HARLAND

Your musical inspirations?

I inspire to create music from the depths of my heart and hope that it will
continue to touch people’s lives in a memorable way.

Has music helped you through a difficult or traumatic time in your life?

Music has helped me through many difficult and confusing times in my life. 
Its definitely been a comfort zone for losing myself and escaping during
painful times.  To begin with when I began creating music it was a way of
exploring myself and what life meant to me and what I desired it to be. Then
my father was diagnosed with a terminal cancer called “Mesothelioma”. He was
given one year to live. This was the worst time of my life and honestly if I
didn’t have music in my life at that time I don’t know how I would have got
through it. It was my own trusted friend during a very confusing and painful
time.

Any meaningful CD’s or songs?

Songs that I love are:

Six Underground    Sneakerpimps
Numb            Portishead
Little things        Lamb
All is full of love        Bjork

Discuss the creative or songwriting process --

I don’t really have a set rule for how I write a song. It can be inspired by
many things. I could hear a beat and then suddenly a whole melody will pop
into my head – so I grab my Dictaphone and hum the melody. Then ill sit down
at my keyboard and start playing notes to go with my melody and then from
there build a shell of music around my melody and then of course write
lyrics.  Other times I’ll be sitting on the subway and daydreaming – and
I’ll start to write lyrics…ill write a whole song and then begin to imagine
what the melody would be…..then create the music for it.

Discuss your feelings about the powerful or life-changing effects that music
can have on a person


I personally believe music has the power to change the way a person lives
their life – it saves lives – it restores faith and allows people to go
after their dreams. If music didn’t exist the world would be a very
different place.

Originally from London , Harland began her musical life in 1999 as “Phoelar,” a bedroom and 8 track collaboration with Australian programmer Andrew Wright. After being captivated by the electronic music world Harland, relocated to Brooklyn , NY where she programmed, wrote, and recorded the bulk of her first album, “ Salt Box Lane .”

In the past 18 months, she has signed to Chrysalis Publishing, toured the US and Canada , released two albums, and appeared as a writer and guest vocalist on many dance, trip-hop, and alternative records around the world.

Harland has recently been receiving wide radio airplay across the world with her vocal contribution to Rio Klein's new dance single, “Fearless.” Harland also contributed two songs on the newly released dance album, “Right Of Way” by Ferry Corsten.

An accomplished singer in the styles of Dido and Kate Bush, it was her own compositions that attracted the attention of international DJ's and artists like Junkie XL who featured her on his album, “Broadcast From The Computer Hell Cabin,” alongside such artists as Robert Smith, Dave Gahan, Gary Numan, and Anouk.

Her singing, writing and programming skills have led to collaborations with DJ Rap, Delerium and John Cale of Velvet Underground.

After taking over vocal duties for Sarah McLachlan and Leah Nash of Six Pence None The Richer for the Delerium US & Canadian Tour, Harland received glowing reviews for her performance.

”Harland's dazzling voice will make deep-deep imprints in your mind.”
--Trip hop hu ( www.triphop.hu )

…an angelic voice unlike any I had heard before.”
--Auralgasms ( www.auralgasms.com )

After hearing you sing Silence, I am torn between who I prefer to sing it, Sarah or you.”
--Delerium Fan

Not often does a vocalist come around that makes you turn your head and take notice, but in English born and US based Shelley Harland, a talent is about to emerge to us all.”
--Resident Advisor AU ( www.residentadvisor.net )

“She balances a fine pop aesthetic with languid and sensual musical textures and a dreamy siren's voice.”  "Salt Box Lane," a collection of transfixing electronica, is Harland's second album. The album sounds more like the artistry of an established professional than the sophomore effort from a relative newbie. "In the Dark" is a gorgeous piece of electro-pop, but also boasts an instrumental arrangement that screams "soundtrack material!"
--ACIDplanet's thoughts on Harland and “In The Dark”(www.acidplanet.com)

Harland describes her first solo album titled, “ Salt Box Lane ” as, “Songs with meaningful lyrics, driven by emotional strings and piano, with flavor crystals of electronic sounds and beats.” She has developed a large following due to her impressive debut album and Delerium tour. Her writing talents and vocals also received huge attention for the new Delerium single, “Above the Clouds,” which is exclusively available for download at www.itunes.com .

Harland is currently writing and working with producers in LA, New York, London and Brussels.

www.harlandmusic.com/

CARLA RYDER

THere is really no limit to how music inspires me...mainly, i am inspired by situations or other song writers to write songs. If i ever hit a block creatively, i generally return to the well of a myriad of songriters i admire, and it generally sparks a certain creativity in me. Musical inspirations include Bruce Springsteen, Kate Wolf, The Rolling Stones, The Indigo Girls, Joni Mitchell, Patty Griffin, Sheryl Crow, Fleetwood Mac, Paula Cole, U2, and so many of the writers of the 1970's (many with one hit- you know, AM Gold artists) who shaped my formative years of music appreciation.

Music has certainly guided me through a few extremely difficult times. Most notably, at 30 years old, when my life was in such a time of transition. I was so afraid to make changes, yet knew i had to remove myself from certain oppressive or stagnant situations, and create an environment for myself in which i could flourish. The 2 albums that could have been the "soundtrack" for that year of my life include Paula Cole's "This Fire", Tracy Chapman's "New Beginnings", Bob Marley's "Uprising", and Madonna's "Ray of Light". Other albums that are significant to me whether because they inspired me toward action in my life or just because they are so darned amazing include, Joni Mitchell's "Blue", Fleetwood Mac's "Rumors", U2's "All that you Can't Leave Behind", Bruce Springsteen's "Asbury Park", Patty Griffin's "1000 Kisses", Sheryl Crow's self titled album, Sade's "Lover's Rock", Dolly Parton's "Little Sparrow", Bob Dylan's "Blood on the Tracks". These songs, these lyrics, melodies; they take you on a journey. There are so many songs on the aforementioned albums that just cut through me when i heard them. Songs that left me crying, breathless, elated, angry, moved. That is what one can only hope for as a songwriter.

The creative or songwriteing process, hmm. Well, it's certainly not a formula. Every song I've written has been written differently than the last. Sometimes, i'll be driving in my car, taking a shower, running; and it will hit me - a full song! Lyrics, chord changes, melody. Those are the glorious moments. Sometimes, i'll be sitting on my couch with my guitar and i'll strum out a chord progression & simply try to invent words or melodies around it. Sometimes i write poems and later put them to music. A few times my song writing partner, Scott Bressler, appoached me with fully composed musical pieces, for which i took and wrote lyrics. Sometimes a song can take 5 mintues to write, sometimes 5 months, sometimes 5 years. Other times, I will have a song nearly finished but one portion of it will stump me...and i go to others for help. This happened a lot with my new record. I would get a song almost complete and need help finishing it. As for the inspiration...it could be a life situation i am experiencing, it could be a book i've read, another song i've heard. So often people expect songs to be autobiographical and it's simply not the case. Many times, i am simply making a statement regarding an observation of the world around me. My new album is different from Pulling Down Sky in that way. I'm much less self-absorbed in this album. It's not simply about me & my needs, my relationships, my likes, or my dislikes. "Til the End of Counting" is much more of a glimpse of the world around me. I'm writing interpretations of the experiences not so much of myself as others. This album is also a lot more hopeful. There is an underlying theme of overcoming fear and loss and moving on. This album is slightly more political, yet many of the songs, I feel, represent a beacon of hope in this crazy, tumultous time and place in our world.

In terms of music being life-changing...well, it's certainly altered the course of my existence, in defining what i do and who i am. I utilize music in my second career as well, bringing music therapy to children with autism, and language learning disabilities. Music has inspired many of these children who had no communicative outlet, to finally have a mode of expression. This, to me, to the child and to the child's family has been life altering.
 
There is a song on Pulling Down Sky which confronts the topic of domestic violence in a candid and not so careful way. Shortly after the album's release, a woman wrote to me & explained that after hearing that song, she knew she must remove herself from the dangerous situation she had been in for many years. She didn't know how or when this would happen, but all of a sudden, she knew it must be so. She explained that hearing this song made her feel less alone, that her's was not an uncommon situation. She thanked me for providing her with courage, clarity, and the motivation to stop blaming herself. That, to me, is life changing.

"You ask me what it felt like when I finally found my fire..." - C.Ryder "

Carla Ryder is a singer/songwriter who shines with equal radiance in an intimate acoustic setting or in a full band." -The Noise, Boston

"Fans of folk-flavored pop should take a close look at singer/songwriter Carla Ryder." -R&R, Launching Pad, LA

A Boston native, Carla Ryder has flourished and grown as a front-woman, singer, and songwriter. With a total of 5 albums under her belt, she has toured extensively and developed a loyal & enthusiastic following from New England to the Pacific Northwest. Her sound has been described as rootsy & raw; folk-flavored indie-pop with haunting lyrics, infectious melodies, spot-on harmonies and rock-solid grooves. Ryder's poignant vocals are soulful and soaring. Her swoops, glides and falsetto give her a unique sound, especially when she goes into storytelling mode. And a storyteller she is. Whether confessional, self-mocking or anecdotal, she passionately blends her experiences with those of others-the world around her, and never fails to lyrically paint a touching and exquisite portrait of emotion. Her melodies can make you cry at one moment and dance at another. For these reasons, Jam Music Magazine along with fans awarded Carla New Hampshire's Artist of the Year, 2000 and "Spinning to Crazy" Song of the Year, 2000.

Splitting her time between electric and acoustic configurations, Carla has crafted a style that is tender and heart warming yet manages to tear up and rock any stage. Her connection with the audience is deep and powerful. Her charm, presence and humor exude warmth and a human quality so strong that from the crowd, you feel that you know her personally. She recently won a slot in the Patriot Ledger's top ten concerts of 2000, along with Carlos Santana, Reba McIntyre, and Joan Osborne. Accompanying Carla in the Carla Ryder Band are: Tara Cojerian on backing vocals, Scott Bressler on bass & Jon Metters on guitar. They are often joined by other musicians such as Steve Sadler (Shawn Mullin's multi-instrumentalist), Jim McGathey or Billy Beard (Patty Griffin's drummer) on drums & Jim Gambino (Swinging Steaks) on keyboards.

After spending six years as lead singer for Boston's Mudhens, Carla branched out with a new album and a new band. "Pulling Down Sky", produced by Chris Lannon was released in the spring of 2000. It has charted on CMJ & has received local and national airplay. True to her love of variety, this album contains elements of rock, folk, country & Celtic. Her more acoustically centered, slightly more folk oriented solo style won her instant credibility on the regional coffeehouse circuit, and her unique songwriting style helped her tunes chart on national, college and AAA radio stations. With her current line-up, as well as her previous band, she has had the honor of opening for performers such as Neil Young, Beck, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Primus, 10,000 Maniacs, Cake, Ben Folds 5, Guster, The Push Stars, Dexter Freebish, and Jon Pussett Dart. Nominated for a Boston Music Award in 1998, Carla also co-wrote 2 songs featured on NBC's Primetime "Promised Land" and ABC's Sunday night movie, "Y2K".

The past year has been a whirlwind of activity for the Carla Ryder Band. Summer of 2001 provided a songwriting sabbatical to Southeast Asia, where Carla also performed several shows. October 2001 brought the release of "Carla Ryder, Acoustic & Live". This is a collection of 13 original songs from both her solo debut "Pulling Down Sky" and previously unrecorded tunes to be featured on her next studio album. The songs were taken from various radio station interviews and live performances. The stripped down and bare-bones arrangement of the tunes: guitar, vocals, bass & harmonies allow for an intimate listening experience. Both of Carla's solo releases are enjoying spots in regular rotation on Boston's WUMB 91.9 and WERS 88.9, and Concord NH's 95.5 WJYY. The band was hosted in the River Music Hall, The River 92.5 for an in-studio performance on New Frontiers, and "Spinning to Crazy" was spun on 92.9 WBOS for a week prior to the release of "Pulling Down Sky".

The band has been hard at work this year, selling out shows as a headliner or support act at prestigious rock clubs and listening rooms around MA & NH (including The Somerville Theater, House of Blues, The Lizard Lounge, The Iron Horse, Harper's Ferry, The Blackthorne Tavern, & The Capitol Center for the Arts) and New York City (including The Bitter End & The Living Room), as well as a summer residency at TOAD in Cambridge. They have developed a rabid following of loyal listeners who faithfully attend as each show is transformed into a memorable musical experience that leaves everyone wanting more.

www.carlaryder.com   www.cdbaby.com/cd/carlaryder

SKYPAINT

* How has music inspired you?

Music seduced me at a young age. I surrendered to it then and am still in the throes of addiction.

* Your musical inspirations?

60s- Beatles, Stones, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, The Byrds, The Who, Dylan

70s- Neil Young, The Clash, The Ramones

80s- Pixies, Husker Du, Tom Waits

90s- Flaming Lips, Elliot Smith, Wilco, Aimee Mann, Radiohead, Weezer, Morphine, Beck, Lucinda Willams

00s- I'm out of the loop.

* Has music helped you through a difficult or traumatic time in your life?

Writing music can help not only get through difficult perieod in life, but through acute panic attacks.

* Any CDs/songs which are meaningful to you?

Strawberry Fields Forever- Beatles

Morning has Broken- Cat Stevens

Sweet Virginia- Stones

Memory Motel- Stones

You Ain't Goin Nowhere- Dylan

Lay Lady lay- Dylan

Don't Think Twice- Dylan

It's All Over Now Baby Blue- Dylan

Saro Jane- Trad.

Crying- Roy Orbison

Ruby's Arms- Tom Waits

Goodbye- Paul McCartney

Junk-Paul McCartney

My Old Friend the Blues- Steve Earle

Close to Me- The Cure

Please Please Me- Beatles

Baby I need your Loving- 4 Tops

Mission in the Rain- Jerry Garcia

Brokedown Palace- Grateful Dead

To Lay Me Down- Jerry Garcia

Fox on the Run- Manfred mann/ Country Gentlemen

Books about UFOs- Husker Du

Chartered Trips- Husker Du

Sliver-Nirvana

Driving Sideways- Aimee Mann

See Emily Play- Sid barret/Pink Floyd

Arnold layne- Sid barret/Pink Floyd

No Woman No Cry- Bob marley

Blow Away- George Harrison

It Makes No Difference- The Band

The Night They Drove Old Dixie down- The Band

Tears of Rage- Dylan/ The Band

That's Just What You are- Aimee mann

Drunken Angel- Lucinda Williams-

Bled White- Elliot Smith

Still I long For Your Kiss- Lucinda Williams

I envy the wind- Lucinda

Reason to Cry- Lucinda

Side of the road- Lucinda

Little Sadie- Traditional

Both Sides Now- Joni Mitchell

Baby Let Me Follow You Down- Traditional

RAILROAD BILL

Prairie in The Sky

So Lonesome I could Cry- Hank

I can't Help Falling in Love with you- Elvis

Greensleeves- Traditional

Moon River

You Really Got a Hold on Me

Baby it's You- Burt Bacharach

I say a little Prayer- Burt B

You're So Bad- Tom Petty

Prove it all night-Bruce

spirits in the night- Bruce;

connection-Stones;

If I can’t have you-Yvonne Elliman

I’ve Got to get a message to you-Bee Gees;

One- U2;

Ashes to Ashes- Bowie;

Starman- Bowie;

Dream a little Dream;

Love- Lennon;

Admiral halsey/Uncle albert- Paul Mac;

Sing- Travis;

Tunnel of Love- Dire straits;

Hallelujah- leonard Cohen (Jeff Buckley’s version);

Angel baby- Rosie Schwartz;

Divine Hammer- Breeders;

Innocent When you Dream- Tom Waits;

Pennyroyal Tea- Nirvana

Burn this bridge- Damnbuilders

Telephone Line –ELO

99 Luft Baloons- Nena

Long may You Run- Neil Young

Axis: Bold as Love- Jimi

I only have eyes for you

You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling

Rock the Boat

Michelle- Beatles

I’ve Just Seen a Face-Beatles

Girl- Beatles

I Don’t want to spoil the party- Beatles

I’m Looking through You

You Won’t see me

I’m so tired

I’m only sleeping

Dandelion- stones

Mother Nature’s son

And Your Bird Can Sing

Only A Northern Song

Bungalow Bill

PS I love You

I’m Only Sleeping

There’s a Place

Misery

It Won’t Be long

No Matter What- Badfinger

Bad time to be in Love- Grand Funk

ItchyCoo Park- Small faces

Oh Yoko- John Lennon

Nothingsevergonnastandinmywayagain- Wilco

Summer Teeth- Wilco

Passenger- Iggy Pop

Goin Back Home- Shods

John Lennon’s Momma- Rob Skelton

Let me Roll It- Paul

John, I’m only Dancing- Bowie

Walk Away Renee- Left Banke

I Can’t wait to see you again- benders

Arms around a memory- Johnny Thunders

Goin Down- Freddie King

Wuthering heights- Kate Bush

It never Rains- Tom Sturm

God Only Knows- Beach Boys

Tiny Dancer- elton

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road- Elton

This is for all the Lonely People- America

A heart Needs a Home- Richard and Linda thompson

If you Leave me Now- Chicago

Dream- Everly Brothers

Kathy’s Clown- Everly brothers

Sara- Fleetwood mac

Fake Plastic Trees- Radiohead

Karma Police- Radiohead

Sloop John B- Beach Boys;

Victoria- The Kinks

April- Paul Simon

America- Paul Simon

Daydream Believer- The Monkees

Time of The Season- Zombies

Go Now- Moody Blues

Dear God- XTC

All the way to Memphis- Mott the Hoople

Sex laws- Beck

Anyway you want it- Journey

I want you to want me- Cheap trick

Lion Sleeps Tonight- The Tokens

Tuesday’s Gone- Lynyrd Skynyrd

500 Miles- traditional

500 Miles- Michelle Shocked

When will our bucket run dry- Gravel Pit

Red Rubber ball- Paul Simon

The things we do for love- 10cc

Annie Get Your Gun- Squeeze

Someone to Dance With- Michael Penn

So this is love- Van Halen

Brothers in Arms- Dire Straits

Love is The Drug- Roxy Music

This Magic Moment

Mr. Bojangles

Baby Don’t Go- Sonny Bono

Shilo- Neil Diamond

Waiting for a new Blue Moon- traveling Wilbury’s

The poor House- Traveling wilbury’s

Empty garden- Elton John

Eleanor Jean- Turtles

Silver Springs- Fleetwood Mac

Gypsy- Fleetwood Mac

Merry Xmas (War is Over)- John Lennon

Instant Karma- John Lennon

Everybody plays the fool

People get ready

Six months in a leaky boat- Split Enz

Living in a Big Country- Big Country

Sexual Healing- Marvin Gaye

Because the Night- Patti Smith/ Bruce Springsteen

Human Behavior- Bjork

Train in Vain- The clash

Awaiting on You all- George harrison

Apple scruffs

Here comes my baby- Cat Stevens

Do you remember Rock n Roll radio- The ramones

I’m On Fire- Bruce

Friday on My Mind- The Easybeats

Is it Life Today- World party (Karl Wallenger)

Kiss Me- Six Pence None the Richer

Love Plus One- Haircut 100

Blue- The Jayhawks

Annies Song- John Denver

Take me Home, Country Roads- John Denver

Wear Your Love Like Heaven- Donovan

End of the line- Wilburys

April- Simon and Garfunkel

Kathy- Simon

Bus Stop- The Hollies

Sweet City Woman- The Stampeders

Mandolin Wind- Rod Stewart

I am a Child- Neil Young

Heart of Gold- Neil Young

Believe in Me- Neil Young

Your Mother Should know- Neil Young

Paisley Park- PRINCE

Pop life- Prince

Song#2- Blur

Love Stinks- J Geils

Hey ya- Outkast

Just Like Heaven- Cure

Say It ain’t so- Weezer

I can’t be satisfied- Muddy

Albums

Summer Teeth- Wilco

Being there- Wilco

White Album

Revolver

Rubber Soul

Beatles Anthology 2

Beggars Banguet- Stones

Exile on Main street- Stones

Ok Computer- Radiohead

Zen Arcade- Husker Du

Nirvana- Nevermind

Must’ve Been High- Supersuckers

Car Wheels on a Gravel Road- Lucinda

Essence- Lucinda

Bachelor #2- Aimee mann

Whatever- Aimee mann

American Beauty- Dead

Garcia- Garcia

Europe 72- Dead

Doolittle- Pixies

XO- Elliot Smith

Figure 8- Elliot Smith

Harvest- Neil Young

After The Goldrush-Neil Young

Axis: Bold as Love- Jimi

Featuring Birds - Quasi

Soft Bulletin -Flaming Lips

Old and in the Way- Old and in the way

Tommy- The Who

Cure For Pain- Morphine

Mutations- Beck

Let Love in- Nick Cave

Bone machine- Tom waits

Hair

Gorilla- Gravel Pit

Pet Sounds- Beach Boys

Singles, 45s and down Under- Squeeze

Muddy waters box set

Live at The Fillmore- The Allman Brothers

Sweetheart of the Rodeo- The Byrds

Queen of the Meadow- Elysian Fields

London Calling- the Clash

Standing On a Beach- The Cure

Little Feat- Little Feat

The Beatles Live at The Star Club- The Beatles

>* Discuss the creative or songwriting process --

At best, it's like flying down a hill on a bike. At worst, it's like that feeling when you think you're going to sneeze, you wait, and it never happens.

* Discuss your feelings about the powerful or life-changing effects that music can have on a person --

Music seduced me at a young age. I surrendered to it then and am still in the throes of addiction.

Russell Chudnofsky grew up in Framingham, MA, learning guitar at age 8. He wrote a rap opera "Gordy" at age 14 about his high school bus driver. In between stints at college he ran away to join the circus as a clown/musician/MC, riding a tricycle and playing guitar simultaneously.

Skypaint: A Popopera is a musical story concerning one man’s alienation and confusion in a rapidly transforming world that is finding humanity merging with technology. The music has been described best as "campfire songs for the new millennium" a hodgepodge of rootsy organic sounds mixed with sci-fi sounding computer driven synth and percussion loops that symbolize the merging of humanity. Slide guitars and banjos mix with electronic drums and bubbling synth noise. Jim Sullivan from the Boston Globe calls Skypaint: A Popopera "terrific: immediately infectious, hard-rocking, and heartfelt. ‘Skypaint’ may just be the best rock [or pop] opera by a small-scale band’…the breadth of material - sampled techno bits, helicopter-ish synth flutters a la Pink Floyd, rousing anthemic pop/rock, and country make for a powerful experience."

Chudnofsky started writing Skypaint: A Popopera in 2000. In addition to Skypaint, he is involved in a variety of other musical projects including playing guitar for Amelia White, Sarah Borges and Jon Nolan, among many others. An accomplished songwriter, he is currently putting the finishing touches on a new CD of "non-conceptual pop songs."

www.skypaintmusic.com

FRAN GRAY

* How has music inspired you?

It seems like at this point in my life that music is most everything that I am. As a person I hope that I'm compassionate and always looking to be the best I can be in terms of my humanity, but no time goes by in the day where music isn't sitting right at the front of my thoughts. I started playing music early, around the age of ten, and it was like an addiction. It inspired most everything I did as a kid. My family was the music that I listened to. As I grew up, I had other interests as well, but music has been the driving force of my life since day one.

* Your musical inspirations?

My direct musical inspirations vary a lot. I'm inspired by great guitar playing, by harmony, certain shades of the color blue have a musical impact on me in a strange way. Lyrics impact me hugely. I love Sarah McLachlan songs because she says things that most people couldn't even begin to touch. If you read what she's saying, it's breath taking.

Artists that are currently inspiring me as of 2/22/04 are Incubus, Aimee Mann, Foo Fighters...and many many many independent bands doing cool new things.

* Has music helped you through a difficult or traumatic time in your life?

Music has gotten me through most everything in my life. Both the happy times, like driving down the road with all the windows down and some great tune cranked, and it's gotten me through the sad times too. My best songs come from the trying times of my life. It's like this huge outlet to be able to say what happened lyrically. If you do it well, the payoff is when other people feel moved by a song and sense that they are in that same place and your song helped them.

* Any CDs/songs which are meaningful to you?

There are many songs that are meaningful to me. Really they cycle through from year to year. When I hear some of Sarah McLachlan's songs it takes me back to the height of Lilith and those fun times. When I hear certain Tom Petty songs it reminds me of my favorite recording studio that I used to go to. It's like there are thousands of musical gems that each hold a meaningful place for me.

* Discuss the creative or songwriting process --

For me the songwriting process is varied, though I think that my best songs were driven by something lingering inside of me that had to be said. If it didn't get said it would take me down. The songs usually begin with me understanding what it is that I want to say. Because for me, songs come from an emotional place, it can be tricky trying to say the really personal stuff. Being able to put the song idea into words in about one sentence is what I have to do first. Once I know that...I can write the lyrics pretty easily. In the past, a song that began with a melody would only get completed if there was a meaningful set of lyrics that I had to give it. Currently, I engineer most of my recordings, as is the case with my latest release Eclectic Encounter, and that has impacted the song writing process incredibly in the sense of leaning it back toward melody driven music.

* Discuss your feelings about the powerful or life-changing effects that music can have on a person --

Music is undoubtedly THE most powerful art form in my opinion. It can change your mood from totally elated to melancholy in seconds, depending on the music. That's why it's so important not to abuse its power with lyrics that say really nasty stuff. Lyrics can lift people out of the dark and point them in the right direction...give them hope, give a reason to try again. Music is unbelievable medicine. I couldn't imagine a world without it.
Fran and her music have traveled the genre highway. Her alt pop writing embraces a kaleidoscope of sounds. Mining her early musical experiences from the concrete caverns of Chicago and influenced by an already out of control collection of music, Fran began playing at the tender age of ten. Fran now cultivates her own music in the shadow of Oregon's Cascade Mountains. Though her work thrives in the rich musical soil of the city of Portland, growing up in the Chicago area seeded Fran's talents. The Windy City proved to be a motherlode of musical diversity and provided the opportunity to study with a legend; musician and entertainer Jethro Burns.

Now a Portland-based artist, Fran is a touring musician and has shared the stage with a number of notable national talents as well as with other fine artists and bands of the region. “CD of the Year” was how she finished off 2003 at Music Portal Magazine and “Record of the Year” was how she began 2004 on January 1st in Scotland at Radio Six. Fran is a dynamic presence on stage. Her performances and CD releases have drawn impressive reviews.

With various shades of light and dark, Fran’s multi-hued pallet paints across a musical canvas of powerful original songs.
www.frangraymusic.com/
www.cdbaby.com/cd/frangray2

YILING HUANG

I started playing piano at the age of seven. As a child, I was fascinated with Vienna, the City of Music. At the age of 16, I decided to study at the Vienna University of Music and Fine Arts in Austria.  My goal was to not just be a good pianist, but to become a truly great artist. I also wanted to explore the homes of the great composers, Beethoven, Schubert and Mozart. I have been interpreting their music all my life, and now, as a piano teacher, I am able to inspire my students to explore the beauty of each composition and teach them how to use different techniques as tools to create individual, unique sounds. These techniques allow my students to express music on an emotional level rather than mechanical level, and encourage them to begin creating simple melodies so that they may find their own voice through music.

I began composing music when my daughter and I moved to a new city to start a new life. Most of my writing and composing comes from my own experiences; feelings of joy, love, sadness, passion, heartache, hope...We all have different journeys, but we all share the same feelings. Through my music, I am able to paint my feelings and tell stories. Sometimes I am inspired by a beautiful poem, story, painting, photograph, or the people and places I encounter. No matter how hard our journey as artists, we must not give up our passion for creating. For me, creating music is a never-ending, life-long journey.

Writing music has helped me through very difficult times in my life as, through my music, I was able to heal, find myself again, and become stronger. I am very blessed that God gave me this gift.  It is my desire to give back to the world and bring people a sense of peace, hope and joy. Creating music is like creating our own journey. It helps us find harmony in our life. I am very fortunate that I am able to match my words to my music and uplift my mind, spirit and soul.

Music is a unique universal language. Each melody is like each stanza of a poem, having a beginning and an end. Creating music is very personal and poetic to me, and at the same time, people who listen to it are able to relate to what I want to express - joy, peace and hope. I am very blessed that my music has the potential to touch people's hearts and spirits throughout their life.
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Born in Taiwan, Yiling Huang developed an interest in music at the ripe young age, but her musical legacy didn't begin until the age of seven when her parents enrolled her in piano lessons.

Inspired by Beethoven and Schubert, Yiling knew since elementary school that her desire and love for music should continue its nurture in Austria. So, at the adolescent age of 16, Yiling moved to Austria to attend the prestigious Vienna University of Music and Fine Arts (Hochschule fÜr Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Wien). Then in 1988, she went on to earn a Degree in Piano Performance. During her 8 years stay in Austria, Yiling gained many lifelong Austrian friends as well as toured countless museums, attended numerous concerts and participated in several music seminars. A year after her graduation in Austria, Yiling moved to America to study at the New England Conservatory in Boston where she later received a Masters of Music Degree.

Yiling, along with her daughter, Clara and her cat Momi, moved to a new city to start a new life. Through her experiences and her encounters, Yiling's journey has amounted to a time of self-discovery. Although composing music a month before her life-altering move, most of her compositions have been created after transition.
   
Initially, Yiling began to write music as an outlet, but after encouragement from many of her friends, family, and her unconditional support from her parents, she built up the courage to take the next step in her ever-evolving journey.

On January 2003, Yiling submitted her compositions to producer Paul Speer and four days later she received an email from him with an invitation for a meeting.  Then in March the recording began and not a moment goes by when she is not inspired to compose new pieces. 

Yiling also invests her talent in adults or children who have the desire to learn piano. She teaches private piano lessons to students with the philosophy that states, "Playing the piano is more than just playing each note. It is a way for an individual to express himself or herself through music."  With Yiling's guidance students are encouraged to play their music on an emotional level rather than on a mechanical level, thus allowing the student to attain the skills to play music naturally and spiritually which in turn becomes a part of them for their entire lives.

Currently, with the support of a very dear friend, Yiling is inspired to compose music on a spiritual and philosophical level, no longer just writing music based on her past, but creating music that reflects her newfound connection to life
www.yilinghuang.com
www.cdbaby.com/cd/yiling

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