Branches Of The Same Tree

The NDE Song Project


Don't cry for me. 

I go where the music is born.

Johannes Sebastian Bach's final words




Song Project


Have you had a near, shared, or after death experience that deeply touched and changed you ?


Accomplished songwriter Jim Duncan and Life After Life Institute are partnering together to invite submissions for The NDE Song Project.  

The intention of the project is to recognize and honor people's transpersonal experiences connected to death, dying, and grief. We hope that sharing through song will offer hope, inspiration, and insight.

We will randomly select two submissions on May 15, 2023. Each entrant will work closely with Jim through Zoom to compose a fully produced song that best portrays and honors their near, shared, or after death experience.

Life After Life Institute will cover the costs associated with producing these songs, as long as they can be shared on our platforms so that others can be touched by and enjoy them.

Deadline for applications is May 15, 2023.

Scroll down the page to discover how you can find out more and apply.

You can learn more about how a personalized song is created at Jim's website, A Song For You. 


See the video below of Jim's song "Free to Fly" giving voice to Lisa Smartt's personal and life-changing childhood experience.

Seeing the Light When I Was 5 Years Old  

 When I was a little girl, I was  severely abused. To keep me quiet, a rag was stuffed into my throat that made it harder and harder to breathe. While three adults tortured my little body, I began to float up towards the ceiling. As I ascended, I saw a bluejay outside the window in a tree. He looked at me as if to say, " Like me, you are also free to fly."  At that moment, the ceiling opened. Two light- filled palms held me as I watched my suffering body below.

Jim Duncan worked with me to create this anthem in honor of the bluejay's message. Indeed, I was free to fly.We are inviting others to turn their transpersonal experiences into song through the masterful songwriting talents of Jim Duncan.

Contact us through the form below if you would like the chance to be gifted a song about your near, shared, or after death experience. 

 Lisa Smartt                  


Are You Ready To Begin Your Song?

Become Part of the NDE Song Project

Jim Duncan will compose and produce a song that brings your remarkable experiences to music. Every year, we will select two submissions from the entries.

Deadline is May 15, 2023.

 (Submit your information below and check your email! Once you confirm your email address you will receive a PDF with instructions and additional information. We look forward to hearing from you!)

Music is powerfully transformative as are the stories of near death experiences.
We are bringing the two together in perfect harmony. 


Jim Duncan

A professional musician and songwriter based in Scotland, Jim has three studio albums and performs internationally at music festivals throughout the UK — including Glasgow Royal Concert Hall for Celtic Connections, Eastern Haze music festival and several times at the iconic Glastonbury Music Festival.

Growing up, Jim suffered from a health issue that over a twenty-year period resulted in numerous out-of-body experiences very closely akin to NDE’s, which left him with a life-changing and life-affirming point of view and fascination of what lies beyond; this is a fascination and passion rivaled only by his love for music, so inevitably, the two were destined to combine. 

Learn more about his life as well as details about his work, studio, and process at his website: A Song For You.

Jim Duncan, Song Writing

Life After Life Institute

Raymond Moody and Lisa Smartt have worked together for ten years since establishing The Final Words Project to study what people say in their final days. They have a shared commitment to researching the question of an afterlife through rational means while also embracing the emotional power and ineffability of such experiences.

Music is a vehicle for sharing what we have learned through rational investigation in ways that touch hearts and bring a little of the "divine" to all of us.

The gift of music is one of the compelling after effects reported by some who have had near death experiences.

David Ditchfield, Dr. Tony Cicoria, and Kevin Fortune share their stories of NDE-inspired symphonies.

Dr. Tony Cicoria

Composer of Lightning Sonata

Dr. Tony Cicoria had a life-changing experience after his near death experience. After being struck dead by lightning, he was resuscitated, and soon after, felt called to perform and compose music for the first time in his life. He has since learned to play and write music and has shared his new passion and abilities around the globe. 

Raymond spoke with Tony at the NDE Consciousness Forum about the orthopedic surgeon's dramatic transformation.

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 David Ditchfield

 Composer of The Divine Light

A few years ago, David Ditchfield had a freak accident in which he was dragged under a speeding train. He had a profound near death experience (NDE) and acquired astonishing new abilities. He started composing classical music. This new-found gift was all the more astonishing as David (a former punk/pop guitarist) has never received any training in classical music and never composed such music before his NDE. In fact, to this day, he cannot read or write a single note of musical notation. David's debut symphony 'The Divine Light' expresses what he felt during his NDE.  


 Kevin Braheny Fortune 

 Composer of Hearts of Space, The Way Home

Kevin Fortune has had two dramatic near death experiences that have given him insight into the world beyond this life and influenced his musical and spiritual path.In this video excerpt, Fortune describes his first near death experience and the power of the feelings he experienced while outside his body

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