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Music Feeds Me

Music feeds me.  I mean that in two ways, at least.  

First and foremost it feeds my soul.  Since I can first remember in my life, there was always singing.  Those who know me well know that it was my father who inspired me.  Every day music flowed from him and I hung on it, floated on it, felt nourished and loved by it.  In time he taught me to sing harmony and we would duet together.  What a gift it has been to have that as a birth place for my own music.   So creating songs and singing them is natural and feels in the depths of me to be an enormous part of what I am here to do in this world. It nourishes me.

Then too

For the better part of thirty plus years music has provided the energetic force of financial support.  Yep - I have been paid to perform, paid for my recordings and paid for my knowledge, skill and experience.  So music literally feeds me, shelters me and provides for me. 

In the Digital Age in which we live, my recordings can reach you in nanoseconds thanks to the vast and far-reaching medium that I am using at this very moment to write this.  Musical Artists can have their music streamed on various conduits such as Pandora or Spotify and a host of others.

We can utilize marketplaces like Amazon Music, iTunes, CDBaby and that ilk to distribute our physical CDs as well as instant downloads. (though I understand that in the near future those will be obsolete while Vinyl enjoys a come-back) 

All this seems a Miracle!  It is....up to a point and here is MY point at last.  The cost of recording and creating music in a format that you - the listener - can enjoy without me sitting in your living room playing for you....is high.   It is no small feat to conceive a song and then bring it to life in a recorded format.

Artists who make their creations available to Pandora and Spotify make in the neighborhood of a whopping $.000054 per stream.  If I sell a download or a CD from CDBaby for $9.99....I make $5.99!  For an International or even National 'Act' that would add up to a lot of money.  For those of us who are Independent  Artists the return is small.  

That said:

I will still create music.  I must.  I will still perform.  I am energized by it. 

BUT 

I ask you to consider your life without music.  No turning on the radio or steaming through Pandora and such.  No popping in your ear buds to listen to your favorite jams.  No concerts.  Movies and TV with no sound-track to inform you as to mood.   

If you really take a moment to consider that every song you have ever heard was created by the Artist in the person who conceived it, you begin to get a sense of the vast ocean of creativity that is present in our world.   Since we live in a reality where we exchange money for goods and services, let's be willing to pay our artists for their enriching, nourishing creations. 

Buy direct if you can... the Artist makes more. Support as you can.... We appreciate it. More than you know.  

May the Music nourish you too! 

~ patti

 

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Music is what feelings sound like...

Yesterday I went to work with some choir students at a local high school on an introduction to improvisational singing.  Text-less and without any preconception of what the end result would be I guided them first into listening to each other in a new way as they all sang one note, then into separate but interlocking melodic lines and harmonies.  I talked about how this type of singing is like LIFE.  We stand in community supporting each other, breathing at different times to allow the sound to continue.  We support soloists with their own ideas to come out and sing over the sound bed created.  As soloists we share our ideas and our own unique sounds and then step back into the circle to become part of the Whole of One sound again.

They enjoyed themselves!  I watched eye light up, bodies begin to move with the music, rhythms and harmonies evolve spontaneously. Trust and confidence seeds were sown. I loved every moment and the time flew past. 

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Music is healing.  Music is magical. Music is a vibrational exploration of our existence that is translated and articulated in a way that words alone cannot express...no disrespect for our authors whose works tease our imagination into new shapes...

I only know that when I sing - my life expands - my experience of the present moment is rich inside my cells and all differences slide away.  We become 'one' in those moments of singing and experiencing music together.

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The Passion of Performing

Beethoven basically said that playing a wrong note, that is insignificant.  Are you playing with passion?  That is the more important question.   It applies for singing as much as for instruments, acting, dancing, storytelling..... 

I had the great pleasure of sitting third row center stage at Orchestra Hall in Chicago this week to watch The Soweto Gospel Choir perform.  I never once doubted their passion for their music and their performance. 

At one point, after they had magnificently performed Sarah Mclachlan's "In The Arms Of The Angel" one of the younger women was obviously overtaken with emotion and was doing her best to smile while wiping tears and it seemed a great struggle for her. Without turning to her or ignoring her, the woman to her left reached out her arm and rubbed her fellow singer's back just long enough to comfort but not be distracting. 

I could not help but think that THIS, THIS is what happens when the passion of our performance is allowed to surface and bring with it our joys and sorrows and our struggles for healing.  I was in love with everyone of those men and women as we all stood and danced in the rows and sang with them and applauded them as they left the stage.  

That kind of depth of experience is why I feel so strongly that music and performance is a great healer.... that exposing yourself as you plumb the depths of your own experience and share that with your audience....that is the gift, for both you and them.

Now maybe you are someone whose music or performance art is in comedy... The same applies for you.  I'm not a comedienne....but I sure know when someone has made me laugh at the truth of a situation I value them as much as the serious, thoughtful and the dreamy performances.  

In fact, I admit to some envy of those who can find the humor with just the right words and actions to use and defuse the otherwise difficult conflicts that arise in our lives.  This takes a certain risk and courage to show us how ridiculous we sometimes are in our expectations of life and relationships and circumstances.   If you are one of these people...I say "Hooray!"  I am so grateful for your skill and passion and often, the wrong note there...well....that ends up being just the right note to play....

Here's to the passion of performance! 

 

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Why Not Just Sing?

For many many years I was a solo artist.  I performed with my guitar, covering tunes and writing a few of my own.  I went on to become a jazz vocalist with no guitar to hide behind, only a mic stand and a great desire to explore the pleasures of voice.  As that solo artist I often found myself craving the recognition that goes with being on stage.  At the same time I was deeply afraid of the responsibility that goes with success and so  I kept myself out of the way of both larger opportunities and larger potential disappointments.  I’ll never know whether I could have ‘made it’ in a larger professional context. It no longer matters.  

Where I have arrived is in a place where I recognize how wonderfully healing voice is.  We all have a voice.   Music is wired into our brains in a very real way.  When we sing or speak or even just listen to music we are open to the vibrations that give meaning to our lives.  We are in connection and in community with something much larger than our individual self.  Call it God or the Divine or whatever Name you choose.  It is playful and reverent and sometimes angry and sometimes forgiving.  It is the expression of Truth.  We don’t always have to be happy or joyful or loving.  We have the opportunity through sound to express.  We are in those moments both individual and part of the Whole.  Sing a little song and see how you feel!

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