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Music from Brian Dyer Stewart

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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.

Original Music from Brian Dyer Stewart #39

The song this cycle is Just Another War, which I started yesterday after the news of the invasion of Ukraine and just now finished and recorded.  My heart is devastated by this new war and by the endless cycle of war and occupation - Ukraine, Crimea, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Sudan, Palestine, Vietnam.  How many millions dead, millions more fleeing for their lives, often turned back from any safe haven.  How much trauma etched in so many souls. How much destruction of the means of our livelihoods and families.

Original Music from Brian Dyer Stewart #38

Dear family, friends, and fellow travelers,

    The song this cycle is Sasha's Waltz, recorded this morning in celebration of the birth of Sasha Sacco-Dyer.  Pammy and I are in upstate New York with our daughter and her husband, basking in the glow.  Sasha was born during a snow storm on the Wolf Moon, January's full moon on the 17th.  He's a most beautiful babe and we are ever so grateful for his presence in this world, this time. May 2022 continue to surprise us with its generosity and kindness, its solidarity and hope. 

Original Music from Brian Dyer Stewart #36

Dear family, friends, and fellow travelers,

    The song this cycle is With You, recorded in the early 90s, an anniversary tune as I remember.  Pammy and I just celebrated our 41st anniversary and it was fun to bring this song up from the archives.  Our neighbor, Tim, had just gotten a reel-to-reel 8 track recorder back in the day and generously let me do some recording.  I was learning my way with the equipment and figuring how to add tracks doing this song.

Original Music from Brian Dyer Stewart #35

The song this cycle is Holding on for Dear Life, recorded close to 25 years ago, written in the thick of family life when so many days were a blur with work and kids and making ends meet.  'Tis a happy tune.  There are so many darker, harder times that also find us Holding on for Dear Life, barely holding on or feeling ourselves flung into the roar and chaos of life and these times, with little to hold onto.  The joy and ease of the song is how wrapped up it is in the underlying connections and strength of love and family.  Hopefully we can give that connection to each other in the darker times when we might feel alone.  Time only tells us how much more we rely on and need each other.


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