Judy Malloy, a talented singer, actress, and healer, who thinks of herself primarily as a storyteller, gives a tour de force performance on this two CD-set. Singing the parts of eight characters she tells the engrossing story of Brianna, a young woman from a barren land who goes on a quest to find her missing mother, a.k.a. the Mother. She receives gifts for the journey from a crone, is tested on a passage across the water, encounters a dragon (whom she heals rather than fights), and returns home to bring "the greening" to her land and a message of balance and hope to her patriarchal society.

The melodic music is contemporary Celtic, an apt genre considering that the Celts reverenced the earth and incorporated elements of Goddess religion into Christianity. Ron Melrose, the composer who has worked as a musical director for local churches and on Broadway, plays all the instruments on the CDs. In writing the lyrics, Melrose has covered a wide range of spiritually literate themes, including the importance of asking questions, the strength that comes from experiences in nature, the need to learn our inner wisdom, the reality of pain and suffering, the value of embracing opposites, and the joy of renewal. There are promises, prayers, and mantras in these lyrics: "If you lost your dream, and I had the gift of vision, I would remind you." "Open my soul wider than my fear." "I only flow with power when I find the grace to yield."

Thousands of people today yearn for an image of God more encompassing than the one put forth by the traditional patriarchal system that has dominated western religion for two thousand years. The "missing peace" for many is the feminine face of God, known as both nurturing and mystery. Melrose, however, believes that we must honor both Mother and Father — "We need not trade one for another." Above all else, it is this expansive vision that makes this musical quest a gracious gift for women and men alike.

Hear Judy Malloy sing "I Was Born a Woman" from The Missing Peace at http://www.sonsofsound.com/artists/player.html