Saturday, September 06, 2014

My music

You might notice that on the right side of this webpage is a link to my digital album. Click here to sample my 14 songs (only available digitally). I wrote them between 1997 and 2007, although I didn't put this album together until 2013 (with the mastering help of New York jazz pianist Robert Cowie). Each year that I get farther away from those songs, the better they sound (I get less judgmental about my creativity), so I'd like to write about them now. Consider these "liner notes."

On this album I sing and play electric bass. Wonderful Chicago jazz musician Neal Alger is on guitar. A guy named Jean Leroy did the percussion, but he's only on a few tracks. 

"Going of Age" - This is one of my favorites because it's so relevant to my life. It's about facing the reality that you're not a young woman any more and you're only going to get older from here, but that's okay because there's a power and grace to being older. I loved this song when I wrote it at age 37 and still do at age 48. The same link gets you to all the songs (99 cents American each or US$9.99 for the whole album).

"Moving Through Madness" - One of my songs about depression, although it's so upbeat, the music sounds pretty cheerful. It means a lot to me that a friend who also lives with chronic depression says she's played this song over and over again at certain times in her life. In real liner notes, I'd dedicate this song to her. It's been a powerful song for me too and contains one of my favorite lyrics: "I am everything you could ever want in a woman, plus the nightmare." I'm sure my ex-husband would agree (I wrote it years before I met him).

"Not So Bad" - another song about depression that sounds happy and upbeat (I don't know why that happens). But this song has a little story in it with a good ending and it actually happened to me in 2003.

"An Atheist's Prayer" - This song expresses how I feel about my atheism and if it gives the Christians ammunition against atheism, so be it.

"The Baker's Prayer" - you optimistic, religious/spiritual people might like this one. Twenty years ago, I read the story of a baker who prays in a unique way to God, but I failed to make note of the name or title of the book. It was a collection of stories for children and this tale stayed with me. Years after reading it (when I still believed in a mechanistic universe), I turned it into a song in the hope that someone would recognize it and tell me how to find that book. Now I don't care so much.

"Solterona" - this is my only song with a chorus that's half in English and half in Spanish (the Spanish is a translation of the English) and I got help with it from my mother. My mother had strong language skills and I never could have written a chorus like this without the help of a bilingual with some poetry in her. She received my gratitude when she first heard the recording back in 2004. "Solterona" means "spinster" (as in Spinster Power!).

"The Penguin Song" - This was a favorite of people who came to see me back when I used to perform in Chicago (my audiences were probably mostly friends and ex-lovers, ha!). I used to introduce it by saying, "And now a song about the lesser sung animals." Other verses are about a hedgehog and a cicada.

"Song for Valentine's Day" - This was one of the first songs I ever wrote, but I changed the lyrics a few times before I recorded it. Now it's pretty much about sex.

"Before a Dream Is Realized" - I was totally into the woo-woo when I wrote this one. After I pitched my spiritual beliefs out the window, I couldn't stand this song. The lyrics actually refer to "the Universe." Euw!

"Stay" - another one of my favorites. These are the only lyrics I wrote with my ex-husband in mind (near the beginning of our relationship).

"Hold This" - I wrote this song when it had been years since I'd had a boyfriend and I was feeling very physically lonely. It's even more about sex than "Song for Valentine's Day."

So check them out if you need an uplifting or introspective tune. I'm happy to provide lyrics if anyone wants to know exactly what I'm singing. One day when I get my reginarodriguezmartin website up (I've bought the domain, but there's nothing there now), maybe I'll publish the words. And if you're interested in the story of why I started singing and songwriting, and why I stopped, that's here.

5 comments:

Regina Rodríguez-Martin said...

The complete lack of response I've received to this post combined with zero sales of my album since I posted it indicate to me that my singing voice and my questionable lyrics...just aren't going to be appreciated in my own time.

Matt said...

Hi Regina, I just saw your comment. I purchased your album in August and I really enjoy all the songs, particularly The Penguin Song, Moving Through Madness and The Baker's Prayer. I read about how your stopped performing and how you decided not to write songs any more. Personally, I think you recorded a really good album and I can't see anything wrong with your singing voice, your voice is quite powerful on many songs.

Matt said...

Would you also be able to send me the lyrics to The Penguin Song, please? It is a beautiful recording and I listened to it all the time when I was on holiday in the late summer.

Regina Rodríguez-Martin said...

Matt, thank you so much for your comments! I'm always surprised to hear that someone has enjoyed any of my songs. Yes, I'm happy to send you the lyrics to The Penguin Song. Write me at regina242424@gmail.com.

Matt said...

Hi Regina, thanks for your e-mail address. I am surprised how no-one else has posted as I really enjoyed the whole album and your lyrics are very meaningful.