Friday, June 19, 2015

Encounters with God: music makes a way

On 25 April 2015, music opened the door for me to a life-changing encounter with God, a very real heavenly experience that has transported me to a new level of spiritual awareness and intimacy with Jesus. The way I think now and the way I sing is different, and the transformation is continuing. 


It was pianist Graeme Cook's music ministry that was instrumental (pardon the pun) in this process. When you find a good thing, you want more of it, right? My ideas-generator got busy on how to make this happen, with the result that, during the first weekend in June, I hosted Graeme in my home so that others could experience the way his music brings you into the presence of God. I believe everyone who came to those meetings had a life-changing encounter with God. I know I was doing things musically that I've never done before. It was indescribably beautiful and I'm eager to keep pursuing it.

This past week, I've been working with Graeme on a multimedia project featuring photos and audio recorded during that time. Here's a brief sample for you.


Graeme has provided 4 audio tracks on his website ParadiseSong.com which you can download, or listen to for free online. To connect with Graeme personally, you can fill out the contact form on his website, or go to his Facebook page Paradise Song.

Fiat lux!
Narelle

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Steadfast Love of the Lord: comfort through your grief

Here's an electronic greeting video I created this weekend for a dear friend. My prayer is that it will bring hope and comfort to many others.


And here's the poster that goes with it.

View musical version here: https://youtu.be/dg81gYrcCUI



Friday, April 24, 2015

Out of the Fire and into the Light: sounds of trouble usher songs of joy

WOULD THE ANZAC SOLDIER SAY,
"Good has come from this day" ?

Has something terrible ever happened to you which afterward you realized made opportunity for good things in your life?

While we remember the great loss of our nation at Gallipoli 100 years ago this ANZAC Day, I'm reminded of my personal loss and the strange way in which they are linked.

Cool atmospheric shot of the help that came when our house got too hot.
This past year I’ve experienced a series of traumas including the loss of 7 years’ worth of images from my four blogs and then a house fire. For eight weeks I camping at a motel while my sooty house was repaired and its surviving contents cleaned.

My life as it was STOPPED. But it turns out that wasn’t such a bad thing. Despite the emotional distress of the upheaval caused by the fire and coping with essential functions of my life being spread around town, I had something of a holiday. Also, a couple of events occurred while I was there that I would not have been part of if I had been at home.

Sue’s ANZAC biscuits, beautifully wrapped and hand-delivered in a basket.

One was ANZAC Day. On 25th April 2014, I was living just a block from the cenotaph. I was able to get to both the Dawn Service and 9am Civic Parade on my own steam, and leave when I was ready. Which, armed with my camera, in the first instance wasn’t until well after everyone else had left. I had the sunrise all to myself.

Dannevirke Cenotaph at Sunrise, 25 April 2014
The fallout of this was a creative project I hope to share with you before much longer*, an ANZAC Day commemorative video featuring Dannevirke children, serving soldiers from Linton Army Camp, and the only remaining war veteran in our district who served in Korea.

*The commemorative video is unfinished because I need 3 things:
1) a video-buff to resolve a video editing issue for me;
2) a male with antipodean accent to record a 2-sentence voice-over;
3) a photographer who can provide two suitable ANZAC- or war-themed photo plates.
If you can help, or know someone who might be interested, please let me know!

Rear view of Alpha Company, 1RNZIR Linton, Dawn Parade, ANZAC Day 2014

But what’s an Anzac video without music? I took my voice recorder into the motel bathroom for an acapella song session, thankful there was almost no traffic that day, and no neighbours to make noises through the wall. The result was a series of melodies on the “freedom” theme, inspired by the beautiful singing of Maori women on an Anzac Day TV program featuring New Zealand tribal anthems. I aim to use one of these in the video.

Narelle’s temporary recording studio, bathroom of #12, Destinations Motel

 Out of what was meant for harm comes good!

"Oh, that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men."** "Every good and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."***

Fiat lux! May there be light in your life and in mine, always.
Narelle

**Psalm 107
***James 1:17

Saturday, April 18, 2015

New Lyrics Revealed to Iconic New Zealand Love Song


FROM PERSONAL TRAUMA TO PUBLIC DRAMA    [video below]
It took a house fire, a dose of cenotaph memorial on ANZAC Day, and a dash of war history TV programming to bring me to the point of inspiration for this project. I’m still marvelling at what has come of it.



World War 1 commemorative play WOMEN OF COURAGE
by Narelle and Isabel Worboys

Within two days of being invited to take part in the World War I commemorative concert, I’d written “Women of Courage”, a playlet built around the hymn “Abide with Me”, and a week later, new lyrics for another old and very famous song which I used to open the scene.

DID YOU GUESS?
What iconic New Zealand song was first sung in 1914? I asked this in the last Songuine post. Did you figure it out?

Think Maori love song.

Think Hayley Westenra and Russell Watson at the 2009 World Games opening ceremony in Taiwan. http://youtu.be/4JquxqloDHQ

Think Maisey Rika and the St Joseph’s Girls Choir. http://youtu.be/ITee3lUKYmc

Think Dame Kiri Te Kanawa in “Kiri’s Homecoming”. http://youtu.be/lxvV-yu67cE

You know it, don't you? The mesmerizingly beautiful melody of “Pokarekare Ana” has captivated audiences around the world, and now there are new English lyrics, faithful to the original themes of love and longing, fear and loss, pertinent then in 1914 and to us now in 2014.

Here it is.

MY BELOVED, HE HAS GONE AWAY (tune of “Pokarekare Ana”) 
All rights reserved to Narelle Worboys, copyright ©2014

[Verse]
My beloved, he has gone away,
Gone to fight a freedom war,
Enduring dangers night and day.
I fear he may return no more.

[Chorus]
Evil tears the world apart.
Is there courage in my heart
To march on ‘til victory?
Oh God,
Bring him safe to me.

[Chorus repeat]
I want him here
Holding me near.
I love him, I love him so.
Help me let him go.

I regret that I'm unable to offer you better audio-visual quality, but here's a recording of the actual performance at the Town Hall, reportedly moving many people to tears (including me) and rated as the best piece of the night.






In whatever sphere or circumstance you are, "may God give you courage and strength to pursue truth and love and freedom. May He give you a daily portion to live every moment and fulfil every task with joy and grace, and faith to always carry on."*

Fiat lux.
Narelle

*The Blessing from "Women of Courage".




MORE ABOUT
Pokarekare Ana, New Zealand’s unofficial national anthem
http://youtu.be/xgRVK2ge1ys

'Pokarekare Ana' (Come Back to Me) is the beautiful love song of a homesick soldier serving in the Maori Battalion during World War I. Its heartfelt expression of longing for home and loved ones immediately touched his fellow countrymen, who adopted the haunting melody as their own. A century later, it is still a poignant musical touch-stone for any New Zealander, at home or abroad.
 

"Women of Courage" publicity and reviews

Here's what critics and audience say about "Women of Courage", the World War I commemorative playlet by Narelle Worboys, which debuted at the Dannevirke Town Hall in New Zealand on 3 August 2014.

From Facebook:

From "Dannevirke News" published in "Hawkes Bay Today" on Saturday, 9 August 2014.
Reviewed by Christine McKay, titled "War Concert Pays Tribute".


From "The Bush Telegraph", published on Monday, 11 August 2014.
Reviewed by Dave Murdoch, titled "Commemorative Concert Captivates.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Kiwi Singer/Songwriter Rewrites Famous Song for WWI Centenary


 


What iconic New Zealand song was first sung in 1914?

Narelle Worboys has written new lyrics for it to mark the centenary of World War I. The song will feature in a dramatic ten-minute scene entitled “Women of Courage” presented by Narelle and her mother Isabel during the WWI Commemorative Concert at the Dannevirke Town Hall this Sunday.

Come experience a moving story of fear and faith -- and find out if you correctly guessed which song!

WWI Commemorative Concert
Dannevirke Town Hall
Sunday, 3rd August, 3pm
Gold coin entry

Doors open from 2pm. Come early to enjoy the themed floral art display and the static display by the Gallery of History.


For behind-the-scenes details, follow Narelle on Facebook.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

PERFECT PITCH? Who, me?! (uncovering the truth about my singing)

Many people ask, after listening to me sing live, if I have perfect pitch. This astonishes me because I’ve always had trouble staying on pitch when singing unaccompanied.

Narelle Worboys: uncovering the truth about her singing

Two years ago, the difficulties of accessing a piano, or finding instrumental backing suited to my voice, prompted me to dare something radical and scary – singing acapella.

I like the freedom it brings. It makes it easy to bless folk with a song at a moment’s notice, and my song ministry has become more portable. I’ve also worked extensively on improvisational singing. But I’ve observed this year, singing daily but without applying set perimeters to my ears and vocal production, and often performing after eating and without warm-up or rehearsal, that whatever natural pitching ability I may have is suffering.

My health issues are always a factor, but in this instance, I’m hoping that time spent studying at the piano (and I don’t know yet how I’m going to manage that) will help correct the pitch sliding noticeable in recent videos.


Image credit: http://bobbyowsinski.blogspot.co.nz/2014/01/would-you-take-perfect-pitch-drug.html
As to why people suppose me to be blessed with perfect pitch, I think what they may be referring to is the unusual tonal quality they hear, especially when I sing high. That, I wasn’t born with. It was a gift from God, supernaturally endowed after I lost my voice aged 19 (click here to hear the story).

Because of that gift, I keep sharing song despite my lack of technical skill, praying that God will empower me to give it proper support. I will certainly apply myself to it this month, because I’ve got a fabulous singing gig coming up on a subject I love – a War Remembrance Concert to mark the beginning of World War I a century ago.
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