Each Cell

Each-Cell-LacingFollowing a visit to Madonna del Sasso Monastery near Santa Brigida, in Tuscany, we wrote this song. We had walked for about an hour up the steep, rocky trail between the monastery and town to reach that sacred site with unbelievable views into the Val d’Inferno. We could see our studio off in the distance, and the Castle Trebbio, down below.

After wandering around the grounds, we rang the bell and a brown-robed monk opened the door. He invited us in, giving a private tour of a few rooms of the monastery. Then, he took us downstairs to the room filled with gold and silver hearts.

After the visit, we talked about the life of a monk—such a life of devotion would be difficult, maintaining seriousness while still remaining joyful. We decided that their faith permeated their beings, in each cell of their bodies. We imagined their cloistered lifestyle, their whispered prayers offered within their tiny rooms, their cells. This song uses images of manuscript illumination which was their primary work in centuries past. Their daily work became a meditation.

We identified with the life of the monks. In many ways, our life mirrored theirs, but in a secular way. We felt that our life had become monastic, with our own particular vows of silence. We immersed ourselves into the full experience, taking the essence deeply into each cell.


Simple life
That is humble, yet chosen
Solitary, alone in myself
Time has stopped
And reality frozen
In each cell

Listening for words
To release me
From myself

Open with anticipation
Light shines from within me
Flows through my hand onto the page
My words fall silent

Voices speak
But are hushed in a whisper
Silence broken, offering chants
Common language
A song as a vesper
In each cell

Listening for words
To release me
From myself

Now there is waiting
Will release me
To myself

Now there is waiting

Credits (Each Cell Music)

From Where I Need to Be, track released 01 June 2005
Cheryl Martlage – Lyrics and vocals
Emerson Martlage – Music, guitar and vocals
Tom Tomasello – Producer/Arranger
Jim Bruno – Vocal producer
Mr Toad’s San Francisco – Mastering
Inspiration – The nice monk from Madonna del Sasso