Interlochen Songwriters Join Sandy Relief Effort
The Interlochen campus was far from harm’s way as Hurricane Sandy lashed the eastern United States in late October 2012, but many students, faculty and staff watched news reports anxiously, worrying for family and friends in the path of the storm. For one Interlochen songwriter, the experience inspired a new original song - and with the help of Academy singer-songwriter program instructor Courtney Kaiser-Sandler, the song is now helping the relief effort.
As Kira Alejandro watched trees swaying in the windy remnants of Hurricane Sandy, she started writing. “The song deals with the feelings that surface when you're left alone and vulnerable. When the power is out, and I'm sitting at the piano with a candle in the cold, that's when everything comes up. There is so much hope that can come out of loss, and that's really what my song is written about.”
Before Courtney Kaiser-Sandler was even aware of Kira’s effort, she was approached by old friends in Brooklyn to see if she could contribute a song for a benefit album to raise funds for hurricane relief in the hard-hit Red Hook neighborhood. “I lived in that neighborhood for almost 13 years so it was important to me,” said Courtney Kaiser-Sandler, who has performed and toured extensively with many groups including her musical duo, Kaiser Cartel. “I had just signed the contract for the relief album when Kira came to her lesson saying she wanted to show me a song she wrote about the hurricane. I had goosebumps!” Kaiser-Sandler encouraged Kira to send a rough recording of her new song for possible inclusion in the album and the project organizers gladly accepted it.
Kira’s song “Better Days” will be included in the second disk of the “Songs After Sandy” relief album along with Kaiser-Cartel’s “A Long Way from Home.” The two Interlochen songwriters will be in very good company, with their songs included alongside works from Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Dave Stewart, Joseph Arthur and many others.
Proceeds from the sale of the album will go to non-profits in the Red Hook area that are helping communities rebuild.