Cathy Hardy hopes her first solo album will inspire and lift up listeners.
She has already shared a number of the songs at small concerts throughout the Fraser Valley and knows how music can touch audiences personally and spiritually.
All 13 songs on her new CD, Love Shines, are significant to her in different ways, but they all send out positive messages. Courage for Today is helping her cope with health care issues her father and sister are facing.
“The words of this song say ‘strengthen me, give me courage for today,’” said the Mission musician. “These words have been what I have been living in my day to day life.”
The single, Love Shines, released last year, reminds Hardy that even in the darkest times, there is still a light worth seeking.
Every song is original and has different sounds. Some tunes simply involve an acoustic guitar and her voice, while a full band plays in others.
Hardy says the album has been described as “inspired world music” because of the many genres represented.
Aside from the main vocals, the local teacher plays piano and ukulele on the CD.
Other instruments used are the didgeridoo, singing bowls, and shofar, played by Boris Sichon, a variety of guitar-like instruments, played by Brian Thiessen, and percussion and bass by other musicians.
“I love the variety and textures that each instrument brings,” said Hardy.
“All the instruments help tell the story of each song.”
Since she was a little girl, Hardy has dreamed of creating her own album, and now that her dream has been realized, she is grateful and proud of the result.
“Putting a CD together is like preparing a gourmet meal — it takes a lot of planning and preparation.”
The songs were written over 10 years and some fine tuning and final arrangements had to be made. In addition to other local musicians, Hardy also worked with Philip Janz throughout the process.
The actual recording started in January of this year and the CD will be launched on April 16 at the Matsqui Auditorium in Abbotsford.
“This was actually one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life,” said Hardy. “The greatest challenge in the process was bring pushed to my limits vocally, but in the end it was also the most rewarding experience.”
Hardy will be playing a selection of songs from Love Shines at an intimate concert on March 30 with Boris Sichon at Mission Arts Centre. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the concert begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are available at Murdoch’s Book Shoppe on First Avenue for $10 each, or by calling Mission Arts Council at 604-826-0029.
For more information about Hardy, visit cathyajhardy.com.