Fly

Fly Sheet Music CoverFly is based on the ideas shared in two of my favorite poems on faith. The first is by Patrick Overton, and reads,

When you walk to the edge of all the light you have
and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown,
you must believe that one of two things will happen:
There will be something solid for you to stand upon,
or, you will be taught how to fly

http://www.patrickoverton.com/

The second is by Minnie Louise Haskins, and reads,

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.

I believe that. And according to the scriptures, “faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.” -Ether 12:6

If you’re responding to an urge that seems to come from a higher source, don’t be afraid to act in faith. What good is success if it doesn’t stretch and empower you? What good is a choice if it doesn’t lift you toward something higher?

When it comes to faith, you don’t need to already know how to fly. You’ll learn that after you take the step into the darkness.Patrick Overton said:

“When you walk to the edge of all the light you have
and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown,
you must believe that one of two things will happen:
There will be something solid for you to stand upon,
or, you will be taught how to fly

You can get the sheet music and MP3 of this piece on my website.

Fly Quote

Falling Up

I’m taking a different approach to releasing my music this time.  Instead of writing a whole CD’s worth of music and then releasing it all at the same time, I’m going to release songs as they are written, and then when there is a CD’s worth, I’ll put them together.

This way the music will be available as soon as it’s recorded.

This song was written by Maria Hathaway (Maria Spencer after tomorrow!  Congratulations, Ria!), and I wrote the music for it.  It will be available for purchase soon!

Enjoy!

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Falling Up

Falling Up

Falling Up

Lyrics and Vocals by Maria Hathaway Spencer
Music by Chas Hathaway

Walk to the place
where you can no longer see,
turn your face
to all that’s free,
take a step
into the deep,
fall into light.

Arms will embrace
and you will know it is He.
Call His name, walk His ways
fall into the endless light
of truth
of love
of peace
above.

Walk to the place
where you can finally see.
Gaze upon
Eternity.
Fall into light.

Ode To My Kia Sedona

Maybe someday I’ll put this to music, but for now, here’s my latest poetic composition…

Ode to My Kia Sedona
by Chas Hathaway

Sitting,
Reflecting,
I can’t help but thinking
The one I have now’s not sufficient
Pragmatic,
My old pick,
But not too aesthetic
I’d long since gave up as deficient

The first time I saw you
I knew you’d be mine
You wanted me too
After six months garaging full-time

Reflecting bright
the mid-day light
The hue of the sun’s full corona
A brilliant white
I venture to write
This ode to my Kia Sedona

Your battery,
No flattery,
Made sounds that were clattery
The price to get fixed made me cower
At great cost,
Your defrost,
When came calling Jack Frost
A short wired fuse drained your power

So to the mechanic
I drove you that day
The price made me panic
As I walked irately away

Reflecting bright
the mid-day light
The hue of the sun’s full corona
A brilliant white
I venture to write
This ode to my Kia Sedona

Revamping,
Now camping,
After wilderness stamping
We notice you had a flat tire
Replace it,
Now race it,
A new flat displaced it
Halfway home – I think cars conspire

Back to the shop
Once again you won’t start
Alternator’s a flop
‘Till we save up the cost for the part

In case you’re ideal’s
on a new set of wheels
Before your trip through Arizona
Consider my plight
Get the car that’s right
Just don’t get a Kia Sedona

Come Thou Fount: Original Piano Arrangement

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Come Thou Fount

Come Thou Fount

I love the old hymn, Come Thou Fount.  I think it captures the spirit of Christianity everywhere and reminds us that without Jesus Christ, we are nothing, but that with Him, we can become all that He is.  I’ve been intending to create an arrangement of it for a long time, and I finally took the time to do it.  You are welcome to download this arrangement for free.  If I get requests for it in sheet music, I’ll transcribe it and make it available for purchase, so let me know if you would like me to do that.

Of all the words in the song, my favorites are these: “Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, Seal it for Thy courts above.”  It reminds me that I have given my heart entirely to the Lord, and he can do with it as He sees fit.  That heart often needs tuning, even regular tuning, and only He can do it, but I must bring it to Him – over and over and over.  Each time I do, he refines it, purifies it, and returns it to me, better, stronger, and more empowered than before.  I love Jesus Christ.  No matter how much I give, He always give back more.  I guess that’s why He said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

He waits on us to give Him all that we are, and when we do, He gives us back a life that is far better than anything we could have imagined.

Below is a copy of the original lyrics by Robert Robinson as he wrote them in the 1700’s:

1.

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

2.

Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I’ll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.

3.

Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.

4.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

5.

O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothed then in blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day.

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Come Thou Fount: Original Piano Solo Arrangement

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Come Thou Fount

Come Thou Fount

I love the old hymn, Come Thou Fount.  I think it captures the spirit of Christianity everywhere and reminds us that without Jesus Christ, we are nothing, but that with Him, we can become all that He is.  I’ve been intending to create an arrangement of it for a long time, and I finally took the time to do it.  You are welcome to download this arrangement for free. Also, you can purchase the sheet music at my website: http://chashathaway.com

Of all the words in the song, my favorites are these: “Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, Seal it for Thy courts above.”  It reminds me that I have given my heart entirely to the Lord, and he can do with it as He sees fit.  That heart often needs tuning, even regular tuning, and only He can do it, but I must bring it to Him – over and over and over.  Each time I do, he refines it, purifies it, and returns it to me, better, stronger, and more empowered than before.  I love Jesus Christ.  No matter how much I give, He always give back more.  I guess that’s why He said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

He waits on us to give Him all that we are, and when we do, He gives us back a life that is far better than anything we could have imagined.

Below is a copy of the original lyrics by Robert Robinson as he wrote them in the Continue reading

A Musical Language: Speaking through Music

Here’s a crazy idea – though it’s not exactly a whim, since I’ve had the idea floating around in my head for about eight years now. I’ve always been fascinated with the capacity music has to communicate feelings and convey messages in a way that is often more powerful and effective than written or verbal communication. What if we were to come up with a language that was spoken through music? A system that actually uses notes to communicate detailed information. It would have to be detailed enough that someone could translate the Bible into the language, and yet simple enough that it wouldn’t take years of training to get it. Not a code, exactly, but something between a code and a language.

In a sense, what I’d like to see is someone pipe a tune, and someone else understand the detailed message.

Some ideas have been explored along these lines. Probably the biggest is Solresol, invented by François Sudre in the 1800s, which is simply a language that uses words spelled with different combinations of notes in the basic piano scale. It has its own dictionary and grammar, too.

But I would like to see a language that is more than a code that uses notes for letters. Ultimately, the ending product has to be both beautiful music and a clear message. It has to be as artistic and aesthetically pleasing as it it literary.

While we’re at it, let’s go ahead and make its written form as beautiful artistically as its sound is musically. So in other words, it would be a language that looks like art when it is written, and sounds like music when it is spoken. There would be little or no need for tongue and mouth articulation, as is present in every language I know except Sign.

Mind you, this would be a MAJOR undertaking. If it leaned more toward the side of code, then it would take very careful rules that would maintain beauty and simplicity while allowing a detailed message without taking too much time to convey it. If, on the other hand, it leaned toward the side of language, then it would need its own dictionary and grammar rules.

Just think how fun it would be to write a detailed message, and then put it to music by simply translating it into this musical language. If it was really well made and well planned, such a language could shape the future of composition in the future for thousands of people. It would completely obliterate the question of whether or not it is possible to convey a message using music alone. It would not only supply the usual feelings and subconscious patterns, but it would speak words with as much clarity and accuracy as this blog entry. And if a picture paints a thousand words, this would paint a hundred thousand words.

I have toyed with (as well as started on and off) to create this language/code, but time has limited me from really diving into it. But here are a few rules that I think would have to be kept constantly in mind for it to have any chance of being what I envision it:

  1. It has to sound beautiful – or at least any message spoken would have the potential for sounding like decent music, and in written form, looking like decent art.

  2. It would have to be fairly simple to learn. How many people do you know that can speak Klingon? Sorry, but complex language systems intimidate people, so this has to be fairly simple.

  3. It has to be able to carry as detailed a message as the composer (or speaker) needs to speak.

  4. It has to be able to convey the message in a time-frame comparable to living languages today. (IE it can’t take 5 minutes to say, “I went to the store and bought a burrito.)

  5. It has to be able to be spoken by a single individual without the aid of others. Harmony and chord structures may be used to emphasize, expand, or provide multiple levels to the message, but a basic communication has to be able to be spoken by one person by either voice or instrument.

  6. Just remember the most important things are that it’s spoken and written form is beautiful, and its message can be detailed.

  7. Other elements, such as rhythm or note-length can assist in speaking the language, but they probably ought to be used more in grammar rather than individual words in order to allow the composer or speaker as much creative liberty as possible to compose a piece of music using the language.

So there you have it. Any thoughts? Ideas? Criticisms? It’s a kind of wild idea, but we’re living in an age of wild ideas, and if we pull together, we can make some wild ideas awesome ones.

Lunch Bucket Canon: The Piece that Didn’t Make the Cut

Lunch Bucket Canon

In preparing The Ancestor CD, I had one piece that was intended to go on the album, but didn’t make the cut.  It needs some fixing up, and hopefully I’ll have it ready for publication later.  So it’s been sitting on my computer rotting for a couple months.  Then I realized that just because it’s not ready to sell doesn’t mean I can’t share it on my blog!  So here’s the piece that didn’t make the cut for my new CD.

Lunch Bucket is my daughter’s nickname, and I have a tradition of writing a lullaby for each of my kids.  After writing one for Lunch Bucket, I realized that the melody fits with the chord progression to Pachelbel’s Canon in D. So I made a little medley that is basically a variation on Canon in D, though it’s really Canon in C when I play it.

Oh, and I should tell you up front – this is NOT a solo.  It takes at least three people.  If I ever play this one in an up-close concert, I might even have everyone who can play Canon in C come up and jam along!

The Canyon Black: The Meaning Behind the Music

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The Canyon black

Vocals and Lyrics by Maria Hathaway

Music by Chas Hathaway

The Canyon Black is an abridgment of the poem, “The Valley of the Canyon Black,” by Maria Hathaway.  The poem is a parable of the Cain and Abel story.

The song is abridged, but the words to the original poem are written out in full here.

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The Valley of the Canyon Black

by Maria Hathaway

Where the road follows the path of the stream

dividing the valley with one great seem

there cottonwoods in sunlight gleam

a morning wakes from twilight’s dream

in the Valley of the Canyon Black
Follow this road of dusty cloud

with rocks and boulders well endowed Continue reading

The Fifth Day

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The Fifth Day

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The Fifth Day is the fifth piece in the Creation Series, and the fifth piece on the CD, The Ancestor, by Chas Hathaway

See more entries about The Ancestor CD

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Nahmehah! (AKA Mahnah Mahnah)

Tab flatRemember the old Muppet show with the two pink… well, whatever they were – some kind of muppets with permanent ooooh mouths, and the shaggy little guy with sunglasses that sang, “Mahna Mahna” while wandering around the stage?  Well, Lunch Bucket has the shaggy dude’s part down pat… at least the mahnah mahna part, though I think she leaves out the first “ma” leaving a nahmenah instead.

Tab flatAnyway, here’s Baba and Lunch Bucket in their premiere debut of Jim Hensen’s classic, “Mahna Mahna.”

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Mahnah Mahnah

nahmenah