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Hello!

Welcome to my blog! My name is Grace Piper Fields. I am a singer/songwriter/actor/dancer based in Kansas City. Thanks for following along on my many adventures! 

Checkmate: An Original Song

Checkmate: An Original Song

Let me introduce my new music. My original song, “Checkmate,” which is now available on Spotify and iTunes is a sneak peak into my new album. This song obviously has a lot of chess symbolism. My favorite teacher in elementary school was my fourth grade teacher, Mr. Lind. He was the one who taught me how to play chess and just gave a lot of good life advice. There are many things that go into being a good chess player: self confidence, the ability to think objectively, a capacity for abstract thought, and self control, among many other things. In chess if you make a blunder, you have to be able to take things in stride to recover. In chess, like in life, you have to know what to sacrifice and what to preserve. Your opponent has their own strategy, so it is a complicated process to come to a checkmate. I can see why Mr. Lind had us spend so many hours playing chess!

My new sound has a lot more complexities to it. The lyrics to this song have a lot of symbolic messages all tying into a game of chess. The following is a play by play interpretation of the lyrics. The black horse (one of the pieces in a chess set) rides into the scene and presents a challenge. When coming under attack, turning your cheek is not a sign of weakness. In the face of challenge, keep your wits about you. You can be willing to give up a lot of things in a high stakes game, but don’t sacrifice your honor and your pride. The Game of Thrones reference is thrown in there because chess really is a game of thrones after all. In the moment make the best decisions you can. Think quickly, but always protect the things most important to you. Sometimes making a different decision is necessary from what you originally thought. Also, we sometimes don’t really know what the right move is and we may seem to be going backwards instead of forwards. In chess, if you lose the queen you usually lose the game. “God Save the Queen” is the royal anthem of the United Kingdom. Also in chess, the knight can hide behind the castle piece, which is known as castling. Of course if you hide, you might lose your castle. King Louie XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette of France lost their palace, Versailles during the French Revolution to a new government. Interesting fact, Marie Antoinette was ultimately beheaded in Paris. I have vague memories of visiting Versailles when I was little and have always found the pictures of the palace stunning, so I wanted to work this lyric into the song. Sometimes we don’t know what to sacrifice and what to preserve, so a sense of right and wrong becomes confusing. In all of our maneuvers, what is the purpose of this game anyway? There can be a fine line between winning and losing. Sometimes winning isn’t all that satisfying and it’s in the losing where we find our greatest strength. So, live passionately and keep on playing the game, and if you need to, howl at the moon. 

This song started off in a different way than any other song I have written. Instead of starting off with either music or lyrics, it started off as a sketch. In one of my song journals I made a drawing of a castle at night with a dramatic scene playing out. The song was inspired from this drawing. The mood of this song is very important, and I put a lot of subtle details into the song to create the setting. There are a lot of vocal sound effects in the background from horses hooves to the wolf at the end of the song (which are both me ha ha). I also sang a completely improvised vocal layer which plays throughout the entire song. Thanks for listening (and reading) about my music! I hope you enjoy this song and that it moves you in some way.

~ gracenotes

P.S.

This song was produced by the amazing Chris Bihuniak at Rock Band Academy!

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Checkmate

By Grace Piper Fields

The black horse rides into the night

Open the gates and let him in

Clouds turned black 

And the sky tuned blue 

But all that I could think of was you

You turned your shoulder

I turned my cheek

But don’t misinterpret me as weak

 

In these games of chess                             

the stakes are high

In this game of thrones

don’t lose your pride your pride                                 

With chess board thoughts

I protect the king

My next move is swift and keen

Dark horse rides near

Did I retract?

Well if I did, I take that back


Ah-ooo-ooo-ooo         /     howlin at the moon

Ah-ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo

One step forward 

Two steps back

Better make sure you stay on track

Hold her in a high esteem 

Soon they’ll sing God save the queen

One step forward 

Two steps back

Better make sure you stay on track

Hold her in a high esteem 

Soon they’ll sing God save the queen

In this game of chess                          

the stakes are high

In this game of thrones                      

don’t lose your pride

In the shadow of                              

your castle walls you hide.            

Down-da-down it came 

Like the fall of Versailles       

Ah-ooo-ooo-ooo          /     howlin at the moon

Ah-ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo        howlin at the moon

Losing pawns 

to save the knight

It’s hard to know what’s wrong or right

You wore armor

I held my shield

What did this chess game yield?

Checkmate

Charming Cobblestones

Charming Cobblestones

Sunny Santorini

Sunny Santorini