Seunghee Lee | Solace

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Solace

by Seunghee Lee

When tragedy strikes our lives, time doesn’t heal wounds; it only fades memories. Words of condolence are not enough to alleviate the painful heart, but once we start surrendering our wounded hearts to the magical beauty of music, we may just be able to find solace from within…
Genre: Classical: Classical era
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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Deux Mélodies Hébraïques, M.A. 22: I. Kaddish
Seunghee Lee
5:09 $1.29
clip
2. Ave Maria - Meditation
Seunghee Lee & Evan Solomon
2:40 $1.29
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3. Pagina D'album
Seunghee Lee
3:17 $1.29
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4. Dido and Aeneas, Z. 626, Act III, Scene 2: When I Am Laid in Earth
Seunghee Lee
3:34 $1.29
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5. L'adieu
Seunghee Lee
2:15 $1.29
clip
6. Ave Maria
Seunghee Lee & Evan Solomon
4:08 $1.29
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7. Requiem in D Minor, K626: VIII. Lacrymosa
Seunghee Lee & Evan Solomon
3:06 $1.29
clip
8. Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5
Seunghee Lee
5:29 $1.29
clip
9. Danny Boy
Seunghee Lee
2:57 $1.29
clip
10. A Story of Ups and Downs
Seunghee Lee
3:45 $1.29
clip
11. Gagopa
Seunghee Lee
3:49 $1.29
clip
12. Auf Flügeln Des Gesanges, Op. 34, No. 2, On Wings of Song
Seunghee Lee
2:32 $1.29
clip
13. Ave Maria-Adagio for Strings
Seunghee Lee
2:13 $1.29
clip
14. Over the Rainbow
Seunghee Lee
3:22 $1.29
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15. Reflections
Seunghee Lee
2:31 $1.29
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16. My Peace
Seunghee Lee
2:19 $1.29
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17. Cantata No. 140 "Wachet Auf", BWV 140, Sleepers Awake
Seunghee Lee
3:03 $1.29
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes

On March 28, 1991, on the South Side of Chicago, a dissatisfied customer, armed with a gun, shot and the owner of a coin laundry store. The store owner died instantly by a single bullet. This single bullet so powerful that it not only killed the innocent, hardworking man, but it also destroyed the happiness and liveliness of his wife and their five young children he left behind for many years to come. It’s been 25 years since this bullet was buried, but deep inside the hearts of the wife and children, it still exists every day.

The store owner was my father. His name was Kyungho Lee.

When tragedy strikes us unexpectedly, whether it is senseless gun violence, cancer, accident, or even natural death, what unfolds thereafter is the heartbreak and devastation on the families and greatly impacts their lives over time. Even as communication technologies continue to advance, there are yet many people who are unable to express in words, the real pain residing inside their hearts. In moments of solitude, a glimpse of the departed’s belongings or a photo may immediately bring back the harsh reality that our beloved child, wife, husband, mother, father, sister, brother, or best friend will not return, leaving them weeping alone once again. Time doesn’t heal wounds; it only fades memories. So how do we move on?

Perhaps one way to help us break out of this vicious cycle is through the power of music...

Solace is a personal musical healing project I created to finally bring closure as well as to pay tribute in commemorating the 25th anniversary of my father's passing. Words of condolence were not enough to alleviate the painful heart. But in those moments of sorrow and loneliness, I turned to music for healing and strength. Listening to the familiar melodies from childhood as well as simply engaging in beautiful music always helped to soothe the pain. Everyone’s story is different and we grieve privately in our own ways. For me, listening to music was like an escape from my own vicious cycle of sadness.

By sharing my story, I hope to be a voice for millions of people that are out there suffering silently due to a tragic loss of their loved one. Although I can never forget what happened, this CD serves as a tangible reminder for me to stop holding on to the past and start enabling myself to move forward and be complete. As we move through several different stages of grieving in this album, I hope the power of music will guide your heart in discovering your own solace from within.

My Musical Journey…

I open SOLACE with Maurice Ravel’s "Kaddish" from his Deux Mélodies Hébraïques. Kaddish is a Hebrew chant, a prayer to show honor and surrender to the Almighty God who is the all sovereign, the creator of the universe, the Alpha and the Omega. Kaddish is not about death but rather about giving praise to God in all circumstances. Through Kaddish, I am reminded that our brief time on earth is infinitesimal in the scope of the vastness of eternity and that despite the loss of a loved one, God, in His omnipresence, is the author of all that happens in everyone’s life, even the tragedies.

The heavenly setting in "Ave Maria" by Gounod, based on J.S. Bach’s Prelude in C Major from the Well-Tempered Clavier, allows us to encounter a glimpse of pure serenity, whereas the emotional melodic line in Pagina d’Album by Michele Mangani opens up a collection of memories from our album of life-- filled with personal snapshot moments of love, joy, romance, discoveries, and achievements--which fills our hearts with meaning and purpose.

In Henry Purcell’s hauntingly beautiful aria, "When I Am Laid in Earth", Dido’s plea before taking her last breath is for the living to remember her, but to forget her fate as she ends her life tragically by suicide. Recently, I became aware that I was too focused on the tragic way my father died that this disturbing image overshadowed my fond memories of his fun and energetic character, his creativity, and what a vital member he was to his community. This music allowed me to realize that my father also would have wanted us to remember him for who he was when he was alive, not for the last few moments before his last breath.

"L’Adieu" is a very short yet powerfully emotional composition by an inspiring Mexican film composer, Ernesto Cortazar. Many of his compositions seem to evoke much of our inner turmoil and vulnerability; perhaps due to his personal experience enduring a tough journey in life after losing both his parents in an auto accident at age 13.

Similarly, "Ave Maria" by Vladimir Vavilov echoes the grief and unbelievable pain of remorse and regret of what “could have” or “should have” been, and depicts the feelings of chaos and the uncertainty of what lies ahead.

The weeping "Lacrymosa" is from W.A Mozart’s Requiem, a work that Mozart is believed to have started writing for his own funeral, but unclear who actually finished it after his death. Regardless, Lacrymosa works poignantly in guiding the mourner to a sense of closure.

Listening to "Bachianas Brasileiras No.5" by Heitor Villa-Lobos, one may start reminiscing about precious moments in the past, which can also quickly turn into frustration and anger. After my father was killed, the world did not make any sense and I became confused, resentful, and detached. I often got wrapped up in the whirlwind of provoking thoughts, trying to seek answers to desperate questions like “Why did this happen to us?” From this song’s text, “... All birds become silent to the Moon's complaints and the Sea reflects its great splendor…” I am reminded that I must also choose to cease my sadness and mournful complaining and choose to see the beauty of life in its greatest splendor as from above.

"Danny Boy", the traditional Irish tune, is one of most inspiring timeless tunes that touches us in many different ways. My father was a very talented man who also loved the clarinet. As a child, I heard my father playing this tune many times on the clarinet and the sheer simplicity and familiarity of this tune always brings me comfort.

"A Story of Ups and Downs" is a theme song from an original musical composed by Hin Lee, a musical angel from the Arts with the Disabled organization based in Hong Kong. This music has breathed new life in me and pulled me away from resignation and cynicism at the very moment when I needed it. Life is truly full of stories of ups and downs and at one point, I had my epiphany and finally realized that I am the only one who can take off my own mask of endless self‐pity and move on! This choice was always there and it was always up to me to fully embrace life. Thank you, Hin Lee, for your inspiration.

"Gagopa" (Wishing to Return) is a beloved Korean song composed by Dong-Jin Kim. The lyrical melody line depicts a soldier longing to return to his homeland and to his old friends. This song has a special place in my heart as it was my father’s favorite song. The last time I performed this song, it was with a mournful heart at my father’s funeral. 25 years later, by recording and releasing this special song, I am paying tribute to my father and sharing his beloved music with the world. May he rest in peace.

A new beginning! "On Wings of Song", by Felix Mendelssohn, brightly shines, as if to shower us with a glittering fresh start. And as we begin to let go and start reconstructing our lives, perhaps a pure, angelic, prayer-like composition such as Ave Maria-Adagio for Strings by Michele Mangani can guide us to see the silver lining shining through and allow forgiveness and hope to arise.

The famous "Over the Rainbow" by Harold Arlen from the movie The Wizard of Oz touches so many people's hearts as it symbolizes everyone’s dream to be “some place where there isn’t any trouble.” Upon hearing or singing this song, my wish is for all our sorrows to be magically washed away, even for a brief moment, and for our troubles to be replaced with calmness and serenity.

Grieving is a necessary process which leads us to self-healing and letting go. As we listen to "Reflections" by Adrienne Albert, may we accept and embrace life with joy once again and choose to see our unexpected circumstances from a broader perspective.

As a young Christian girl growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, I used to sing and listen to "My Peace" by Keith Routledge countless times without really comprehending what “peace” really meant. The song is based on a Bible verse from John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. With humility, I’m able to understand the meaning of peace that’s used in this context.

I close my musical offering with Bach’s "Sleepers Awake". As we listen to this uplifting music, my hope is for the power of music to soften the hardened hearts and to awaken our listening to hear the heavenly whispers in our own heart. In so doing, I pray for everyone to discover a pathway to finding their own solace.

DEDICATION:
I wish to dedicate SOLACE to all the victims and families of gun violence. Do not be silent! We must speak up and stand together to prevent such tragedies from happening to others.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:
A very special thanks to Michele Mangani, Adrienne Albert and Hin Lee for their wonderful compositions for this project. A heartfelt gratitude to Marc Aubort, my producer and my guardian angel who has never stopped believing in me. To my husband, Sung Kang, who has been the pillar in my life from the day I met him.


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