| March 8, 2013 | 0 Comments

Rod Salaysay, RN, performs for his patients. Photo courtesy of Rod Salasay.

“Today I share this song; it’s my gift to you. Making each day special, turning gray skies blue.
Life’s too short, live and breathe, nothing’s hard if you believe….”– Rod Salaysay, RN

It’s often said that 99 percent of success is in the timing. For Rod Salaysay, Peggy Windrum and Chris Camp, those are words to live by. Timing, and a chance meeting, led to a triumvirate of musicians who produced Salaysay’s tender and touching CD, “Warms the Heart, Heals the Soul,” a 12-song compilation of Salaysay-written tunes that were penned specifically for individual patients on Salaysay’s ICU Trauma ward at Scripps La Jolla Hospital. But I’m getting ahead of myself here.

Salaysay, a native of the Philippines has been a nurse for 25 years, and also happens to be a guitar and ukulele player, as well as a first-rate poet and a fine artist to boot. With no formal training in music, he took up guitar in high school. He played a few coffee house and lounge gigs but put the guitar down and didn’t take it up again until 2000. A day came when Salaysay had a young man on the trauma ward for months and Salaysay began taking notes to tell things to his mother. “It was like words for a poem,” he recalls. “I took up my guitar and wrote ‘Leaving All My Blues Behind’ for him, I put headphones on him and played his music. 20 days later he woke up, and he recovered. That was the start. I was encouraged and the next patient requested my guitar. The hospital people were very supportive, and I was able to share my music at the bedside.

My audience includes patients with ongoing health concerns, their families and friends. My approach to songwriting is unique in the sense that I gather all my thoughts and inspirations for these musical pieces as each story unfolds in front of me. Trauma ICU has given me the opportunity to get closer to these individuals and allowed me to reach out deeper into their minds and souls. In an effort to nurture their spirits, I share the gift of music from my heart.” That’s Rod Salaysay in a nutshell.
Now, enter Peggy Windrum — who owns Windmar Music in Vista, a company, in her own words ”dedicated to creating innovative songs for adults and children and to promote not only our music, but quality music of other artists that fall in line with our belief of clean, family friendly music.” Windmar was born out of the song writings of Peggy Windrum – her desire was to create songs that are “spirit-filled and God-inspired.” (See her site at www.windmarmusic.com )

In October, 2009, Salaysay was a nurse for Windrum’s mother in the hospital. Over the coming months, Windrum and Salaysay became close, and Windrum heard some demo tracks of Salaysay performing, and he played for her mother. “I was a survivor myself, that’s why his music got to me,” she says. “Rod’s voice and music are like a warm house on a cold winter night or a shady cool spot on a hot summer day. If you or someone special is recovering from an illness, injury or just feeling low, these songs are ready to lift your spirits.”

Windrum, who survived a stroke and brain aneurism, had done three albums of Christmas music with the last person in this trio, music producer, recording engineer and guitarist Chris Camp at Camp’s Escondido music studio; www.campmusic.com. Camp also happens to be an extremely skilled luthier who builds and repairs guitars, and it was only because I took a new guitar to him for some work that this article is even being written – another “chance encounter.” With Camp, the scene was set, and the players were in the wings for a meeting of the minds. Camp has been “rolling tape” for 40 years, including 13 years on Nashville’s music row, recording a slew of famous musicians. His chops are definitely honed, and when Windrum brought Rod Salaysay to call, Camp was impressed: “The three of us were a perfect fit. Peg and I had been working together for about seven years, I had produced a couple of records for her and we really clicked on a vision of how to move forward with Rod. He has a lot of soul and a natural, rhythmic feel.”

Salaysay was thrilled at the prospect of getting his songs on a CD, and recalls “I was thinking it might be six months to get it done.” Those six months turned into a year and a half of writing, re-writing and recording before “Warms the Heart, Heals the Soul” came to fruition. There were a couple of obstacles to overcome, one being some vocal coaching for Salaysay, who was, after all, singing in what is in essence his second language. The other was re-doing song lyrics so tunes that had been written for one individual patient would have a greater appeal to a wider audience. Beginning in March, 2010, they worked through 18 months of sessions, emerging with the finished, and quite polished “Warms the Heart, Heals the Soul.”

“Rod listens to people,” says Camp, “and he has no ego-driven problems at all. When we sat him down and wanted to change some things, he was ‘anything you can do to reach as many people as possible. As each song was fully written, he proceeded to make it his own and was never short on gratitude.”

Camp also has great thing to say about Windrum: “She was so perfect because we had done records together, short songs for children that she produced, and that was kind of like a warm-up for Rod. That project set the stage to take Rod further.”
The end result of this collaboration is a collection of songs that live up to the title – they do warm the heart, they do heal the soul. I sent this CD to a friend who is recovering from cancer and after hearing it her reaction mirrored that of many others who have listened to it: “This CD has become a “go to” therapy when I am discouraged about the progress of my slow healing from cancer. It fulfills my prescription to reduce the level of mental stress that aggravates my condition.” The blend of vocals by all three musicians and the masterful guitar work of Chris Camp make this album the professional effort it is, and reflect the tremendous amount of work that went into the planning and production by Salaysay, Windrum and Camp.

“Warms the Heart, Heals the Soul” is available at cdbaby and on I-Tunes as an mp3 download for $9.99 and the hard copy CD for $14.99. This CD is not just for people who are ill, though that was the inspiration for it. This will be a welcome gift to anyone who is struggling through life, or just needs a shot of good old fashioned positive thinking and enthusiasm in their life. To hear sound samples and purchase the album, go to http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/rodsalayrn.com.

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Entertainment

About the Author ()