In the next series of posts for Project 194, I’ll be showcasing the songs of A Tiny Miracle, a musical I composed in 1999 and 2000. These tracks were made as a studio demo during my sabbatical leave in the spring of 2000, and feature students and pros who performed the work in December 1999 along with friends I roped in.
Let’s start with the opening “Prelude” of the show and the first song. You’ll recognize D’Arcy’s voice as the storyteller, Todd Waddington sings the part of the Grandfather, Joilet Harris as the Wise Oak and my young son (9 years old at the time) as the Grandson, Timothy.
It isn’t difficult to plant a tree.
It’s just a little thing, as you can see,
And if we trust the tree to nature’s tender care,
It will grow fine and fair and full of grace
Within its mother’s strong embrace.
The earth is generous and will repay
This act of tenderness from us today.
In time, the tiny tree will grow to be
Magnificent, strong and tall,
And that’s incredible –
Almost a miracle –
And every miracle begins with something small.
Come on, this is a great lyric, don’t you think! As the roots and shoots in my yard are starting to stir, this lyric reminds me of the promise of spring, and how little buds eventually blossom in a spectacular display of color.
This morning, I was reading Amanda Palmer’s The Art of Asking, where I found this great story:
Since ever, in China, bamboo farmers have planted baby bamboo shoots deep into the ground. And then, for three years, nothing happens. But the farmers will work, diligently watering the shoot, spreading hay and manure, waiting patiently, even though nothing is sprouting up. They simply have faith. And then, one day, the bamboo will shoot up and grow thirty feet in a month. It just blasts into the sky.
A Tiny Miracle is a musical about faith, a commodity that I have found to be indispensable in my career as an artist. A Tiny Miracle is a seed that I planted 15 years ago, one that still has tremendous potential to bloom and grow. The questions and issues that it will raise as I post the songs over the next few days are incredibly important to me. It’s a piece in which I speak from the heart, and I hope it will speak to your heart.
And oh, by the way, Todd speaks from the heart and delivers the goods with his vocal interpretation. I first got to work with Todd when he was in the cast of Closer Than Ever, with D’Arcy, Claudia Carlsson and Matt Cloran (all of whom you’ve heard in previous Project 194 posts), and the chances we’ve had to work together since then have all been delightful.
If you missed them, these are the songs already posted on Project 194; the links on the right are songs chosen at random from previous posts. Want to contribute to my interactive composition, “Hear My Song?” Read more here. Want to receive daily songs delivered direct to your inbox? Sign up here!