had the opportunity to interview Lorraine Doan, who was gracious
in providing her responses to the following questions.
CM: What was your inspiration
for your music?
ending of my 23 year marriage was definitely the major factor.
At the time, I was in my 6th year of studying the piano --
I started when I was 40 -- and my concentration level was practically
down to zero. Looking back, now, I can see that God was gently
leading me. One day while becoming more and more
frustrated trying to practice Andrew Lloyd Weber's "All I Ask
of You" I just let my fingers "drift" across the
keyboard. The notes caught my ear and I kept adding to the
melody. I titled the song "I Must Be Dreaming" because
at the time I felt I was dreaming and thought my life
would eventually go back to "normal". It never did.
CM: What role does your Catholic faith have in your music?
None of this could ever have happened had I not completely trusted
God. I walk by faith everyday.
do not take credit for any of this. It was God's idea, not
mine. He kept urging me to follow Him and I did. I
had no clue what would happen. I'm grateful He didn't tell
me everything in the beginning. I would have passed out
on a stretcher!
CM: How did you accomplish composing and producing your CDs
with little music industry background?
music is not one of my talents. I absolutely believe
that somehow God inspires me. This much I do know.... because I
was living in such a dark, lonely place and my world was shattered,
I did feel a sense of accomplishment writing music. And I felt
I work with Sean McCleery who arranges all my music.
is the genius behind the album! The format is always orchestration
with piano accompaniment. Sean is the pianist on the album.
found him for me! A business acquaintance heard
my first song and suggested I call him. We've been working
together ever since.
was introduced to Matthew Trueman ( another genius!), the artist
who creates the album covers. My Jewish neighbor is his agent.
I was desperate for an artist and she came to my rescue. Once again,
God provided for my needs.
am extremely blessed to be working with Sean and Matthew.
only write melody and lyrics. I always write the melody
first and then the lyrics. Sometimes, I work with
Msgr. Charles Schaeflein, a retired priest from the Archdiocese
of Philadelphia and we collaborate writing some of the lyrics.
Once again, God selected the best for me!
I am not a singer, (everyone is much happier when I'm not singing),
I included the lyrics in the album booklet. The words are
just as important as the notes. The lyrics are my prayers.
and I design the layout for all the text of the album, the tray
card, and the actual on-disc printing. I work with an independent
company, Disc Makers, for the actual production of my CDs and cassettes.
marketing and distribution of my album was something I learned from
scratch. I developed a very simple strategy. I called
every Catholic store in the US that I could find. Then I mailed
a demo and followed up with a phone call. Currently I have
over 900 accounts that sell my album including some Christian stores.
years ago I didn't even know how to use a computer. Sean insisted
I learn and I did. I started my own company. It's small
--- just me and my partner....God!
CM: How do you go about composing a song?
have no real method. All I really know for sure is that the
melody needs to flow. My piano teacher always said,
"Take the music someplace... the music is not on the page."
I was puzzled at first because I always thought the music was on the
page. Now, I understand that it comes from deep within.
only way I can explain what I do is that it is a mystery.
I write the middle part first. Sometimes, it might be the
ending. Sometimes I start at the beginning. Sometimes I write
the entire piece at once. Most of the time, though, it takes
several sessions. I know when I like what I write and what
I don't like. I'm very critical of my work. I also know when
a piece is finished. Then I give it to Sean and we discuss
my ideas. I can always tell when he is working on the arrangements
if it is connecting to my heart.
it doesn't, which is very rare, he will try again.
always have some idea as to what the title or theme
The words come after the melody. It is definitely more challenging
to compose the lyrics after the melody is written. Words are
special to me. I never use rhyme. It's too restrictive.
with my Monsignor has helped me deepen my relationship with God.
Monsignor is a great source of wisdom and inspiration.
am humbled and privileged at the same time because I consider my
work so sacred. I am fully aware that God is completely
in charge. My only desire is that I give Him my best.
CM: What words of advice or inspiration would you have for
a Catholic Mom interested in pursuing a dream or goal?
pray, pray!. Pray for God's grace above all. If it is God's
will, you will know it. Prayer is the center of my life. It
helps keep me balanced. I have a deep devotion to Our Blessed
Mother. I know she is my # 1 fan!
CM: Any closing remarks....
for everything that you receive and especially for what is not
given to you. Always know that God is our companion on our
CDs by Lorraine Doan