Mary Martin Stockdale's new album is full of the same improvisational portraits that made her popular, but this time, pictures she paints carry a deeper message using nature as a metaphor for larger life messages.
There is musical imagery of snow falling and the peaceful pictures of nature that she featured in "Portraits on the Piano" and "Trout Creek Lullaby," but her third CD, "Timeless," begins far out in space with an imaginary landscape of planets spinning and stars forming.
"The song is about change and how time passes," Stockdale said. "The spinning of the planets is the same force that affects us."
Stockdale always has been known for her ability to play on the piano what she sees in her mind.
The title track of "Timeless" makes a statement, she said, about that place that is timeless, where time stops. It's a place she has experienced and a place she hopes to share with her audience by getting them to put her CD in the stereo and stop their lives long enough to listen to the music.
As she plays, she weaves a cocoon of music-filled meditation around the listener.
"This is the place we'd like to find more often than we do," she said.
On the second track of "Timeless," Stockdale comes back to Earth and tries to create the same feeling with a picture of "Willows by the Stream."
"It's about willow bending and making homes for animals and just being there in a perfect way," she said.
By track 3, Stockdale hopes that her listeners will have quieted their minds enough to be open for the next message, a message she heard in the song of the meadowlark.
What: CD release concert for "Timeless" by Mary Martin Stockdale When: 6:30 p.m., Saturday Where: Depot Art Center, 1001 13th St. Tickets: $10 in advance; $15 at the door. Available at All That Jazz, Off the Beaten Path Bookstore and the Depot Art Center or by calling 870-8534.
"This music is my mission, my calling, and that's what the song is about," she said. "It's about finding what you are best at. What is your gift or your many gifts and how will you share it?"
Throughout track 3, titled "The Calling," the meadowlark's song plays through the piece like a theme at the upper end of the keyboard.
"I heard (the meadowlark) outside, and then I came in and wrote this song," she said.
Stockdale hopes that "Timeless" will carry with it a healing message.
"In the last year, a lot of women I know have gotten cancer. There has been sickness, and I have watched a relatives going through death," she said.
Every day, Stockdale walks down to the creek below her house and contemplates the things she has seen and heard.
"The quiet out here gives me the space to create," she said.
Recorded in December, "Timeless" will be released Tuesday with a concert at the Depot Art Center.
Stockdale already has mailed copies of the CD to 280 radio stations worldwide, including Belarus, Romania and Barcelona. She wants to build on the New Age fan base she has collected during the four years since her first CD was released.