Charlene Lockwood

Charlene Lockwood

BandClassicalNew Age

Composer/pianist Charlene Lockwood's music summons simple but arresting images — an Italian garden in winter, a dancing gypsy, morning sun on a red barn — images that won't soon let go. When coupled with her sensitive touch, she transports listeners into the story — and they don’t want to return.

Biography

The challenge of telling stories drew pianist/composer Charlene Lockwood to both stage and music. Since the age of 11, she has worked to tell stories in new ways.

The daughter of an opera singer, Charlene studied piano and voice as a girl, but when competition time came around, she made a mark for her independence as much as for her placements — singing a capella, when all the other young vocalists were accompanied, playing her own compositions as a pre-teen, when the other pianists were providing a steady diet of “Für Elise” and “Ice Castles.”

“Whose was that?” a judge asked her parents, unbelieving that Charlene’s selection was original. Her study and competition were soon expanded to include what seemed clear as her true talent, composition, and it was for composition that Charlene eventually enrolled in Shenandoah Conservatory.

But Charlene’s precocity was not limited to music. She also became a prolific reader while still very young, plowing her way through the great works of literature, Western and others, and her trips to the theatre became focused on how music and drama could complement each other to fully bring the audience into the story. At Shenandoah, and later San Francisco State University, Charlene studied theatre as well as music, trying to learn about all aspects of the dramatic arts — makeup, shadow puppets, dramatic structure. Like the music, it was all just storytelling to her.

Charlene worked in music and theatre on both the east and the west coast before coming to Washington to study at the Shakespeare Theatre. But it was working with another local company, the Washington Shakespeare Company, that Charlene won her greatest acclaim, composing a critically celebrated score to Bertolt Brecht’s Life of Galileo. She has since composed the soundtracks for a number of independent film projects, including a documentary on the Falun Gong, entitled “With the Strength of Belief” and “The Finnian Cycle”, an independent film making the festival rounds.
While clearly a descendent of Romantics like Liszt and Chopin, Charlene takes much of her inspiration from literature, and the compositions which make up her ambitious debut album, Flickering Images, are derived from some her favorite works, John Nichols' The Wizard of Loneliness, Herman Melville's Moby Dick, Michael Malone's Handling Sin, as well as works by Dickens, Henry James, and John Keats.

Charlene's compositions have been described as "delicate and haunting," by The Washington Post and, when coupled with her sensitive touch on the piano, transport the listener into the story — a rapture from which her audience doesn't always want to return.

Lyrics

The Shepherd's Carol (vocal by Kip Ledger)

Written By: Charlene Lockwood and Edward Hoyt


It was on a midnight clear
When a star rose in the East
And an angel came to we shepherds low
And said, "Good men, I bring you peace
So do not start
And do not fear
For you have prayed and prayed for Emmanuel
And now Emmanuel is here

And I will sing the song the angels sing
Allelu! Allelu! Allelu!
And I will spread the news the angels bring
Allelu! Allelu! Allelu!

And when that choir joined in
I knew I must away
So I left my flock to the father above
To see where the child lay
Over hill and stream
I felt that I could fly
I could have crossed the sea that night
Oh yes, I could have crossed the sky

And I will sing the song the angels sing
Allelu! Allelu! Allelu!
And I will spread the news the angels bring
Allelu! Allelu! Allelu!

In Betlehem!
Before His bed!
I told the kings and the peasants there
What the angel said
And he smiled at me!
My heart was filled!
For in that virgin and that child
God's promise was fulfilled

And I will sing the song the angels sing
Allelu! Allelu! Allelu!
And I will spread the news the angels bring
Allelu! Allelu! Allelu!

And now I live each day
Praising God above
Who sent the world His newborn Son
To tell us of his love
And when I'm weak
And lose my will
I recall that Virgin and that Child
Who smiles on me still

And I will sing the song the angels sing
Allelu! Allelu! Allelu!
And I will spread the news the angels bring
Allelu! Allelu! Allelu!

For to kneel before the newborn King
Is to know that God is everything
So won't you join our caroling?
Allelu! Allelu! Allelu!
Allelu! Allelu! Allelu!
Alleluia!

The Shepherd's Carol (vocal by Kip Ledger)

Written By: Charlene Lockwood and Edward Hoyt

It was on a midnight clear
When a star rose in the East
And an angel came to we shepherds low
And said, "Good men, I bring you peace
So do not start
And do not fear
For you have prayed and prayed for Emmanuel
And now Emmanuel is here

And I will sing the song the angels sing
Allelu! Allelu! Allelu!
And I will spread the news the angels bring
Allelu! Allelu! Allelu!

And when that choir joined in
I knew I must away
So I left my flock to the Father above
To see where the Child lay
Over hill and stream
I felt that I could fly
I could have crossed the sea that night
Oh yes, I could have crossed the sky

And I will sing the song the angels sing
Allelu! Allelu! Allelu!
And I will spread the news the angels bring
Allelu! Allelu! Allelu!

In Betlehem!
Before His bed!
I told the kings and the peasants there
What the angel said
And He smiled at me!
My heart was filled!
For in that Virgin and that Child
God's promise was fulfilled

And I will sing the song the angels sing
Allelu! Allelu! Allelu!
And I will spread the news the angels bring
Allelu! Allelu! Allelu!

And now I live each day
Praising God above
Who sent the world His newborn Son
To tell us of his love
And when I'm weak
And lose my will
I recall that Virgin and that Child
Who smiles on me still

And I will sing the song the angels sing
Allelu! Allelu! Allelu!
And I will spread the news the angels bring
Allelu! Allelu! Allelu!

For to kneel before the newborn King
Is to know that God is everything
So won't you join our caroling?
Allelu! Allelu! Allelu!
Allelu! Allelu! Allelu!
Alleluia!

Discography

LP: Flickering Images, available as CD, and digital download. All tracks are available individually as digital download.

1 Morning Ride
2 Reunion
3 Velveteen (vocal by Steve Sweeney)
4 Poem
5 Another Carmen
6 Loomings
7 Pastorale
8 Barley
9 Faerie Round
10 Dance in the Conservatory
11 Queequeg
12 The Shepherd's Carol (vocal by Kip Ledger)
13 Winter Garden
14 Earley Rising

Single: "The Shepherd's Carol" b/w "Winter Garden", available as CD-single and digitial download.

Single "Still Ride Horses" available as digital download.

Music Suite: Vineyard Music, available as digital download. All tracks are available individually as digital download:

1 Prelude I
2 Wedding Party March
3 Bridal March
4 Postlude
5 Meditation

Set List

Sets typically run 45 minutes to an hour and Charlene easily has enough material to fill two such sets.

Originals

Pastorale
Faerie Round
Poem
Morning Ride
Another Carmen
Cordoba
1900
Winter Garden
Reunion
Earley Rising
Velveteen
Barley
Shepherd's Carol
The Bell
Goblin Market

Covers

River (Joni Mitchell)
Orphan Girl (Gillian Welch)
2,000 Miles (Chrissie Hynde)
What if We Went to Italy (Mary Chapin-Carpenter)
Hymn to Her (Meg Keene)
Deeper Well (Dave Olney, Daniel Lanois, Emmylou Harris)
Angel Gabriel (Trad.)
Down to the River to Pray (Trad.)
Here Comes the Sun (George Harrison)
I Can See Clearly Now (Johnny Nash)
Cry Me a River (Arthur Hamilton)
Don't Let the Sun Catch You Cryin' (Marsden, Marsden, Chadwick, Maguire)
Stepping Out (Joe Jackson)
First Light (Peter Case)
I Hear Your Voice (Peter Case)
Solsbury Hill (Peter Gabriel)
Don't Dream, It's Over (Neil Finn)