Hush – Giovanna Imbesi

“Hush” featuring Toni Peete was written in 2006 while recovering from surgery for neuroendocrine carcinoid cancer. The lyrics were inspired by a very special nurse who was part of my healing team and the song is dedicated to her, Adriana Arienti. It’s meant to inspire peacefulness and quiet in the midst of frightening medical diagnoses, surgery and facing the unknown of cancer treatment.

HUSH, featuring Toni Peete, vocals

Listen now, time to stop your worry now
just hush

Voices still, let the quiet still you now
just hush

Believe and hope will find the way

Never doubt I’m standing near to you
with every breath I’m sending love for you
Trust your heart to know you’re home at last
know that love is all
just hush
just hush
just hush

Open now, let your mind let go now
just hush

So peaceful now, let the stillness soothe you now
just hush

Produced and composed by Giovanna Joyce Imbesi
© 2006 Giovanna Joyce Imbesi

This past year has been a journey of unexplored territory – an opportunity to confront fear and death. It has been a chance to witness an unforeseen inner strength, one which still remains a Mystery to me. Life can change in a moment. For me this was September 26, 2005 – when I was diagnosed with a rare, yet manageable, cancer called neuroendocrine carcinoid. The idea for this CD had been in gestation for many years, yet it was my illness itself which showed me what to do. Sometimes the thing we’re seeking most is already within us, but just hasn’t been deemed worthy enough to be manifested. These meditative pieces were mostly improvisations caught on tape. Over the years, some of these had been written or recorded as gifts – for an ailing child, or a terminally ill parent. Because of my own experience, it occurred to me that others might find healing in these pieces as well. So began the journey of “Short Stories”. Forced to reckon with the healing of my body, I became intimately aware of the smallest details and gestures, found gratitude in little miracles and explored this awakening. I discovered that the physical healing, while extensive, pales in comparison to the blossoming of the heart. Previously unchallenged assumptions about life came tumbling down and I gave myself permission to trust in myself again. I chose to live each moment as a privilege, and embrace the unknown.

I am a composer, pianist and producer and have toured and performed with Dave Koz, Yanni, Anita Baker, Andy Summers from The Police and many others. I truly believe in the power of music to heal and am the founder of the Music Heals! concert series in Los Angeles. I lead the Patient Support group, LACNETS, which provides education and personal support for those diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer and their caregivers.

 

Photo: Bonnie Perkinson

October – Holly Arballo

I wrote the song, October, in the fall of 2014. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Vermont where fall is the most famous. For this reason, fall has always been my absolute favorite time of year. I love everything about it. On one particular fall day, I was sitting outside, while looking up at the top of all the Aspen trees, marveling at all of the world’s beauty this time of year, and that was when I was first inspired to write this song. To me, its not just about how pretty the surroundings are, but about the feeling this time of year gives me, and also knowing that this was made for me by something even bigger than me. Knowing that when I am alone in the woods experiencing fall, I actually am not really alone at all.

My name is Holly Arballo and I have been playing the guitar and writing songs since I was 13 years old. Growing up around that age, my family was going through a lot of really messy trials and my older brother moved out when he was 16. My brother was truly my best friend growing up. Our parents were divorced since we were very little and they both lived across the country from each other so he and I had traveled together back and forth for years as a little team. We were so close. So of course I was very sad when he left. I would sometimes go and sit in his old bedroom when I was lonely, but there was one thing he left, an old 3-stringed guitar. Sometimes I would try to play it even though it was missing most strings! I started learning just the melody lines with the top string and showed my parents. They decided it was probably about time to put some more strings on the guitar, and then I just sprung from there. I was, and still am self-taught to this day. With a good amount of musical background in my family, I surprisingly still do not know or understand music theory at ALL, so everything I do is by ear. In high school choir, we would have music theory exams and I would fail every single one of them! However, I am currently going to school for music and am excited to be starting to learn and grow more in the industry that I love. But the reason I wanted to participate in this contest is because I have experienced the loss of a few close family friends over the years to cancer. I could never begin to understand what they and their families have gone through. I am so happy to have found a foundation that has made it possible for me to donate and share my talents with. I just hope that whoever hears the songs that I have written, that it will truly inspire them. The reason I write is to inspire, and to remind people of the little things in life that we all sometimes take advantage of. The simple things, the things that, in the end, matter most. There is always something to look up to no matter how hard life can be, and if one person has been reminded of that by listening to what I have written, then to me, I have succeeded.

There’s a Power – Lisa Smith and Justin Williams

Lisa teamed up with Justin Williams to write a song that would uplift and inspire those who have been affected by cancer and life altering illnesses. “There’s a Power” is performed by Justin himself who is a cancer survivor. Includes the “One Voice Children’s Choir” and additional credits to Aaron Edson and Masa Fukuda. This song has been performed at events nationwide in the fight against cancer.

Lisa is a wife and mother of 4 with a passion for writing music. Through her music she draws from experiences both personal, and from those who are close to her, as well as her beliefs. “My music comes from the heart, it’s described perfectly when they say, “Music is what feelings sound like”.

Justin had began writing and performing his own music at an early age.  Then while serving a church mission, he was faced with the most troubling and unexpected new of his early adult life, a cancer diagnosis.  With his music career on hold, he set out to conquer his greatest battle.  He did just that and is cancer free!  Justin’s determination has ignited a renewed outlook on life and has given him the fuel to embark on a journey to lift and inspire others who feel hopeless.  Justin was a top 60 contestant on American Idol.  He took part in winning the John Lennon singer songwriter competition- as well as working with Yoko-Ono on a charity peace project for the Children’s Hope Foundation with the One Voice Children’s Choir.

Angel Fly – Emily Bea

In 2013, Tyler Robinson, a classmate of mine at Brighton High School, passed away after a valiant bout with cancer. Following his passing, I was immediately inspired to do something special for and in honor of him, after seeing the many posts via social media expressing the incredible friend and example that Tyler was.

Although Ty lost his battle to cancer, his influence and example has and continues to inspire many. Because of my faith and beliefs, I know that pain and suffering does not last forever and that Tyler is now free from the discomfort he dealt with through his battle with cancer. I gain comfort in the knowledge that, although we sometimes don’t understand the “whys”, we know that we will see him again.

My name is Emily Bea. I am a 19 year-old, singer/songwriter, from Salt Lake City, Utah. Music has always been a big part of my life- something that has brought healing and peace in life’s hardest moments. Through music I hope to be able to provide that same peace and comfort to families and individuals who are struggling.

Passing Through – Kirstie Lane

Passing Through is a song I wrote when I was going through a really hard time in my life: emotionally, spiritually, and physically. It’s a song about realizing that the moment you are in will pass and that life is a journey.

I’m Kirstie Lane. I’m a songwriter/actress/model living in Nashville. I love rollerblading and watching wildlife documentaries. Other than that I’m not very interesting. 😉

Every Day Is A Gift – Patricia Bahia

As an ovarian cancer survivor, I am one of the lucky few to be alive and cancer free eleven years post treatment. Going through surgery and chemotherapy treatments, I became acutely aware of how precious life is. And I found a renewed appreciation of simple things like being able to eat an apple, watch a sunset, or dance. My song, Every Day is a Gift, is a celebration of life.

Patricia Bahia (pronounced ba-HEE-yah) is singer-songwriter and ovarian cancer survivor who creates catchy piano-based pop songs that celebrate life’s struggles and triumphs.

Patricia’s music combines elements of pop, singer-songwriter, with hints of country and soul, to create sparkling gems of piano-based pop songs. Her inspiring lyrics and catchy melodies are delivered with a voice “as smooth as a polished stone that has been through the rock tumbler of life.”

Patricia started her career as a soloist with the acclaimed Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir–recording with Linda Ronstadt, performing with Joan Baez, and opening for Bonnie Raitt. A former litigation attorney and entrepreneur, Patricia left the corporate world after a successful battle with ovarian cancer eleven years ago caused her to re-examine her priorities and to discover her “bucket list” desire to write songs. She credits her illness with the discovery of her songwriting voice, and credits music with her recovery.

“In the process of healing, I discovered my voice as a songwriter. Music was a huge part of my recovery, and it saves my life every day,” says Patricia.

Her music resonates with cancer survivors and regular folks alike, who find inspiration, solace, and hope through her catchy melodies, expressive voice and soulful lyrics.

Now healed, Patricia is on a mission to spread love, healing, joy and peace through the power of words and music–and to inspire others to follow their dreams and live artistically.

Go Fly A Kite – Matt Pond

I wrote  “Go Fly A Kite” when I was in my 30’s and finishing college while being a dad to three small children. By age 35, just as I thought I had the world by the tail, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I battled the cancer for four years. After I had radiation, eight different kinds of chemotherapy and three surgeries, things weren’t looking so good.  My second surgery took away my reading and writing abilities and the third paralyzed my right side.  In the middle of my treatment, when it looked as thought I would not make it, my wife left me. I found myself in the middle of a painful legal battle over the right to see my children as I was fighting for my life.

I went through some dark days as I went through different therapies to relearn the alphabet and learn how to walk and talk again. Little did I know how profound the words of my song would be during this time of unbearable stress. At one of my lowest points, my brother sang my own song back to me, reminding me that flying a kite in the 40-acre alfalfa field behind our family home was the therapy I needed to gain perspective and was a source of strength to fight my daily battles.

I’m happily remarried and am the proud dad of 4 children with one more on the way. I was able to finish college after my treatment and am now cancer free! I love life, my family and have now mastered performing on the guitar with one hand. I’ve learned that no matter what happens to you, it’s how you come out the other side that matters.

More about Matt 

Montana Sunrise – Geoff Pond

I’m number five in a family of fourteen children and father to to five. With that many brothers, sisters and children, one gets to experience the gamut of life’s experiences. Some of those experiences are harder than others.  When life gets a little overwhelming, my wife and I get away to our cabin just outside of Yellowstone, Montana. I wrote this song about the big skies and beautiful sunrises that help me put things back in perspective.

I dedicate this song to my younger brother Matt, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor several years ago. I have been humbled and amazed as I have watched him relearn to walk, talk and rebuild his life. Matt, here’s to the many sunrises in your future.

There’s a Hero – Luke Hopkins

Luke HopKathryn webkins is a Park City native who just turned 12 this summer. When he heard about the Songs For Life contest, he wanted to donate this song in honor of his Aunt Kathryn who was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago and is still in that fight, with the hopes of entering remission. He believes this song speaks to the heroics of his aunt and the way she and so many other cancer patients rise to the challenge of this awful disease.

This song is called “There’s a Hero”, originally recorded by Billy Gillman.