A 100% Benefit Album for Cystic Fibrosis

The Story

My soul is nurtured by chants from all cultures.  I have been a lover of singing and world music since I was a small child.   My most potent spiritual experiences include vocalization combined with some form of praying. I believe that vocalization together with intention and vision equal manifestation. That equation was something I recall reading as a young girl and it has always rang true in my heart.  Studying Western Classical Voice at Ithaca College and Hindustani music in Pune, India, I was afforded the chance to truly sing from my heart. My teachers in both places focused on truth, purity, and connection to spirit.  Both during and since I have studied with these teachers I have gathered a harvest of songs in my basket.  These songs are from varying places on the map; from India to Greece, and Africa to Middle America.

Being a body worker by trade, I am blessed with the chance to connect with many wonderful people and to share graceful time bathed in breath, and healing.  I find that the space created in the massage room is as much of a meditative and restful place for me as it is for the person on the table: That of which I am so grateful for. I am always floored by the simple truth that magic can happen in a space between one or more people connecting.  Oftentimes, the time I spend with clients ends up being a vision session, in which, stories, songs, messages, etc. come through and enter my being.  Once such experience was the birth of Chants for a Cure; a musical album consisting of chants that center around breath, light and devotion to love.  Every single penny that is earned by its sale will be donated to organizations dedicated to supporting families and people living with Cystic Fibrosis. This EP is in honor of someone very special to my family-Aurora.

Allow me to back up a few years and let you in on this powerful friendship that found me. Aurora is now 6 years old but when we met, she was in utero.  I found a special friendship with her beautiful mother, Vanessa while we were both doing massage at a local spa.  Since we were working mothers, we thought it would be great to have our children cared for by one another. So, we “baby swapped” and I took her daughter some days and she took my son Jonah on other days. It ended up being a friendship garden for all of us because our children had the chance of spending their early lives playing together and loving one another.  I fell in love with Aurora.  She is a kindred spirit with a giggle that could melt an army.  Her zest for life is vast and her strength is insurmountable.  This is also the time I learned about Cystic Fibrosis. Shortly after Aurora was born, her parents found out that their daughter has this disease. It is an inherited disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. A defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that can clog the lungs and obstruct the pancreas.  This disease is not “popular” amongst the masses and many people have no idea about what it does with the body that it is in. This lack of awareness is also a problem when it comes to funding. The Foundations that perform research and search for cures are constantly hungry for funding to continue their work towards the cure.   Aurora is the inspiration behind this project and the face of it. 

I feel honored to have had the chance and the vision to produce this project and I couldn’t have done it without Aurora’s presence in my life and the incredible people that supported me. Every SINGLE person involved with this album donated their time and talent for three years. It has been nothing short of a miracle and I tear up even typing this.  I will share with you one short story about how I found my co-producer and sound engineer, Dan Millrood.

I was waiting in a parking lot while my son was asleep in his car seat when my cell phone rang.  A man I had met for only two minutes a year ago was on the line. He said that he read my article in the paper calling for talent to help with CF benefit album and he was “on board”.  He spoke about his previous work with CF children and his devotion to the cause. It just so happens that in addition to being a Physical Therapist (of which I knew him as), he also was a sound engineer with a lot of experience and has friend who owns a recording studio close by! Of course my heart burst open with gratitude and I couldn’t really talk on account of my emotion. I hung up with phone just as my sons was waking up. I started driving out of the parking lot and was stalled by a red light. As I was wiping my eyes of my tears, I read the license plate that happened to be directly in front of me… “AURORA” was what it said.  I was completely confident that from that moment on, this project was blessed.  It truly has been and will continue to be.  We are sharing it with all of you and that will contribute to the continuing research towards the cure. I am sure of it.  It was born of spirit and love and will manifest that many times over. We pray that you will be touched deeply by the music and by our intentions.  We pray for our Aurora and her amazing family and all of the people living with CF along with the ones that are no longer with us.   

I thank you for your support, for it means many more breaths for Aurora.

The Artists

Dan "de Lion" Millrood, AKA "Sticky Dan" is a Producer/Engineer/DJ that has been creating groove oriented tracks since the mid 80's for world, hip hop, reggae, dancehall, neosoul, and Caribbean/American music  fans. Dan also is a Physical Therapist that was inspired to pursue his profession through his interaction with and healthcare provision for individuals suffering from Cystic Fibrosis during that same time period. The evolution of the Chants for a Cure project offered an amazing opportunity for Dan to merge two of his life’s passions into one project with a great purpose, to create healing music that will raise money for Cystic Fibrosis research and support services. Dan was beckoned by Natasha Althouse, another local musician and healthcare provider, to join her in this effort by donating his time, financial resources, and engineering and production expertise to the Chants for a Cure project, resulting in a heartfelt production filled with positive vibes, and one love for all people no matter the level of physical, cognitive, spiritual or emotional function. The musical partnerships and collaboration discovered and nurtured through this project will no doubt be providing healing music for the masses for a long time to come….

Summer Corrie is a singer, actor, massage therapist, and a Nia and yoga instructor living in the Hudson Valley of NY.

"I am so blessed to have been a part of this project, Chants for a Cure, for many, many reasons. The experience of singing, by itself, is joyous, it fills me and releases me in the same breath. But the experience of singing with my "heart sister", Natasha Althouse, was serendipitously divine. I was in such awe of how our very different voices sounded often so in sync with each other that it was hard to differentiate who was who, and it fooled even the closest among us. It was a beautiful connection we found. And to be singing for a person that is so very close to both of our hearts was yet another layer of magic. And for all the amazingly kind people that came into my life because of this project, there is a sweetness that was left behind."

You can find more info at summercorrie.com

Dean Seabrook is a musician and concert producer who lives in Hudson Valley of New York.  He plays several instruments, including cello, guitar, mandolin, bouzouki, bass, and piano.  When not at his day job as a technology consultant for a large technology firm, he (sometimes with his children) is likely putting together concerts under the aegis StringTix for top-notch string players like Darol Anger, Rushad Eggleston, Preston Reed, Mike Block, Hanneke Cassel, Bruce Molsky, Brittany Haas, Ryan Cavanaugh, Joe Walsh, and many more. He is honored to be able to contribute to the Chants For a Cure project.

Sean Boyd started playing the banjo at age 5, he quickly became an active participant in his family's traditional music scene. Family life, social occasions and holidays the focus centered on music. Public performance began at age 8 with the family band, Generation Gap performing at ice cream parlors and church and town gatherings. This created a solid background in performance which he hurled at rock audiences beginning in his teens. Having now performed over 800 concerts Sean is a seasoned performer. Sean plays over a dozen instruments of both modern and traditional styles.

Currently Sean is recording and producing music for himself and other as artfarmrecording.com

Barbara Fornal is a certified herbalist, plant spirit healer, plant communication educator, experienced drummer and a facilitator of women's journey circles. She is also a former elementary school educator of 35 years. Through her herbal practice, Gifts from Nature, she has come to hold a strong belief that everyone has the ability to heal themselves. Her desire is to have people learn to use the wild plants to make their medicine and, along with the ability of animal and plant spirits, to heal on all levels physical, emotional and spiritual. Through these alternative disciplines Barbara hopes people will remember who they are and the true path they came here to walk.

Barbara received training from herbalist, Jennifer Costa of Woodstock, NY and plant spirit healer, Pam Montgomery of Danby, VT along with many other wonderful teachers since beginning her practice in 1990.   Barbara has lived with her husband, Steven, in Accord, NY for 23 years where she forages the wild to find her medicine and healing spirits. For more information about Barbara or her classes, email her bfornal@hvi.net or call (845) 626-4621

Natasha Althouse Has had the blessed opportunity to study formally for many years with Ithaca College Vocal Professional Carol McAmis along with Famed Bollywood vocalist Rajani Madiwale of Pune, India. She has composed and sang for film scores (“Cultivation” by Nathan Atkins which won best Short Film Horror at the New York film Festival, THE PURGATORY SERIES “Beauty is Skin Deep by T.George McArdle), produced and starred in live performances, facilitated award winning world premieres such as “Prashanti” Composed by Paul Fowler, and most importantly-sang her babies to sleep.  Her passion for singing started at age 2 when her nursery school teacher opened her up to the healing aspects of music.  “Natasha, whenever you are sad or upset and even when you’re happy-just sing through it”…She had no idea what she started. From then on, Natasha has been on a musical/spiritual quest that will never cease.  The song of the heart is all she is interested in and is the only thing that drives her musically.  It doesn’t matter if the song is from Africa, Greece, India or Kentucky-if the vibration paints an experience that touches her deep within, then she is hooked.  Natasha is a mother of two beautiful children and shares her life with her beloved husband Phil. They live in the Catskill Mountain Foothills of New York and are so grateful to all of their community members near and far that have dug down deep to help manifest this dream called Chants for a Cure.

Denise and Ray Younger are both natural born vocalists. They started singing in the youth choir as teenagers. That was the beginning of their lifelong love of music and quite along and melodic marriage. Denise’s mother and her 6 sisters sang in a Gospel group for many years as well and her singing has always been centered on church and community functions. Gospel music has been part of their lives from a young age and plays a big part in their church where Ray and Denise both are the pastors of.

Aurora enjoys playing her harmonica, art, ballet and performing shows for family & friends and singing into the mic for her opa and oma (grandparents).

The Music

Prophesy

A chant from the Ojibwe people of the middle part of North America. It is said that they sing a version of this chant at the first ray of morning light.  I dedicate this to our sweet friend Aurora who came into this world at the first dawn and hasn’t stopped bringing the light since.

This Little Light of Mine

I consider this song to be one of our American sacred chants!  This song speaks to the light that all of us have inside.  Let us all spread our light to the world and continue moving towards that vision.

Yati Pouli/Ohm Namah Shivaya

This starts out as a Greek Lament to all the women and children who have lost their voices to violence in all forms.  It is a cry to the “bird who has lost her song,…who has had her wings clipped”.  I added the Hindu Mantra of Ohm Namah Shivaya to add divine love, grace and truth to end the lament. I felt that it needed a blessing to help heal the silent wounds that are felt throughout the world.

Ohm Bhur Remix

With the deep and introspective content of this album, Dan and I felt like it would fun to add a track that inspires movement and dance.  This is a remix of the Sacred Gaitri Mantra and will fill the dancehalls, living rooms, moving vehicles, and earphones of all of our supporters with joy and a touch of the sacred as you boogie!

Fly-o

From the Cherokee Tribe of North America, this song is meant to call forth the energy of the bear.  The bear is considered a powerful feminine totem (or guide or symbol) animal in many cultures.  Singing this will connect the singer and the listener to the primal, strong, and courageous energy of the Bear.

Twinkle, Twinkle

The young girl who this album is dedicated to has her debut on this track! She sings her heart out and illuminates our world with her sweet and jubilant laughter. I pray that she continues wishing upon many stars for years to come.

Thanks To Everyone Involved

  • Natasha Althouse (exec producer, co-producer, and lead vocalist)
  • Dan Milrood (co-producer, mixer and mastering engineer)
  • Summer Corrie (vocalist)
  • Denise Younger (vocalist)
  • Raymond Younger (orator)
  • Barbara Fornal (Frame Drummer)
  • Dean Seabrook (cello, piano, and organ)
  • Sean Boyd and the ARTFARM (recording)
  • Aurora Tisman (vocalist and professional giggler)
  • Phil Althouse and Crimora Millrood (spouses with ultimate patience)
  • Jeff Tisman (Photographer of group shots)
  • Kellie Olonko (Public Relations J)
  • Venus9Design (Logo art)
  • Greg Spies from Interactive Dept (Web everything)
  • Joshua Druckman (Mastering and editing) theoutlierinn.com

The Cause

The Donna M. Crandall Memorial Foundation was started by Donna's extended family and a small group of friends in 1999 to honor her memory and help improve the lives of people who live with cystic fibrosis CF). Donna never wanted CF to define her, and so it is only a postscript when we think of her. It is our hope to lessen the financial and practical pressures of CF, patients can focus more on being as healthy as possible and enjoying time with their family and friends. This year the foundation reached the 2 million dollar milestone. We remain a volunteer family run organization. No one gets paid for the job that they do. Every dollar we raise goes to help another CF family.

From the legendary gift bags we deliver to Albany Med to the financial support we provide to families in need, the Donna Crandall Foundation strives to simply support those folks who are battling the same disease that took Donna's life January 8, 1999.

A 100% Benefit Album for Cystic Fibrosis