Staying Well

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human body, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.” – Thomas Edison

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Spring Off Reality

Have you ever seen the acrobats on the big trampolines, or the people in the circus on the big bounding nets? And they hit that net and they spring forth into flight. Well, the moment that they hit the net, that’s like the platform of your life. But it is the flying through the air that is the main event.
We want you to think of your “now reality” as nothing more than the net that is springing you — but it is the flight through the air that is your life.
So many of you, you hit that net and then you lay on your stomach, and then you wrap your fingers and toes into it, and you put your face tight into it, and you say, “I’ve got to face reality.” And we say, you didn’t come forth to face reality. You came forth to spring off of reality. You came forth to let the reality be the basis from which you take flight.
Abraham-Hicks Philadelphia, PA — 11/7/1999
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Insatiable Love Affair

(Here’s an essay I was asked to write about Gretsch Guitars)

Insatiable Love Affair

The plastic guitar at age two wasn’t enough, and when i saw the Beatles on the tele at age 4, I fell deeply in love with guitar.

A couple of acoustic guitars came, one fake that had nails for two of the tuning pegs, and one real that actually stayed in tune. And finally lessons. But I needed an electric guitar. An american guitar. I wanted to bend strings & play the solos I’d been learning on an electric. I was playing chord solos too, learning how to play legato & hold notes
while others note moved & I wanted to hear more sustain.

Because of George Harrison I wanted a Gretsch guitar! And at 12, in 1972 my parents bought me a 1961 Gretsch Anniversary model. Whoa! The passion went deep. It was wildly known the best guitars were American made. George had wanted an American guitar since he was a kid. His Gretsch Duo Jet was his prized possession. It was his first American guitar & he kept it his whole life.

George & I were both influenced by super guitar players. Masters. Players who had a feel & tone that personified the notes they chose. Serious guitar players that were so clever & articulate the music flowed & looked effortless to create. That’s the mark of an expert. It looks so easy when they play and it sounds brilliant. It’s all about the touch & feel; the magic happens with your hands, at your fingertips& you need an instrument that can respond to your whispers & moans.

A Gretsch neck has always felt perfect in my small hand. I love the round shape & made-for-each-other fit. Gretsch guitars have a good weight to them. The workmanship is smooth, every line & crease, every curve is finished. No rough spots, nothing feels dinky. I still have my’61 Anniversary model. I’ve written many songs with it. This guitar’s every shape & form is in my muscle memory. Playing it is like visiting a dear friend. In 2000 I picked up a Country Classic Jr., similar to the Country Gentleman George bought in 1963. This body size couldn’t be more comfortable. It was love at first touch. I feel like George when I’m playing this guitar. There’s a magical essence, chemical reaction, blend of wood &soul when I play Beatle songs on this guitar.

I get verklempt when I think of Gretsch guitars. They’ve loomed so large in my legendary Beatle life’s frame work. George, Gretsch, George, Gretsch, George, Gretsch. They’re in the blueprint of my childhood, the groundwork of my musicianship, the discovery of music & life itself.

George Harrison Talks Fender

Lauren Passarelli ~ Talks George Harrison & Fender

Lauren Passarelli ~ This Day Came

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Never too late or too early

For what it’s worth it’s never too late or too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit; start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. There’s no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it & I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you find the strength to start all over again.

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How Do You Get To Carnegie Hall?

Well the punch line of the old joke is PRACTICE!


Well this story isn’t about Carnegie Hall. It’s a true story about Symphony Hall in Boston, MA.

I was attending a private function inside Symphony Hall where a friend of mine was performing & I happened to be dressed all in black. After her performance we got to see the The Boston Pops perform as well. They were both wonderful concerts.

When the night was over I was standing outside Symphony Hall watching my friend’s equipment as she went to fetch her car. The audience was pouring out into the street & as many passed me they said enthusiastically, “YOU WERE FABULOUS TONIGHT!” or “GREAT CONCERT!” & “OH YOU WERE ALL FANTASTIC!” & “THANK YOU SO MUCH, LOVELY SHOW!”

Inside my head, stunned with, “wait, what? me?, oh no, I’m just, well sure, but you see I’m…” because they thought they were thanking a symphony player or ‘praps even my friend. Yet there was no time to explain & I didn’t want to offend or appear rude. So standing tall (as tall as I could) dressed in black, waiting with equipment, instantly impersonating a Boston Pops member, I smiled graciously & thanked them warmly for attending. At least their thoughtful accolades for the Pops should be received & reciprocated, I thought nervously.

How do you get to Symphony Hall?

~ Stand on the sidewalk dressed in black with music equipment at your feet.

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  • they have the least doggie odor
  • they don’t shed
  • they love being with you
  • they have a tremendous sense of humor & memory. when they do something that makes you laugh. they’ll do it again & again.
  • they’re extremely loyal, protective & friendly.
  • I love their adorable expressive faces & their extremely cute feet!
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Guitar Players & Nail Care

I love playing with a pick. I love playing with pick & fingers & I love finger picking. They give me different sounds & feels & ability to create the guitar parts I want to play. Whether it’s steel string or nylon eventually with much playing comes much wearing down of the nails. Here’s what I’ve been experimenting with over the years & a great guitarist’s nail article that gets into it all.

James Taylor told me about his use of nail wraps so that’s what I used for years. It’s a great warm sound that I love & it sounds like his guitar sound. In fact he’s taping videos of how he plays nine of his songs & he asked me for my opinion. I asked him to include a special feature section where he’ll show us his nail care & how he applies & takes care of his nail wraps. He puts on a layer of glue & then a nail wrap & after it dries & he trims it he does it twice again so that he has 3 layers. There are 3 kinds of wraps: silk, fiber glass & nylon.

Classical players use ping balls & glue a piece of the ball under their remaining nail. I haven’t tried this yet.

I love the sound I get with guitar player nails. They send you pieces of flat, plastic material & you cut & shape & trim & file & glue. And the thickness of the nail is set. With the wraps & the gel you create that thickness for each nail yourself.

There are Gel Nails, nothing harder, super tough & resilient. I bought this kit from Germany called, Power Nails. I love the sound of these as well & I liked not using nail or crazy glue. Turns out this nail product is Pat Metheny’s favorite. I know JT was sent this Power Nail kit but I don’t know if he ever tried the gel nails & if he liked them. You can buy some gel products on line & there are videos on you tube that better show how to extend the gel & be a nail when yours is to short. But I found that glue & gel seriously weaken your nail underneath. They get so soft & breakable.

There’s also Rico Nails where you use non toxic adhesives & surgical tape for extra support and when you’re done playing you can easily remove them without hurting your nails. You can just put them on to play & take them off when you’re done. They are a thinner material consequently a thinner, brighter guitar sound for me.

I use thin strings & prefer thicker guitar picks about 1.5mm but not necessarily super thick finger nails. I may try adhesive with the guitar player nails next!

Many players don’t bother with their nails at all. They just use their finger tips. I have been trying to prefer this for about a month now. Just for the ease of it & nothing toxic. But I don’t like how the strings feel or respond to me & I don’t prefer the sound.

What’s a guitarist to do?

12/22/09 added new discovery:
In a few months your nails do recover from the softening and breaking effects of nail glue, crazy glue and nail gel.
Master guitarist, Lou Arnold bought me a bottle of Onymyrrhe Natural Nail Growth Accelerator & that’s an amazing healthy product for nails.
************12/16/10 — This just in James Taylor’s nail lesson on his built in picks Yea!!!!
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Making the Most of a Spark (excerpt)

“Essentially, I want good company in my creative life, and I want to provide that to my fellow creators. I want to help other people love their work so that they keep going and give it the very best attention and skill they have, and I want that fostering in return. I want to make the most of my spark and enjoy the warmth and light of my friends making the most of theirs, too.” ~ Kate Chadbourne

What a fabulous way to say it! ~ L Pass

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Life Story

“And now it is your Life Story and it is you who play the leading roll. The stage is set, the time is now, and the place wherever you are. Each passing second a new link in the endless chain of Time. The drama of Life is a continuous story – ever new, ever changing, and ever wondrous to behold.”

~ Virginia Lee Burton
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Power of A Beatle

“The verdict from Paul McCartney’s show at his Coachella debut on Friday? Never underestimate the power of a Beatle… The night belonged to Paul.” — LOS ANGELES TIMES

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Dream Machines

When I was a teenager I wanted a “Dream Machine” where I could record all the musical ideas in “me head” & hear them “beck” all at the same time. I was using two cassette players & bouncing tracks while I added live new parts. With very noisy results it was great fun to create layered recordings. Then when I was seventeen I got my first multi track tape recorder. A TEAC 2340 four track. I still have my first mixer, the TEAC AX20, little box that subs four tracks to 2. The options were L, R or center! I still have my first mic, an AKG & mic stand & I still have all the recordings.

There was no digital recording, no software, no computers. And I offered to record my friends’ music when they had no way of capturing the music in their heads. HS friends, band demos, school projects, college friends – “Missy” Melissa Etheridge,  Kate Finn, & Erika Luckett, Gina Felicetta, Tim Donahue. There were live recitals I taped for friends as well & all along I was writing tons of songs & learning how to play with sounds to hear my ideas.
In the 80s I got a TASCAM 8 track multi track & an 8 channel mixer. With this set up & synths & digital performer thanks to the ingenuity of Cindy Brown we were syncing tape to drum machines & sequencers when Berklee’s Music Production & Engineering dept. was saying this was possible in theory! We had just done it, many times & recorded our 1st CD, Among The Ruins in our condo that we had pressed when it wasn’t fashionable, when everyone around us was still making albums.
We were recording projects for another friend, bassist & composer, Ruth Mendelson for PBS’ Home With Bob Vila.
So Cindy & I started a label, Feather Records, & studio, PassaBrown Studios. We got a 32 channel, 5 foot, Studiomaster, mixing console. We were the studio for CRAVE  “Garden Party”(-Elizabeth Lorrey’s band),  Sarah Burrill “Stained Glass” as well as Sarah’s label. Many of my students recorded demos & CDs as well.
In the late 90s changed format to ADAT & had 32 digital tracks to play with and started recording our next CDs, Shadow Language & Back To The Bone.
Then it happened, after much encouraging & offering an emotional safety net, Cindy got me to switch to: DUM DUM- digital recording with Logic Pro 7. Best thing ever. All our digital singles were mixed & or recorded & mixed with Logic 7 & 8.
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Why Music Matters

L Pass ~ my favorite bits from

Why Music Matters
Karl Paulnack, Director, Music Division
The Boston Conservatory


Given what we have since learned about life in the Nazi camps, why would anyone in his right mind waste time and energy writing or playing music? There was barely enough energy on a good day to find food and water, to avoid a beating, to stay warm, to escape torture — why would anyone bother with music? And yet even from the concentration camps we have poetry, we have music, we have visual art; it wasn’t just this one fanatic Messiaen; many, many people created art. Why? Well, in a place where people are only focused on survival, on the bare necessities, the obvious conclusion is that art must be, somehow, essential for life. The camps were without money, without hope, without commerce, without recreation, without basic respect, but they were not without art. Art is part of survival; art is part of the human spirit, an unquenchable expression of who we are. Art is one of the ways in which we say, “I am alive, and my life has meaning.”

Music is not part of “arts and entertainment” as the newspaper section would have us believe. It’s not a luxury, a lavish thing that we fund from leftovers of our budgets, not a plaything or an amusement or a pastime. Music is a basic need of human survival. Music is one of the ways we make sense of our lives, one of the ways in which we express feelings when we have no words, a way for us to understand things with our hearts when we can’t with our minds.

(Music) has the ability to crack your heart open like a walnut; it can make you cry over sadness you didn’t know you had. Music can slip beneath our conscious reality to get at what’s really going on inside us the way a good therapist does.

Music allows us to move around those big invisible pieces of ourselves and rearrange our insides so that we can express what we feel even when we can’t talk about it. Music is the understanding of the relationship between invisible internal objects.

Someday at 8 PM someone is going to walk into your concert hall and bring you a mind that is confused, a heart that is overwhelmed, a soul that is weary. Whether they go out whole again will depend partly on how well you do your craft.

You’re not here to become an entertainer, and you don’t have to sell yourself. The truth is you don’t have anything to sell; being a musician isn’t about dispensing a product, like selling used cars. I’m not an entertainer; I’m a lot closer to a paramedic, a firefighter, a rescue worker. You’re here to become a sort of therapist for the human soul, a spiritual version of a chiropractor, physical therapist, someone who works with our insides to see if they get things to line up, to see if we can come into harmony with ourselves and be healthy and happy and well.

I expect you not only to master music, I expect you to save the planet. If there is a future wave of wellness on this planet, of harmony, of peace, of an end to war, of mutual understanding, of equality, of fairness, I don’t expect it will come from a government, a military force or a corporation. I no longer even expect it to come from the religions of the world, which together seem to have brought us as much war as they have peace. If there is a future of peace for humankind, if there is to be an understanding of how these invisible, internal things should fit together, I expect it will come from the artists, because that’s what we do. The artists are the ones who might be able to help us with our internal, invisible lives.

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Your Life Depends On It

“Hopefulness only makes sense when it doesn’t make sense to be hopeful. This is your century. Take it and run as if your life depends on it.” ~ Paul Hawken

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If you’re in LA or Miami & need some great ears for your next project check out my recording engineer friends, Rob Harkness/Barn Productions & Pablo Reynoso/Technicolor Lounge.

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More Amazing Music

Check out my friends & their music. They’re quite the song masters.

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Let’s time eat more

When Rise moon sing 
Laugh you dance me
Smile possess
Start wanna clap some doggie’s fun doin’ 
Mention yours mention ours
Heaps jollys
Now expect, hearts connect, cheeky doing
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Let the Beauty We Love Be What We Do

Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened. Don’t open the door to the study and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument. Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground. -Rumi

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Creative Friends

I worked with a fabulously creative friend & lyricist, Stefanie Mis from 1981-1994. Among our 31 songs, we have a song called “Sad Cafe” that has the line, ” I want to be a part of something, somewhere, now”. As solitary as my own art is & enjoyable to have that quiet time to create, I have often craved collaboration & more company within the aspects of writing, arranging, performing & recording my music.

In exploring the many folks, organizations & clubs around you to find friends to crunch these things with don’t despair if what you find isn’t an exact fit. You can always start something of your own design. I am most excited, challenged & alive when talking about the creative process & how we do what we do. So I volunteered to run a Song Writer’s Workshop at the Harvest Cafe’ in Hudson, MA. It’s scheduled for the 3rd Saturday of every month; we’ve been meeting since the fall of 2007. Each month brings new faces & allows me to continue the enormous conversation of writing & producing original music & to meet more writers.

I have within the last year met some fabulous song writers through my workshops that are new fast friends. Some even live in my home town virtually blocks away! What a find & how exciting! Who knew? Then more writers came through them. “If you build it they will come” the movie promised & so they did. I’m psyched!

Keep asking, keep yer eyes open. Surprises lurk at every turn to delight you.

Check out Louise Hetzler & Kate Chadbourne.

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Speak To Me

One of my just keep your pen moving blurbs that could almost be a poem

Sept. 9, 2002

If I rearrange the letters I can sculpt new words & how delicious it would be
to take power over my own blue will.

I could create a gorgeous vision, chant chocolate in the only moment that is a cool boil.
And with a tiny stare see past my crushing ache, trudge out of the sad sky & dream no rust.

See I am in the forest wind where the air moans true. See I am on the sand where the ocean lathers often to the sun & it did. I can hear love & fill my needy mind. I can breathe hope & answer the winter scream in the only moment as puppies do.

You who are there in the wind moaning true.
You who are there on the sand breathing hope, words chasing rain, eating fog, whispering candidly ~ speak to me.

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Elizabeth Gilbert ~ Swallow The Sun

Elizabeth Gilbert is a superb author who’s voice & spirit I deeply enjoy. She has the intelligence, humor & playfulness combination that seriously tickles me. Here she talks about all of us & the creativity we use & the courage it takes to show up everyday & do the work that we were put on this earth to do. Her novel, Eat Pray Love is being made into a movie with Julia Roberts.
Elizabeth Gilbert – On Genius

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Natalie Goldberg on Writing

1 Zen and the Art of Writing — Natalie Goldberg

2 Old Friend From Far Away

3 How To Write

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Wild Geese

I love the sound of Geese, like clarinets in the sky. I have recorded them as they flew over head & put them in my song, All The Words.

Wild Geese
by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

from Dream Work by Mary Oliver

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Creative life

Once you get a feel for being submerged in music & in your self created life nothing compares. It’s always getting better & hard to go back.

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A few great books and films

A Few Great Books

Writing Down the Bones – Natalie Goldberg
The War of Art – Steven Pressfield
The Well Of Creativity – Julia Cameron, Natalie Goldberg & others
The Artists’ Way – Julia Cameron
The Courage To Create – Rollo May
If You Want to Write – Brenda Ueland
Zen Guitar – Philip Toshio Sudo
Poem Crazy (freeing your life with words) – Susan G. Wooldridge
Flow – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Zing!- Sam Harrison
How to Refuse to Make Yourself Miserable About Anything- Albert Ellis, phd
My Stroke of Insight – Jill Bolte Taylor

Any books by Deepak Choppra, Suze Orman & Tony Robbins

A Few Great Films

The Secret (version with Esther Hicks)
What the Bleep Do We Know
Les Paul Chasing Sound
Tom Dowd This Language of Music
Music Within
Music & Lyrics
Music of the Heart

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Writing Quotes

I think there is something necessary & life giving about creative work. A state of excitement. And it is like a faucet: nothing comes unless you turn it on and the more you turn it on, the more comes. – Brenda Ueland

But this joyful, imaginative, impassioned energy dies out of us very young. Why? Because we do not see that it is great and important. Because we let dry obligation take it’s place. Because we don’t respect it in ourselves & keep it alive by using it. And because we don’t keep it alive in others by listening to them. – Brenda Ueland

You must practise with all your intelligence and love. A great musician once told me one should never play a note without hearing it, feeling that it is true, thinking it beautiful. – Brenda Ueland

Writing, the creative effort, the use of the imagination, should come first of some part of everyday of your life. It is a wonderful blessing if you will use it. You will become happier, more enlightened, alive, impassioned, light hearted & generous to everybody else. Even your health will improve. Colds will disappeear & all other ailments of discouragement & boredom. – Brenda Ueland

For more on writing: Go To Your Studio and Make Stuff

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sneak preview

Lauren Passarelli NEWS!

A new CD is in the works featuring all my new digital singles plus two brand new songs for those who prefer an actual CD instead of downloading from itunes.

Song List: Low Tide, Sweetest Thing, Bellabye, Time To Groove, Mainly Distance, Great Day To Land/Happy Birthday, The Secret Quantum Song Enjoy, The Secret Quantum Song Thank You, Playing With The Pieces, Two Years Deep, All The Words.

The CD will be called, PLAYING WITH THE PIECES. Cindy & I were designing the cover this past week. You can get previews of the songs on itunes, youtube & cdbaby. We’ll keep ya posted.

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Live Gig Photos 5/15/09 taken by Cindy Brown

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Gig tonight!

Gig tonight at Jumpin’ Juice n’ Java in Leominster – 6-7:30pm. It’s going to be a great time!

843 Central St
Leominster MA
It’s my first show sharing the bill with my good friend Elizabeth Lorrey. Join us!
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