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Music from Brian Dyer Stewart

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Original Music from Brian Dyer Stewart #48

Dear family, friends, and fellow travelers,

    The song this cycle is Life Is Like a Car, written in the early 90s when two friends whom I had worked with on peace and justice issues were leaving the area.  I remember finishing the last verse in the basement of the church where we were having their going-away party.  Susan Merrill helped me with thoughts and feedback and we sang it together later that evening. It's a song that circles my chest often during times of farewells and passings and just deep friendship remembered. 

Original Music from Brian Dyer Stewart #47

Dear family, friends, and fellow travelers,

    The song this cycle is First Love, written in 2015 on my way to song writers' retreat.  The tune had been circling around my brain - a nostalgic melody - and the words were jotted down as I drove along I-95 south.  I didn't get around to recording it until the end of that year - that's me on vocals, piano and my only concertina recording (so far).  A good fall song in terms of bitter-sweet and oh, that autumn moon - we had just such a one this last full moon. 

Original Music from Brian Dyer Stewart #43

Dear family, friends, and fellow travelers,

    The song this cycle is Heart in the Sky, written at song writer's retreat in 2016; I made a simple recording later that fall. 

    Spring is finally in full flower here in Downeast Maine, apples in bloom, lilacs just beginning.  I was on the road for a couple weeks visiting my daughter and her family - our newest grandson and was so happy to be with them and also so happy to come home to Maine.

Original Music from Brian Dyer Stewart #42

The song this cycle is In My Dream

    In Kiev, the horse chestnut, or kashtan, is widely planted and gives a unique vista to the city in April when it comes into its abundant, large, pink and white cones of blooms spread throughout the tree. They grow here in Maine as well, known also as Ohio Buckeyes - though we get the bloom later.  Legend has it that the Russian tzar was going to come to Kiev and the tzar's gardener had the streets lined with kashtans which he was sure would delight the tzar.  When he returned to Russia and told the tzar, the tzar, without speaking, made a disappointed face and the gardener in his fear raced back to Kiev and had the chestnuts torn out and poplars planted instead.  The people, seeing the beautiful, abandoned trees, planted them in their yards throughout the city, where they bloom today.  Some tellings of the legend note that a bee was circling the tzar and his grimace was from that.

Original Music from Brian Dyer Stewart #41

The song this cycle is Rise from the Earth.  Written some years ago, it celebrates the miraculous, improbable and absolutely ordinary coming of life in Spring.  My musical ramblings of recent have been so many sorrowful lullabies and protests of war, but here and around much of the northern hemisphere Spring is returning or is about to.  It is certainly balm for my soul to open to the rising of the season. The song was a live take from Joyful Trio - Leonore Hildebrandt on percussion and vocals, Kenny Pierce on guitar and vocals, with me on keyboard and vocals.

Original Music from Brian Dyer Stewart #40

I'm sending out a second newsletter this month.  The song this cycle is No Hate, written this last week as the situation in Ukraine deteriorates and war continues to advance.  Crisis is, of course, both danger and opportunity.  As we face one crisis after another - climate change, the pandemic, war - there are moments of clarity when it is just so obvious that our only way forward is to take care of each other and see no stranger.  Difficult work, for sure, with such vast inequalities and prejudices to overcome, differences to open to - but what else can we do?

   I had a lot of help with the vocals this time from friends near and far.  Thanks to Pammy, Denny and Martha, Alahna and Jessie.

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