The road ends, but the journey continues...

Me as Composer

About 6 weeks ago, while planning our extended stay in Colorado to continue the hands-on process of getting Dad’s estate settled, I contacted a longtime colleague about collaborating with me on the recording of my Goat Suite (Saga).
Her willingness to work with me under challenging circumstances – finding snippets of time to rehearse, then laying down tracks at the recording studio – was refreshing.
So, tucked in between sorting files upon files of papers, packing up shelves of books, trips to drop off never ending donations at ARC, lining up realtor interviews, meeting with tradesmen for quotes on needed repairs on Dad’s house, working around my brother’s schedule to get certain estate things done; as well as working around my colleague’s own teaching and wedding gig schedule, we did indeed get started on the recording of my Goat Suite (Saga).
Sometime during our only rehearsal on a Sunday afternoon before our Wednesday recording session, my colleague tossed out a casual comment about ‘working with the composer’.
Say, what? Are you talking about me?
Re-tuning my ears, I heard her say something about enjoying working with the composer for learning what is wanted in the piece or some such comment.
In essence, referring to me – Me as Composer.
On the day of our recording session, I enjoyed this new-to-me experience of being the composer overseeing a musician in the nuanced shaping of her part and finalizing its recorded form! This talented professional laid down 2 tracks – the cg2 parts to movement #1 & movement #3 of my Goat Suite (Saga) in less than 1 ½ hours!
With 1 ½ hours left on the session clock, it was my turn.
I laid down the cg1 part in a flash for movement #1 and worked with the recording engineer on getting a final studio mix ready to add the rain stick part at another time.

Terry W. Lilly playing the rain stick during my Swimming with Swans presentation at the Goodwill Cultural Center, June 2017

Terry W. Lilly playing the rain stick during my Swimming with Swans presentation at the Goodwill Cultural Center, June 2017

Interesting aside: hubby has agreed to play the rain stick on the recording – he did a great job demonstrating its use during the Swimming with Swans presentation at the Goodwill Cultural Center in June and I think it will add greatly to the personal significance of this project.
In the event that there’d be time left over from the GSS session, I held hope to record my original solo piece Gift for TWL.
Yes, indeed, I was able to slip it in and did four takes with the 4th being the pot of gold. Only had to ‘borrow’ a very few notes from previous takes and it was done.
I guess I’m back to being an on-the-road working musician – ahem – composer.


  1. Andy

    And a composer you are! I feel similarly unsure when people refer to me as a writer-but by definition a writer writes, and a composer composes, so embrace it 🙂
    I’m curious as to how you got the title for this latest project, unless it’s too early to tell? Speaking of time, I’ve sent you a belated reply to your email about your last album, Unexpected.

    • laura bruno lilly

      If at all unsure, consult the Dictionary definition of a word! HA! yep, that works for me.
      Swimming with Swans is the name of the entire project and Goat Suite (Saga) is a portion of that whole…the SwS story will be forthcoming…
      Thank you for your thoughtful insights on the music on my last album unexpected. I’ll be sending an email back atchya in the coming days.

  2. Jane Chesebrough

    Thank you for sharing the creative process. You are very busy but when the energy flows , it all fits together, Ms composer. I love the sound of rain sticks. Look forward to hearing snippets, or more, of the Goat Suite (Saga)

    • laura bruno lilly

      I’m looking forward to posting snippets, but that might not be for a while yet…I’m in the recording studio one more time until sometime in September.
      Enjoy your summer photo shoots, Ms photographer!

  3. Deborah Brasket

    Congratulations, Laura! You’ve crossed that line from recognizing yourself as not just a musician but a composer as well. In reality, you’ve been a composer all along. But sometimes we need it reflected back to us from other’s minds to realize the reality of it ourselves. Can’t wait to hear the recording!

    • laura bruno lilly

      When it is reflected back at us from other’s minds, it tends to open up our own minds to more possibilities, ya know?
      Will keep you posted on the recording, still a ways to go until completion.

  4. Anna Scott Graham

    Been thinking about you; so glad to hear music has been playing (hehehe) a vital role while you attend other tasks. I have always thought of you as a composer, in addition to being a musician, so I found very intriguing your reaction to Felicity’s comment. I’m also pleased that Terry will continue his rain stick accompaniment in the recording. Good to keep these things in the family. 😉

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks, Anna!

  5. Jo Maxwell

    It’s amazing when someone else gives us a complement that we don’t expect. And it’s like a wonderful new revelation.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yeah, kinda feels good, too!

  6. Alison Reynolds

    How fun! Yes, indeed, you ARE a composer, a very good one too (I have that on first hand experience!)
    So happy you were able to finally get to your music. . .after all you’ve been through. . .I’m so happy for you!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks, duo buddy!

  7. Lisa

    So impressive Laura! I am so looking forward to hearing your masterpiece amd am proud to have a composer as a friend! LIke the way Terry is on the job for you too!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Ha – Terry has always been my most stalwart ‘patron’ – now just in a more visible and audible way!
      You can rest assured once this is finito you’ll be one of the first to hear it!

  8. Jennie Fitzkee

    This is so wonderful! I had to read the whole post twice. Way to go, Laura!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks for the encouragement, Jennie.

  9. L. Marie

    I couldn’t help smiling at your double take at being called “the composer.” What an awesome responsibility, Laura!
    You’re sooo busy. Praying for strength for you on this leg of your journey. 😀

    • laura bruno lilly

      Mille grazie, amica mia!
      Glad I could send a smile your way –

  10. Sue Ranscht

    I can feel your joyful satisfaction, Madam Composer!. Congratulations!
    Having experienced the sorting-through-a-parent’s- life process twice, I applaud your wisdom in pursuing actions that are so necessary for your own well-being at the same time. I’m sure your dad would have been proud of his daughter, The Composer.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yes, it is sorting through a life, isn’t it? The ‘stuff’ is easy to deal with – like furniture, knicknacks, sheets, etc – but I can’t just open up a file cab, sketch pad or music folio and blindly grab all the papers and toss them into the garbage…and I’m glad I’ve taken time to go through it all; kinda feel like it honors their life as well.
      Thanks for your comment, Sue.

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