Thought I'd take the opportunity to let you all know about and Amazing young artist in Australia. I found her through forums related to the artists of Celtic Woman via her dad who was a member. He noticed I had been looking for people to set my poetry to music, and said his daughter creates songs and might have a look. So, I sent him a handful to show his daughter figuring it was a long shot.
Within days I was notified that Liv had come up with a song to my poem Butterfly Kisses. No, not the one you've heard before, but a new one based upon the emotions I had when watching and listening to Mairead Nesbitt. I received the song just after to going to my first Celtic Woman concert with a meet & greet. I wound up meeting Mairead for the first time at that event, and it was simply amazing. When I got home the CD was in the mail. So, I took it home and popped it into my CD player and put on the headphones.
I did not know what to expect. Lots of people think they have talent. I pressed play and then came the song. I was stunned by it's beauty and the lovely voice and piano work. What a jewel! Within a few weeks two more songs came, Pile Of Ash, and Cats Don't Fly. Both marvelous creations by this gifted Aussie songbird and composer. Those two songs now reside on Liv's beautiful CD, Words After Midnight, along with ten of her own creations. In the remainder of 2008 Liv sent me two more songs, Final Chapter, and Death Of Dreams. Neither were poems I thought would become songs, yet they now are and lovely ones at that!
Liv has been creatings songs for quite a few years now. They are all over the map in their makeup and style. Each has a message unique to itself. She has volumes of songs yet to be heard by ears outside of her family, and to my great blessing, me as well. Between her songs and ones with me she has material fro several CDs available to her.
It was a great honor to be invited to visit Australia and spend time with Liv and her family. I went there in mid-December 2008 and stayed just over a month. In that short time I experienced a lifetime of family like I had never known. I lived with them and was treated just like one of the family. I did my best to pull my share of the load too. We spent Christmas, New Year's, and a week at a river site not to mention many other wonderful days and nights. The Grittens are a lovely family. Kim, their dad is a fine man and very strong Christian. Maree, his wife, and mum of four wonderful daughters is a hard working and giving soul in spite of some health issues. Her home was beautiful and cared for with love.Liv's younger sister Marina is a delight and has a quick, technical mind. She has a lovely voice too. In fact all the girls sing like angels. The twinnies, Anastasia and Nadia are delightful. ana does the back up vocals for Liv but Nadia can as well when she wants too. Ana was always there with a willing hug which she always seemed to time just right. You've heard Celtic Woman this tour sing their four part A Cappela harmony of Danny Boy? Try the Gritten sisters doing that with Amazing Grace! Wow!
While there Liv and I created three more songs together. One was the first night when we were enjoying her music after dinner. She had just played a lovely tribute song about her grandfather which was called Soldier. He had been a WW II vet. So, I read a poem I wrote about my WW II vet friend, Francis. She snatched it up and promptly turned it into a song right before my eyes and ears. Oh my. I was in tears, which her music tends to do to me. What a beautiful song that could be sung at memorials and commemorations! On the way home from picking up Liv's CDs in Sydney she found another poem to interest her. Will India Cry I had written after hearing about violence against Christians by radical Hindu elements in parts of that country last fall. She tapped me on the shoulder and said "I really like this one" accompanied by a big grin. Well that song too was done in short order with some adaptations we both worked through during the night. It is now the theme song for one ministry and mission which is an orphanage, mostly for girls, in India. Just before a left I approached Liv with a song I had in my head to one of my poems, Another Hundred Rejoice. That is a hymn about the 100th anniversary of my church. It was recorded that night.
Liv continiues to create and is now performing in her native Australia at various festivals and events. She is now on Rhema FM which is a Christian radio network of about 40 stations there. She has some airplay in the states on internet radio and will be getting more. We are wroking towards a time when Liv can come to the states and do a concert tour herself. Her Uni studies, need to bring in some money, and getting her band established are priorities right now. You can find out more about live on her MySpace page at www.myspace.com/livgritten and also at her fan site and forum at www.oliviagritten.org which I administer. I was honored to be named her North American manager and will do my best to promote this truly special artist as often as I can in as many ways possible.
So, from an inspiration by the most amazing fiddler on the planet, Mairead, to poetry, and then to song by another gifted artist, Olivia, it has been quite a journey so far. Stay tuned.