Path Seeking Harmony
The Mojeda Productions disc is a meditative collection of all-original, inspirational music designed for reflection, and features Terry's work on harp, vocals and percussion as well as Norton's performances on flutes, piano, guitar and vocals. When Norton and Terry offer music, they showcase the unique reflective style they have developed together. Each has spent much time in a wide variety of musical expressions. Terry and Norton's professional careers have covered European and American venues, musical theater, private instruction, sacred music, public and private stage performance, charity benefits, choral recordings and HeartSong healing retreats, as well as performances in the presence of the Dalai Lama, Holly Near, Nelson Mandela and Maya Angelou, among others. Artists' Statement: The music in A Path Seeking Harmony consists of compositions we have carefully created, inviting all to seek harmony with the Divine, find healing, and bring peace to the world. As you listen, you are invited to unwind, just as you would at a healing retreat. We offer an opportunity for meditative music to bring hope and healing to you. Designed to invite you into a contemplative space, this music can also inspire expressive movement and dance. Background: The collection the duo has recorded for this disc is diverse, even as it weaves together common threads. Norton plays a variety of flutes (including the alto recorder, a Native American cedar flute and a penny whistle), as well as piano and guitar, and she provides vocals for some pieces on this recording. Terry, a harpist, also provides some of the CD's vocals, and plays percussion on instruments that range from the djembe drum and a rainstick to prayer bells and wind chimes. The songs include harp and flute solos, prayerful reflections that combine harp and alto recorder, and chants combined with everything from the djembe and chimes to the piano, guitar and penny whistle. "When I first heard the sound of the alto flute and harp together it was magical," Terry enthuses. "What a special and healing sound!" She continues, "I was inspired to create melodies so that these two instruments could carry the listener to another dimension of calm and inner peace." Norton says, "Music is universal and healing. It is absolutely phenomenal how deeply the spirit can be calmed when soothing sounds are at hand. To have an opportunity to offer that to others is truly humbling and exciting!" She also cites their complementary talents and shared values as key to their collaboration. "Mona writes wonderful and carefully crafted melodies," says Norton. "I bring music that is spontaneous and evolving. We laughed and cajoled each other through these individual selections until the sum was definitely greater than the parts, and truly greater than we individually could imagine." Terry agrees. "I am proud of the ability that we have of gently pushing each other to new levels of growth and musical development," she says. "This project caused each of us to face some inner fears and try many new things for the first time. And we never could have done it without the amazing patience and skill of our sound engineer and co-producer Dave VanDerKamp, who really worked magic with what we recorded." She also notes that this CD release is a beginning rather than an end. "This music just taps the surface of what we have yet to offer." From the Quad Cities Times, Davenport, Iowa, November 30, 2006 Few people would dispute the power music has in altering the way one acts or feels. The debut CD of two Quad-City musicians aims to impact both the body and soul of listeners. Mona Terry and Jean Norton have just released "A Path Seeking Harmony," a collection of original music intended for meditation, reflection and contemplation. Both offer vocals on the 10-song disc, while Terry also plays percussion and harp, and Norton performs on flutes, piano and guitar. The Quad-City transplants - Terry hails from Los Angeles, while Norton grew up in Michigan and lived in New York City before returning to the Midwest - met while working together on a program using music to aid cancer patients. Norton, who is a chaplain at Genesis Medical Center in addition to minister of music at Edwards Congregational United Church of Christ in Davenport, was searching for a harpist, and Terry answered the call. The project was a good fit for Terry, who has played harp for 10 years and is studying in a musical healing and transitional program in Chicago. Soon, she will become a music practitioner and use music to heal and comfort patients in hospitals, hospices, rehabilitation centers and birthing rooms. Among the healing benefits of music is the ability to match patients' heart rates and pulses with the beat of the music she plays, Terry said. Participating in the program has helped Terry grow as an artist. To best aid her patients, she must assess how they are feeling and respond appropriately with music, she said. Often, this means using improvisation or playing songs of unconventional styles. This musical flexibility also comes into play at the HeartSong spiritual and religious retreats in which Terry and Norton participate. The musicians strive to reach each listener, no matter where they're at in their spiritual journey, and help bring them closer to God or the Divine, Norton said. "Music helps to unleash whatever one has in their core or their very soul," she said. "The kind of music that helps a person connect to God is different." "We really have to be in the moment," Terry added. Playing together has allowed the artists to learn from one another, Norton said. She has pushed Terry to be more spontaneous in her music-making, while Terry has encouraged her to be more diligent about the process, she said. The musicians hope to make more CDs together. But their immediate goal is for their music to reach listeners on physical and spiritual levels, and encourage them to improve the world around them, Norton said. "We are hoping that this is a tool that can help people let go of tension or angst or anxiety," she said. "Our further hope is that it gives the energy and strength to bring peace to the world and to work for justice." From the River Cities Reader, Davenport, Iowa, November 29, 2006 Mona Terry & Jean Norton The Coffee Artist Café Saturday, December 2, 2:30-4:30 p.m. While perusing press releases during this time of year, 'Escape the winter winds with hot coffee, munchies, and good music' is one of those invitations that immediately catches my attention, as those are three of my favorite things even in the summer. On December 2, this triad of treats will be in ample supply at the Coffee Artist Café (1711 Fifth Avenue in Moline), where local musicians Mona Terry (a noted area harpist) and Jean Norton (frequent music director for the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre and the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse) celebrate the release of their first collaborative CD, A Path-Seeking Harmony. In the recording's collection of inspirational songs, the gifted musicians - who will also perform at Saturday's event - employ guitar, harp, piano, alto flute, percussion, and vocals in a series of beautifully arranged compositions; having heard the CD, I can attest that the results are lovely and thoughtful, and that they back up Terry's press-release claim: 'Designed to invite you into a contemplative space, this music can also inspire expressive movement and dance.' I'd better make sure, though, that I have somewhere else to be on December 2. The last time I indulged in expressive movement and dance, I had 'cuffs slapped on me. - Mike Schulz.