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Out of the Block is about breaking out of social molds and constraints. We felt as though we were sculpting new lives for ourselves and wanted to capture the joy of creativity, the tireless commitment, and the surprises that result from such dedication. Perhaps our creation was something that might only be appreciated years into the future, after acquiring a patina of age, and the perspective of other eyes.

This story was an especially important one for us in the early days of our journey in that it captured the spirit of adventure and creativity that helped us to stay focused on our process. Also, Michelangelo’s "David" is such an incredible symbol of purity and ideals that it provided a striking image for us to focus on. Our partnership began flourishing in Florence, the very city of romance and humanity where the famous figure was sculpted over 500 years ago.

Check out our related story at Uncommon Promise


Eye to the next hundred years
Burning the midnight oil
Surrounding himself
With sounds only he hears
Echoes of his toil

Scrape of the chisel, chipping the stone
Tap of a hammer on cold steel
Pace of his breathing, shallow and light
Marble dust swirls and falls
Sifting down, drifting down like fresh snow
Silently blankets the night

Out of the marble form is released
Cut from the block the image is freed
Vision is far more than we can see
Carving the marble is destiny

Quietly working, standing alone
Sensing the power within his hands
Layer by layer, deeper inside
He is drawn as he becomes the stone
Sifting down, drifting down like fresh snow
Silently blankets the night

Worn fingers trace smooth lines
Details forever known
Reminding himself
The reason he designs
Freedom from the stone

Reminding ourselves
The reason we design
Freedom from the stone


from Swinging Statues, track released January 1, 2004
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 David by Michelangelo in Florence, Italy


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Cheryl and Emerson Martlage San Diego, California

At the age of 48, and after 25 years of marriage, we headed to a secluded town for 6 weeks, to create a new relationship and begin again.

When we arrived as if by magic, we co-wrote our first song ever— "Never Sleep," evoking the mystery and magic of the new adventure. Twenty years later, we're still making music. Join us on our musical storytelling as the adventure continues to unfold
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