Claudia Walker & Jeri Howe | Cleansing Sighs

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Cleansing Sighs

by Claudia Walker & Jeri Howe

Soulful harp solos and duets for relaxation and contemplation, featuring songs from Celtic, Classical, and World traditions, with original compositions.
Genre: Spiritual: Inspirational
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  Song Share Time Download
1. My Soul's Desire
Claudia Walker
3:58 $0.99
2. The Ash Grove / St. Columba
Jeri Howe
2:35 $0.99
3. Kiss
Claudia Walker
4:08 $0.99
4. Morning Has Broken
Claudia Walker
5:07 $0.99
5. Flatbush Waltz
Jeri Howe
5:08 $0.99
6. Otter Play
Claudia Walker
3:29 $0.99
7. Hymn to St. Basil
Jeri Howe
3:58 $0.99
8. Prairie Sea
Jeri Howe
3:54 $0.99
9. Priestly Blessing
Claudia Walker
4:02 $0.99
10. Wiwowashte / Metta Prayer
Claudia Walker
5:15 $0.99
11. Mourning Reflection
Jeri Howe
3:32 $0.99
12. Lullaby for Dreams
Jeri Howe
3:08 $0.99
13. Triptych
Claudia Walker
5:55 $0.99
14. Brahms Lullaby and Waltz
Claudia Walker
5:31 $0.99
15. Wondrous Love
Jeri Howe
4:36 $0.99
16. Love Is All Around
Claudia Walker
4:22 $0.99
17. Lone Wild Bird
Jeri Howe
4:26 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
We invite you to journey with us into the Soul's terrain. Using Celtic harp, voice, cello, guitar, and drum, Jeri, Claudia and their guest musicians follow the Soul's desire to explore the many faces of the Divine through loss and grief, the healing medicine of love, light, sleep, beauty, nature, peace, and joy.

This album grew out of over twenty years of musical collaboration between Claudia and Jeri. Their musical paths brought them to a contemplative discipline in palliative medicine called music-thanatology ( Currently job sharing a music-thanatology practice called Sacred Harmonies, they prescriptively deliver music using harp and voice at the bedside of ill and dying patients and their loved ones.

Claudia's musical passion can be summed up in Rumi's sentiment, " We have fallen into the place where everything is music." She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from U. of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, practiced as a registered, then board-certified music therapist while raising her family, and later felt a call to serve the ill and dying with harp and voice. She studied music-thanatology principles and repertoire with Jeri Howe CM-Th, Sister Vivian Ripp CM-Th, and the Lane Community College Music-thanatology training program, becoming certified with Music-Thanatology Association International in 2008. She is also actively involved in musical arts in her home community on Whidbey Island, WA.

Jeri received a BA in Humanities from the University of Colorado in 1977. Always a lover of music she studied piano growing up and began playing harp in 1984. She studied music-thanatology at The Chalice of Repose Project in Missoula, MT, becoming certified in 1997. Sacred Harmonies became part of the Spiritual Care Department of Providence Regional Medical Center Everett (PRMCE) in 2003. Jeri and Claudia also contract with Providence Hospice of Snohomish County. They have produced 3 instrumental harp CDs for PRMCE: “Beauty Awaits”, “Love’s Call”, and “Luminous Grace”. Jeri lives in Shoreline, WA with her husband.

The songs on this CD are not necessarily representative of the music we play at the bedside. Much of our recorded music has been inspired by the concerts we have performed with other music-thanatologists in the Pacific Northwest cities of Everett, Washington, Eugene and Portland, Oregon. These concerts have brought respite to audiences and public awareness about our Sacred Harmonies music-thanatology practice at PRMCE, Strings of Compassion music-thanatology practice at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eugene, OR., and the music-thanatology private practice SacredFlight in Portland, OR (

Liner Notes

1.My Soul’s Desire Performed by Claudia, Jeri, Sharilyn Cohn (cello), Tom Walker (guitar)
Composed by Tom Walker using text from an anonymous 11 c. Irish verse (translated by Eleanor Hull)

2.Ash Grove/St. Columba Arranged & performed by Jeri
Two ancient Celtic melodies often used as hymns are united in this simple medley.

3.Kiss Composed & performed by Claudia
Written for Barb and Sharilyn.

4.Morning Has Broken Composed & performed by Claudia
Inspired by the Eleanor Farjeon poem of the same name. It also incorporates the melody of an Ave maris stella chant attributed to Fr. Padraig Breathnach (1916).

5.Flatbush Waltz Oceana Music Publishing Co./HFA. Arranged/performed by Jeri & Claudia
Composed by Andy Statman, a contemporary mandolin player and pioneer of the Klezmer revival. This is combined with Eli, Eli, a Jewish melody composed during the Holocaust in 1942 by David Zehavi.

6.Otter Play Composed & performed by Claudia
Inspired by three magical river otters cavorting along the shoreline at Fort Worden near where we recorded the music.

7.Hymn to St. Basil Arranged & performed by Jeri and Claudia
A Greek Orthodox Carol written in honor of the 4th century Christian theologian and monastic.

8.Prairie Sea Composed and performed by Jeri
Inspired by her family roots on the Kansas prairie and her current roots by the shores of the Pacific Northwest sea.

9.Priestly Blessing
Composed and performed by Sìle Harriss with Jeri and Claudia
Inspired by Sìle’s father’s reciting the blessing at bedtime which spoke of God’s benevolence, protection and peace. The children called it “Grandpa’s Umbrella”.

10.Wiwowashte/Metta Prayer Performed by Claudia, Sharilyn Cohn (cello), Tom Walker (guitar), Jeri (drum) Wiwowashte: composed by Amy Walker with language help from Iron Eagle Frank Sanchez. Used by permission. Translation:
Love is sacred medicine
love around mother earth
all my relations, the way it is, the way it should be, the way I want it to be:
Love, a nation of many nations of hearts
Metta Prayer composed by Joseph H. Anderson. Paraphrase of the Metta Prayer by Joan Borysenko. Used by permission.

11. Mourning Reflection Composed & performed by Jeri

12.Lullaby for Dreams Arranged & performed by Jeri and Claudia
Transforming an Irish lullaby into something new.

13.Triptych Composed & performed by Claudia
A reflection on grief that takes its title from the Greek triptychos, a devotional altar piece with three panels of images hinged together. With its many moods and images, I experience grief in a cyclic way, trusting somehow that being in this state is always an opportunity for transformation.

14.Brahms Lullaby and Waltz Arranged by Claudia and performed by Claudia and Jeri
A suite of the famous lullaby and Waltz #15 from the Opus 39 Waltzes for Four Hands for Piano.

15.Wondrous Love/Custodes hominum Arranged & performed by Jeri and Claudia
19th c folk hymn combined with 16th c Gregorian chant hymn.

16.Love is All Around Composed & performed by Claudia
Dedicated to Sister Vivian Ripp, and to the Angel of the Work of Music-Thanatology.

17.Lone Wild Bird Arranged & performed by Jeri and Claudia
An American hymn tune named “Prospect” that appears in a 1835 compilation of Southern Harmony hymns. The poem, Lone, Wild Bird, by Henry Richard McFadyen was put with this melody in the mid 20th century.

Claudia and Jeri would like to thank the following musicians for joining us in creating music for this CD project:

Sharilyn Cohn, (cello) certified music-thanatologist, resides in Portland, OR where she is a co-founder of the music-thanatology non-profit SacredFlight ( and a co-founder and core faculty member of the Lane Community College Music-Thanatology Training Program.

Sìle Harriss, (composer, harpist) certified music-thanatologist, lives in Seattle, WA where she has been active in the Celtic music community.

Tom Walker, (songwriter, guitarist) is the Social Services consultant for the Northwest Division of the Salvation Army. He and Claudia live on Whidbey Island near Everett, WA, where they are active in the musical arts community.

Don’t worry about saving these songs!
And if one of our instruments breaks, it doesn’t matter.
We have fallen into the place where everything is music.
The strumming and the flute notes rise into the atmosphere,
and even if the whole world’s harp should burn up,
there will still be hidden music playing.
So the candle flickers and goes out. We have a piece of flint, and a spark.
This singing is sea foam.
The graceful movements come from a pearl somewhere on the ocean floor.
Poems reach up like spindrift at the edge of driftwood along the beach, wanting!
They derive from a slow and powerful root that we cannot see.
Stop the words now.
Open the window at the center of your chest, and let the spirits fly in and out.
Poem by Jelaluddin Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks



to write a review

Cleansing Sighs

a beautifully conceived recording
This is a very special recording that truly conveys the talents and vision of two fine, healing musicians.


Cleansing Sighs
I love everything about this stunning harp music found on the CD, Cleansing Sighs. Claudia Walker and Jeri Howe have created a mystical, magical work of art. So many of the songs remind me of being in a sacred place in nature; where the world slows down and there is a peaceful, quiet flow. If life is like a river and we experience some heavy duty "whitewater" in our lives, Cleansing Sighs invites us to be on a part of a calm, gentle, flowing river: a respite from the noise, fast pace, and other stresses.
Their harp music and songs are both strong and delicate at the same time. There is a sense of going back to an ancient, simpler time; when humans were more connected to nature, quiet, and Spirit.

Gary Plouff

Music of Deep Emotional Resonance
I have listened to this album many times and with each listening a deeper musical experience is offered. Here are two intuitive and very talented musicians who offer a landscape of beauty that penetrates to the core. The arrangement are creative and interesting and the emotional connection with the music draws one in to a deeper space. I can't stop listening to this beautiful album. Thank you!