Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You

As someone who was not raised in this country I never could quite wrap my mind around this holiday called "Thanksgiving", a day, it seemed, when families got together, drama unfolded (according to various movies), dark and half forgotten family secrets were unearthed, women cried, children fled and men withdrew to their dens to watch a mysterious game called "Football" (I think). I still don't have a connection to this day, even after 16 years of residing in this marvelous city of New York, having built a life here, complete with a happy marriage, a wonderful group of friends, a pretty great teaching gig, my own successful recording business, a career as a jazz vocalist and a fabulous apartment in - gasp - Manhattan. But it seems to me that even a non-American like myself can connect to the word - "Thanksgiving" - giving thanks: for, well, all of the above. Which, I believe, should not be restricted to one out of 365 days of the year. So, here's my early New Year's Resolution: I will commit to saying Thank You every day in the year 2011. Who's with me?

Slightly out of tune...

It was a large, brown grand piano. Sitting in the corner, beside the stage. The fact that it was not actually sitting ON the stage should probably have given me a hint as to the quality of this instrument that, visually at least, dominated the room. It was not until after sound check, dinner, show, shmoozing with friends, family and strangers, not until the fire in the open fireplace had almost burned down to its embers, we had broken down the PA, and the lights were turned off, that I finally, FINALLY got to sit at this piano and see what happened if one actually tried to play on it. As I hit a supposed Major chord, the maws of hell opened up, a dust cloud emerged from the piano's voluminous body, the emanating sound transporting me smack into the soundtrack of a horror film. Nothing I played made sense! The notes kept squealing and trying to squirrel away from underneath my fingers, down was up, and up was, well, something entirely different. Truly, it was magnificent! Only a Bach Prelude would do to illustrate the magnitude of the out-of-tuneness that was mauling my ears. Desperately trying to hold on to the piece, I had to concede defeat and give in to the strangeness that purported to be a C-Major chord, that wickedly and cunningly lead me astray into an atonal depth that I had heretofore only experienced in my darkest, most glorious nightmares.
Witness the Destruction HERE

One - new photo


Because I can't think of anything constructive or funny to write about (my life just tinkers along merrily while I try to get my stuff in) and I have another show coming up in New York City with my beautiful pianist husband Walter Fischbacher, I've decided to use this blog for the release of a new photo of me, which my friend Quimera Music (www.quimeramusic.com) took and added the glorious touches to.
I'll post the details of my show (Tuesday, Nov. 23rd at Miles Jazz Cafe NYC) in a separate Events posting on my various (and by now numerous) outlets tomorrow.
Until then, be well, be creative and fierce!

Rake handle singer

We've seen it a million times in Romantic "chick flicks" (most notably "Bridget Jones Diary"): the lead actress lip-syncs a tune while clasping a hairbrush handle and transforming said brush into a make-believe microphone. These instants of uninhibited romantic mania do of course not happen in real life...or do they? I buckle under the weight of your accusing stares and admit it: YES, I did sing into a handle posing as a microphone! Except: it wasn't a hairbrush. No! My fake microphone of choice was, in fact, a rake handle. Growing up on a farm in rural Austria I had plenty of opportunities to bend a farming tool to my will, and I did so, with great gusto! I also did not lip-sync, because, funny enough, there was no sound track to my raking and hay making efforts, apart from my singing. In fact, my whole family would be singing various tunes while in the field. And we would sing extra loud when we passed each other to make sure the other person knew just what tune it was we were mangling that day. My older sister driving the tractor belting down some Peter Alexander (you know, the Austrian dude from the fifties movies with Caterina Valente), my other older sister raking in the opposite direction with the help of some folk tune, and me, probably laying down some Michael Jackson (my memory is a bit hazy on that part). My brother pointedly did NOT sing. Must be a girl thing, I guess.So there...don't say this stuff doesn't exist, because it does! And I can attest to it!