Monday, December 23, 2013

How The Composers for Relief Works


THE MUSIC PART: Over 30 gifted composers hailing from 16 countries collaborated on an inspirational album, initiated by Peter Ebbinghaus to raise funds for the victims of this catastrophe. All profits from the album, and companion ebook, will go to Gawad Kalinga (“give care”), supporting the efforts in distributing food and rebuilding the devastated lives and damaged cities across the Philippines. More information on the album can be found at the Soundtracks and Trailer Music site.

THE WRITING PART: In the spirit of collaboration, 28 writers from across the globe will join me in discovering the stories of triumph lurking in the notes of each track, waiting for us to pull it into words. The final tales will be compiled into a companion ebook anthology for the album, with all proceeds going to Gawad Kalinga.

So I wrote to this sound track called AURORA by Renan Javier. I thought it was beautiful, and I'd love it if you'd listen to it as you read my contribution. Then let me know if I did his music justice. I'm used to reviews, so let me have it. 


There was only silence. Night followed night, and earth coiled against Chaos and darkness. The people drew away from openings and burrowed deep inside their shelters. 
Waiting, while their hearts stretched to breaking and their minds wandered to madness.

The elders remembered the Promise and tried to pass its hope to the youth, but the youth were deaf and the youth were blind. Why did they need to hear or see in a silent, dark world?  

Then when they feared they’d come to the edge of their time, notes of change whispered to the elders. The elders crept forward into the streets. Listening. Watching. Could this be the Promise, the Promise that might be kept? Would those faint notes come together to create the music they once knew? Was there to be an Early-Born light again? If so, would this wonder from the world of before be too late in returning? 

In their old memories they heard the silk of her saffron-yellow robe flutter just out of sight with only a hint of her coming. They saw her rose-tinted arms and fingers spread wide across the East. That had been her domain. Countless times she had reclaimed it and sent her pale sister to the other side of the world. Her passion had warmed the land and drawn life from the seed. 

But that was before man scattered her home in the high latitudes. Before he had stolen her warmth and contorted her solar winds. Before he had given sway to Old God Chaos.

Now tentatively hopeful, these elders knelt in communion and lifted their faces in the direction they knew from the days of their youth. And there they waited until they heard the stirring of light in their hearts. Out of the darkness came the stroke of a bow on strings and a gentle drumming and the lightest of musical key stokes. Then for the first time in generations, a faint rosy line glowed on the horizon, and, as that light rose higher in the sky, silhouettes appeared. The elders hadn’t seen anything in silhouette for so long, and at first didn’t understand what they were looking at. When they did, they wept. 

The remains of their cities. 
The remains of their forests. 
In the distance, they glimpsed a shimmer across a vast surface they had called the sea when they had been young.

And then the Goddess of Morning Light fell over them and challenged them. “Teach your children about the music that comes with the light. Let them hear. Let them see. Let them be human again.”

And the elders knew they had only a short time to meet her challenge. Their lives were close to ending, so they drew the youth from their shelters, and they began to teach the lessons of long ago. Lessons they prayed would open young ears, turn their eyes to the heavens and restore the order that sound and light could bring to the world.


  1. Lovely story and a lovely cause!

  2. Great story and imagery Lee! I will add the link to both the soundcloud and youtube track as I feel these two artistic pieces now belong together!

    Thanks again for this.

    -Renan Javier Cabrera

  3. Haunting and beautiful - words and music both. At this point... they heard the stirring of light in their hearts... I got chills with the way the notes and phrases lined up! Nice :)

  4. Amazing stuff! Truly beautiful. Well done, and what a fantastic collaboration/cause.

    Happy Holidays! :)

  5. Very nice, Lee. I do enjoy reading your work. You're just so gooood :-)

  6. You've pulled breathtaking words from beautiful music, Lee. It's perfect:)

  7. The first stanza pulled me in, but it got progressively better ... emotive, beautiful. Yes you did it justice. I do love the idea of this cause, thanks for sharing it with us Lee.

    Happy Christmas and best of luck for 2014. X

  8. Wow, this is really beautiful!

    Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year, Lee!

  9. Beautiful words set to beautiful music...

  10. Really well done! Truly inspiring!

    And so perfect for the coming of a New Year! Congratulations1

  11. I felt myself leaning in, hungry to read your words, Lee. What a beautiful piece (written to a beautiful musical piece). Haunting.

    The Warrior Muse

  12. How lovely. Thank you for sharing.

  13. Hi Lee - I've kept this as 'unread' as I couldn't get the music to download .. not quite sure what I was doing .. so I need to re-read your posting and try and untangle my 'stupidity' .. and see what's going on ..

    I think it's a great idea .. and great you've contributed a story .. I'll be back .. cheers Hilary

  14. This is beautiful, Lee! I could envision the Goddess of Morning Light stirring the music with her light from your words. A wonderful story.

  15. This tale is haunting and hopeful and wonderfully evocative of the music!

  16. This track is THE most soul-stirring music that I've listened to thus far.
    You've created a magnificent piece which captures the essence of this haunting music... a breath-taking blend of prose and melody!
    Happy New Year, C.Lee!

  17. Lee,

    What a wonderful offering for the collaboration, set to the theme and cadence of the music flawlessly. I loved your opening—poetic, even—and the admiration continued from there. Honestly, I didn't expect anything less, and I certainly wasn't disappointed. Thank you for a wonderful read this morning.

    M.L. Swift, Writer: The Best is Yet to Come

  18. I love this idea- so creative and unique. Artful collaboration is lovely. One of my favorite collaborations is Leave Your Sleep by Natalie Merchant and Barbara McClintock- it's like a living tapestry of old poems, matched with wonderful music, and illustrated by Ms. McClintock. She also illustrated Aesop's Fables, so she really brings the magic. :) I enjoyed your writing- it's just how I feel! ~ Jess


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