Music to Prompt a “Conversation of Heart”
Music Spotlight Interview with Sharmane Adams, Sharmane
By Lisa M. Hendey
To listen to the music of Sharmane Adams is to pause, to recollect, and to sense calmness in the midst of life’s frenetic pace. Sharmane’s 2002 debut CD, Prayerful Hearts, was delightfully aimed at children with its musical retelling of the classic prayers of our Faith. With the recent release of her self-titled project Sharmane, Adams now shares her talent and lightness of spirit with a new audience.
Adams’ new contemporary Christian CD reaches out to those “over thirty”. Sharmane has rightly indentified this group as one in need of support and encouragement. With life’s busy pace, Catholic adults frequently find themselves neglecting an emphasis on their own spirituality. They may feel overwhelmed by family commitments, career advancement, and constant demands on time. Sharmane’s ten tracks offer a quiet opportunity to slow down and to reflect. Lovely lyrics and appealing vocals are blended with the talents of skilled musicians to attain a high quality listening experience. Like Adams, I was deeply touched by “So My Soul” with its smooth jazz feel and incredible saxophone features. I also loved “With Every Breath”, with its wonderful message of giving praise for each and every one of God’s blessings.
Sharmane Adam’s voice is tenderly distinct. For me, what stands out when listening to this new CD is the firm conviction of Sharmane’s faith and the gentle sense of peace, grace, and God’s benevolence I experience each time I listen. I fall into Sharmane’s “target audience” and would say that she is definitely reaching her goal of prompting a “conversation of heart” with Sharmane. I am pleased to share the following conversation with Sharmane Adams and am greatly anticipating the growth and development of her wonderful music ministry.
Q: Sharmane, we talked a few years back after the release of Prayerful Hearts. Could you catch us up on what you've been up to since then?
Thanks for having me back! Since the release of Prayerful Hearts, my family and I have moved to the coast of Florida to raise our children. Amazingly, this town has a devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Before we knew we were moving here, I did a Novena to the Sacred Heart for guidance on where we should move. Miraculously, we ended up here. In the last four years, I have been focused on raising the children and volunteering in the community. A couple of years ago, I started the Chapter of Confraternity of Christian Mothers in our diocese. This group is dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows. Our mission is to pray for our children, the unborn, and all of the children of the world. I have been quite busy with this organization. My family and I are members of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. I use my gift of singing at the church weekly. I am now able to devote more time to my music ministry. I am starting to travel again with my ministry and performing at Catholic conventions.
Q: Please share with us what motivated your new CD, Sharmane? I know that you felt a special call to create this project - I'd love to hear more about it.
After my last CD, Prayerful Hearts, I felt a call to pursue a different angle on this new project. Prayerful Hearts, as you know, is based on traditional Catholic prayers that I wrote to song. This CD was inspired by “simplifying life through prayer and song.” As a wife and mother, life is so busy. Nowadays, there are life’s interruptions through cell phones, computers, meetings, basketball games, Brownies, etc. God was leading me to create a CD that slows people down and concentrate on the core of why we are here. My goal is that the listener will hear the music and it will calm their soul and bring them to a “conversion of heart.” I pray that the listener will meditate on the words and allow themselves to be still and know that He is God.
Q: What went into the selection of the songs for Sharmane? Can you share your creative process and your musical influences?
I had a song planted in my heart a couple of years ago regarding the Eucharist. Once I decided to produce the CD, I knew that Lamb of God would be at the top. It brings us to the root of our Catholic faith. As far as the other songs, God truly orchestrated the selection process. With the Prayerful Hearts album, I wrote many of the songs. This time, I was excited to share this project with the talents of other writers. These writers are absolutely amazing! I have been blessed with their beautiful words. I feel honored that I was able to take their written songs and arrange it in the way I wanted to create the CD. The incredible musicians that worked on this project are phenomenal. The creative direction I had envisioned came to true fruition!
I have many musical influences. In Christian music, I love Michelle Tumes, Nicole Nordeman, Point of Grace, Sarah Kelly, Twila Paris, Jeff Deyo, Mercy Me and Todd Agnew. As for Catholic artists, I am influenced by Father Cyprian Consiglio, Tom Booth, Sarah Hart, and Kitty Cleveland and Rachel Lampa.
Q: Which of the songs is your personal favorite and why?
For me personally, So My Soul is my favorite song. I can listen to it over and over and each time receive a different message. It calms me! The song is directly speaking to God. It takes me away from it all and when I hear it, I only think of God. When I was in the studio recording this song, Robert, my producer, came in the sound booth and he turned out all the lights and placed candles all around me. After he shut the door, I could feel God’s presence there with me. It was just the two of us. I wish each listener could experience what I felt that night! I was swept away by God’s powerful beauty. I can’t explain it. It was something that was not from Earth. It was truly heavenly!!
Q: What are your plans for the future of your music?
There are so many Catholic adults that are losing hope in their faith. My plan is to minister through music to adults. Music is such a healing venue that God has blessed me with through singing. There are youth and young adults that are being fed through Life Teen and Youth Conferences throughout the world. My focus is to minister to the 30 something’s and older. They may have lost their faith or may be trying to find their way back. These adults probably have children that are also not being fed because their parents have not had a "Conversion of Heart." However, through their changed heart…they can reach their children. It starts with the parent through their example. As the scripture says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Prov. 22:6)." If we lose sight of ministering to these parents, then in turn, their children may not be fed. I plan on doing this through parish missions and conferences throughout the U.S.
Q: Are there any additional thoughts you'd like to share with our readers?
Yes! Open your hearts to God. He loves you! You are His child! As you slow down, simplify your life, open your heart and you will hear His voice. Stay focused on your family values. Your family is a gift from God. Share with them your miracle stories. Don’t stop telling your children these stories. Show them that God is all around and life is precious. Go outside and breathe the fresh air. Listen to the birds, watch for butterfly kisses and just “BE.”
For more information on Sharmane Adams and her music, visit her web site at www.prayerfulhearts.com. To order her CD Sharmane visit http://www.catholicmusicnetwork.com/cmn_cd_detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=50699&REFERER=183
Lisa M. Hendey is webmaster of www.CatholicMom.com , a wife and mother of two and a Catholic music fan and supporter. Visit her at www.LisaHendey.com for more information.