It has been such a terrible moment in our world’s history and with that such unimaginable suffering, chaos and division. I had always hoped that such a world event as this would instead unite all races as we search for a common solution. Politics, misunderstanding, mistrust, and inequity seem to have only been exacerbated by this catastrophe. This album is my answer to the COVID pandemic. My response in the language of music. I am honored beyond words to be joined on this project by my dear friend and colleague Allison Brewster Franzetti. She is a rare musician and without her insight, far reaching and profound musicality and, ultimately, trust in my desire to produce this album, it could not have taken place.All of the works on this album reflect an inward search for answers and attempt to address the tragic consequence of loss and the ultimate realization that death is not the end. Just as the pandemic created a global reset, an opportunity to heighten one’s awareness of potential, so too this album attempts to give pause, give thanks for the gifts we take for granted: from friendships to even our very planet.
ZAYD AND ZIZI is a musical gift celebrating the birthday of twins. This innocent work helped me to incorporate a sense of the “simple things” in life, not to be taken for granted.
In April of 2015, Nepal suffered a devastating earthquake. The death and destruction were profound. SAMARTHANA is a work composed for me that depicts the sorrow and violence of that event.
FRATRES is a personal favorite of mine as it evokes a quest for beauty and perfection even in our chaotic world through a distinct Gregorian chant / bell-like style of composing. This meditational quality has often been a source of comfort for me.
REMEMBER was written during the pandemic for Allison and me. This piece, in the composer’s own words, “suspends sound and time to create a place where memory can move from treasured moment to moment.” The addition of chimes performed by Michael Lipsey adds to the timeless quality of memories.
ELEGY is about loss. The composer’s piano teacher passed away and that cathartic event was the creative force behind this powerful, soul-searching work.
Hudson, Sidewalks, and Madison are from a larger work called STONES ROSE. I love these pieces because they depict New York in a serene and nostalgic way. The streets have been so quiet lately, but I remember the wonderful energy and I know this positive optimism will return.
MOTHER EARTH, the album’s namesake, was written for me a few years back and is a “call to arms.” Not in a destructive way, but rather in a proactive and loving way. We have only one planet and we had better take care of it. This pandemic has had a profound effect on the Earth. During the first few months of what appeared to be a global lockdown, our planet seemed to cleanse itself of pollution from travel and industry. I hope our own personal “reset” can help us to live more peacefully.
SPIEGEL IM SPIEGEL means “mirror in mirror” and, while this reflective music is one of my favorites to perform, I feel the idea of reflection and self-awareness of purpose can help us to be more kind to everyone.
I have always considered the instrument I play to be more of a conduit for the voice, so with this album I hope there is universal resonance through sounds and message.
— Brett Deubner