When @art_is_Homeless started following me on Twitter, I had no idea that I would be sitting here today telling you about a song that would eventually provide donations to a Miami charity caring for the poor and homeless.
Although the project has taken a year to complete, it feels like yesterday.
The Kiener brothers and I had brief exchanges that Saturday morning when they found me on Twitter. When I learned of their trying to raise awareness and funds for the homeless in Miami, I came up with an idea they readily embraced, namely to write a song that would capture the essence of their photography: realism interwoven with empathy and optimism. That was how I felt personally about their images and I accept that we all see things in different ways. But, I also believe music changes things, music changes the way we feel and ‘if it changes the way we feel, it can change people. If it changes people it can change communities, and it if can change communities, it can change societies, and if it can change societies it can change countries…’ (Composer and musical therapist Nigel Osborne at the 2010 World Economic Forum.)
I sat with my guitar that Saturday afternoon, excited about the start of this new project, randomly playing notes while looking at the photographs in slideshow mode, each image fading as a new one gently appeared. Again, and again.
Often it’s hard to remember why one starts playing certain notes. However, there are certain moments when notes or melodies just ‘click’. It’s almost as if you’re not creating a song; it is simply revealing itself to you and you are documenting it. That Saturday afternoon something just ‘clicked’. I worked relentlessly for two days, only because the musical pieces kept revealing themselves and I had to record them while they were fresh.
Many guitar parts later and with a melody that felt right, I sent my demo to the Kiener brothers. I was relieved my anxious anticipation was quickly dealt with: Alex and Chris liked the music a great deal and were excited to hear the song again once I had lyrics.
I care about all my lyrics but I felt this song needed to be thoughtfully worded. It needed words that, even without the music, would still resonate. I also wanted to be thoughtful to the theme whilst staying true to my own creativity.
Fortunately, many of us won’t ever have to know what it’s like to lose the bricks and mortar that provide us with shelter, safety and comfort, but at some point in our lives, we all know what it feels like to have lost a sense of home whether it be emotional, spiritual or artistic.
A song and photographs are combined in this project to reach out to you and share the moment when two high school students changed my life. And made a difference in the lives of others.