didn't notice a thing, as I sat in our enormous leather winged-back chair reading through Brian Jacque's engrossing fantasy Redwall. His enrapturing story of a brave mouse fighting to defend his home, Redwall Abbey, against the onslaught of a menacing rat named Cluny the Scourge, captured my preteen imagination and plunged me into a world full of adventure, heroism and bravery. Stories like Redwall gave me eyes to see the truth of the world through the lens of imagination; that good wins in the end, and that beauty and truth are worth fighting for.
Enter the adult me. After working in music composition for many years, I was thrilled when I was given the opportunity to provide the narration for S.D. Smith’s children’s fantasy The Green Ember. Little could I have known that I was about to enter a glorious literary world like those from my childhood.
In The Green Ember, readers are invited to follow the perilous adventures of rabbit siblings Heather and Picket as they seek to be reunited with their family, following an enemy raid on their idyllic meadow home. Soon, they are caught up into the travails of a band of rebel rabbits who have taken up arms against the evil Lords of Prey, led by the sinister Morbin Blackhawk. Along the way, the rabbits learn to be strong and carry the hope for the renewal of their rabbit home in their hearts, even as they walk in the uncertainty of difficult times.
Just like Heather and Picket, we too are looking forward to when the wood of our own world is mended, and our King returns to put all to right. The Green Ember is one of those timeless tales that only comes along once in a rare while, stories that crystalize in a profound way what it means to walk in faithfulness and intentionality, even as we find ourselves still in the middle of our own story. We, like Heather and Picket, can learn to always bear the presence of beauty, goodness, and truth in our hearts, as we usher in a Kingdom that is coming soon.
These ten compositions are drawn forth from that vision, so dramatically encapsulated in The Green Ember. Each melody is inspired by a different character or scene in the book, and I hope that the soundscapes I have crafted will serve to enliven each vivid moment. As a film composer, I have seen the power of music to accompany good story and bring out the best elements of it in a new and creative way. Music tells us a story of its own and enlivens our imaginations through rhythm, harmony, counterpoint. I don't know about you, but I always love to listen to an inspiring playlist of music whenever I'm reading a good story. That's the inspiration I had for writing Melodies for the Mended Wood, Vol. 1. There are grand anthems with sweeping strings and brass, as well as lively jigs with dancing percussion and animated woodwinds. Into each track I have woven my own love of the Rabbit world of Natalia, and I hope that it will inspire and encourage you as well.
Get your own copy here!
Take a listen to one of the tracks from the album!
We are giving away two copies of Melodies for the Mended Wood, Vol. 1! To be eligible to win, share this post on Facebook or Twitter, and comment below to let us know you've spread the word. You will then be entered to win one of the two copies. One entry per person. We'll be closing the giveaway tomorrow morning, so make sure to share with your friends and family today!
UPDATE (12/8): Congrats to winners Eleece Nephew and Elizabeth Schaefer! Contact me (Joel) at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will set you up with your downloads.
And one more fun surprise this week. I am so very happy I will join Lara Casey on a live webcast--a fun Christmas time treat--to discuss how to shape a Lifegiving home amidst the realities of life. I will be answering questions from the women who are able to sign up. And it is a free webcast. Those of you who like my podcast will enjoy our time together! Hope to see you there.