Beth Patella is a singer/songwriter whose new album is called “COMING HOME”. She will be performing as part of the SWAN day festival at Illusions on Saturday 3/28/2015. Nutmeg Chatter had the opportunity to talk with Pattela at WAPJ studios about the power of music.
NC: Beth, can you tell us about your musical style? Who are your musical influences?
BP: Well as a child I grew up probably on show tunes and Sinatra; my mom was a classical pianist so I have a lot of that background with jazz and blues and of course some Julie Andrews thrown in. And then as I got older I started loving folk, Americana, country. So I’m a singer songwriter; on some of my album you’ll hear gospel, blues, country, folk a mixture of everything but probably you’ll hear the country , folk theme throughout.
NC: The name of your album is Coming Home. that sounds like a very personal name for an album.
BP: Yes it is. I was doing a lot of singer songwriter work about 13 years ago now and the drummer in my band who I was very much in love with committed suicide. So I put music completely away after his death for about 7 or 8 years. I went into a deep sleep until one day i woke up and said, “what are you doing? you were given this gift of music and you’re not using it.” And I had to restart; i had to find my voice again. I had to find my voice, it was very lost in grief. And it was my way back. Music: it led the way. and so now here i am after this time and having released my first album in 2013 with the journey of music.
NC: (I’m very sorry for your loss. )
BP: (Thank you so much)
NC: So music helped you get to the other side of where you were at before.
BP: Correct i was so stricken with grief and so sad and because not only was I stricken with grief from the loss, but as well as the fact that he was in my band and played my music….so to perform, to play my music… to do anything related to music especially my own music was just too painful. I wrote one song about three months after he died called Jim’s Song which will be on my second album which will be coming out hopefully within the next year or so…and that was it. I put it all to rest. So when I got back into music, it fed my life. It woke me back up and it gave me purpose and a mission again and my passion and why I’m on this earth.
NC: Do you find the power of music has the ability to help people?
BP: Absolutely. Music is transformational, it’s healing, its inspiring, its all of those things and more and its a supportive mechanism that can help lift you up, can also help you understand better and can move you beyond where you are currently now.
NC: And not only has music helped you but you use music to help others.
BP: Correct so I’m just almost finished with my second masters which in recreational therapy and I use and specialize in music and sound. I’m specifically a certified sound therapist so i use music to help those with a number of things including mental illness, but i also specialize in trauma and grief with sound therapy….in helping people move through that and understand it and support them in it.
NC: You help people with your music. What are some of the other ways that you help people therapeutically?
BP: My mom started a not for profit about 5 years ago called Animal Assisted Therapy services and in our organization we serve people with disabilities that range from cognitive, physical, social and emotional disabilities. We specialize in canine and equine programs so we have delta certified therapy dogs as well as one one our horses is delta certified . We have a veteran’s program….so some of our veterans who are coming back currently and suffering from PTSD which is a huge, huge epidemic…of our veterans coming back and not really finding the help that they need; some may also be paralyzed or paraplegic from injuries from war and the horse allows them… they can literally sit on the horse and they can move with the horse, their hip and pelvic muscles that they couldn’t move on their own. As well as the whole mental health factor that goes in with being with an animal….you just feel good; science and research has proven that endorphins are released when you come into contact with an animal. So emotionally being with the animals is just as beneficial as the physical aspect.
NC: I saw on facebook that there is an idea of a ranch associated with this?
BP: My dream….is to have a ranch where we come together and we have the horses and the dogs and its a ranch that serve those with disabilities, we have summer camps for kids with disabilities, and really support the community…that it be a place of great healing and solace and where we can be together and give therapeutic services.
— End of Part One—-
Beth Patella will perform on SWAN Day on 3/28/2015 at Illusions.
We will return with Part 2 of our discussion with Beth Patella and post a review of her album in April