Something To Sing About
Something To Sing About
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New Gift Book/CD Set Gives Cancer Survivors a Voice, Helping Them Express Feelings That Cannot Be Conveyed In Words Alone
Singer/songwriter joins life-affirming music to awarding-winning photographs of late friend
Lyme, Conn.— The recently released hardcover photography/CD gift book set, “Each Moment We’re Alive,” offers inspiration to those facing cancer. Produced by singer/songwriter Debra Lynn Alt, it combines life-affirming music with the award-winning travel/nature images of her late friend, Monica Baer of North Branford.
Alt of Lyme, Connecticut, said, “Cancer touches us all and having cancer means living in a lonely world. I interviewed cancer survivors to capture their voice for the title song, ’Each Moment We’re Alive,’ because music expresses the experience of being a survivor in a way words alone can’t. Feeling heard is the first step towards reconnection.” Alt’s CD/book gift set combines Baer’s poignant photographs and captions with Alt’s lyrics for the song.
When a limited softcover edition of “Each Moment We’re Alive ” was released in 2012 just prior to Baer’s death, Sandi Kahn Shelton of Books New Haven, wrote: “Every now and then, a book comes along that just reaches out and changes the way you see your life…Debra gives melodic dialogue to not just the person empathizing or sympathizing with battling cancer, but for us all.”
When cancer survivor Dr. Wayne Dyer, the #1 New York Times best-selling author and renowned spiritual teacher, requested Alt sing “Each Moment We’re Alive” at a large Hay House publishing conference in 2014, she received a standing ovation and his endorsement: “Beautiful, just beautiful…Debra’s song brought me to tears.”
Alt, originally from New York City, was the lead singer for Rolling Stone Magazine’s house band. She sings at clubs, weddings and fundraisers, and prior to her latest CD, “Each Moment We’re Alive,” she released two CDs: “Spirited Mother” and “In Broad Daylight.” She has written songs for charitable organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and wrote the official Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) song, for which she received a citation from Connecticut’s Attorney-General citing her “enduring and profoundly significant contribution and dedication to the fight against drunk driving …”
“Let’s Do Launch!”
The public is invited to Alt’s concert to celebrate the release of the “Each Moment We’re Alive” gift book/CD set on:
Saturday, October 10, 2015, 8 – 11:30 p.m.
Book/CD Launch & Live Music: “Each Moment We’re Alive” by Debra Lynn Alt and band of guest musicians.
Harbour House Restaurant
3 Williams Ave, Mystic, CT 06355
(860) 536-8140, http://innatmystic.com/harbour-house/
“Each Moment We’re Alive” is a 78-page hardcover book of 36-full color images. Released by Balboa Press, a division of Hay House, it is packaged with Alt’s CD of the same name. It includes the title song, “Each Moment We’re Alive,” plus nine other songs recently produced in Nashville, Tennessee. The book/CD gift package retails for $18. Alt donates a portion of all her book and CD sales to cancer research and support organizations and any organization that hosts individual appearances.
For more information about Debra Lynn Alt and her passion for producing music for causes, visit her website: www.debrasong.com or watch her five-minute video,
A CD of Debra Alt’s songs and a book of Monica Baer photographs with Ms. Alt’s lyrics & text. The works are inspired by the singer’s and photographer’s friendship and their experiences with cancer and survivorship, and life. Ms. Baer is a wildlife photographer and her photos beautifully illustrate the songs and feelings they share. More info
Join us for our monthly CT Writers Night. Talented rising authors from our home state will read from and discuss their work.
Join these Connecticut authors (photographer and lyricist) who have created a touching book that strums every heartstring and leaves you with a greater appreciation for each moment we are afforded in this life.
Photographer Monica Baer continues her battle with metastatic stage 4 breast cancer. Yet, her message—in the captions beneath each of her vibrant photos—is one of love, of uniqueness, and of celebration for having seen and lived and captured each moment.
The lyrics, written by Debra Lynn Alt, offer a flow that runs parallel to Monica Baer’s photos. She gives a melodic dialogue to not just the person empathizing or sympathizing with battling cancer, but to us all who drown out the song of life that lives in and around us every day we are here. What makes the book even more unique, is that a copy of the song is included on CD with the book. The song, music and lyrics, all written by Debra (music co-written with New Haven musician Jeff Fuller), will be performed at that evening at the event!
Monica Baer has, since 2005, pursued her interests and talents in wildlife photography. Her images have been published in Globe Pequot’s Hiking Glacier and Waterton Lakes National Parks, Moose Peterson’s BT Journal, as well as many others. A former president of the Milford CT Camera Club and current member of The Connecticut Association of Photographers, she competes and is featured in numerous expos, art shows, and photography competitions. Monica lives in North Branford, CT with her husband and cat, and is the proud mother of her daughter, Lindsay.
Debra Lynn Alt is a singer-songwriter from New York City and has been in a variety of music bands, most notably the Rolling Stone Magazine house band in 1979. Her songwriting has been called “cause and just-because music,” as she has produced song for such causes as Autism Awareness, MADD, and Habitat for Humanity. Debra lives in Lyme, CT with her husband, daughter, and two cats.
Every now and then, a book comes along that just reaches out and changes the way you see your life.
That’s exactly what happened when two Connecticut women–photographer Monica Baer and writer, singer/songwriter Debra Lynn Alt–collaborated on “Each Moment We’re Alive,” a photographic and musical journey.
They’ve created a touching book that leaves you with a greater appreciation for each moment, and does it in a way that is simply beautiful.
The book is made even more poignant when you know that Monica Baer continues her battle with metastatic stage 4 breast cancer. Yet the message of the captions she wrote underneath each of her vibrant photos is one of appreciation for the beauty of each moment and of the celebration she feels for having seen and lived and captured each moment.
The lyrics that Debra Lynn Alt wrote give words to all of us who drown out the sounds of our lives and fill our time with crazy pursuits. Debra gives melodic dialogue to not just the person empathizing or sympathizing with battling cancer, but for us all.
Now Monica and Debra will come to R. J. Julia Booksellers, to share their message and their songs and the exquisite photographs. They’ll be there at 7 p.m. on Monday, July 25. The event is free, but you need to call for reservations, at (203) 245-3959.
Monica Baer and Debra Alt
Monica Baer has, since 2005, pursued her interests and talents in wildlife photography. Her images have been published in Globe Pequot’s Hiking Glacier and Waterton Lakes National Parks, Moose Peterson’s BT Journal, as well as many others. A former president of the Milford CT Camera Club and current member of The Connecticut Association of Photographers, she competes and is featured in numerous expos, art shows, and photography competitions. Monica lives in North Branford, CT with her husband and cat, and is the proud mother of a daughter, Lindsay.
Debra Lynn Alt is a singer-songwriter originally from New York City and has been in a variety of music bands, most notably the Rolling Stone Magazine house band in 1979. Her songwriting has been called “cause and just-because music,” as she has produced songs for such causes as Autism Awareness, MADD, and Habitat for Humanity. Debra lives in Lyme, CT with her husband and daughter.
Monica Baer’s photography captures the essence of light and life and often brings a smile to your face.
Now facing metastatic stage four breast cancer spread to her bones and liver, this 30-year cancer survivor sees each photo in her newly co-authored book, Each Moment We’re Alive (self-published, May 2012), as part of her legacy.
Baer produced the book with her artistic sister and good friend, musician Debra Lynn Alt. Now, they’re working quickly to spread its message of hope while directing a portion of sale proceeds to cancer research and support.
The 77-page book is a photographic and musical journey. Baer selected 36 gorgeous photographs to juxtapose against stark white pages, which carry along the lyrics to the book’s title song, “Each Moment We’re Alive.” About five years ago, Alt, a singer-songwriter (and former Branford resident) penned the lyrics for Baer with co-writer Jeff Fuller.
At the time, Baer was Survivor’s Committee chairperson for the American Cancer Society’s North Branford Relay for Life. For its fifth and final year in town, Baer asked Alt to write and perform a song for survivors. The song’s powerful lyrics were moving at the time, but resonate even more now, within the book.
“The synergy of the photos and music is like a miracle. It was not planned,” Alt says.
Underscored by a pink ribbon-turned music clef, the song lyrics unfold line by line, page by page, opposite photos selected by Baer with photo notes below. From sharing the triumph of finally catching an osprey delivering a freshly caught fish to its nesting young to the wonder of a hummingbird painstakingly caught mid-flight in Baer’s backyard, the joyful jump of Baer’s daughter on a Scottish hillside, or simply the awe-inspiring beauty of rolling hills painted with autumn’s palette, “Baer’s descriptions are her reflections of each moment in time,” says Alt, who performs the title song on the book’s accompanying CD.
“I hope to leave this as a legacy,” says Baer. “It’s very important to get this out, to see people reading it, enjoying it, appreciating it. It would make me feel really good to feel I’ve touched the world. Everything I do, I do to give back to the world and make it a better place, and to share my vision of how I see the world with other people.”
A published, award-winning photographer (most recently, two of her images were hung in the San Diego Museum of Natural History’s Ordover Gallery), Baer has a wide circle of friends who’ve been privy to her unique way of looking at life. She also feels blessed to share her life with her husband, Ken, and daughter, Lindsay, 23.
A well-known local Hebrew and religious school teacher, Baer decided in 2005 to fully embrace her dream to pursue her love of wildlife photography.
“To me, the world is filled with so many opportunities to see beautiful images, to see hope. When I have my camera with me, there are so many images I want to capture and to share. Two people can look at the same thing-one person can see everything, and the other, nothing. I’m a person who sees something in everything.”
Finding beauty and joy in the every day is another message Baer sends through Each Moment We’re Alive.
“Some of my most successful images I’ve had were in my own backyard. You don’t have to travel that far to capture the things in the world that motivate and inspire. I want people to smile when they look at my images. I want to motivate and inspire them,” she says. “I want to make them happy.”
Live with passion.
That’s the message local singer Debra Alt wants to convey to cancer survivors when she performs her new song, Each Moment We’re Alive, at North Branford’s Relay For Life today at North Branford High School.
Friend and cancer survivor Monica Baer asked Alt to write and perform a song for the event after hearing Voice for Sam, also on Alt’s new CD, In Broad Daylight. The song was inspired by an autism walkathon and her autistic nephew, Sam
“It was a turning point for me when Monica asked me to do this. I saw it as a new stage in my life,” Alt said.
Simone Upsey, director of communications for the American Cancer Society, commends the effort. “It is a slice of humanity at its very best,” she said.
Alt, who’s father died of cancer last year, was touched by the request because she is so closely connected to it. She donated one of the hundreds of luminaries, bearing the name of her father, which will illuminate the North Branford track for part of the relay.
“The hardest part was getting past the emotion for my father and seeing people survive what he didn’t,” said Alt.
Alt, who has never been diagnosed with cancer, approached the song from a different angle. She listened to stories of cancer survivors and tried to add a little bit of everyone’s story.
“I had to really contain myself. It was really emotional, Alt said. I still wince when I hear the song. I think about my father’s pain and the pain of other’s and wonder how they go through that and still have a zest for life.”
Alt said she hopes her song conveys that passion for life. She wants to inspire people who have been affected by cancer as well as those who haven’t.
“The song is a heartfelt reminder about how precious life is; a reminder that life is a gift,” she said.
Upsey described the song as “beautiful.”
“The words come from her heart. There is so much beauty and power in the song,” said Upsey.
“Singing for a cause gives me a voice for expressing and echoing human condition,” said Alt.
Alt said she would like to explore songwriting about other causes, including Alzheimer’s disease as well as significant relationships in life.
One relationship in particular that she has written songs about is the one with her daughter. Her first CD, “A Spirited Mother,” dealt with struggles of parenthood. Through her music, she hoped to help parents who struggle with raising kids in a “toxic society.”
“Once you write from a personal place, you find it really becomes universal,” Alt said.
“Living the joy of what you love to do contributes to the world in a much bigger way. People get the authenticity of it. It affects them.”
At this stage of her life, and with her daughter now 14, Alt is ready to focus on the career she has always wanted.
Alt can be contacted at debrasong.com, where CDs are also available. Donations will go to the American Cancer Society.
As a Mom I feel the need to teach by example, which becomes an added reason to continue to fulfill my truest self. My first CD came straight out of my experience of motherhood and my efforts to be a model of authenticity for my daughter. It started out as album of songs I sang to my daughter as I tucked her in. Through the joy of the recording process it evolved into a lushly produced collection, with the underlying theme of following your heart’s passion. The 18 mostly original songs are meant to inspire, soothe and celebrate the fact that the best interests of our children are served only by being true to ourselves. The final title, “A Spirited Mother”, was tweaked with the help of my then 9-year-old. I feel it reflects a synthesis of motherhood and art. Full Interview