Kristy Landgren

Welcome!

 

Welcome to the newly redesigned website, highlighting the “Heal Heals“ CD and the engaging new book of the same name.  To give a little background, this book is the culmination of a year‘s work and the CD contains music which has inspired the book:  A cozy little pair, these two are!  The motivation for the book stems from a life-long enjoyment and desire to learn about religions.  I love to hearing others’ explanations about their religious practices and traditions, which often, provides validations of or insights into my own religion.  For example, I attended a Catholic University, Chicago Loyola University School of Dentistry/Dental Hygiene Program.  One Wednesday, I went to school on what seemed just another ordinary day.  To my surprise, when I arrived, I noticed everyone appeared to have a smudge on their foreheads.  The faculty and students seemed completely oblivious to what seemed to me to be an extraordinary puzzle, one which I was earnestly trying to solve.  Finally, when the opportunity presented, I casually and politely ask my study-buddy what was this mark and what was it’s significance.  She matter-of-factly declared, “It’s Ash Wednesday - you know, ashes to ashes/dust to dust:  We’d all be nothing if Jesus hadn’t died for our sins and resurrected so we live again”.  ”Of course, it‘s Ash Wednesday; what a lovely tradition,” I relied, smiling at the sensibility of it all and the marvelous mystery uncovered! I knew Ash Wednesday, in theory, but, being in a Christian religion that didn’t celebrate this first day of the Easter season, I had never seen its actual manifestation and it was a wonderful experience observing the ease and comfort with which Catholics participated in this familiar and traditional religious celebration. 

So, in this spirit of interfaith exchange and enlightenment, I wrote Heaven Heals, hoping that others would find value in learning a little about the soothing optimism I gain from my religion.  In turbulent times, such as these, there really is a healing element in the heavenly messages of religions.  I hope you will check out the ebook, a most valuable, everyday deal of great convenience and portability!  

Refugee Issue Needn't Be Political

 

Regardless of where one's position is along the political spectrum, everyone can contribute to the refugee concern.

Inspirational Read

 

Michael Phelps "return"; article by Eric Metaxas

How Great Thou Art

 

Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill perform a magnificent duet of the classic hymn, "How Great Thou Art".  It felt like a flashback to the days when Christianity was openly celebrated on television and emotions were humbly displayed.  In a modern climate of terrorism, destruction, and death, it is a refreshing reminder of the universal love of God for mankind. 

 

Don't forget to click on the full screen icon in the lower right corner of the video.

 

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=carrie+underwood+how+great+thou+art&mid=400BA20FD2DC671F7719400BA20FD2DC671F7719&view=detail&FORM=VIRE2 

 

Happy Fourth of July!

 
Tonight was an evening of parades, salutaions, music, and fireworks - a celebration of America's independence 235 years ago. The Original Founders were not stodgy, old Englishmen (as some have alleged) but were well-educated, community leaders, who were among the most brilliant thinkers of all time. They studied governments and societies, financial structures, political systems, and human nature. They proclaimed a Declaration of Independence, participated in an American Revolution, and constructed a Constitution, the supreme framework for the organization of the U.S. government. The Constitution defines the relationship government has with the states, it's citizens, and all people living within the United States. To quote GlennBeck.com: "When those 56 men gathered to declare our Independence on July 4th, 1776, they weren't just saying no to British rule. –They were saying no to all rulers. They were declaring the beginning of the great American experiment, which sought to answer the question: Can man rule himself?” Even with all the hardships and troubles facing America, I still believe the answer is YES! And I say that as emphatically and enthusiastically as I possibly can. Man CAN rule himself and we are going to prove it together! If you're reading this then you probably know a lot about what I am working on but ultimately my goal is to prove that we have not failed in the goals set forth by our Founders so many years ago on July 4th. Everything I've been working on has been done with the intention on giving you the tools, the history, and the information you need to be self-reliant." Every year we celebrate our unique freedoms and those who defend them. We remember the incredible wisdom of the Founding Fathers and the bravery of those who serve America in uniform. We love to share our traditions with our friends. We enjoy our roots, history, culture, language, and enduring relationship with the U.K. We embrace the positive additions to our American experience, which have come to us through foreign influences from around the world. We continually strive to better ourselves, our surroundings, and the opportunties we provide for all. As the festivities come to a close, the work of maintaining freedom and American resiliency carries on. Despite all our social, political, and economic dfficulties, our optimistic attitude and constant persistance motivates us to keep the July 4th flame alive in our hearts and well into the promising horizon.

Temecula

 
Well, it's been a long, hard week. But the weekend is here and time for another adventure. Tomorrow I'm off to discover where on earth is Temecula. I feel like I'm becoming a connoisseur of Southern California Casinos. Since I work way too hard for my money, I don't even gamble but, in the last two years, I've spent more time at Indian Casinos than I have in a lifetime. It seems they are the happening place for concerts, and the hottest tour on the road these days is The Moody Blues. They were my favorite band in college (Fleetwood Mac was a close second) and they are still my favorite. I've always been drawn to them - I suppose it's the melodies, or the style, or the consummate performing skills, or I don't know what. Certainly, I never tire of listening to all my favorite classics. They continue to be a tremendous influence on my own songwriting, so I guess I could say I'm actually off on an educational assignment. I could say that but anyone who knows me knows I'm really just looking for a good reprieve from the rat race. So if you're looking for a good reprieve, as well, get out your GPS and meet me in Temecula for the best show of the season!

Noble Profession

 
It's been said that playing live is a noble profession for a musician. I think it's true. There are a few who do it exceptionally well and I have always stood in tremendous awe of their professionalism. It is such a wonderful blessing to be able to make a living doing what one loves most - music. I wish I could say I were in that League. My little league is the one that works by day to pay the bills and lives by night to make the music. Nevertheless, whether it is from the fifth row of an intimate theater or the pigeon rafters of an enormous auditorium, I find it remarkably rewarding to observe the great ones and try to take away some morsel of craft that I can use to help improve my performance skills. One of the covers I always enjoyed doing was a Stevie Nicks song, “After The Glitter Fades”. It sings of excitement and glamour in the rock and roll experience but also of the sorrow and loneliness it brings. I never felt as though I did the song very convincingly. Well, I’m not a rock star and how can I compete with her famous voice anyway? But I think I always liked the song for it’s sincerity and vulnerability. Everyone is looking for happiness that lasts but sometimes the only kind we find is temporary. If we are wise we ultimately realize the only way to find what we are looking for is to step courageously into the necessary changes that will correct course and lead us to the desired outcome. An old adage comes to mind: The definition of idiocy is repeating the same thing over and over but somehow expecting a different result. Why is change always so difficult? Isn’t it curious that, although we want more from life, it seems easier to choose the emptiness of the familiar over the discomfort of the unknown. We remain in bad jobs, relationships or other unfulfilling situations rather than risking that which may finally lead to the profound joy we have been desperately seeking. So what if we fail in our first attempt? Kids fall all the time and get right back up. I suppose we lose resiliency of spirit, as well as body, with age. But we would do well to remind ourselves practice does perfect and persistence does succeed. Anyway, I hope I can find the determination to keep reaching for the stars. Thank you to all my mentors who unknowingly inspire me to press forward in my aspiration to accomplish goals. Maybe I’ll never make the League and get to do what I love most. Maybe I will. Nevertheless, to a hopelessly romantic singer/songwriter, live performance truly is the most noble of professions.

Hubble

 
Oh, my goodness! The Imax Theater’s 3D movie production of the Hubble Telescope is beyond unbelievable. The images from the telescope and the scientific discoveries which have occurred as a result are blowing my mind. I probably need to return to the movie about 10 more times just to begin to absorb such monumental significance. Remember how much fun it used to be to go to an observatory and look through telescopes? Not anymore! Earth’s atmosphere distorts even the most sophisticated telescope’s photographs so they seem primitive and inadequate. The Hubble orbit’s the entire earth in 97 minutes, traveling 5 miles/second, capturing a crystal clear display of stars and worlds in countless galaxies. There is no atmosphere to interfere with the Hubble’s picture-taking abilities so it‘s phenomenal visual achievement will infinitely enlighten scientists and continue to amaze onlookers for years to come. Sitting in the movie and attempting to comprehend the perfect order of space truly rearranges one’s perspective and priorities. It made me feel slightly foolish for focusing on some over-analyzed problems: Like when a rumor circulated that an interesting guy had become divorced (which turned out not to be true -- awkward!) or when an opportunity slipped through the fingers because someone else’s song was better (or at least better for the project). I don’t mean to say that thoughts and feelings aren’t important. Of course, they are but dwelling on them is unproductive. As if all nature around us isn’t reminder enough, through the eyes of the Telescope, the universe is breathtakingly beautiful. It is the perfect moment to really stop and smell the roses, make a wish on a shooting star, and appreciate the unique purpose of every individual’s life. I still have a lot to learn about dark matter, black holes, overcoming obstacles and the secrets of success. Recently, though, I had a magnificent reality check at Imax's Hubble. Thank God we are here and we have the time and inclination to explore this wildly wonderful world and the incredible meaning of it all!

Go, Blackhawks!

 
Congratulations, Chicago Blackhawks - 2010 Stanley Cup Champions!

Kris' iPod

 
What a month it has been - two Chicago trips, a convention, and a graduation. I still feel my head spinning but after three days back to work, I’m finally settling into “normal,” whatever that is! Anyway, if my little iPod hadn’t gotten me through so many long flights, I would have lost my mind! I’d been hauling around my Bose and headphones forever. My sister had been telling me for years that I needed something tiny for travel but I couldn’t justify replacing a perfectly good Bose, albeit a little clumsy. So she gave me an iPod back in March. I have been having so much fun going through all my old cds and pulling out favorite songs. Some cds are worthy of complete importation and I do have my favorite albums. Of course the early Beatles qualify, as well as, Fleetwood Mac and ABBA Gold. So many others have one or two fabulous songs, destined for immortality, like Del Shannon‘s, Runaway, and the Cyrcle‘s, Red Rubber Ball. Long ago, one of the first covers I ever played was by the Dave Clark Five, Over and Over. It was such a simple, but great song (the drums really made it.) It only has two chords in the whole song! What a perfect song for beginners! Of course, many songs have only 3 chords (because of the musical progression) but not a lot of hits have only two! I love that song and have had such a good time playing it “over and over” again on my iPod. This past Memorial Day weekend my brother and I were playing some songs and laughing about the only one-chord hit in the history of pop music! He told me there actually was such a song but I couldn’t imagine anything but a boring chant that could really consist of only one chord! Lime in da Coconut, by Harry Nilsson, has the distinguished honor of being the only 1-chord hit in the history of pop! John played it on his guitar this weekend (being the ham that he is) and my sister actually guessed it by his guitar picking only - no singing, no words! We were all rolling on the floor until we were crying from laughter! Now I’m on the hunt for that silly song so I can add it to my iPod collection. How would we keep our sanity if we didn’t have music to listen to, play, and enjoy?

The Legend

 
Nothing is as uplifting, inspiring and powerful as great music. I believe music is the gift of all gifts. That would make the musician gifted among all the gifted. Some musicians are more gifted than others and among the most gifted is the legend. Take me, for example. I love music. I enjoy all aspects of it: singing, listening, playing, writing, arranging, and accompanying. Music gives my life such purpose and delight. It has also provided immeasurable therapy during the most difficult and troublesome times. As grateful as I am for my musical talents, they dwarf in comparison to the truly legendary musician. The musical legend has the distinct privilege of not only benefiting from his own music but of infinitely blessing the lives of countless others. His love of music may have propelled him through the ups and downs of his own life, but his melodies, rhythms, and meaningful lyrics also touch the hearts and minds of listeners, strengthening them in their own personal experiences. They are enjoyed as much, when they are heard the first time, as when they are replayed over and over throughout the ages. Those great songs trigger memories of significant days gone by and bring to remembrance original emotions, once thought lost in the fog of time. Often, a classic song, when heard after a long while, inspires present motivational thoughts and behaviors as those empowering feelings of youth are recalled and relived. And as the music endures, new listeners introduced to it come to relish their own fresh interaction with these magnificent musical creations and with their almost magical composers. It seems that everyone wants to live a meaningful life and contribute in some small way to society and mankind. But the legacy of the legendary musician is the lasting bestowal of his unique vision of the universe, the miraculous finesse of all his musical instruments, and his ability to capture the connection of the human condition with the possibility of the divine potential. The sincerity, humility and genius with which he approaches his musical art is the eternal encapsulation of the nearly-mythical, gifted legend.

Something to Sing About

 
Christmas is almost here and it has been a tough year. Instead of racking up debt and purchasing unaffordable items, how about writing a song for your friend or loved one - something simple and unique about the person. I always wished I had the technical skills to write and produce a sophisticated song but, rather, mine tend to be simple songs. In this particular case, maybe simple is better. It is less costly, it is less time-consuming, and, most of all, it is humble. It could be touching, energetic, light-hearted, meloncholy, humorous or whatever you want it to be. But, most importantly, it is from your own heart's creativity. Aren't those usually the best gifts anyway? This year, give yourself and someone else something to sing about. Give the gift of music - it is everyone's favorite!

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