Although many radio stations start playing Christmas music Nov. 1st, I choose to wait until Thanksgiving is over to break out the Christmas music. A few years ago my dad Lex gave his daughters original arrangements of Christmas carols! One of the benefits of having a composer father and talented sisters. Enjoy!
If I ever get the chance to produce a Christmas CD, what songs would you like included on it?
was meeting many wonderful people after the show! Thanks to all who attended Deseret Book’s final outdoor summer concert this year, and to those who stuck around for the CD signing.Â It was a fun way to wrap up the summer. I loved seeing many Facebook friends in REAL life, and friends that I haven’t seen for ages. Thanks again for your support.
One of my favorite moments was when I spontaneously asked my bro-in-law, Derek Brown, to accompanying me on Mercy’s Arms & Masterpiece and he jumped up and blew everyone away with his amazing talent on the piano. (And no, it wasn’t planned or rehearsed. He’s THAT good!)
Another highlight was when I asked for a guitar tuner so I could play Dive Deep & my tuner batteries weren’t working and a generous young dad in the audience volunteered! Thank you!
MUSIC & MOOD: MUSINGS FROM A SONGWRITER & THERAPIST
At first look it may seem that songwriting and psychotherapyÂ have little in common. But the older I get, the more I see the connections between my two “careers”.Â Songwriting is my personal expression of emotion and thoughts, and fulfills my desire to connect with others in a meaningful way. My hope is that my songs will help you feel more hope, faith, relief, joy in your life…Music can be a powerful tool to help achieve a desired emotional state.
My work as a psychotherapist helps others express and make sense of their emotions and relationships. People generally come to me for therapy because they don’t like how the feel in at least one aspect of their life and want to “feel better”.
Emotional expression and connection tie both of my careers together. They are also what tie my family life together. They tie my life together.
THE POWER OF MUSIC
Music parallels all human emotions and can help us manage our feelings and change our emotions to a more desirable state. Your emotional response to a piece of music depends on your past musical experiences, the meaning of certain sounds on your culture. Today the soft hits of the 60s-90s are considered â€œeasy listening musicâ€, but at the time they were released they was considered edgy, even revolutionary.
Music is present in all cultures throughout time. It is used to bind groups of people together, such as signing hymns with a religious congregation or singing the National Anthem to promote patriotism. Through shared emotional experiences, music indelibly links your memories allowing you to emotionally revisit certain life events simply by listening to a few bars of the song that you associate with that time.
While there are many elements in music, rhythm is an important one that promotes movement or stillness in our bodies. On one end of the spectrum is Dance music, designed to elicit movement. In the middle of the rhythmical spectrum are ballads with slower rhythm that have a more neutral bodily movement response. One the other end of the spectrum is music without rhythm, collections of sounds that flow. Generally, music from the classical era, 1800â€™s, like Bach, and Mozart, is highly rhythmically organized and tends to promote brain activity, rather than physical activity, thus the term â€œthe Mozart effectâ€.
IMPROVE YOUR MOOD THROUGH MUSIC
Here are a few suggestions for using music to improve your mood based on my own musical experiences and genre preferences. I’d love to hear your playlist suggestions!
1-STRESSEDâ€“ Songs to help you relax
Look for music that has minimal rhythm, soothing tones, sounds from nature, organic instrumentation.
Recommended Genres: New Age, Classical, Acoustic Singer/Songwriters, Smooth Jazz
Look for music with major chord structures, hopeful lyrics, authentic vocalists, and organic arrangements that life your spirit.
Recommended Genres â€“ Indie pop, singer/songwriter, hopeful country, Gospel/Inspirational
Latter-day Woman interviews LDS women from all over the world in their Grapevine LIVE series. I had a delightful chat with their host Sheri Joi on Thursday evening (scroll down to the bottom of the page to find my interview).
I had a delightful time talking with my dear friend Cherie Call for yourldsradio.com New Music Show. Throughout the interview I was temped to start asking HER questions about her music because I’m such a fan of her songwriting. If you haven’t heard her CD “Grace” you’ve got to hear it!
To hear the stories behind my songs “Window To His Love”, “Angels”, “Make Enough of Me”, “Hard Things”, & “God’s Signature”
When you hear the word “strength” you likely think of traits or characteristics that are easily visible to others. But you also have “quiet” strengths that are demonstrated in your relationships interactions, and in who you are. These quiet strengths might be empathy, being a good listener, making others feel important, spirituality, and more.I’m continually inspired by the inner strengths of many women that I meet with in my counseling practice, and in workshops, who are dealing with difficult life situations: the loss of a child, marital distress, debilitating depression, chronic illness, and more. They face difficult life situations with courage and strive to move beyond their current situation.One of my own quiet strengths is the ability to reflect on my inner life and on my relationships and express my experience through songs. I gain much inspiration for themes and lyrics from my important relationships and life experiences.Three women in particular have inspired me with their quiet strengths of self- acceptance, emotional depth, and consistent support.
I have known Sara White for over 15 years and have been inspired by her strength of self-acceptance. Now well into her 90’s, Sara continues to enjoy her family and friends and exudes an inner beauty that is evident to all who know her. Through difficult life experiences Sara has grown in beauty and grace. The years have been a friend to her.
(lyric excerpt, written by Julie de Azevedo)
These lines are signs of many lessons learned
Carved out through time
Smiles that warm and tears that burn
And unexpected turns
Time has been my friend it seems
So let Him write on meYou can call me flawed
You can call it character
But I choose to call these changes
God’s signatureMaybe it’s part of His design
That our landscape shifts with time
And youth is just a blur
Maybe it’s part of His design
And letting go of pride
It’s proof that we’re aliveâ€¦
Melodie Williams, a long-time friend and mentor has inspired me with her unique emotional depth and thoughtfulness about life. Always an optimist, Melodie has encouraged me to seek continual growth in my emotional and spiritual life while maintaining a hopeful outlook. As a professional painter, her depth is expressed beautifully in her artwork. To learn more about Melodie’s art visit www.melodiewilliamsart.com.
(lyric excerpt, written by Julie de Azevedo)
Dive deep into this ocean
Brave uncharted sea
You’ll never own me
If you want to hold me
Dive deep into this ocean
Cradle any jewel
Swim with the lover
Dance with the mother
Kiss the wife
And laugh with the girl
My mother, Linda de Azevedo , dedicated her life to raising nine children. It wasn’t until I became a mother that my appreciation for her deepened as I realized the impact of her constant support throughout my life. I wrote this song “Angels” as a tribute to her life. Still, she continues to be a source of support to me and my family generously offering praise, encouragement, and practical help whenever possible. Soon after this segment airs, she will be the first to call or send a text cheering me on.
(lyrics excerpt, written by Julie de Azevedo)
She was a girl just a young girl at nineteen
When she left behind her the life she had known
Got all dressed up in white
Oh to be a new bride
And set out to make a house a home
When she found herself she was drowning in laundry
Up all the night and driving all day
And every few years she would come up for air
In between lessons, carpool, and PTABut the angels they carried her
Through the fire and the rain
And the angels they carried her
From the end of her rope to the end of her day
And the angels, they sang to her
So she know someone was there
She had wings and prayers
Looking back it’s clear
She was touching heaven all those yearsâ€¦
My new CD “Masterpiece: The Best of Julie de Azevedo” is available at Deseret Book.