Scattershot Symphony: The Music of Peter Link

Episode 18: Is Anybody Listening?

October 19, 2021 Peter Link Episode 18
Scattershot Symphony: The Music of Peter Link
Episode 18: Is Anybody Listening?
Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to this Special Event podcast.  Thanks for listening. What is a Special Event? Let’s just define it for now at this juncture as some sort of musical presentation that takes you, the listener, beyond the confines of a podcast.

Just imagine a musical experience designed to lift your thought to a higher sense of awareness countering the downward pull of negative energies we all encounter in the world today. Well, ya’ don’t have to imagine. You can now be there.

Is Anybody Listening? was designed as a concert piece that premiered, live from New York in 2016 at the Sheen Center, where it received rave reviews and standing ovations. The production featured the award-winning performances of Jenny Burton and Julia Wade along with a cast of 7 top NY vocalists and the music of Yours Truly. We videotaped the last two shows … so what you will hear today are some of the songs from the live sound track from those two performances.

You are then invited to watch any of the individual songs of your choice in performance through the Watchfire Music YouTube Channel. On top of that, you are also invited to attend the full New York concert right from your easy chair in living color for no charge.

So let’s call today’s podcast, among other things, a Special Event Taster.  Put your napkin on and grab your knife and fork.  There’s a feast about to be served.

Scattershot Symphony is presented by Watchfire Music watchfiremusic.com

Scattershot Symphony #18

 


Welcome to:

Scattershot Symphony

The Music of Peter Link

(That’s me.)


People ask me, “Why “Symphony? You’re not a classical composer.” Well, Wikipedia defines “Symphony” as: an extended musical composition most often written by composers for orchestra – often presented in several movements. 

And so, I bring you the music of a lifetime of composition – often presented in several movements.  That’s the nature of these podcasts – a scattershot look at a lifetime of music …


So, strap on them headphones.  

We’re 90% music with just a smattering of commentary. 


So for god sakes, 

(Crowd)

Turn it up!


This week being the eighteenth episode of this podcast, I prefer to let the music do the talkin’.  However, if you need to know more about me, please visit Wikipedia.com – Peter Link.    


This episode is entitled 

“Is Anybody Listening?”








Welcome to this Special Event podcast.  Thanks for listening. What is a Special Event? Let’s just define it for now at this juncture as some sort of musical presentation that takes you, the listener, beyond the confines of a podcast. In the future we will bring Scattershot Symphony Special Events to you at an accelerated pace. This means that, as time goes by, there will be more and more of them -- Concerts, Musicals, Webcasts, and even Musical Mini Series.  


Our first Special Event premiers today, and in addition to this podcast that you are now listening to, after listening, you may now, not only hear songs and commentary from the Is Anybody Listening? Concert, but then, if you like, you are invited to watch any of the individual songs of your choice in performance through the Watchfire Music YouTube Channel. On top of that, you are also invited to attend the full New York concert right from your easy chair in living color for no charge.


So let’s call today’s podcast, among other things, a Special Event Taster.  Put your napkin on and grab your knife and fork.  There’s a feast about to be served.




Just imagine a musical experience designed to lift your thought to a higher sense of awareness countering the downward pull of negative energies we all encounter in the world today. Well, ya’ don’t have to imagine. You can now be there.


Is Anybody Listening? is a clarion call to the world to pay attention. Once we’ve got your attention, we take an in depth and inspiring look at how these issues can be dealt with spiritually by inspiring mankind to live in a higher state of consciousness. 


What are these issues? They are the things that we read about in the headlines every day. Racism, Me Too, Police Brutality, Shootings, Disease. The things in life we must all overcome.


Is Anybody Listening? was designed as a concert piece that premiered, live from New York in 2016 at the Sheen Center, where it received rave reviews and standing ovations. The production featured the award-winning performances of Jenny Burton and Julia Wade along with a cast of 7 top NY vocalists and the music of Yours Truly. We videotaped the last two shows … so what you will hear today are some of the songs from the live sound track from those two performances.


OK, let’s go. Our first offering is the title song. We begin by eavesdropping on a telephone call — a typical argument between two people clearly not listening to each other — the root of all our problems today.


Is Anybody Listening?

Performed by the Entire Company

Music and Lyrics by Peter Link


Betty (V.O.)

Yeah, well Arthur, here’s what I really wanted to tell you.  I think that ...

Arthur (interrupting)

Honestly Betty, I just don’t want to hear it!  You don’t even ...

(She hangs up on him.)


We listen best in silence.  

But in the rush of our lives, in the noise of our every day, we become immune to the cacophony around us.  And instead, we strap on those headphones …


and listen to the music …

We listen to the music!  

But do we hear it?

Yeah, we hear it,

but do we listen?

Listen up, people!

Bring on de Bass

Rhythm guitar

The clav

Piano man

Memphis horns


Now listen to the ...

Listen to the ...

Listen to the voices in your head

Listen to the things your daddy said

When upon his lap you sat

And wondered at his mustache


Were you lis'ning?

Listen up!

Is anybody listening?

Is anybody listening?

C'mon give it up people

Listen up people

Can you hear me?

Ya' got to listen with your heart and soul

    

Listen to the way it used to be

When you sat upon yo’ daddy’s knee

Hangin’ on his ev’ry little word

He was sayin’


Listen to his voice inside yo’ head

Listen to the things yo’ daddy read

When upon his lap you sat and wondered at

The tales he told that set your mind on fire

Were ya’ lis’nin’?


Yeah!

Did ja’ listen when Jiminy wished upon a star?  

Did ja’ really listen when you went

To Where The Wild Things Are?

Did ja’ listen to Goodnight Moon?

Or when that crazy little mouse saved that mighty lion?

Or when a hot Prince Charming

Saved that chick from dyin’


Yeah!

Yeah way back then we hung on ev’ry word

But now ain’t nobody knows what they heard


Is anybody listening?

Is anybody listening?

C'mon give it up people

Listen up people

Can you hear me?

Ya' got to listen with your heart and soul

Listen to the butterfly wings and their flutterings

Through the air

Listen with your eyes

Listen with your soul

Listen with the wholeness of your being


Oh

Later on about high school things began to change

Everybody yellin’ at us what we could

And could not do

We tuned out an’ we just shut down

At last we got outta the house an’ left it all behind us

An’ now we pay no mind to all things that remind us

Yeah way back then we turned an’ walked away

An’ now ain’t nobody hears what we say


Is anybody listening?

Turn back on your mind

Is anybody listening?

You’re runnin’ out of time


Jump on the moment

Do you hear me?

Live in it

People do you hear me?

Ya' got to listen with your heart and soul

Listen to the pertinent things

And to paupers and kings be there


Listen to all creation

Listen to your imagination

Cuz that will take you anywhere


Listen up

Listen up

Listen to the …

Listen to the music!


Listen to the rhythm of yer shoes

Listen to the brainchilds of yo muse

Even in the funk that’s in yer blues

There is music

Yer in the music


Listen to yer breathing as you move

Listen to the backbeat of yo’ groove

Listen to yer soul an’ baby you’ve

Got the music


Is anybody listening?

Anybody, anybody

Is anybody listening?

Check it out!

Is anybody listening?

Ya’ gotta simply stop an’ listen

Is anybody listening?


Is anybody listening?

Ya’ want us to turn it up?

Is anybody listening?

OK, we’ll make it a little louder …

Is anybody listening?

How’s dat?

Is anybody listening?

Loud enuf?


Is anybody

Anybody

Anybody …

Listening?


I imagine a woman working late at the office. By the time she leaves, the city streets are dark, there’s not a cab in site, her apartment’s not far, just 12 city blocks. Hmmm, not many people out an’ about. Turning the corner into an even darker street, she thinks to herself, “Wow, maybe I shoulda waited longer for a cab …”


How Are We Raising Our Sons?

Performed by Julia Wade and the Women of the Cast

Music and Lyrics by Peter Link


Walking home

From streetlight to streetlight

Heartbeat to heartbeat

Watching the shadows

Holding God's hand

And knowing I walk not alone


Yet anxious

These butterflies here in the pit of my stomach

Are turning my heart to stone


And the fear that comes over me

On the window, tapping

Chilling me down to the bone

Should never have breathed

Its cold breath on my shoulder

Following...

Following me home


Breathless I wonder

Why is this happening?

What have I done to deserve...?

No! The fault is not mine

They are the ones

Mothers and fathers

People of earth

How are we raising our sons?

How are we raising our sons?


[Interlude]


Passing by

The boys on their lunch break

Whistling and taunting

Courage in numbers

Having "their fun"

With me as I stare straight ahead


Such cowardice

Though I wonder which one of them

Might have presumption  

To actu'lly follow me home


And the thought that burns into me

Is that how can any man

Take just whatever he wants?

And why be so spoiled

And so disrespectful

Casting stones

And following me home?


Sadly I ask you

Why must we bend to you?

What have we done to deserve...?

No! The fault is not ours

You are the ones

Mothers, and fathers

Look to yourselves

How are we raising our sons?

How are we raising our sons?


Look to yourselves

Look to your children

Look to the things that are taught

This attack on my innocence

Is the essence of avarice

So look to the things in your thought


Look to yourselves

Look to your children

Look to the things that are taught

This attack on my innocence

Is the essence of avarice

So look to the things in your thought


Look to yourselves

Look to your children

Look to the things that are taught

This attack on my innocence

Is the essence of avarice

So look to the things in your thought


Before all that we live for comes undone

Look upon these

And ask yourselves, please

"How am I raising my son?"


One can never be certain about the future. However, one thing is absolutely, irrevocably certain. There will be change.


Rap #4

Performed by the Entire Company

Music and Lyrics by Peter Link


Change is what’s called for

Change is imperative

Progress is a joke without change


However


Change is onerous

Change is awkward

Yeah change brings a mountain of strife

But Life sits at a standstill without change

An’ thank God


Change is the law of life

Ever’body  talkin’ ‘bout   changin’ the world

Ya’ oughta put them changes up on the shelves

Cuz all you do-gooders out there got it all wrong


First we gotta be  changin’ ourselves

That’s right

First we gotta be   changin’ ourselves

Before we go   changin’ de world

First we gotta be   changin’ ourselves


First we gotta be   changin’ ourselves

Yeah

First we gotta be   changin’ ourselves

Before we go   changin’ de world

First we gotta be changin’ ourselves


When dealing with the subject of change in our world we turn to one of the most powerful songs ever written on the subject — Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are A’changin’. He wrote it as a folk song. Here, we do it as a Gospel Anthem.


The Times They Are A-Changin'

Performed by Jenny Burton and Cast

Music and Lyrics by Bob Dylan


Come gather 'round people

Where ever you roam

And admit that the waters

Around you have grown

And accept it that soon

You'll be drenched to the bone

If your time to you is worth savin'

Then you better start swimmin'

Or you'll sink like a stone

For the times they are a-changin'


Change change

Change change

Change change

Change change


Come writers and critics

Who prophesy with your pens

And keep your eyes wide

The chance won't come again

And don't speak too soon

For the wheel's still in spin

And there's no tellin' who that it's namin'

For the loser now will be later to win

For the times they are a-changin'


Come senators congressmen

Please heed the call

Don't stand in the doorway

Don't block up the hall

For he that gets hurt

Will be he who has stalled

There's a battle outside and it's ragin'

It'll soon shake your windows

And rattle your walls

For the times they are a-changin'


Change

Oh oh oh

Change

Oh oh oh

Change

It's a change of life


Come mothers and fathers

Throughout the land

And don't criticize

What you don't understand

Your sons and your daughters

Are beyond your command

Your old road is rapidly agin'

Please get out of the new one

If you can't lend your hand

For the times they are

The times they are

The times they are a-changin'

Yes the times they are a-changin'

Change

Oh oh oh

Change

Yes the times they are a-changin'


How do we start? How do we change the world’s consciousness? We start with ourselves. We start by listening — listening in the stillness of our own consciousness.


A Still Small Voice

Performed by Julia Wade and Cast

Adapted from 1 Kings

Music and Lyrics by Peter Link


There is something in the stillness

Calling softly to me

Even though I'm all alone

And the sound is like nothing

I've ever heard or seen

And it's calling from the deep unknown


Then the mountains move

And the cold wind roars

And the fire fills the sky

But temptation always passes by


Leaving something in the stillness

Calling softly to me

'Woman don't you run and hide

You shall not be afraid

You can trust in me

If you listen to the voice inside'


"When the mountains move

And the cold wind roars

And the fire fills the sky

The temptation always passes by

If you listen to me'


It's a still small voice

Oh a still small voice

Oh a still small voice

Calling to me


It's a still small voice

Oh a still small voice

Oh a still small voice

Calling to me


There is something in the silence

When I quiet my mind

And the water's rolling over me

And the hush it is endless

And the song runs free

And the voice is like a melody


And the time shall come

When the choice is made

And the voice deep inside

Will stay with me and be my guide

Through the waters ahead


It's a still small voice

Oh a still small voice

Oh a still small voice

Calling to me


It's a still small voice

Oh a still small voice

Can you hear it?

It's a still small voice

Calling to me


Can you hear it calling?


Racism. “the belief that different races possess distinct characteristics, abilities, or qualities, especially, so as to distinguish them as inferior or superior to one another.” Racism.


The writing is there on the wall

Where it always has been


South Africa

Performed by Jenny Burton and Cast

Music and Lyrics by Peter Link

Zulu translations by Jimmy Mgwandi


We come from Soweto

We come from a great confusion

We come from the ghetto

We look to South Africa

We look to South Africa


We come from Zimbabwe

We come from the streets of Harlem

We come from a new age

We know where the times have gone

So we go where the lines are drawn


We come from Botswana

We come from a deep frustration

We come from Atlanta

We look to South Africa

We look to South Africa


Ah there I see in the great Serengeti

The hope of our ancestors

Standing before me

I see in the ancient still mountains

And shining blue waters

The strength of Mandela

And still in the shanties of Cape Town


The voices of children sing

"Power to the people" amandla awaytu

"Power to the people" amandla awaytu

"Power to the people" awaytu


We come from Uganda

We come from the mask of slavery

We come from South Central

We look to South Africa

We look to South Africa


And now we look to the slums of Pretoria

To show us the way

As the straw shows the way of the wind


For there in the mood of South Africa

Lies a measure of truth

The writing is there on the wall

Where it always has been


We come from the bread lines

We come from the blackboard jungles

We rise from the confines

Impelled by the hand of God

We look to South Africa


Ah there I see upon Kilimanjaro

The souls of our forefathers

Standing before us

The mem'ries of Medgar

And Malcolm and Martin

Run deep in our blood

The fires of apartheid

Still burn through the tears screaming

"Power to the people" amandla awaytu

"Power to the people" amandla awaytu

"Power to the people" awaytu


We come from Soweto

We come from the Zulu nation

We come from the ghetto

We look to South Africa


Oomzahntsi Africa

We look to South Africa

Oomzahntsi Africa

We look to South Africa

Oomzahntsi Africa

We look to South Africa

Oomzahntsi Africa


Amandla awaytu

Amandla awaytu

Hiee hiee hiee

Ah su gah mahn!

Geen goo bah nee me

Nah gahn gah

Pahn dleh gko baba

Gee ah bongah weh baba

Gee nee geze

Oom zahn tsi Afreeca


We come from the bread lines

We come from the blackboard jungles

We rise from the confines

Impelled by the hand of God


We come from Soweto

We come from the Zulu nation

We come from the ghetto

We look to South Africa!


Before Covid, the leading issues of concern in our world were the Environment and Water. After Covid, the leading issues of concern return — to the Environment and Water.


Water

Performed by Brian Collazo, Freedom Bremner, and Jonathan Singletary

Music and Lyrics by Peter Link


The very same water in the apple you eat

May have fallen as rain

Half-way 'round the world

Or could have been used

A hundred million years ago

By a mighty mama brontosaur

To bathe her baby girl


Omi omi omi

Lenia


The very same water

That is wetting your lips

May have flowed through the streets

Down in New Orleans

Or flowed down the cheeks

And spilled upon the piano keys

As the brilliant Tchaikovsky sat

And wrote his Pathétique.


Did ja' know that

Here on this rock

As we journey through time

We live by the grace of water

For it bears within its essence

This miracle of life

And infuses this life into the world


One part oxygen

And two parts hydrogen

Put 'em both together an' whadda you got

Clean

Clear and cool

Pure water


[Interlude]


Yes the very same water

When you're scrubbin' the floor

May have once cooled a bluebell

In the morning sun

Then swam the Amazon

From the Andes to the waiting sea

Then it fought the Great Chicago Fire

In foiled futility


Water and man

Since time began

Go hand in hand

Yes they do


Yes the very same water

That grows the cocoa bean

And brings the sweet taste of chocolate

To the hungry world

May be the mystery

That carries forth the seed of life

As it brings to pass the life and times

That spring from you and me


Knowing now that

Here on this rock

As we try to find our way

We live by the grace of water

For it bears within its essence

This miracle of life

And infuses this life into the world


One part oxygen

And two parts hydrogen

Put 'em both together an' whadda you got

Clean

Clear and cool

Pure water


Water

Water

Life giving water

We drink it

We swim it

It powers our world

We bathe in it

We travel it


One part oxygen

And two parts hydrogen

Put 'em both together an' whadda you got

Clean

Clear and cool

Pure water


Water

Life giving water


Water

Life giving water


Water

Life giving water


Water

Life giving water


This was a concert, oddly enough, that had four endings — four powerful songs that sent our audiences out into the night thinking deeply about what they each could do to change our world for the better. 


A remarkable thing happened on opening night in New York. When the concert was over, hardly anybody left the theater. The audience actually stayed on for a couple of hours longer talking about what they had just experienced and what they each could do about it. Finally, the theater owner had to kick everyone out because the usher staff wanted to go home. The audience continued their conversations out on the sidewalk in front of the theater.


Here is one of the four songs that were to wrap up the evening.


Let Love Find The Way

Performed by Julia Wade

Music and Lyrics by Peter Link


Standing in the shadows

Wondering what happened

Nothing but heartache

Defines this moment of life

Looking for a reason

Looking for a rhyme

It’s all over

You’re through

So where do you go from here

And what do you do?


And if you lose your faith in man

And find your life in disarray

And question how it all began

And why you went astray

And looking back you wonder

If you had only worked from love

And left regrets to yesterday

And let love find the way


[Interlude 1]


Where would you be today

In a quiet space

In a holy place

If you only had worked from love

And let love find the way


[Interlude 2]


Then heart to heart and eye to eye

The bond between becomes restored

And all is well in one accord

When you let love find the way


Could it be so easy

Could it be so simple

Faith is the answer

It defines this moment in life

God is in your corner

Can you just accept that

It’s God’s moment

Not yours


So if you sail the mighty deep

And find yourself adrift at sea

With those around you in your keep

Afraid of what might be

And as you’re slipping under

While all around you weep in fear

Just turn to God in your dismay

And let love find the way


Remember it’s God’s moment

So let love find the way


You’ll find two of the other closing songs either in the full concert or presented individually in video on the YouTube Channel — Don’t miss them. They are both powerful statements of solution. Jenny Burton and Cast singing Who Will Heal The World and the entire cast performing Revelation.


The fourth closing song was eventually cut from the show, not because there was anything wrong with it, but because, well, there was just too many endings.


I rediscovered this song when going back through my files and doing the research for this podcast. I have only a rough mix of it — meaning that it is not a “finished” or “mastered” recording. It’s a bit raw for my blood, but it does capture the spirit of the experience and is a piece of music that I someday hope to finish completely.


Though it is a ruff mix, since it is a live, probably rehearsal recording, and most Live Recordings are usually a bit rough to begin with, I’ve decided to take a deep breath here and give this song its due — that is, to let it finally be the closing song for SOMETHING. In this case, this podcast. So here ya’ go …


Is Anybody Listening? (Reprise)

Performed by the Entire Company

Music and Lyrics by Peter Link


Simply stop and listen

Is anybody listening?

Is anybody listening?

Ya' want us to turn it up?

Oh is anybody listening?

OK, we'll make it a little louder...

Is anybody listening?

How's dat?     

Loud enuf?

Is anybody listening?


Is anybody

Anybody

Anybody...

Listening?

Is anybody listenin'

Is anybody listenin'

Is anybody listenin' Hmm?

Listen up people

Listen to the music


Listen to the things that make a difference

To your world


Open up your heart to all the things that touch you


Listen to the energies in the air

Listen to the broken hearted

Listen to every little sound

Yeah every little beat of the butterfly wings

And the kinds of things

That you never really listened to before


Listen to the empty space

Between each breath you take

Listen to the holy place

Listen to the love you make


Love will show you the way

It's there in the soul of you

Talkin' 'bout love that lives in your heart

And carries you through

If ya' listen to the love that shows you the way

It's there in the soul of you

Talkin' 'bout love that lives in your heart

And carries you through


Then listen to all creation

Listen to your imagination

Cuz that will take you anywhere

Listen to all creation

Listen to your imagination

Cuz that will take you anywhere

Listen to all creation

Listen to your imagination

Cuz that will take you anywhere


You

Each of you has to choose


One hand holds the power to step up

One hand holds the power to lay back

You must have the backbone to decide


Do you want it

Do ya' really, sir

Do ya' think you got the guts to go through this fire

Can you do it

Can you really, ma'am

Do ya' think you got the stuff to take it up higher

Higher


Aaaaaaaahhhhhh

Is anybody listening?


Aaaaaaaahhhhhh

Is anybody listening?

Is anybody

Just anybody

Is anybody listening?


Is anybody listening


So there you have it.


Scattershot Symphony Episode 18. The first Scattershot Special Event. 


Next, Episode 19:  

Songs From The Trunk – A Little Unfinished Business.

Join me in looking at and listening  to some older, but promising material that begs to be reworked, brought up to date, and developed further— just like the song you just heard.  We’ll even give you a link to write in and share your thoughts on your favorites and even throw me a thumbs down if you like. I’m not asking you to collaborate, mind you, just seeing if there might be some beginnings that might work for people today! 


Now, to complete the Special Events experience, if you want to view the individual Videos of the Songs you’ve heard, plus all those others you did not hear today, simply go to: Watchfiremusic.com/podcasts and click on Episode18 where you will not only find the videos of each separate song, but also the full concert. That’s Watchfiremusic.com/podcasts and click on Episode18.



Also, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts … etc.

 

A grateful nod goes to our stalwart cast of Is Anybody Listening? Who, loyalists all, performed, danced and sang far beyond the trials and tribulations of the day. Freedom Bremner, Brian Collazo, Tanesha Gary, 

Elle Green, Solange Prat, Jonathan Singletary, and 

Anne Fraser Thomas. Also, of course, to Julia Wade and Jenny Burton who lead us so magnificently.  Also to Margaret Dorn and Celisse Henderson for Vocal Arrangements.

Thank you, to all!


A very special thanks also to Stuart Barefoot, our Associate Producer for all your invaluable knowledge and good vibes.

And a posthumous thanks to Ludwig Van Beethoven for your opening 4 bars.

 

Julia

(over playout music)

This podcast is presented with loving care by the staff at Watchfire Music. If you liked what you heard, we got lots more where that came from. In the meantime, you can find the songs you just heard on watchfiremusic.com. There you can purchase the singles or albums and have access to all the lyrics. Also, there you will find all previous podcasts and future scheduling.

 

If you just became a Scattershot fan,

tell your friends and Stay tuned!