Echo – Live Clip from Concert

Hey all!

Time to share some more songs from my upcoming “New Beginnings” album! 🙂 This song is close to my heart because it was the song that got me back into composing. It’s funny to me to think back on when I first wrote it & how much I have changed since then. I started writing this song in 2014 & slowly chipped away at it for a good 6 months until I considered it finished.

I remember keeping this song all to myself for a LONG time, until I finally decided to share it with my mom & sister when they came to visit me here in Valentine. I remember being hesitant to share it with them because this was my first attempt at writing music again & I wasn’t sure if people would think it was any good. However, they loved it & just that little boost of encouragement set me into motion (slowly but surely). The start of my New Beginning.

Now, less than 2 years later, I have 12 new songs ready to record onto a 2nd album. In just 2 short years, I have come from a place of being hesitant, scared, & so worried about what people think to being grateful to God, full of love for my music, & confident in sharing it with others no matter what their opinion is. Regardless of that, I still hope you like this one 😉 This is a live version from my concert at church last month.

Ohh, and if you’d like to learn more about Echo, or see another video of me playing it, check out this post from last year.

Love, Janeen

Website: janeenarens.com
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Summer Bliss – Original Piano Composition

Hello!

I’m SUPER EXCITED lately because I finally settled on a goal release date for the New Beginnings Album (album #2), & that is December 1, 2016. There will be 12 songs on the album & I’m planning to share videos of me playing the full length versions of each song for the weeks leading up to the release 🙂 After releasing the “Reflections of Joy” album at the beginning of this year, I really wanted to take my time before releasing this next one & just make sure that I’m really ready for it (it is quite a bit of work after all)! However, once I knew I was ready to commit, it hit me like a ton of bricks, & I’m busting at the seams excited to get it done. Woo hoo!!

Most of the 12 songs for “New Beginnings” have been finished for several months now, but my “Summer Song” was always one that just wasn’t quite complete. I actually started this song last summer, but didn’t finish it & let’s be honest, once fall & winter came, I had zero motivation to write a summer song. Ha! However, now that summer 2016 has officially made it’s appearance, I have found my summer inspiration back & let that feeling sink in as I finished it the other day. I just LOVE spending time outside in the summer, soaking up the sun, spending time in nature, walking, gardening, reading in my “backyard oasis”, biking, yoga on the deck, grilling out, mowing the lawn, you name it … I try to spend as much time as I can outside in the summer! It gives me a very carefree, content, & blissful feeling, which is why I settled on “Summer Bliss” as the official song title. I’m super excited how the final song turned out & I hope it gives you that same blissful summer feeling that inspired me to write this song.

It’s funny how each song has it’s own journey to completion. Some songs, I sit down & write start to finish in a couple hours. Others, like this one, I start but don’t complete until several months, or even years later! I think there’s always a reason for that though, so no matter the song’s journey, as long as I’m following my own inspiration & creativity & curiosity, I feel like I’m doing it the right way 🙂

Hope you all enjoy “Summer Bliss” which will be one of the songs on my “New Beginnings” album at the end of this year. Thanks for tuning in!!

Love, Janeen

Website: janeenarens.com
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Stepping Outside the Comfort Zone

Hey all!!

A few days ago, I performed a concert here in my hometown of Valentine, NE at my parish. This concert was completely my idea & completely voluntary. I say that because that might be the thing I’m most proud of!! Not the $410 we raised for St. Nicholas Church, not that 60 people attended, not that I did well, not that I got great feedback, & not that lots people liked it enough to get my CD after the event. Although I’m extremely proud of those things, I think I’m most proud of the fact that I had this idea to put myself out there, I scheduled it, & I followed through with a genuine smile on my face & a love for my music.

You see, I used to have to be forced into these things. Maybe “forced” is too strong of a word, but I really did not enjoy playing for other people, even if it were just a few of my extended family members who wanted me to play for them. When I did perform for anything, it certainly was not my idea, & I struggled through the whole process. That’s why I know this time around is different. No one asked me to do this, no one expected me to do this. I did it because I wanted to, & I truly enjoyed the process.

Getting more & more comfortable performing has been a goal of mine since the release of “Reflections of Joy.” I know that the only way I can do that, is to just DO IT & know that it won’t be perfect, there will be mistakes, I might feel nervous & have some moments of fear, but I will survive. I will live through it, be stronger afterward, & I’ll do better the next time. And that’s exactly what happened. My performance wasn’t perfect, & I don’t know if I’ll ever have a perfect one, but I accomplished what I sought out to do. I put myself out there, I “practiced” performing, & most importantly, I had a love in my heart for sharing my music & my story…

… and next time will be even better.

Here’s a clip from the concert:

 

Love,  Janeen

Website: janeenarens.com
Facebook: Janeen Arens Piano 
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Love In The Wind: Trust in God & Soar!

Hey guys!!

I’ve been a little MIA on this blog for awhile, but hey … that’s life 😉 However, I recently had an experience that I just can’t help but write about. My little brother got married last weekend!! It was a great day & I had the honor of playing one of my newest songs, “Love In The Wind.”

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I find it funny & awesome how God works in mysterious ways in our lives. When I started writing Love In The Wind, I just knew that I wanted to write a love song. I didn’t really have a reason for that, I just knew that’s the direction I wanted to take it. I wrote a beautiful, pretty simple, lovely melody. This was going to be my love song. Then, out of the blue, a new sequence in the left hand came to me & at first I thought, “Oh man…this is going to be so awesome for my next song!” However, I soon realized that it complemented my love song very well & that I could combine the 2 ideas.

Pretty soon, my special 2 part song, “Love In The Wind” was born & I created this whole story in my head on what the song was about. This fueled the song & made it become one of my favorite songs I’ve ever created. I imagined Part 1 of the song being the story between 2 people in love.. passionate & romantic. The song changes at Part 2 & this is where the “wind” comes in. At this change, I imagined that something happened between the couple & they could no longer be together for whatever reason (like death or military or something like that). In this part of the song, they are no longer together but can each feel the other’s “love in the wind.”

Have you ever had that feeling? Like when someone you love is no longer with you, but you can still feel their love with you? I have… & it made this song really resonate with me in a way that no other song has. In fact, once I completed the song, the first person I shared it with was my husband & I was in tears afterward.

When Kevin & Abby asked me to play a song at their wedding, I could think of no better song to play. Not only is it a gorgeous song for a wedding in general, but there is a deeper meaning in choosing this song for them. Abby’s mom Jean passed away 8 years ago & I just felt this deep sense that this would be the perfect tribute to her…conveying that her love would be with Kevin & Abby on their special day. I think God (& Jean!) had this in mind when they planted the seed of this song in my mind, even though I didn’t know who or what this song was really for at the time! Oh, and how fitting that the day of their wedding was a windy day.

Now, I have made major strides with my stage fright & performance anxiety problem in recent years, but for months before the big day, I was SO NERVOUS. I thought about it a lot & couldn’t put my finger on why exactly this performance was so different than others. After all, I was only playing 1 song & had played multiple songs at other weddings & events with significantly less nerves.

I ended up settling on 2 things:

#1. It’s a family wedding & my fear stems back to when I was an adolescent & was not able to finish the song at my brother Paul’s wedding.

#2. I am so in love with this song & I want to do the song justice so that it resonates with other people the way it does with me!

I tried to calm my nerves by practicing my song every single day leading up to the wedding day. I prayed a lot to God & to Jean & asked that they would help calm me on the day of the wedding so that I could convey the meaning of the song & sincerely enjoy the experience of sharing it. I still felt some pretty strong nerves as I practiced at church the night before the wedding at rehearsal, & also when I practiced it there the morning of the wedding after taking pictures.

However, once the ceremony started, I felt a sense of calm wash over me & I was significantly less nervous (of course, there were still some there but I was feeling much better!) When it was time for the song during meditation, & all eyes were on me,  I looked at Kevin & Abby & thought, “This is for them.” Then I thought, “OK God, OK Jean, help me out here!” I started playing & really focused on connecting with the music, the meaning behind it all, this special day & how beautiful it is to be able to contribute this gift to the newly married couple. I was comfortable throughout the entire song & I’m happy to say that my prayers were answered. It brought some people to tears & I consider that to be mission accomplished 😉

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Afterward, some people told me that they could see the trees blowing in the wind through a big clear window that was above me as I was playing the song. I believe that was another little “hello” from Jean. I think, in that special moment, everyone at the ceremony felt her love in the wind…and I’m so blessed to be the one that she was speaking through.

Love,

Janeen

Website: janeenarens.com
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The Promise – Original Piano Composition

Hey guys!

Well, this is the last song for the ALBUM!!! Exactly 1 week until the recording date!! 🙂

This is the final song that I wrote before my hiatus from composing (if you do not know that story & are interested, check out my Bio on my website.

I actually left this one unfinished for quite awhile. In fact, I really didn’t settle on a final structure/format for the song until I was forced to do so when I set my recording date for this album. This song also went 12 years without being named (poor thing)! So, before recording this album in 2015, I decided it was finally time to do this beautiful thing a favor & name it.

When I really let this song speak to me, I think about weddings & the beautiful union that takes place between husband, wife, & God during a wedding ceremony. Maybe it’s just because I have played this song for many weddings in the past, or because it makes me think of my own wedding & my wonderful husband, Brandon, but either way, that’s what it reminds me of! Although The Promise was named with the big wedding vow in mind, I also think that this song can relate to any commitment that we make, whether that is a promise to others, to God, or to ourselves.

I hope you all enjoy this song! Please leave me some feedback & if you like what you hear, visit my new website for more & join my email list (it would be the best gift you could give me)! Anyone who joins my email list gets put into a drawing for a FREE album!! I’ll be giving one album away every month so join to get in on the goods!

Thanks for listening!!

Also, sheet music  for this song is found here.

-Janeen

Website: janeenarens.com
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Waves of Change – Original Piano Composition

Hey hey!!

This is the 2nd last song on the docket for the songs that I’ll be recording on “Reflections of Joy” in a week & a half …. eeeee!! Almost there!!

This is a song that I REALLY like but strangely do not share that much! Even my closest family members might be unfamiliar with this one (poor thing!)

This song went unnamed for quite awhile (ok now I’m feeling really bad for this song…haha!) In the meantime, I always referred to it as “The Black Key Song,” because it is in a key with 4 flats, so most of the song is played on the black keys. I remember wanting to come up with something really different when I wrote this song, which is why I focused on mostly black keys. I also played around with different tempos & rhythms & time signatures. The result was a song that’s very interesting & ever changing. When reflecting on all of these factors, we (Mom & I, of course, my song-naming buddy) finally landed on a name … “Waves of Change” … although, I still like to refer to it as The Black Key Song from time to time. 😉

Hope you enjoy this one! I’d be happy if you could give this neglected song some love & let me know what you think of it 😉

Thanks for listening!

-Janeen

 

Spanish Dreams – Original Piano Composition

Hello everyone!!

This week’s song that I “relearned” for my big recording date was “Spanish Dreams.” This song is one of the original 12 that will be included on my album “Reflections of Joy” to be released in early 2016.

When I wrote this song, I remember wanting to compose a song in a minor key. A lot of my music that I create is bright & happy & in major keys…. so I mixed it up a bit with this song. The result was a very Spanish sounding arrangement, still upbeat but in a minor key. It provides a bit of a contrast from the other music on my album, but in a good way I think! 😉

Had a good time re-learning this song this week… this is one that I hadn’t played in awhile, so it was nice reconnecting to it & practicing up for my recording date, which is now less than 3 weeks away!! Eeee!

I hope you all enjoy this one! If you do, it would be the best compliment if you could stay connected with me by following this blog (click follow button on right side of page), subscribing to my YouTube Channel or liking my Facebook page 🙂 Until my website is launched in a few months, that’s the best way to stay up to date with album release updates, new music, etc.

Thanks & Happy Listening!!

– Janeen

Days on Grandma’s Farm – Original Piano Composition

Hey guys!!

This week’s song that I’m practicing up for my big recording date (now less than a month away!) is super special to me. It’s called “Days on Grandma’s Farm” & is one of the original 12 I wrote when I was pretty young (14 years old) & it definitely carries a youthful, happy-go-lucky tone, which, of course, brings me back to those good ol’ Days on Grandma’s Farm 🙂

This song is dedicated to my dear grandmother, Geraldine Bruening, who had since passed away at the time of writing this song. Growing up, she lived on a farm place only about 20 minutes from my childhood home. Those memories that I have of days on the farm are ones that I truly cherish…. I cannot put into words how much (although I will attempt), but I guess a song might be the closest I can get! 😉

The consistent pattern of the lower hand in this song depicts the “hum-drum” of the wonderfully simple, everyday life on the farm. Looking back, I realize even more how great of a gift those days on the farm were to me. There was no better feeling than being outside with all my cousins & loved ones, experiencing pure freedom, a sense of adventure as we explored, a creative & playful spirit, & a deep-rooted appreciation for nature & getting your hands dirty sometimes 😉

This is another one of my beautifully simple songs. I hope this song takes you back to a place that has a special imprint on your heart. It honestly makes me tear up when I play this & reflect on the meaning behind it (happy tears of course!). This one’s for you, Grandma B!

– Janeen

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My Sweet Country Home – Original Piano Composition

Hello hello!!

My Sweet Country Home is a simpler song, but that is really the theme of it…. finding beauty in the simplicity. This song is a reminder for us to slow it down & enjoy the simple things in life …. your home, time with family, blue skies, green grass, smiles, laughter, rest, relaxation, & so much more! What simple things are you grateful for today? These are things that we need to pay attention to… slow down the hustle of our lives from time to time & soak in the beautiful simplicity of life that is easy to take for granted.

This song is one of the original 12 songs that I composed & that I will include on my album “Reflections of Joy” to be released in early 2016 (more details on that here).

I hope you all find some peace in this song & recognize the true blessings that are all around you.

Thank you for listening & following my journey!! If you enjoyed this song, it would be a HUGE compliment if you would support me by subscribing to my YouTube channel, following this blog, or following me on Facebook. I’d also love some comments & feedback on what you thought of this simple tune 🙂

 

Until next time,

-Janeen

Unknown Passage – Original Piano Composition

Hi all!!

I’m continuing to put my nose to the grind & master some of these older compositions that I haven’t played in awhile. Need to get all practiced up for the big recording day in a month!

This week’s focus was on one of my favorites … “Unknown Passage.” This one gave me a bit of a challenge, but eventually I was able to get the speed up to snuff… I actually think now I’m playing it a little too fast so will try to slow it down a bit for the album! However, I do remember that the name of the game when starting to compose this one was SPEED! I had just got done composing several slower songs, & I remember thinking to myself that I wanted to write one that was fast & intense. The result…. “Unknown Passage.” It’s a shorter song that’s a bit dark & twisty, packed with intensity, mystery, & speed…. hence the title 😉

Hope you all enjoy this one!! If you do, visit my Music page on the blog to hear more & follow my blog or subscribe to my YouTube channel for new videos each week!

Thanks for listening!

– Janeen