Maine Authors

Alna author tells stories of music’s power

Tue, 11/27/2012 - 3:00pm

A woman comforts her dying father with recordings of his favorite musician, Van Morrison.

An exchange student from Uzbekistan marvels at seeing a pipe organ for the first time.

A churchgoer sings off-key in rehearsal, then moves a congregation to tears with a flawless solo dedicated to her late mother.

Composer, conductor and theatrical producer Aaron Robinson, 42, of Alna, crossed paths with all three.

Robinson shared those experiences, and others, in his book, “Does God Sing? A Musical Journey.”

The Camden native will take part in a meet the author and book signing  December 15 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Maine Coast Book Shop in Damariscotta.

Robinson said he hopes people will connect in some way to the stories.

“I thought if I put these down on paper, someone can say 'I know exactly what that is, because I went through it myself,'” he said.

In an interview at his West Alna Road home November 24, Robinson recalled worrying it would reflect on him if a churchgoer's solo didn't go well. A woman's powerful performance helped him realize the moment wasn't about him, and that he shouldn't have underestimated her ability to rise to the occasion.

“Since then, I never allow worldly things like my own status to take a backseat to what the true moment is about,” he said.

In the book, he writes that when the solo ended “several heads were bowed, and the hardest of men within the church were wiping their tears away.... Few things have humbled me so greatly as that one moment. It changed my life.”

Some chapters are expanded versions of articles Robinson wrote years ago. The book is like a quilt, he said. “I just needed to sew it all together.”

Robinson said the book doesn't ascribe to any one religion. “It's not preachy. It's not religious. But there is spirituality, which is individual to a person in that moment.”

That's how music is, too, he said.

“Does God Sing? A Musical Journey” is available at and hits bookstores January 22. On that date Robinson is set to start a nationwide tour promoting the book.

Susan Johns can be reached at 207-844-4633 or