The road ends, but the journey continues...

Mama (Gracie) Needs a New Pair of (Set of) Shoes (Strings)

Like a baby being born into an expectant family – the world revolves around that anticipated event while simultaneously continuing to turn daily on its axis.

Such is the life of a working musician – the ins and outs of projects going public and in various stages of completion with the on-going daily-ness of keeping up one’s chops, learning new repertoire, caring for one’s instruments, exploring the wide world of sound adventures while simultaneously creating a fresh crop of compositions/recordings and forging relationships with possible new performance partners. 

So yeah, Gracie Needed A New Set of Strings…In Spades.
She was neglected in that way. But truly in no other.

I recently unearthed a song sketch I recorded on my new-at-the-time ZOOM H4n handheld recorder after my literal Swimming with Swans* experience.

It definitely sounded way better than I remembered. Usually it goes the other way around – remembering something way better than it actually was.

Ah yes, after all these years – I hit the jackpot. Hidden in plain sight, I unwittingly discovered the namesake piece for the entire Swimming with Swans: The Music project!

All that to say, Gracie and I have been deeply ensconced in the nuances of deciphering what was recorded and translating it back under my fingers to play upon her lovely neck. Teasing to attention several other12-string pieces queued up for the next recording session (yet to be determined).

Now, if I keep the original recorded intro with those birds chirping in the background…tack it onto the future studio recording when the time comes…

*This poignant experience occurred during the
**Indiana sojourn part of our between homes time (from 3/2010 – 10/2010).


  1. Jennie

    Gracie, you go, ‘girl’. Laura, take good care of her and her strings. Keep making music together. I loved this story!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Will do!

      • Jennie


  2. zippyquilts

    It sounds a little daunting, since I don’t have much idea what’s involved!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Naw, it just takes time…and I’m always the busy beaver!

  3. Andy

    The Amazing Gracie.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Oh yeah…

  4. Marty

    I love how you two communicate with one another! 🙂

  5. Khaya Ronkainen

    Super cool post, I love everything about it. And your excitement over the new member of your family is palpable and infectious. 🙂 Thanks for this glimpse into the life of a working musician. Here’s to making more music!

    • laura bruno lilly

      That’s one of the perks of you being on my ‘little list’ you get tidbits not mentioned in these posts – still don’t have a name for the ‘new member’ UKE, but she will assert herself at some point!

  6. marissthequilter

    What a journey!
    BTW your Goat Suite Saga is now on Spotify and I am listening to it as I type

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yep, finally! 🙂

  7. Jane's Heartsong

    Excellent partnership amid the daily task of keeping balance with the rest of things.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Like you and your camera.

  8. petespringerauthor

    It doesn’t surprise me that as a musician you look after your instruments and show them the proper amount of love and care. I like that your guitar is showing her appreciation. Do musicians typically name their instruments, or is that something unique to you?

    • laura bruno lilly

      Naming of instruments is something those instruments often insist upon themselves – HA! I do have a few that aren’t ‘named’ but referred to by Luthier – ie the “Prisloe” is my cg that was made by Thomas Prisloe in the 1990s – she loves to be associated with her ‘maker’!
      And no, I don’t think it is something at all unique to myself…but you’re right, not everyone does this.

  9. Laura

    Love that Gracie is doing what she was born to do! How many can say that? 🙂

    • laura bruno lilly

      Excellent perspective!

  10. Ally Bean

    Good story. Nice photos, too. If it’s not one thing [string] it’s another. ?

    • laura bruno lilly

      …(k)not that anyone else would notice!

      • Ally Bean


  11. piecefulwendy

    I look forward to hearing whatever you and Gracie are coming up with!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Good to know! Thanks for the cheering on!

  12. L. Marie

    Laura, these glimpses you provide into the life of a working musician are fascinating. You present a world I don’t really know, since I’m not a musician. But I’m interested nevertheless.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Snippets of others’ lives I find fascinating, also. I do miss your posts featuring the menagerie of characters hanging out at your place! How’s Harry these days?

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