Wednesday, January 26, 2011


For the past three months since I returned from Germany I have been working on a new project that I am finally able to talk about on my blog. It took a lot of work to get all the pieces together and I am happy to announce that I am recording my first CD! Should I even call it that? Do people say it that way anymore, I mean, who uses CD's? I guess I should say I am making my first recording! For several years I have wanted to make a recording of American Art Songs. Singing songs was the first love of my life, as is the case with most singers, and I wanted to gather a collection of songs that expressed the joy of why I do what I do. Why do we sing? Why do I bother to play these crazy, yet beloved characters? What is it that we are trying to say throughout all of this? I guess it kind of goes along with the notion of 'How Can I Keep from Singing?' that I have talked about here on this blog. I also wanted to incorporate songs that dealt with spirituality and faith not associated with some particular dogma, but rather that spoke to a universal sense of these words and the essence of spirituality. As I searched for songs, some really important themes started developing dealing with all sorts of emotions that come with having a spiritual practice such as doubt, fear, and anger. I started making a pile of songs that I couldn't stop thinking of, ones that made me think, "Hmm, well, that says it all." I started to see other patterns emerge such as, themes of blessings and being thankful and songs about giving back to others. Oh, and of course love kept coming up in there too. Another theme that I keep coming back to is the idea of home and how the place of home changes as you grow older and as you move from place to place and meet different people. Some of these songs I have known for years and others have come my way just in the last month. It's a process that kind of baffles me. I combed through aisles in the New York Public Library in the spring of last year looking for just the right pieces about faith and never found songs that quite suited me. I had thousands of possibilities there, but none of them grabbed me. I found most of them randomly in old anthologies I already had or just casually looking through stacks in music stores. It seemed the less I looked the more I found. The cornerstone of the recording is a song cycle by Jake Heggie called Rise and Fall. I wrote to Jake in 2009 when all of these ideas started growing legs. I gave him the overall sense of the theme and he sent me these songs. They are AMAZING! They are perfect not only for the words and thoughts I am trying to express, but also for how they are written for the voice and how they suit me. I owe Jake a huge thanks for allowing me to use these songs for my recording and for pointing them my way.

I will be blogging a lot more in hopes to give you all a play by play of what is taking place with this truly exciting project. I feel an incredible creative burst happening and can't wait to share every moment with you. Stay tuned!

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