Posts Tagged ‘In the House of Stone and Light

02
Jul
10

7/2/2010 – Support System – Vanessa Leavitt

            I’d like to introduce you to Vanessa Leavitt, the wonderful girl who runs and oversees my websites at Myspace and Facebook.  Many of you may already be acquainted with Vanessa, as she makes a point of responding personally to the fans who communicate with me through my websites; So, a great deal of you will already know of Vanessa’s warm, affable and accommodating nature.  It’s quite amazing to me that Vanessa was present at my first ever solo live gig in Washington D.C., when I was touring and promoting my debut solo album, “In The House Of Stone and Light”.  We didn’t actually meet up until years later in Los Angeles when Vanessa and I were both guest speakers on my friend’s music podcast (www.audionowcast.com).  I learned then that she had been a great supporter of my music right from the beginning of my career.  We instantly connected, and when I mentioned that I was about to release a new album on my own independent label, Vanessa immediately offered to help me with the set up and organization of a promotional website at Myspace.  It was an offer that I am glad I didn’t refuse, for Vanessa’s experience in the music industry and internet promotion has proved invaluable during my recent adventures as an independent solo artist.

Vanessa got interested in radio at college, and worked at her college station for four years hosting a local music show highlighting unsigned bands from around the D.C. area.  These were special days for Vanessa, as she got to work and meet with some very passionate people within the music industry – doing what they loved just for the sake of it.  During this pivotal time, she also interned with BMG Music Distribution, doing promotions for their college bands.  This then lead her to working for a number of D.C. radio stations as a sales assistant, and a web developer for one of them.  She then landed her current job building websites for groups of radio stations all over the country.

As I have come to know Vanessa better, I have become aware of her many passions outside the boundaries of music.  She is a keen lover of nature, art and literature, and loves nothing better than the warm seasons which allow her to go hiking or camping with friends and family; but her biggest inspiration by far is her beautiful daughter, Kaia, who constantly reminds her how to live in the present moment.  As I mentioned earlier, one of Vanessa’s great passions is books, and she is a truly talented author in her own right.  She started writing stories in college, and she names writers such as Hemingway, Poe, Chuck Palahniuk, Stephen King and Charles DeLint as her strong influences.  She has almost completed her own historical fantasy piece called, “Shaping Fate”, and is presently looking for an agent for the work.  I urge you to check out Vanessa’s creative writing website at   www.vrleavitt.com, where you can view some of her short stories and where Vanessa also talks about the writing process in general.  It’s a great site to visit, and I’m a big fan.

It’s a pleasure for me to work with such an all-‘round, imaginative and genuine person such as Vanessa.  She brings integrity, professionalism and a great work ethic to the creative process.  For her, no task, it seems, is too difficult to accomplish.  And on top of that, she has a terrific sense of humor, which in my book, is a definite Big Plus, indeed!  It is a precious luxury to know as an artist that you have a solid, believing team behind you, and with Vanessa on board, I certainly feel that.

In finishing, I recently asked Vanessa what music artists she likes; she answered that she enjoys all sorts of music from Mozart to Queen to Big And Rich .…. and of course, Martin Page.  Well, she had to say that, didn’t she?!

Thanks Vanessa.

 

Cheers,

Martin

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13
Jul
09

7/13/2009 – Bill Harvey

I recently had a very moving and humbling experience.  While visiting the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, I was able to make the acquaintance of Bill Harvey, a survivor of the Nazi death camps of the Holocaust. Bill is a regular speaker at the museum, and after hearing him tell his incredible story to a hushed crowd in the center’s auditorium, I waited in line to shake his hand and thank him personally.  I had written and recorded a song featured on my first solo album (“In The House of Stone & Light”) entitled, “The Door”, which took its theme from the true story of the prisoners’ revolt of August 2, 1943, in the Polish concentration camp of Treblinka.  So, meeting Bill Harvey and hearing his story was extremely special for me.

Bill was just a teenager from Hungary when he was separated from his close family and sent to the first of three death camps that he was to endure.  He witnessed and suffered unimaginable and horrific atrocities which, to this day, still haunt him.  At one point during his ordeal, he weighed barely 70 pounds, and was only saved from the camp ovens when a Jewish guard noticed that his unconscious body was moving in a stack of corpses waiting to be burned.  Miraculously, the German guards had fled into the surrounding countryside that day, in fear of the imminent allied forces’ liberation, allowing Bill to be pulled free and saved by the guard.  Whilst recovering in the camp barracks, Bill awoke in his bunk to see a hellish vision that he can never forget.  A group of newly arrived prisoners were standing and staring at him.  They had just been delivered to the camp from a packed railroad box car that had been traveling non-stop for many days and nights.  Bill thought that he was dreaming, as they literally looked like skeletons, with gaping holes torn into their emaciated bodies.  He would later learn that these prisoners had become so desperately hungry during their prolonged rail journey, that they had begun to eat parts of their own bodies.  Recalling this memory, Bill’s eyes welled up with tears; Yet, through all of his trials, Bill told me that he never lost the unflinching belief that he would one day see his family and loved ones again – and that this was the single hope that kept him fighting on and believing that he would survive.

After he was finally liberated, he was re-united with some of his family who, mercifully, had also survived.  After regaining his health, he studied hard, learned English and eventually immigrated to America, where he pursued a very successful career as a make-up artist, working with  Hollywood movie stars.  It is well documented that Bill was deeply revered, respected and loved by his many glamorous clients.

A few weeks after meeting Bill, he invited me and my manager Diane, to his charming home to view his family photos and to get to know him a little better.  The one experience I shall always cherish is sitting with him in his living room, listening to my song, “The Door”, playing on his home music system.  The realization that I was listening to my composition with a Holocaust survivor was profound and deeply moving to me.  After hearing “The Door”, Bill complimented me on my singing voice and commented how beautiful he found the piece.  He said that the lyrics rang true for him, and that he was genuinely touched by the song’s sentiment and emotion.  This was easily the best and most rewarding review I have ever received!

During our time together, I recall that – more often than not – Bill wore a beaming smile on his face.  I was greatly impressed by his humor and optimism.  His attitude made me reflect on how easy it is for me to become “unmindful” of the freedoms that I enjoy, and how easy it is for me to take for granted my good health.  Bill spoke passionately about the need to recognize and appreciate the simple pleasures and small gifts of everyday life. Today, Bill still passes on his message of compassion and tolerance by speaking at the museum, schools and business organizations with a spirit and dignity rarely seen.  I am, without doubt, a very fortunate and better man for meeting Bill Harvey.

 

“Nothing gives rest but the sincere search for truth.”

                                                                       – Blaise Pascal

Thanks for dropping by.

–       Martin

 

Martin and Bill Harvey

24
Sep
08

9/24/2008 – Broken Stairway

Hey guys, I was just made aware of a video on Youtube of my song, “Broken Stairway“, from my first album, “IN THE HOUSE OF STONE & LIGHT”.  It features clips from the movie “Pride and Prejudice”.  I think Faeriebreath did a fine job!  Check it out … here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqulMlxgXqQ