The Lone Bard

When a writer publishes a book, she hopes with all her heart that the story touches people. When I wrote the Uisneach stories I hoped readers would connect with the characters, that they would find the kingdom of Uisneach a place they’d want to visit and that they would find a story they’d remember.

Never, in my wildest dreams did I imagine that another artist would be so inspired that he would want to create music based on them.

Let me introduce you to LJ Garcia, an independent musician/composer of Celtic new age music —exactly the kind of music I listen to when I’m writing. He is also a filmmaker, and a conservationist who has travelled to amazing paces on the planet and is an intern at the Jane Goodall Institute. He’s currently working on a short documentary entitled A Future to Leave, which will be released in the spring. A young man with a brilliant future and a passion for making the planet better.

When I stumbled across LJ’s music, I sent him a note letting him know how much I liked it. That began a conversation about our shared love of Celtic music and fantasy books. He read The Prophecy, and then The Runes of Evalon and soon we were back and forth about the books and somewhere along the way, inspiration struck.

When LJ asked me if I would mind his writing a song based on The Prophecy, I was stunned. And honored. Imagine, a composer wanting to write music inspired by my stories! I suppose I didn’t really believe it would happen, but as time went on, he would send me tracks to listen to as he created what would become the first single on an album. The Lone Bard is the musical reflection of Silas’ journey from the Kingdom of Uisneach to Ireland. LJ used guitar, harp, flute, Uilleann pipes and drums to create a hauntingly beautiful piece of music that will remind anyone who’s read the books of our gentle, romantic bard.

Within a few weeks of the first project, he wrote to tell me that he couldn’t stop at one song. He wanted to compose an entire album of music based on the stories!  Was I okay with that? Gee…uh…let me think. YES! I was happy to agree to his proposal and he offered me a few initial tracks that captured the essence of Uisneach completely.

I am over the moon that a reader liked the Uisneach books this much. Maybe they won’t make any best seller list, but the fact that they have touched a few people’s hearts are enough for me. The opportunity to collaborate with another artist is something I never expected but greatly appreciate. LJ hasn’t written a book (yet…) and I haven’t created music (never…) but I feel blessed to have shared this amazing project with him. Blending story and music is the quintessential bardic thing to do and I know Silas is very, very happy about this.

I would recommend LJ’s music regardless of this Uisneach album; after all, it’s his other music that captured my heart in the beginning. But if you have enjoyed the Kingdom of Uisneach books, this will add an entirely new layer of immersion into the kingdom. The Lone Bard will be released December 27th. Please, support LJ’s work, as you have supported my work, by listening to his music on YouTube and Spotify, and by purchasing his music. But don’t wait! Head on over to his website or You Tube right now and have a listen to some of his other songs. You will not regret it.

About The Author

For Heidi Hanley, reading and writing are like breathing. On her 5oth birthday, she got serious about turning her passion for writing into a goal to publish. The result is The Prophecy, Book One of the Kingdom of Uisneach series. The Runes of Evalon, the second book in the series, is due out in April. Heidi lives in New Hampshire beside the Connecticut River with her husband and a Scottish Terrier. She has enjoyed a career as a Registered Nurse, Interfaith minister and is currently serving as a Hospice chaplain. When not working, you will find her reading, sneaking away to Maine, or and in the garden with the birds and faeries.

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