Paula: What was your inspiration for the album?Serah: As you can imagine, an album is really an unfoldment of inspiration. It can start with a song, and each song unfolds with inspiration as it comes to meet the needs. (For me, song writing IS an unfolding of inspiration and perhaps you could say spiritual clarity.) When I wrote the song, "Wing of Mercy," it seemed to imbibe the theme of the album . Mainly, the presence of that Higher Power that carries us through challenges of all kinds with love and insights, deep inner growth and enrichment. I think you can feel this idea running through all the songs on the album , hopefully in a fun and pleasurable way, sometimes even with some humor. Paula: Please tell me about the "Hymn of Peace" --what inspired you to write it? Serah: When I was invited to perform at the Hague in 1999 for the United Nations World Peace Conference, I was also invited to write/compose, and perform a song specifically for that event. I was thrilled to do this as it certainly fit right in with my sense of mission. As I worked on the song, I was compelled to reach out to the deep mission of each one of us, to love, and to heal, and bring peace. The Song of the universe sings to us all, collectively and individually. The live performance of the song I wrote, "Hymn of Peace," is on the new album. Paula: What is it about African music that you find so appealing? Serah: In the Eighties, I went with my young family to Africa to join some friends who were helping in a drought area in Northern Kenya not far from Lake Turkana.We lived outside of Nairobi and traveled back and forth to this area. We were not working with a specific organization, but as friends who cared deeply. So much blessing unfolded. Of course, I had my guitar with me, and was always singing with the local people, my songs, and their songs. I fell in love with African music. During that time, with the help of many wonderful people, food supplies were obtained, a shelter for orphaned children was built, and a little school. And families were found who were grateful, kind, and joyful to adopt each orphaned child into their families. It had been a very challenging and hard time, but very fruitful and blessed. When I returned to America after that, I felt so strongly that I wanted to find a way to weave this beautiful African music with my songs. I am happy to see that more and more people are appreciating World Music of all cultures, and that more and more people are caring about this planet as a world family. Paula: What other musical cultures influence your sound? Serah: Well, probably my ancestral "roots" are an influence. I am of Celtic and Gaelic descent. But American folk music as well would have been a big influence. I love incorporating many different musical cultures including Native American (specifically Lakota -- as we have a Lakota singer/friend that I often work with), as well as French, and sometimes Indian music.
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