I spent the first few days of November in the peaceful surrounds of Lake Kanuga in North Carolina at Patti Digh’s Life is a Verb Camp. This inclusive, communal and creative gathering is now an annual must-be-there event for me. I always return home refreshed, encouraged and full of new insights, ideas and skills.
Poet, Glenis Redmond, shared her powerful words which now, more than ever, will be needed to jolt us out of systemic injustices that exist across the world.
Jonathan Santos sang songs of ancestors and breaking through.
If not for a chance glimpse at a bill poster outside the Lazy Bones live music venue in Marrickville, we would have been blissfully unaware of the fact that Ursula Yovich was appearing there with Alma Music last night.
As well as a stellar stage, film and television career as an actress, Ursula Yovich is also a talented singer and songwriter. Adm Ventoura (bass player, composer and producer) is the man behind Alma Music, a collaborative and moving feast of musicians.
And BTW, Ms Yovich’s voice is AMAZING.
Many people fail because they quit too soon.
Focal dystonia is an insidious condition, a progressive loss of muscular control in highly practiced movements. If you were an accomplished acoustic guitarist at the top of your game, a diagnosis of focal dystonia would, understandably, leave you in a dark place wondering how you could possibly not be able to play your instrument and be who you are.
Billy McLaughlin is another person who shared his work at Patti Digh’s DYLC last weekend in Georgia. By teaching himself to play guitar another way, he has brought joy back to himself and to others. Here’s a link to Billy’s TEDx Atlanta talk. It’s inspiring. He plays mostly with his eyes closed because he says he can see the music better that way. You can hear it better that way too.
Before I fall asleep in the second lot of jet lag I’ve experienced in the past week, I wanted to post this slide show of my last few days ‘at camp’. More details will emerge of the amazing poets, artists and musicians with whom I had the great privilege of sharing the experience. There is so much magic to absorb and I’m grateful for the creative juices that are firing away inside of me right now.
Thank you to the amazing Cary Cooper for foreshadowing ‘exactly how I hoped it would be’ on Day One.
There’s a lot that those of us who are not-so-musical can learn from musicians.
They show up.
They have fun.
They start anywhere.
They are generous.
They say yes even when they’re not quite sure what it is that they are saying yes to.
If not for a big and unambiguous yes to an out-of-the-blue email request, all the people at this party (inadvertent Joni Mitchell reference) would not have had such an amazing evening celebrating Marie’s 80th birthday.
That first “Yes” (which brought on an unrehearsed and absolutely satisfying solo happy dance from yours truly) came from the amazing Cazzbo Johns – an extraordinary tuba player and all-round entertainer.
Then Craig Schlencker – composer and double bass player – (we knew each other back in the days of the old schoolyard) said “Yes”.
Then Craig asked his daughter, vocalist Lauren Lucille, and Lauren asked her pianist Wade Gregory. All “Yes”.
The four had never played together. Not even a rehearsal. They made beautiful music and put layers of icing on the event. Professor Dumbledore (aka J K Rowling), Headmaster of Hogwart’s School of Wizards said best what they brought to the celebration...“Ah music. A magic far beyond all we do here!” Thank you Cazz, Craig, Lauren and Wade. Amazing musicians and human beings.
“I trust you this much. Should I? Show me.”
On crowd surfing, couch surfing and giving.
There are so many lessons in this TED talk from Amanda Palmer. So many.
These music clips take you right back to the music of Brisbane in the 70s and highlight the talent of one Carol Lloyd – first as the lead singer of Railroad Gin and then fronting her own band.
HT to JonSouthMusic – YouTube upload
HT MrPurser – YouTube upload
MrPurser is archiving some great Australian music history on his YouTube channel. Browsing highly recommended.