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the zen of mud

music for peace and reflection

Tír na nÓg

In Irish mythology, there is a legend that describes an island of extraordinary beauty and abundance, where time moves very slowly and people live forever. Populated by the Tuatha De Danann, thought to be pre-Christian inhabitants of Ireland, if you were a mere human, you could only go to the island with an invitation by a fairy on a white horse who flew over the ocean waters. I was moved by the story to compose and sing this song of fairy magic.

Tír na nÓg in New York

Did you know there is a lovely pub called Tír na nÓg in New York City? James and I were so lucky to have a delicious brunch there on a recent visit. Fabulous food, wonderful staff.

The Tranquil Mind

Calm is a state of mind. It often eludes us, but with a reminder, an anchor (thank you, Tony Robbins!) or a deliberate moment of physical serenity, it can return. Habits generally take 2 months to become ours. You can break - or create - a habit in that short time period. Want to change your life? Find 15 minutes each day to pray or meditate for just 2 months. Need music to de-stress? It's right here.


Music inspired by water: as simple as rain and as complex as the ocean. These compositions were a gift to me. In many of these pieces, I simply sat down at the piano and played. The result was magic, meditative, reflective and calming. Originally intended to be completely instrumental, the four vocals were added, with the intention that the voice should be an additional instrument.

The Coombe begins with morning light shining into the ravine, glinting on the small river below, a tributary of the Chagrin River.

The Water Is Wide/We Are As One is a tribute to my muse, James, with additional lyrics reflecting the depths of true love.

The legend of the mermaid has existed since ancient times, with sightings in first century AD by Pliny the Elder, in 1493 by Christopher Columbus, in 1608 by Henry Hudson, and as recent as 2009 in Kiryat Yam, Israel. Images of mermaids can even be found on ancient Greek coins. Muir Oigh, often shortened to the Gaelic word Merrow, means literally Sea Maiden. The mermaid song is said to be enticing, enchanting and sung in aeolian mode.
The Ocean and Tir na nOg: Isle in the Sea both began with a 528 Hz frequency sound, often thought to have a healing effect. The legend of Tir na nOg, "The Land of the Young," is centered in Irish mythology, a land of fairies, a land where the wind is gentle, the sky is always blue and no one ever ages or dies.

The Swan at Streatley is a lovely place. One afternoon, as I was having soup and tea on the terrace outside, a swan came swimming over to visit. The CD cover captures the beauty of that wintry day and the charm of the local boats and cottages lining the Thames.

The clanging church bells at the beginning of The Gondolier were recorded in Venice as we rode by on a gondola. The Venetian canals are silent and brooding, except when the crush of tourists or Carnevale revelers invade the streets.

The history of Leeds Castle is an adventure. The Moat is based on a Trotto medieval dance melody, sung by a young lady-in-waiting. She laments the death of her Queen in 1290, and marvels how rapidly the seasons pass by in the countryside of Maidstone. The beautiful black swans are a defining feature of Leeds.
The Atlantic Ocean is always amazing, from Plymouth to the coast of North Carolina. The undulating waves have a rhythm all their own as they lap at the shore and our feet, while the tides move as they have done for centuries.



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