The Mythology behind "The Raven Trail"

Hello everyone! I decided to re-post an entry I made a while ago which helps explain the genesis of my current project since many people ask me about the true meaning of the songs, so here goes:

I thought I'd take this moment and share with you some of the background behind the songs on my new EP, The Raven Trail. The first two songs, Beautiful and I Need You Now are simple, basic love songs that I have had in my 400+ song catalog that I have written over the years. I was happy to dust them off and breathe new life into them for this project.

As for the third song, Come With Me, it is the direct product of my desire to write a song that is loosely based upon the Flying Dutchman legend. I'm a huge Wagner fan (the music, not the man) and I've always loved Der Fliegender Hollander (The Flying Dutchman in German) as an opera. it was the true beginning of Wagner's maturation as a composer and the music is simply beautiful. I was introduced to it while I was studying composition and orchestration under my great teacher and former Nadia Boulanger student, Thea Musgrave, who is very well-known in today's Classical music world.

Anyway, I've always wanted to write a Pop song that was based upon the Dutchman, so I wrote a new version of the legend where a magician actually placed a curse upon the sailor because of an indiscretion with his wife, so he was doomed to sail aimlessly on the oceans of the world until he learned the true meaning of love. Since I also write fantasy novels, it was a natural transition for me to construct a story for the song which leads me to the remaining two songs, Promises and The Raven Trail.

I wrote the title song first (which started the whole project) after talking to someone about how I wanted to write a song about the connection between African-Americans and Native Americans well after the Civil War in America. Then, as if it were God-sent (which I believe it was), I heard the first verses in my head and immediately wrote them down. I went home and finished the entire song in 20 minutes. Talk about inspiration! I wound up creating the Raven character as a personification of my idea and crafted this story around him as a Black child raised by Indians. I was so inspired by the song that I decided to take it a step further and wrote a novel with the same title. Currently, I'm revising it for a final draft (if there ever is such a thing in writing fiction :)).

Finally, the song, Promises, is a direct musical representation of a scene from the novel where Kaw La Na (which means Raven in Cherokee) is making a speech to a tribe for more unity. The Raven in Native American folklore  is a powerful symbol. It is a bird that stands for metamorphosis and self-revelation. My character in both the songs and the upcoming book stands for the same things. Please feel free to comment on anything I have said in this post; I welcome your input and thanks for letting me share with you my vision:) BKT

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