British composer Paul Johnson Rogers and New Haven High School senior Anna Miller have teamed up to record a song to benefit veterans living with mental health issues.
Rogers, who is originally from London but living in New Haven, wrote the song after talking to two vets who, despite coming from very different backgrounds, had similar histories of active service and subsequent experiences of PTSD, depression and homelessness.
Both men eventually made it onto the long road to recovery.
The song is called “My Heartstrings (Will Always Play the Blues)” and it’s being released under the band name “Glass Bead Nation.”
Rogers said that the lyrics describe the vets’ conflicting thoughts and emotions, together with their slow healing and the gradual acceptance that, although their lives had been irrevocably changed, the “good days” would eventually outnumber the bad.
After recording the backing track, Rogers met Miller “quite by chance” and he invited her to record the vocals.
“Anna did a great job,” said Rogers. “So we had this song; it’s really quite an unusual track, but lots of people heard it and they all seemed to like it. Pretty soon it became obvious that we should release it in honor of the two guys who most inspired it.”
Proceeds will go to the New Haven American Legion for use in support of veterans living with mental health issues.
Miller, 17, said she’s “passionate about performing arts in general and music in particular.”
Rogers composes for broadcast, stage and screen, and his work has been used on TV programs such as “The Simpsons,” “Friends” and “Saturday Night Live.”
Artwork was donated by photographer Philip Hayes.
The song will be available from iTunes and most other online music stores beginning Dec. 16.
Search for “Glass Bead Nation.”