Sister Water Feature: Celebrate This Life by Michael Loonan

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September 12, 2021

This month of joining hands for the International Coastal Clean Up on September 18, 2021, our Franciscan Sisters series of ‘Sister Water’ songs features Celebrate This Life by Michael Loonan. ” Michael said this about the song: “I wrote Celebrate This Life 20 years ago, but it seems far more fitting for today’s world, as we emerge from a pandemic and long for greater unity.”

Listen to Celebrate This Life.

Download song: Here’s a Soundcloud link for Celebrate This Life

Website: Michael Loonan

Sister Cecilia Joy interviews Michael Loonan on Celebrate This Life. Learn more on our featured artist.

About Michael Loonan

Michael Loonan is an American musician, singer, songwriter and recording artist from Minnesota.  His CD (‘Share the Disguise’) was a finalist for Pop Album of the Year at the Minnesota Music Awards, and he performs and produces collaborative projects with a vast group of talented artists.  Michael is releasing new music in 2021, starting with ‘Celebrate This Life,’ which dropped on 7-2-21.

What inspired “Celebrate This Life”?

I had just returned from my honeymoon, where we went to Destin, FL, staying right on the gulf side — I was struck by the beautiful, white sand and felt problems and anxieties ‘vanish’ while we were there.  This feeling became a metaphor of sorts, ie, celebrating life is something we can all do in a given moment.

What came first – melody or lyrics, or both together? Is that what usually happens in your songwriting process?

I typically compose at the piano or while playing the guitar – I’ll hum a melody over chords, so they happen at essentially the same time (for me).  Even if I just write “lyrics” in my head, ie, if I’m on a walk etc, I’ll still ‘hear’ a melody that goes with the lyrics.

What has been the reception to your song?

The reception has been wonderful and better than expected — I officially released Celebrate This Life on July 2nd, and released 3-4 short promo videos leading up to 7/2/21.  This generated an early buzz and awareness for the song.   The MN Twins heard the song and have added it to a pre-game feature on 9/12/21, as part of their Tribute to Veteran’s Day.  In addition, I’ll be singing God Bless America and Take me out to the Ballgame as well.

Has it encouraged more songwriting – what might be on the creative and musical horizon for you?

It really has — this has been a good reminder that we have finite time here, so it’s good to use our creative gifts as much as possible.  I have 4-5 fully produced songs I’ll be releasing as follow-up singles, including “Walk Along Easy” on 9/17/21

Does your song strike a particularly timely, even challenging, note given events in the Twin Cities over the last year or so?

It does — part of the lyrics in the song are, “let’s spread our peace around this town and gather all the people ’round, let’s celebrate this life.”   Love, peace and acceptance can be “spread around” just like hatred and division, so I want to think of this song as an “anthem for unity” — ironically, this was a description used by A&R Factory when they reviewed the song  

How does your Catholic faith inform you as a creative artist – is it a constant but subtle inspiration?

My Catholic faith is always simmering inside of me, and I lean mostly toward how imperfect we all are, and how Jesus said, ‘let ye without sin cast the first stone.’  Knowing and admitting that we’re flawed and predisposed to sin lifts some of the guilt off my shoulders — it doesn’t mean I get to live a life of debauchery, but it’s a common thread that unites all of us as Catholics, that we’re all imperfect and yet created in God’s image

What do you bring to your faith a creative human being: for instance your participation in music ministry at Nativity Parish. Are you able to offer the parish more because you of your being a musician ‘outside’ of church?

When I play and sing music, I do feel ‘lifted’ by a much greater power than myself – I’m not just ‘clinically’ creating sound – instead, I’m channeling an inner source that’s been given to me as a gift, and from there, I create and play music.  So when I share this at Nativity, i feel very blessed and humble to be doing so.   Being a musician outside of church helps me stay sharp in my playing and creating, so that when I DO play at Nativity, I’m bringing a good version of my (musical) self to the table.


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