Why I Started This Website

12 Jun

Near the end of April, 2019, a dear friend and ex-housemate of mine, Nabil, passed away at the age of 57. It was a shocker. He was still young and doing amazing things with his life. During the memorial service, held at the Chapel at Forest Lawn Cemetery, I recalled a poem I had saved in my cell phone from a year before—Do Not Stand at my Grave and Weep. Later at the grave site, I passed by several people sobbing quietly in their handkerchieves. Knowing that my friend's spirit would have liked to console them, I decided then and there to set Mary Elizabeth Frye's famous poem to music. Its message of transcendence and continuation was timeless and worthy of being heard with a memorable melody.

A few weeks later, I sat down with the poem and, after struggling with some structural hurdles (the subject of future blog), I composed music that I felt did justice to the words. 

Then I thought, 'Since this poem has been around for 87 years, surely others have written music to it.'  So I spent a few hours on YouTube listening to dozens of musicalized renditions and realized that none of them were like mine. I had something new to offer those who might like to hear my version or perform it at a memorial service, funeral, or even a vocal audition. 

This website is the result of my labors. I hope it serves those looking to express Frye's and others' sentiments in settings where it is appreciated.

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