Another Valentine’s Day is here.
I like the idea of a day to celebrate and honor love.
This blog post features two songs written by Steve Sweeting — a jazz pianist, songwriter, teacher, and composer who currently lives in New York City.
“I Carry Your Heart” is a song he wrote while living in Shanghai, when he was commissioned by Chinese choral conductor Jie Yi to write a song — based on an American poem — for a festival in Ningbo.
Steve chose an early poem by ee cummings.
A few years later he and I recorded a non-choral version at Doug Hammer’s studio on the north shore of Boston.
I love the images in ee cummings’ poem, and I love the way that Steve set them to music.
And I love Steve.
He and I have been friends since he lived — with a Yamaha grand piano — in a studio apartment above an ice cream store in Brighton, MA.
He and his wife and two children have lived all around planet earth, but we have remained in contact.
Right now he is working on an original musical with lyricist/librettist Geoffrey Goldberg called Piece of Mind.
It is about an 80-year-old former USO dancer named Robert whose mind is failing him.
If you live in the NYC area, Steve and Geoffrey are having two staged readings — on Monday, March 5th at 6pm and on Tuesday, March 6th at 2:00 pm — at the Davenport Theatre (354 W. 45th Street @ 9th Avenue).
It is by invitation only, but you can click on this Piece of Mind link to find out how to be invited…
The second song — “What Am I Doing Alone?” — was inspired by a phone conversation that Steve’s wife once had with a friend.
When Steve’s wife told him about this conversation, he took notes and then wrote a song inspired by her conversation.
And it took him about an hour!
These two songs represent a yin and a yang perspective on love.
Valentine’s Day is much more pleasant to celebrate when one has a beloved person with whom to share the festivities and hoopla.
And Valentine’s Day can feel rather raw and lonely if one does not have a special someone in one’s life…
I love the story that unfolds in this song.
And the sense of longing and hoping that Steve captured in the music…
I also love finding beautiful photos at Pixabay.
Thank you to all of the photographers and models who share their work on this site.
Thank you, too, to Steve for writing these songs.
And to ee cummings for his poems.
And to Steve for asking me to sing his songs!
And to Doug for helping us record them.
And to YOU for reading and listening to another blog post.
Happy Valentine’s Day… and Week… and Month… and Year!
Thank you, Jennie. Steve is a terrific songwriter… and I have grown to love Pixabay!
You’re welcome, Will!
absolutely beautiful, I had a read, very interesting! the song was well chosen!
THANK YOU for taking time to read and listen!!!!
What a lovely, loving post, Will! Valentine’s Day can seem so . . . packaged, but your words and songs give it back the meaning! And the carefully-chosen photos, too!
Thank you, as always, for finding time to read and listen! I love browsing through Pixabay to find photos that somehow relate to the songs….
I love both those songs. I actually asked Marty Freedman, WICN, to play the ee cummings a couple days ago after he played a version I didn’t like as much. Didn’t hear back from my email, tho. I sent him the Amazon link.
THANK YOU for doing this! Which show does Marty have at WICN? Maybe I can follow up by sending an actual CD…
Sunday Jazz Brunch, https://www.wicn.org/about-us/people/marty-friedman
I will listen and then mail a CD… Thanks again for your terrific support and enthusiasm for my music-making!!!
I’ve always liked that ee cummings poem. Thank you for sharing the song and these lovely photos and thoughts about Valentine’s Day.
Also–it is a special joy to have someone who has been a friend for many years.
Yes, it is!!! I remembered after I posted my comment on your site that I use the image of crocus pushing through the ground in one of my original songs called “The Beauty All Around.” Not that you want to spend your entire day listening to someone else’s blog posts, but here is a link in case you are curious: https://amusicalifeonplanetearth.wordpress.com/2014/03/ And thank you for reading/listening to THIS blog post.
I listened. Thanks for sharing.
Our older daughter and her wife live in Boston, but they might have been living in Cambridge then. Maybe you ran by her on your way to work. 🙂
Indeed I may have!!!
THANK YOU for making time to listen and read!!!