I picked up a pen and started writing again in 2016 after about a 25 year hiatus. Up until then I had been gigging small coffee shops and jazz rooms on and off since 2000 in both Vancouver BC and then Seattle WA and had resigned myself to the fact that music was going to be a sideline, a hobby, that ship had sailed etc. Ten years of classical piano, years of classical voice, and time spent with noticeable jazz greats to try and hone my skills eventually played out in the form of sitting in on weekly jams and scoring the occasional door gig.
I had challenges as we all do, but kept at the music as best I could. I was traveling every week to Portland in 2016 and found myself pulling out my computer to pen poetry type things. At that juncture, these writings were a distraction. Just something to do. Like creating friends with your past. It was comforting.
Eventually I had a whole bunch of them and then the thought occurred…..some of these would be great tunes. Well, at least I thought so. Convinced that someone else would have to write the melodies and music, I handed off one tune to someone I knew in Portland and asked them to put notes to my story. They did, and the melody and changes they wrote were great, but it wasn’t how I heard the song in my head. That’s when I realized that my lyrics were my babies and that their musical story was going to have to come from mama. I had never created melody lines or written tunes so I just forged my own method and path.
Enter Darin Clendenin. After I had written out melody lines to a handful of tunes, I took them to Darin to see if he would be interested enough, with just lyrics and melody lines at his disposal, to try getting into my head and hear what I was hearing. Man, he was good. I don’t think I need to say more. Listen to the work. It’s self-evident. After 4 years in the making, Mai-Liis on Life has emerged.
I hope you enjoy our music. We had a blast creating it. We hope to create some more.
Mai-Liis, December 2020.