Why you seem to move through my inner being like if you own me from head to toe?
Why you are the sound—having no form, no smell, no taste, no feeling; but an irresistible power that snares every cell and nerve?
I remember when I wrote these lines for one of my poems, I could so feel them. I have so much appetite for music, and not able to create it has become kind of the only regret that I carry in my life! But then, there are so many musicians around the world who keep feeding me! 🙂
When I came to know about April and Paul and their transforming journey with music, I could easily recall these words from my book. Music, doubtlessly, has the power to overpower you at any stage of your life. Often, it becomes our savior helping us to elevate our focus on something that is subtle, fulfilling and internally rewarding. It helps us bring closer to ourselves.
Through their wonderful collective creation, Agrelia’s Castle–Elders & Ancestors, they have literally poured their souls in the form of music, and given the listeners something to treasure for–a tangible and palpable recount of their own journey. Listeners can share the sentiments and feel themselves drawn in that experience because it’s intense and heart-felt.
I share an email interview with Paul and Brown. I hope if you listen to their music, you will feel the value it carries in terms sincerity and hope for healing for everyone. I wish both of them and other musicians who worked with them for this album a wonderful time and more blessings from the universal consciousness. May there by peace, peace and peace!
Q1: How you figured out music as your way of approaching life after the disease–why not some other mode?
April: Music was just one way I approached life after my Stage IV diagnosis. Through attending support groups and activities at Gilda’s Club of Nashville and the experiences of a retreat at Wind River Cancer Wellness Retreats, I began exploring many different creative arts as well as meditation and mindfulness. Music is an important part of that, especially as it allowed Paul and I to explore a meaningful way of experiencing our cancer journey together.
Q2. Tell us about your musical backgrounds–where did you learn and start playing. Which was your favorite instrument?
Paul: I actually started playing Piano at the age of 12 in a homeless school I was sent to after my mother lost her life from a drug overdose.
I was a pretty broken 12-year old kid going into that school. But I can tell you that old upright piano I sat down at for the first time completely transformed my life for the better.
April: I begged for piano lessons as a child. My aunt took me to a piano teacher one summer while I was visiting my grandparents. Finally, I got a used piano and some piano lessons at about age 11 or 12. As for the Native American Style Flutes, those are a much more recent passion. Paul gave me the first flute in my collection for my birthday several years ago. It was like reconnecting with a long-lost love.
April: I admit there were times when I was too fatigued or in too much pain to spend time in the studio. But most of the time we spent creating music together was therapeutic, both mentally and physically – and you can throw in spiritually, emotionally, and romantically as well.
Q4. How working as a couple helped both of you?
Paul: While Cancer has taken one of the things we used to enjoy doing together so much which was taking long walks and Forrest hikes it has replaced that with something far more precious–creating music together.
Because creating Music together and especially Elders and Ancestors has not only given us beautiful memories but is also serving to help so many other people and couples going through what April and I have and continue to go through.
That, my friend, has strengthened us as a couple on so many levels.
Paul: I absolutely do. I feel that the music I use in my own collection serves as a remarkable tool to calm my own anxieties and settled me on otherwise hectic fast paced or stressful days. That in turn really helps shape how I respond to others like say in a morning or evening of crazy rush hour traffic. It’s really quite amazing the positive effects music can have on people and the world.
April: There’s no question! I believe both music and meditation can lead to a more global, or even universal, way of thinking.
Q6. How and why people suffering from life-threatening disease can adopt music in their lives?
April: I have talked to so many people living with cancer who have sleeping issues, either from stress, side effects, or whatever the source. Many of them have turned to music as a way to relax, calm their minds, de-stress, and sleep. It doesn’t even have to be a New Age or relaxation type of music, although many people experience a soothing effect from it.
Whatever music gets you out of your stress and into a feel-good place is therapeutic. And it’s not just cancer – my own family has seen the way our music helps calm my Aunt Pat when her Alzheimer’s disease has her in a state of anxiety and confusion.
Q7. This album is special because…?
Paul: It has given April and I a new lease on life as a couple. And for the first time in all the years she and I have been together April gets to experience the beautiful journey of creating music and touching people’s lives with it in the same way I have. That for me is beyond priceless
April: Because it is something Paul and I created together. But on a less personal note, I think it is special as “Music for a Healing Space” because we have been there ourselves, we live it, and this music represents our own personal journey as a couple living with cancer.
Q8. A personal message to our audience.
Paul & April: We thank you all so much for taking this incredible musical journey with us and our hope is that you may benefit and enrich your own lives in some way through the music we have created.