Cancer survivor, mother and recording artist brings faith and humility to music
"There are moments where it feels that the song is just delivered to my mind and heart straight from heaven. The words and melody come as one, and I recognize the gift of inspiration and want to be worthy of it. I very much feel that I am being led and guided as the songs are recorded. I feel my own abilities being magnified and multiplied, for I know that I don't accomplish these things alone," Houskeeper said.
Sometimes, songs are based about feelings or experiences best expressed through music.
"I write about the feelings I have or experiences that I want to capture in music," she said.
Houskeeper also finds daily inspiration through her family and children. She also finds music as her best way to share her gratitude.
"I have found that music is often the only way to adequately express my feelings of thankfulness," Houskeeper said.
"Arise and Shine," based on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' 2012 theme for youths, is Houskeeper's ninth CD.
"Because I was often asked to share song and testimony for youth meetings, it felt right to begin to try to compose music for the youth and the annual theme they are given. I have been preparing music for the youth now for six years, and it continues to be such a blessing when I hear young women learn these songs and perform them," she said.
"Arise and Shine" features six tracks plus two bonus tracks. The new CD also features instrumental tracks of the six songs. Houskeeper wrote, produced and recorded the inspirational album. Listeners find her music to be a beacon amid the darkening and demoralizing world in general and in music.
The "Arise and Shine" selections range from the piano-based inspirational opener, "We Now Arise," to the uptempo, toe-tapping "Let Me Be Bright."
"Shine" is a contemporary, pop-flavored number that reminds listeners to "let your light reflect the truth that you believe."
As Houskeeper was completing work on ""Arise and Shine," her young son needed surgery. Shortly before the scheduled surgery, Houskeeper attended a Relief Society broadcast.
Houskeeper was touched by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf's message, "Forget Me Not," which offered her reassuring words of comfort during her family's difficulties.
"All I could think about, however, was my precious little boy and my sincere hope for a successful surgery for him," said Houskeeper.
During that time, however, Houskeeper said she felt loved and protected.
"Our family felt such great love and protection from our Heavenly Father during this time, and my sweet boy was able to have a safe and successful surgery," she said.
While with her son as he recovered from the operation, Houskeeper was inspired to pen a new song called "Forget Me Not."
"In just 10 minutes, the words and melody for my 'Forget Me Not' song were given to me as yet another tender gift from heaven. I have since been able to share the song with President Uchtdorf, and he responded with a most thoughtful letter. He assured me that my son and I were both loved by our merciful Father in heaven, and surely, we would not be forgotten," said Houskeeper.
Each of the songs on "Arise and Shine" showcase Houskeeper's pure, clear and sincere vocals and lyrics, while blending with high-quality musicianship. In an era of overproduction and Auto-Tune, Houskeeper's style brings an air of honesty. Her messages aren't condemning or preachy. They bring the spirit of hope and light to the listener.
Her songs are plaintive and touching, particularly as demonstrated in "Greater Things." In the song, Houskeeper pleads, "Don't you dare give up/Don't believe for once that you're not strong enough/Special child of God/Let him lift you, lead you out."
Regardless of age, Houskeeper's messages of inspiration and hope help remind listeners of eternal truth.
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