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Music Speaks to Us: One Artist’s Story

Patrick Mahon - published on 03/14/16

"Allegheny River"

“I remember singing, to take away the pain, with the Allegheny River coursing through my veins.”

Patrick Mahon, a young artist out of Maryland, taps into the power of music to connect people: “Music in its very essence is relational. Art draws people toward it. I think if one person is able to relate one song or one line in a song that brings them back to a place, or is able to help them to relate … that’s really what I want them to take away.”

With this in mind, we caught up with Patrick to ask him about “Allegheny River,” which was released this fall as an acoustic session with Ascension Presents.

What inspired the song “Allegheny River”?

The song “Allegheny” is bipartite in meaning and inspiration. At face value the song is simply about a beautiful and peaceful little summer camp located along the Allegheny River in western Pennsylvania. I was privileged to lead worship for a youth retreat in ​2012, 2013 and ​2014 during the fall, arguably the most beautiful time of year for the region. The song describes some of the sights, sounds and memories from those weekends that are very dear to my heart.

Additionally, “Allegheny River” is a metaphor for the Holy Spirit’s existence and suitable perfection for every situation of my mind, body and soul; I feel comfort and security “as [h​e] rolls through my head,” “courses through my veins” and “lives in my heart.”

You say that music is relational, designed to connect with the listener. What do you want your listeners to take away from this song?

I want the listener to tap into the knowledge of ​God’s presence in the midst of nature and ​beauty. I want them to feel the same comfort that I do in knowing that that troubles in life will be resolved with a purpose.

And what about you, what kind of music do you find you most relate to? What kind of music inspires you?

To be honest, I’m pretty picky about what type of music that I listen to for pleasure. The music that I am most naturally attracted to is slow, sad, delicate and thoughtful. This is the type of music that I find beautiful and inspires me write and compose my own.

–Libby Reichert

CatholicismCeciliaChristian MusicEconomyFaith
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