No more finger pointing!

To be political or not to be political - that's an interesting question. As I am absolutely heartbroken over what is going on in the Gulf of Mexico right now and possibly in the foreseeable future, I am having a hard time writing about how to retract your false vocal folds or what throat spray to use when travelling from New York to Beirut. I think it was about time that somebody blew a gasket over the abysmal neglect that has been bestowed on this whole incredible disaster by the current administration. (I'm talking about you, James Carville!) Seriously, fez up to your administration's shortcomings, go down there and show support! This looks to become one of the biggest ecological disasters in history, and you are talking about shifting troops around? Stop the politicking and get your hands dirty, Mr. President. Show us that you care.

Ooh - it's Christmas!!!

I am happy to announce that I received the finished copies of my new CD "Songs Of Love And Destruction" today. I have to say, I've been through this process several times before, and it just doesn't get old. Opening up the first box of 1000 identical little squares just gives me a thrill every single time. This is generally accompanied by a sigh of relief that the cover did not, in fact, turn out to be a black catastrophe, and that the CD is in fact not skipping and contains MY music, and not somebody else's. (Paranoia, my old friend/I've come to bask in you again...)
"Songs Of Love And Destruction" is not slated for official release until September first. I will keep you posted on the digital release date, which might happen much sooner. In the meantime, feel free to swing by my Myspace and Facebook pages for samples. By the way, the cover was done by the fabulous Bruno Silva! :)))))

It's the most wonderful time of the year

Some days, especially during allergy season (that season seems to grow longer every year) I feel like my voice is lodged in a humungous steel drum filled with water. Today is one such day. Days like these make me feel non-singery like nothing else (except when I actually do lose my voice). So what to do? Strong coffee - check. (although naturally completely unadvisable due to it's drying-out effect)
Playful futzing on the computer and general singing-avoidance behavior (including writing a blog on this all-encompassing and worldly subject matter) - check.
Looking for more things to do that don't involve singing (watering the plants, calling clients, getting a nose-full of cat hair) - check.
Booking a jam session with a really cool bass player, that happens - gasp - today! - check. (note to self - what was I thinking? Why didn't I study the weather/pollen patterns more carefully when I booked this thing last week?)
So, I guess it's just no use. I will get in touch with my grovelly side, throw some delay on my vocals and just get on with it. Oh, and do a lot of hihihis, hoping for the Bernoulli effect to kick in.

New frontiers

How much technique does a successful vocalist need? Apparently as much as one can get one's hands on. I finally made my way to an Estill Technique Course here in the city, and it was such a great experience to
a) be surrounded by like-minded people who were eager to learn, to improve not only their singing but also their teaching for the sake of future generations of singers
b) get an immensely detailed yet strangely applicable bulk of knowledge presented in a way that made my head spin alternately from elation and overload.
Ultimately we all have to find the tools that work for us, that help us be the best vocalists/speakers/teachers we can be. It's the constant striving for finding the word, exercise or explanation that makes your brain click in the right way that propels us to seek ever higher levels of expertise. The need to understand, the urge to be able to recreate what I hear in my head. After 20 years of studying, practicing, giving up, returning, analyzing, putting things together only to tear them apart a minute later, I have come to terms with the fact that this quest for vocal freedom is actually endless. I will spend the rest of my life seeking out that new frontier, that new limit that I find I have set for myself, identify it and overcome it. And then turn around and pass on what I have learned. How cool is that?