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Battlescapes

Vandalia River

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Battlescapes

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Using folklike themes with subtle drama, this collection of six solo piano pieces evokes the natural beauty of historic Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, while respecting the somber aspects of its Civil War history. Listen to Battlescapes on iTunes/Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon, and other streaming services. 

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    Schoolhouse Ridge

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    Murphy Farm

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    Lower Town

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    The Heights

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    Virginius Island

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    The Confluence (Like a River Glorious)

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Story and live performance of a Battlescapes piece, filmed October 6

About

Life makes art.

Vandalia River is the creative outlet of R. Hall, a pianist, songwriter, and music teacher in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. The vision of Vandalia River is to reap the art of ordinary life by creating music to distill the beauty of every day living - and encourage others to do the same.

You'll find here original music and a weekly blog with thoughts on music, music education, and the Christian life. 

Solo Piano

Pensée No. 1

Vandalia River

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Pensée No. 1

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Pensée No. 1 is a brief instrumental piano piece with an ounce of pretty and a dash of suspense. Available on most streaming and retail platforms, including Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon.

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Lyrical Songs

Heaven and Earth: Scripture Songs for the Old and New

R. Hall, featuring Kellan Gash

Acoustic, catchy, and mostly not annoying: these songs are the home-grown product of a church Scripture memory program. After a long process of writing and refining, vocalist Kellan Gash and sound engineer Derryck Birt helped R. Hall bring the album to the next level.

​Now these songs are a gift to you. Listen, use, and share without compulsion to pay. A PDF of chord sheets is included in the album download.

Also available on many streaming platforms, including Spotify and YouTube!

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If you like what you hear, I'd love to send you news and blog updates.

From the blog

Music in Wartime 

“It almost makes you want to go to war.” 

Such was the effect of the fife and drum corps at colonial Williamsburg as they marched by.

Music in wartime is an ancient tradition. Why? Why should something so beautiful, lively, and celebratory be laced with something so horrid, devastating, and grim? 

There is the simple explanation that music is a mood-booster. I think we can extract a deeper reason, though.

Music declares victory before the battle. Music strengthens the heart with the promise of what could…

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Soundtrack of a yesteryear: a Thanksgiving tribute 

It must have been twenty years ago. At a November youth group meeting, we divided into little circles and said or prayed something we were thankful for.  

I looked down at my hands. One of them had scars on both sides from an accident that could have, but did not, debilitate it.  

"God," I said, "thank you that I can play the piano." And I teared up.  

All I had been doing was banging out chords and probably blessing no one but myself; but I loved it so much. It keenly felt like God's personalized gift to…

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A photographic tour of the land of Battlescapes 

I thought it was a dumb idea to put cameras on phones. In my defense, the first phone cameras were bad. Not in my defense, I had no imagination. "The farsighted see better things," and so many of our best pictures now exist just because the camera was ready on our person.

I would love to bring you music videos of the places Battlescapes are named for. Until that's possible, let me give you a little tour with pictures we've caught over the years. This is a view from the Virginia side of the river.

The…

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The frame (or, why we don't like classical radio) + artwork news 

Jacob brought a Winslow Homer print of Snap the Whip to our household. The folks who gave it to him understood that to use this gift, it needed a frame. They couldn't get a nice one, but they got a complete one, and to this day it hangs on our wall in the same plastic casing.

It's interesting to me that framing, or at least matting, was a required part of the [two] art classes I've been in. Wall art isn't complete without some kind of frame. The frame enables it to be displayed on a basic level and…

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Today is a special day. 

Good beautiful morning!

This is a special day!

The Battlescapes EP is now released on most digital platforms! Pick your pleasure to listen:

AMAZON

SPOTIFY

ITUNES / APPLE

YOUTUBE (this is a playlist on the VR channel; the videos themselves were not created by Vandalia River)

Thank you so much for following this journey so far. I hope the music finds a good place in your life. And now for a little fun…

POSTER GIVE-AWAY

I’m expecting a delivery tomorrow of 16x12 posters of the unique map rendering that was…

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