The Music of an Imaginery World

A Journey Above Feature Video Pic
A Song for RJ

The character of RJ PLOM is based on my father, so I approached this song with special care. In writing the melody for this piece, I thought long and hard about what RJ’s journey from this mortal world to a new one beyond might sound like. It needed to be reflect various emotions as he traveled.

RJ was now a man alone and sad, surrounded by his little plane and his thoughts about everyone and everything he had left behind. He first ascended through the fog and clouds. He became aware that all he could do now was move forward. RJ embraced the feeling of freedom that accompanied that reality. Once above the clouds, there was time for RJ to cruise along at a peaceful pace. He was able to enjoy the wondrous view of the cloud blanket beneath him as he tried to figure out where the ride would take him.

above the clouds

RJ’s peace was eventually interrupted by a swaying sensation that progressed into a less comfortable, more tension-filled space. He soon found himself tangled in a wild storm that forced him down onto unstable ground. When the tension of the storm finally subsided, the clearing sky revealed to RJ a sight that was brilliant, colorful, and surprising…a wondrous new world.

The melody components for the various stages of RJ’s flight actually came rather easily. Trying to add my own accompaniment was another story. I wrote what I could to add a little texture and harmony to the piece. I realized after a little experimentation that there was an opportunity to blanket a verse of the Heaven’s Wait theme over the main “A Journey Above” melody, so I wrote it into the final verse of the song as best I could. It didn’t sound too bad, considering that my orchestration skills left a lot to be desired. This was all years before Aki entered the picture.

I put the files from my music creator app for this song into Aki’s hands, where he was able to see how I had delineated the different sections of RJ’s flight. He took it from there, finding instrumentation and chords to make each section sound appropriate to its mood. We went back and forth with ideas and corrections until we felt we had done it justice. Aki turned this special piece into something I will always hold close to my heart. I sincerely thank him for that.  We are especially proud of the way the two songs melded during the final verse. It still makes my heart swell whenever I hear it. Enjoy “A Journey Above,” otherwise known as “RJ’s Theme.” B


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Written by Barbara McLaughlin

Category: Music

January 21, 2023

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  1. Jill and Mike

    So beautiful Barbara!
    My dad was also an RJ and I love this interpretation of the journey that your RJ goes on.
    The entire project has been so amzing!
    With best wishes for you and the team!

    • Barbara McLaughlin

      Thank you so much, Jill!! That means a lot.