For those of you who don’t know; in addition to being the creator of Cascade Method, I’m also a recording artist. I currently have released four albums to the market and I’m in the process of working on my fifth album. Although it’s “cool” to consider myself a true recording artist, that’s not the best part about being a composer. Hear me out…
What Being a Composer Means to Me
I began writing my own compositions when I was 16 years old. Ever since I was a little girl, the piano has been my escape. I’ve said it a million times but my music is my release. I really don’t play for other people. I know that may seem selfish, but it’s more that I don’t care to please others with my music, I just play what I feel and what I like. The coolest part is when others enjoy my music, too!
Being a composer gives you influence. There are lots of aspiring musicians out there that are too caught up in the “fame.” I don’t play to be noticed; instead, I play to share because I truly believe my music can speak to more people than just myself.
There’s a difference between influence and fame.
Your influence relates to the impact you make on others; whereas, your fame is credited by your popularity and how well you’re known. I don’t care how many people know my music, I just want the people that do know my music to feel something when they hear it or whenever they play it themselves.
Piano is my therapy. No matter what type of emotion I’m experiencing, the piano has always been something to guide me through my feelings and cope internally. Although it’s hard to share raw moments with others, the video below sums up how the piano truly moves through me. It’s my release. This is a piece that will be released on my fifth album. When I started playing, I had no intention of losing control over my emotions but I wrote this piece after my first and hardest miscarriage.
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One of the chords within this piece lets off such an “angst” and heartbroken sound and it just tugged straight on my heartstrings. Although this is a very sad example, it just proves that even the most heartbreaking of moments can be healed through music.
The piano doesn’t allow me to keep my emotions bottled up. I love being able to share WHO I AM and what I’ve gone through in my music. That’s what being a composer means to me.
THIS is the Best Part About Being A Composer
Moving on to the happy stuff, my favorite part about being a composer is the messages I receive from others. I recently got this email and it not only made my day but also reminded me that I’m making a bigger impact than I realize!
“You probably don’t remember, but I emailed you several years ago (2014 maybe?) to tell you how much I enjoyed Cascade and to ask for the sheet music. You were so kind to send it to me! Playing and listening to your pieces got me through some ridiculously hard times then and later, so I just wanted to thank you for that comfort. I still listen to your music regularly for some peace, and I still play Cascade probably at least once a week even so many years later!
I can’t wait to get started on these pieces from Unchained. Thank you so much again for all that you do!”
This is what it’s all about. Being able to provide healing and happiness to people I’ve never met is hands down the best part about composing. Some of my favorite pieces to play are all the classics! Not to be stereotypical, but I truly am a sucker for Beethoven: Moonlight Sonata, Appassionata Sonata, and Tempest Sonata are some of my favorites by him. As for modern music, I love River Flows In You and When The Love Falls by Yiruma.
Whenever I play these pieces, I feel powerful. Especially the pieces by Beethoven and my Unchained Album, the fast movements are truly riveting. I just can’t get enough of those sounds and colors! Needless to say, the act of music is a powerful thing. Music was always intended to make us feel something.
Did You Know You Can Purchase Any of My Sheet Music Individually, as well as the Entire Album?
Whether it’s happy or sad, we all could use a little self-expression every now and again. As I’ve said from the beginning, my intention is to influence rather than be known. That’s why I sell individual sheet music of all pieces, as well as full album booklets on my website. I LOVE when others play my music!!!!
I wanted to give you a little background on each album so you can purchase the one that best identifies with the phase of life you’re currently going through.
Album 1: Cascade
This album best sums up my journey of discovering the world of composition. Aside from the piece called “Cascade” that I wrote when I was 16 and “Waves” that I wrote the summer before starting college, the rest of the pieces came to life during my first two years of college. Because I was a Music Therapy major, I obviously had tons of music classes (basically half music, half psychology). So, I learned a lot of theory and began to understand what I was doing; yet, I still relied on my emotions to write these pieces.
The third piece was a breakup piece, written in my favorite Ab minor key; “the breakup key” as I like to call it, ha! The piece is called “Coeur en larmes” which means “heart in tears.”
The fourth piece, “Midnight’s Moon,” stemmed from a college assignment, where one of my theory professors asked me to try and write something different. I do feel this one’s different because it sounds “manly” to me for some reason.
The fifth is another one that many of you really like- “Rainfall.” I remember writing this piece at random times at Chapman but also at home with a full-time babysitting schedule. I would play once the littles were asleep on an electric keyboard. That was my time to compose.
Long story short, this album brings me back to a time of youth and self-discovery in general. It also has my most well-known piece and what was the inspiration for my business, “Cascade!”
Album 2: Petites Inspiration
When I originally started writing music for this album, I wanted it to be a children’s album. You know- the type of music you put on when your kids go to bed!
My concept was that each song would represent an item in a baby’s room.
However, the first piece imitates how I feel a child’s dream and imagination runs as they’re playing with toys. The second piece is called “Le carousel;” where I imagine a little toy carousel with a horse going around in circles, the kind you wind up and then it plays music!
The third one is “De longues heures,” which means “long hours” but I imagine a little clock in the room. The fourth is “Petite danseuse,” which means “little dancer.” So, as you can see, the theme was moving along steadily… but then, I got heartbroken.
I fell in love with this guy who never loved me back. He broke my heart, which led me to finish this entire album in one month. The second half of the album were songs I wrote to help my heartache. Fortunately, I kept the same repetitive melodies throughout the second half which still qualifies it as a great children’s nursery playlist!
Album 3: My Love For You
This album was a step towards releasing inhibitions and being more daring. I was always afraid to be loud and labeled as a “show off.” That’s not my type, but I wanted to try and make “bigger” sounds in this album. I definitely playback these pieces and am surprised at what I wrote. Only because some of those pieces are SO HARD!
Looking back now, it’s interesting because you can start to hear my voice develop. I think it’s a good segway to my fourth album, Unchained.
One of my favorite pieces in this album is called “Rest in Clouds,” written when my great grandmother passed away. It’s like an anchor in time. It brings me right back to when I created that piece, along with the following one “My Love For You,” which was written for my mom. Those were the two pieces I had written the fastest in my life. “Rest in Clouds” came out of nowhere and I wrote it in three days.
I didn’t know that was possible but it just poured out from the sky, as well as “My Love For You.”
Album 4: Unchained
No matter what type of pianist you are, you will LOVE to play the pieces in this album. It just feels good in the fingers. Ugh.
This album is all about truly letting go and owning who you are intended to be. I had an important figure in my life trying to tell me for so many years that I needed to sing and be like Norah Jones. I finally decided to let go and be PROUD that I wanted to be like Tara and play the music that I was called to play! This album is all about breaking through barriers and owning your truth. It just feels good every time you hit the keys.
Album 5: Bloom
SPOILER ALERT! The fifth album that I’m currently working on is going to be called Bloom! (Which happens to be the first piece of this album) So far, I’ve written four other pieces that have all related to my miscarriages. They are raw, heavenly, and emotional but they also bring healing, happiness, and honor.
This is proof that my albums are MY diaries. I wanted you to know the exact phase and intention of each album when it came to my composition with the hopes that it may offer you the same or similar type of peace and healing that you’re searching for during certain times of your life.
You can get individual sheet music for all my pieces for $5 per piece
OR you can purchase the ENTIRE album booklet of sheet music for $20!
Type in the album you want into the search bar on my Cascade Method Online Shop!