Interview: Peg Luke
Emmy and Grammy-nominated composer Peg Luke has released her latest single, 'I am home, Lord', and Louder Than The Music chatted with her to find out more about her journey so far, and her plans to release plenty more songs this year!
For those who haven't heard of you before, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got involved in making music?
I was born and raised in a small Midwestern town where I was introduced to music very early in my life. I started with piano at the age of 5 and flute at the age of 7. I naturally just started singing and composing right along with it. I felt a calling from God to pick up the flute and make it a major part of my life. I also sang in choir and accompanied on piano many groups and soloists. I majored in flute performance in college and eventually ended up teaching for decades both flute and piano at the university level. But it wasn't until after my parents passed and I had married the love of my life at age 50 (first time....) that my life started to change. By this time I had performed many successful solo concerts at Carnegie Hall and had made a beautiful flute CD that I had recorded in London and was getting air play on national radio networks. I was grieving the loss of my parents and could not find any music that really comforted me.
At that time, a multi Grammy winning producer (Neal Merrick Blackwood) had reached out to me to do another classical flute project. But instead, we found ourselves working on a brand new project encompassing the Psalms and the healing power of them. My parents were deeply religious and my Mom in particular would go to the Psalms to give her comfort. The project eventually turned into Psalm Space (www.psalmspace.com).
From there, music industry people started getting interested and from there I just kept composing and performing more and more Christian music. This has healed me and continues to do so. Changing my music emphasis from Classical to Christian so late in my life has been expansive, eye-opening, abundant and magical. I feel truly blessed and I have such an inner fire in me to continue to do this as my testimony and ministry to God. If I can reach just one soul and tell them how much they are seen and loved by God, I have done my job. It keeps me getting up in the morning.
Tell us about your new single 'I Am Home, Lord' and what the inspiration behind it was?
Oh my, what an important work. I knew it was important when the tune and lyrics came to me so strongly. To me, that is God's message saying I need to put this down on staff paper. Eventually we (Neal Merrick Blackwood and me) remotely recorded it with my husband, Jack on clarinet and myself on vocals. The music is inspired by our ultimate need for God in our lives and that we can reach out at anytime to find comfort, love and healing. With our world in crisis, migrant/immigrant/homeless/war/pandemic/gun violence/illness and any situation, this message and music is needed now, more than ever.
Do you have any plans to release more music in the near future?
One of the goals my Manhattan Agency (MPT) and I put in place when we signed contracts a couple of months ago was to put out new music every month. So far we have released, "I Am Home, Lord", "God Will Be My Peace" and 'Almighty, Victorious" (which was signed into my first sync licensing deal). In the works, I plan to release some Psalm Space tunes and some of my brand new tunes in the works, "Love Lifted Me" and "Benediction". Stay tuned!
What message would you like people to take from your music?
They are loved. They are seen. They matter.
How would you describe your style of music and what are your influences?
Coming from the Classical world, I take all those composers and try to use their music to inspire me. I am particularly a huge fan of Aaron Copland. I love to use his techniques (open 5ths) in my music. I also love Will Ackerman and Windham Hill and try to use their emotional effects in my healing concepts. I love George Winston and his power to connect with simple phrases and melodies. My goal in composing my music is to heal, relax, inspire and connect to my listening audience.
If you could work with any songwriter, who would it be and why?
I would love to work with Gordon Mote. He has such an incredible way of connecting his music to his audience. So sincere and inspiring.
How would you define success in your career as an artist?
Success to me is truly doing God's work in which He has called me. I don't value success in worldly terms but in spiritual... unseen not seen.
What is your favorite album of all time?
I don't think I could name just one. So many incredible composers, artists and performers. Impossible to name.
You're stuck on an island, it's hot, you only have enough battery life left to listen to one song on your phone. What track is it?
I have to selfishly admit it would be "I Am Home, Lord". I love that tune.
What does the next year hold for you?
I continue to put new singles out and my producer, Neal Merrick Blackwood and myself continue to remotely record my upcoming Christmas project. I hope to release the project early November 2023. It is filled with some well known tunes and some of my brand new tunes! Can't wait to bring it to You!!!
Thanks for having me! It was a pleasure!