Sometimes, the tools of another artistic medium can be adapted to music. This project was inspired by a writing prompt. Young patients were invited to write and record a letter to anyone or anything, alive or imagined. Any message could be directed to anyone or anything: a family member or friend, a city or special place, a body part, even oneself. We recorded a reading of the letter and then worked on creating a musical background to enhance the message and put it all together. Some patients burned a CD to give to the intended recipient, others chose to keep it for themselves as an audio time capsule.

MY DREAMS HAVE POWER

Shauntell, age 13, created this message for he brand new little brother, for him to listen to when he gets older. She wanted him to know that she had seen him in a dream before he was born. She did the writing, recording, and editing as well and learned several of the tools in Garageband for editing sound.

DEAR MANNEQUIN

Cristian, age 9, chose to write a letter to a dress mannequin that was in our studio for another project. He always reacted to it as if it was alive.

LETTER TO MYSELF

Diana, age 11, chose to address herself at age 35. In this piece she describes the kinds of things she thinks about now, her hopes for her future and her ideas about what is important in life at any age.

A LA NOCHESER (At Dusk)

This piece was a bilingual tribute to a best friend. Iset wasn't sure how to begin, so we came up with a list of sense words: colors, times of day, imagery that she associates with her friend. I suggested we use a poetic form called a pantoum, where certain lines are repeated in a pattern.

GET BACK JACK

Chad, age 15, created this tribute to his little brother. The music came first. Chad's compositional impulses were to mix short bursts of different smaples, with drastic changes in tempo and style. The rhymed phrases came about as a way to connect these disparate elements and provide a sense of continuity in the piece.