Why Blog?

For a long time, I have been interested in the connection between creativity and spirituality. I believe they both spring from the same part of the soul, perhaps the same part of the brain, or are they both divine gifts…? Depends what you believe, I guess!

This blog is a space for some of my musings on creativity and spirituality.

Song Of Prayer

A song this week for the many friends that need it at the moment. Isolation, distance and restrictions are hard, and it’s getting harder the longer it continues.

I intended this song to be very simple, both in its melody and lyrics. I wanted it to be a way of sharing an idea of what prayer is, with my children. When we recorded Rosie (my then 5 year old daughter) singing the verses, somehow it changed the simple lyrics into a much more profound message. Perhaps, when expressed in honesty, the simplest things are the most profound.

 

Carry The Cross

‘Carry The Cross’ 

Matthew 14:22-33; Romans 10:5-15; 1 Kings 19:9-18; Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28

I chose this song, ‘Carry The Cross’ to accompany the theme of ‘salvation’ within the readings for the week. I feel the theme of this song is an important one to sing about at the moment – a theme of standing with one another in life’s hardest moments, and showing the ‘face of God’ through love and understanding.

I wrote this song leading up to Easter in 2018, when I was reflecting on what I valued in the symbol of the cross. At this time, I found my thoughts turning to how the cross expresses my desire to stand with Jesus in his darkest hour. I have been lucky enough to have my own family and friends stand with me during difficult times within my own life. Their love, patience and compassion has lifted me out of such dark times. Their actions have often been simple (listening to me, sitting with me, cooking for me, checking on how I was) but the effect was profound. How incredible, that through simple actions, we can show the face of God, and change lives.

The chorus of this song finishes with the words, “I too can save”. Here I attempted to put into words my desire to pass on the love that I have been so lucky to receive. That when we carry the cross with us, and remember the love and forgiveness it signifies, we too can show ‘the face of God’ to others, saving each other, when life’s hardest moments hit.

I have some particular friends I think of as I’m posting this song today.

CCLI: 7105498

 

‘Come To The Feast’

‘Come to the Feast’ is a new song that I am releasing on VIMEO this week!

This song came about after attending a wonderful conference last year, called ‘Common Dreams’. The conference featured amazing speakers from around the world, and from many backgrounds (including Creation Spiritualism, Judaism, Indigenous, LGBTIQ, Uniting Church, Anglican and more). There was a focus at this conference of how our faith can exist and grow around issues such as our environment, justice and respect for indigenous peoples, and inclusion of all people (particularly looking at the inclusion and celebration of the LGBTIQ community).

I came away from the conference brimming with ideas, and convinced that we need to come together for the common good, much more often! There was so much acceptance, so much talking and listening, so much growth, that happened within this conference. Is this what we can really get out of communion together? Coming together with food and drink, to sharing in each others lives, to listen to each other and to provide a space where ALL are invited and welcomed. This is an exciting and liberating space to be in.

I hope you find hope, joy and strength within this song.

Nature to Nurture

Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

This week, to accompany the gospel lectionary reading (The Parable of The Weeds), I’m making my song ‘Nature to Nurture’ available as a single (https://heatherprice.com.au/musicstore – mp3, sheet music and lyrics).

I wrote this song to respond to the many references that Jesus makes to nature and plants, and to also write within the space of environmental theology. Within this song, I felt a connection between God caring for each of us, and then our own ability to reflect the face of God by caring for other people and our planet around us.

When my family moved two and a half years ago, we inherited a beautiful garden. It has given me the chance to learn about what is needed to care for plants and the beautiful response you can get from a garden when love, care and attention is given.
I love this analogy when applied in a theological sense – God as the gardener, and we the plants that can thrive within God’s love and care.

Single (mp3, sheet music, lyrics) https://heatherprice.com.au/musicstore/
Video (lyrics on video) https://vimeo.com/ondemand/fullofthespirit

Seed of Love: ‘Parable of the Sower’

A song written with reference to Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23.

I wrote this song in an effort to put “The Parable of the Sower” into song.

As a kid, I attended a Sunday School singing songs like “Sandy Land” (by Ernie Rettino / PSALTY) and “The Trees of The Field” (by Stuart Dauermann / Steffi Rubin). These songs put melodies to the words of their related biblical stories, which meant that as I got them stuck in my head and hummed them over and over at home, I gained a little extra understanding, and a little more connection to the words within these biblical passages.

Such songs have made a profound difference within particular moments of my life. How? Often, I will find myself singing songs (often just within my own mind) that connect to what is happening in my life at the time. These may be songs that I haven’t heard or sung for years, but my brain draws on them when the situation I’m experiencing, is related.

When I was 14, I was diagnosed with a hearing condition called ‘Otosclerosis’. With this condition, calcification occurs within the ear, reducing the ear’s ability to receive sound, causing hearing loss. My hearing loss was sudden and significant.
It was an extremely difficult time for me that led me to search and question my own faith. Why did this happen to me? It was a big question for me, as I had really just started to flourish within my own music, starting a band, writing songs, singing and playing bass within many musical situations and groups. I had started to come into my own, and now this was being thrown into the mix.

At this time, I was playing bass in the church band for Adamstown Uniting’s weekly Sunday night service in The Dungeon. We played a good range of songs (with varying degrees of success! Hehe), but one particular song that we played kept coming back to me like a broken record in my head. “I Love You, Lord” by  Laurie B. Klein.
The song’s words, “I love You, Lord and I lift my voice, to worship You, Oh my soul rejoice,” spoke to the joy that I found within the music and the happiness I felt at being able to express and explore this creative element of myself.
But then the next section of the song, “Take joy my King, in what You hear, let me be a sweet, sweet sound, in Your ear,” seemed to speak directly to the struggle I was experiencing with my own hearing. It helped me to remember that even if things outside of me were hard to hear, I could still hear these melodies within my own head, and this was still something to find joy in.
This song was a comfort when I couldn’t sleep from the worry about my deteriorating hearing. It accompanied me to school. It settled me when I was in exams, and even when my tinnitus was so loud I could barely hear myself think.

Years later this seems like a distant memory to me, as I was lucky enough to have two incredible operations (stapedectomies) on my ears that returned my hearing back to a normal range. But I didn’t get my ears operated on until I was 23. By that stage, I had completed school very successfully, completed a Bachelor of Music degree, and I was even playing double bass with National Orchestras including Adelaide Symphony and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras.
The song accompanied me, all the way.

So in creating ‘Seed of Love’, I wanted a chance to give back a little. To share the wonderful “Parable of the Sower’ through a catchy melody, that might keep coming back to the mind even after the communal singing had finished.

I believe it’s a great message to carry with us in life. Let your heart be soft enough for the seed of love to be planted. Allow the roots of love to run deep in your life. You will see the beauty that can come from this, and there will be such an abundance of beauty that you can share it with others.
Seed Of Love

ALL OF THE DAYS OF MY LIFE

A response to: Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

It took me so long to let go of all the things I still felt I “should” be doing when isolation began. Such a period of adjustment before I could even feel comfortable in my own skin.

My discomfort demanded my attention to such an extent, that I had to work to accept this quieter, slower pace of life.

I did my best to appreciate the wonder that was surrounding me. My beautiful family. My wonderful friends.

I listened to music I haven’t taken the time to enjoy for years!

And, when I still couldn’t quite find that space of isolated contentment that I was searching for, I meditated.

At the start of isolation, I would arrive at meditation frazzled, worried and uncomfortable. My head, full of materialistic Facebook posts demanding my attention like a small child. My conscience, heavy with the feeling that I SHOULD be doing more with the kids. My brain, hurting from still trying to juggle the many areas of my life, that now found themselves stuck in isolation together.

20 minutes of to-and-fro would follow.

A beginning of silence… rudely interrupted by a noisy voice calling me back to the thoughts and jobs that were waiting for me, back at the ‘surface’.

A deep breath… and I can swim a little deeper, further away from all that I could deal with after some time to be with MY self.

At the beginning of each meditation session, it seemed this was a hopeless venture. How was I to ever actually think of NOTHING???

What a surprise, to find that 20 minutes later, I could arrive back in the room, with a heart full of love, hope and joy.

Somewhere within this 20 minutes of to-and-fro, a silent path would lead the way to love, life and peace, that was already existing, deeper down, inside of me.

A gate would open, to an energy inside, helping me to let go of EVERYTHING else.

Somewhere deep beneath the surface, ‘God’ was sitting there, waiting.

In fact not even waiting, but simply there. Already ‘of’ me.

And in the greatest moments of peace and meditation, perhaps I could even feel that I was also, ‘of’ God.

Such a deep connection, to all that is truly important, and the essence of my life.

What a gift, to be able to meditate and connect to this energy, that renews and brings such a deep sense of hope and peace.

To be able to return to my regular life and to my family, with a burden that is no longer heavy, but light. With warmth and peace that I can always carry with me. 

This song, “All Of The Days Of My Life” was written during COVID-19 ‘isolation’ to respond to and accompany Psalm 23. But here, I feel it fits well with this gospel reading that beckons us to come and find rest and peace.

I Choose Life

COVID-19 has brought about a big change to life. With a more isolated lifestyle and with so many activities and events cancelled or postponed, at first this time felt so empty. Like an uncomfortable void. As this time has gone on though, it’s really lead me to consider what I actually need within my life. What is actually “essential” for me – both physically and mentally. Family, food, friends, work (or something to keep the brain and soul stimulated), health. These are all the things that have been highlighted at this time as essential. I see all of these ‘essential elements’ as expressions of love. Actions of love towards others, and actions of love towards self.

Now as we look down the barrel at the beginning of lifted restrictions (beginning tomorrow, May 1st in NSW) I find myself looking at what’s to come, holding these ‘essential life elements’ very close. I’m wondering if I will be able to still keep enough space in my life that I can continue to value these elements, and put them first? Therefore always putting love first.

I feel very thankful for the shake up of life we have had. I hope you have been able to find a positive to this ‘life-change’ too.

This is a song I wrote a few years ago (2016), when I felt that my brain was absolutely flooded with things I HAD to do. Things required to be a good person, a good parent, a respectable citizen, a good role model etc. What I had found was, most of my decisions were based around what I thought other people thought (or would think) of me – effectively meaning I was missing out on my own life, by trying to live it according to how others would think most of me. Throwing that thought out the window, I chose life and I chose kindness towards myself.

Walk the Road With Me

It has been my pleasure to have some of my music used by various churches and groups to keep their communities together at this difficult time of isolation and separation (due to COVID-19). Adamstown Uniting Church has put together some wonderful videos using my songs. This is one of my favourites called “Walk The Road”. It seems a nice reminder that we might need to look in different places for God/comfort/beauty/peace at the moment. But we can always find that glimmer of hope if we open our eyes, and look at things in a different way.

Spring is here! Songs to celebrate!

Spring is here! Songs to celebrate!

Spring is here and it is such a great time to see God’s creations blooming and coming into new life. But here in Australia, we also see that a severe drought means that we need to not only celebrate this creation, but to also care for it and nurture it!

 

Glance at the sun. See the moon and the stars.
Gaze at the beauty of earth’s greenings.
Now, think.
What delight God gives to humankind
with all these things.
All nature is at the disposal of humankind.
We are to work with it.
For without we cannot survive.

– Hildegard of Bingen

 

 

I have included links to three congregational songs below that focus on connection with the world around us, encouraging a caring approach to our world! Find these songs of nature and spirit on the FULL OF THE SPIRIT album! MP3’s, sheet music, lyric videos and Power Points available here in my music store! You can listen to the whole song for free before you purchase!

God Is Here Dancing Within
“God is our Mother, watch as she’s dancing,
From tree to tree, from feather to fin,
Feel her and breathe her, as close as our skin,
God is here dancing within.”

“A feminine image of God brings such wonderful images of mothering and caring. It also allows us to see that often this ‘mothering’ role can go unnoticed or undervalued, although such a hugely supportive role within life. When I think of God as creation around me, mother-nature, if you will, I can see that I so often take for granted the amazing things that I have been gifted within the world around me. I now realise that I can give back to this mother too.” – Heather Price

Nature To Nurture
“It’s in my nature to nurture all living things,
The flower that’s blooming, the bird on the wing,
Great lover, creator, show me how to give,
To my soul, all people, and the world where I live.”

“I am lucky enough to have a beautiful garden that allows my family to grow vegetables and fruit, plus gorgeous flowers that attract the bees and birds. Some of these trees I have grown from seed or from sapling. This is quite an incredible experience watching such a strong tree come from such a tiny seed. When I consider the beauty of these trees and flowers, I can see they are all different. They are not perfect, but they are all so incredible. Just as we are – beautiful just the way we are grown.” – Heather Price

Seed Of Love
“Listen up then, if you have ears,
Life may have some sadness and fears, But if you let the roots run deep,
A seed of love inside you’ll keep.
You’re the farmer of your life,
And you can weed out all the troubles and strife, Rest the soil, and the fruit you bear,
Will always be enough to share.”

“This is a fun song, that kids young and old will enjoy singing! I wrote it to accompany ‘The Parable of the Sower’. I love the message here that we must be ‘soft’ enough to allow growth and understanding. That if we can be open to others then love can come to us too. Allow the roots to run deep!!” – Heather Price

New album – Full of the Spirit!

New album – Full of the Spirit!

I am very happy to say that my new album ‘Full Of The Spirit’ is now available for purchase from my website store and iTunes. The official Newcastle launch will be at a workshop at Adamstown Uniting Church on 29th September, but those lucky folks attending the ‘Common Dreams’ festival this week will get to hear the songs first in person!

This album has come about as a result of my position as ‘Musician In Residence’ for Adamstown Uniting Church. As well as playing for services on a Sunday morning I have worked alongside Rev. Dr Rod Pattenden to create songs that reflect this church’s theology and focus. This has meant bringing new language to stories and traditions that are important to the church, in order to hand them on to a new generation. When I approach writing songs in this way, I often take the story, the prayer or the tradition and try to look at its core. Why was this written? Why did this tradition begin? What do I take from this story/prayer/tradition that is REALLY helpful within my every day life? In the coming weeks, I plan to share the background and the process that was used in creating each of these songs. I hope you enjoy listening to the songs, singing along with them and reading about them.