"Music is everywhere, seeping into every corner of our lives, and it has a special kind of magic. It can help us sleep, or make us dance, give wings to our dreams, or commiserate with our sorrow. Music can spark a long-buried memory, bring people together, change a mind, or even save a life."
What you just read is a piece of a blurb for an anthology titled, Music Speaks. And with us here today is a lovely lady who has put together a post to tell us all about it and the foundation it helps support. So, without further ado, I shall turn this over to Ms. Clark:
Guest Post by L.B. Clark
Think for a minute about some of the roles music has played in your life. Have you ever used a silly song to help you remember something (if you learned your alphabet as a child by singing the “ABC” song, then you’ve done this one!)? Have you witnessed music bringing people together or bonded with someone over music? Have you seen anyone using music to rally people? Has a song ever changed your point of view? Made you think? Lifted your spirits? Made you feel less alone in the world?
Now imagine for a moment a world without music. No “ABC” song. No background noise during the daily commute to work, no ambiance for a romantic dinner, no epic soundtracks for the summer blockbusters, no upbeat tunes to motivate your workout, no mix-tapes or shared playlists of romantic songs that tell someone everything you can’t find the words to say, no wedding march, no lullabies. No concerts, no dance clubs, no piano bars, no jukeboxes, no karaoke. Imagine, too, that those songs that made you feel less alone or lifted your spirits never existed.
Can you imagine it? I can’t. I don’t want to. The very notion frightens me. Without the music that has gotten me through so many dark days, would I even still be here? Best not to think about that one too deeply.
While music isn’t a basic necessity, it is still a vital part of our lives. In turn, the folks who make music—not only the musicians but the entire music industry—are an important part of our lives. What would have happened if one of the musicians whose music helped me stay strong and sane had run into tough times himself (or herself) and not had anyone to turn to for help? That music might not have ever been made (and therefore wouldn’t have been there when I needed it).
Now imagine that there is an organization that helps musicians and others in the industry when they run into hard times. An organization that makes sure these folks have medical care and a roof over their heads, ensures they have access to resources to help them overcome addiction, and helps them recover after a major catastrophe or natural disaster, like the massive flooding in Nashville in 2010. This one is easy to imagine, because that organization exists. It’s called MusiCares.
Just as music is a vital part of our lives, MusiCares has an important role to play. By helping music industry people in need, they in turn help all of us to get pass the small and large roadbumps in our lives.
Imagine now that you can do something to help support the MusiCares Foundation and all of the programs it funds—without breaking the bank or even leaving your chair. Imagine, too, that by donating to MusiCares you also got a couple of hours of entertainment, gained a little insight, and—just maybe—had something touch your heart or inspire you in some way. This, too, is easy to imagine; with a couple of dollars and a couple of clicks, you can help MusiCares help musicians, and maybe even help yourself in the process.
Music Speaks is a collection of short stories about music and musicians. The authors don’t earn a single cent. Neither does the publisher. Or the cover artist. Or the editor. Or that one poor woman who had to format the thing. Every penny that doesn’t cover print and distribution costs goes directly to MusiCares, and from there on to those music folks who need help.
Click a link, take a look at what’s on offer, and consider supporting MusiCares by purchasing the Music Speaks anthology. For less than the cost of a cup of gourmet coffee (ebook) or a fruitiful mixed drink (print), you can change a life—a life that just might end up changing, or saving, other lives.
"In these pages are eleven short stories from nine independent authors. These stories cover a wide range of genres—from romance to dystopia—but they all share a single theme: the power of music."
Gone too Soon by Christopher T. Grace
“I was sitting in an overpriced restaurant in Hollywood when I read the news about Bryan Justice.“
The Heart Never Forgets by Ann Cathey
“The job as a trade-show coordinator has me traveling all over the country from convention centers and rodeo arenas to private offices and back.”
Solo by David Antrobus
“So, I could never sing, couldn’t even shout really, which is why it’s such a damn fine spectacular thing I’m a guitar player, thank the almighty music gods in their boundless mercy.”
Heavy Metal Lovesong by Pam Bainbridge-Cowan
“In the early years he was Fat Boy with Guitar. No one talked to him much, girls not at all.”
Save Me by Erin McGowan
“As I crossed the overpass for 161, I thought about crossing the turn lane, timing it just right, and jumping off the bridge.“
Playlist by James Clark
“He wanted to remember who had been in the car with him, but it was in the shadows along with just about everything else about the latest party. Or the one before. Or the one before that.... “
Music Heals All Hearts by Laurie Sorensen
“Martin strolled the hallways of St. Vincent’s Hospital, strumming on the guitar in his arms, something he always did to soothe the people in pain.”
Punk Rock 101 by JD Mader
“First show you ever played. Venue the size of a shoebox. Smell like 100 pairs of wrecked Chuck Taylors. Cigarettes. Some other smells you don’t recognize. Yet.”
Double-edged Sword (Jukebox Heroes Vignette -Seth) by LB Clark
“On nights like tonight, when I’ve had one Scotch too many, I stop and wonder where I’d be without music”
Heaven Sent (Jukebox Heroes Vignette - Chris) by LB Clark
“I turned away from my dinner long enough to give her a once-over. She looked like a thousand other women who’d walked through Haven’s front doors: medium height, medium build, medium brown hair, hoodie and Converse and jeans. Average, and kind of boring.“
End of the Line (Jukebox Heroes Vignette -Adrian) by LB Clark
“In my head, I could hear the moving hands tick-tick-ticking like a metronome. It wasn’t the wall clock I was hearing, but the imagined sound of my wife’s biological clock.”
For more information on MusiCares, visit http://www.grammy.org/musicares
My blog: http://lbwrites.tumblr.com
Music Speaks fan page: http://www.facebook.com/MusicSpeaksBook