But what are you going to do? Five minutes after meeting them stress the importance of the extra responsibility these parents must face having adopted a child of color? Encourage them in a few seconds to be vigilant in helping that beautiful baby to know, to really know that she is beautiful? Prevail upon them to celebrate her color and compel them to help her to install a fierce, strong, stable, sense of self? Warn them of the arduous road ahead raising a black girl in a predominately white society???
The inspiring Vladimir Luxuria, Italy's first transgender member of Parliament, danced so hard, so fiercely and with such abandon, she broke a spaghetti strap on her dress and I helped her turn it into a strapless gown. I was so moved to meet this famous gay rights activist that I was rather beside myself and as she danced wildly in the middle of the crowd I came up dancing just as wildly with her. She was gracious and enthusiastic with the constant stream of people seeking photos; emanating light. Vladimir is the very essence of "being the change"
My writing room sits perched at the very top of our house where I can pretend that I am in a lonely garret, while the Maestro is two floors below in our home studio/spaceship... I painted my study walls brick red as soon as we moved to our house here on the lake. That deep dark color feels womblike and enveloping… makes this room safe and warm, while conveniently encouraging my bohemian fantasy. Marco soundproofed the studio and covered the walls with old album covers and ordered vintage Star Trek posters from America, only the original series would do. Atmosphere for his own cockpit. Those were literally our priorities in an empty house.
Yup This oughta be on the setlist. I love Marco's arrangement!
We both dreamed songs and woke up in the dead of night to scribble the ideas down before the grey dawn could snatch them from us. The night he dreamt of “Shame on You”, he sat bolt upright and ran from the room to the piano, beyond excited, mumbling the hook until he got to the piano and started composing. He pretty much wrote the entire song that night and then gave me the title as my launch pad for the lyric which also followed incredibly quickly.
The myriad occasions that we almost met make me want to believe in fate. I think that’s true of almost every couple, especially when newly in love and thinking of all the events that needed to happen so that your historic meet might take place. The same holds true for bands that are formed organically; it seems such kismet that circumstances conspire to bring together all of the elements that then produce magic.
Beyond the craft behind constructing a song or a poem, and all which that entails lyrically and musically (that’s another blog entirely!), songwriting is often about making a personal experience universal. If one wishes to reach a broad audience, many folks must be able to see themselves or their ideals reflected in that song allowing them to relate to whatever it is one is chirping on about. In contrast spoken word is a much more direct expressive vehicle. The very nature of the art form is that it is confrontational and holds nothing back.
I keep feeling like I’ve gotta stop with the political posts… I oughta write about something, anything else. Like Johnny Cat- look at him, he’s adorable and he’s the best cat. He gambols constantly. Or maybe something about what a lovely happy thing a bidet is. That’s it, I told myself as I sat down to write today, no more politics, instead an ode to Johnny the Cat in the bidet…. But somehow it’s so insistent. Every time I sit down to write, the clamour of the articles I’ve read this week drown out the sounds of whatever else is waiting to be written.
Was Che Guevara more influential than John Lennon & who matters more during Trumps reign; artists or revolutionaries?
The view from here…
Last night here in Italia, Brescia to be specific, NoteSpeak pianist-co/composer Marco and I had dinner with two close friends. One reason, among many, that I love these people is for their impassioned thoughtful discourse. Last night’s discussion revolved around their outrage that someone might be as moved by John Lennon’s murder as by Che Guevara’s and we began to debate the idea that the artist’s work cannot have the impact of the revolutionary’s. You might assume that I would vociferously protest ...
(Lyrics below) As I sat at my piano yesterday, thinking about all of those women marching around the world, the image of them planting seeds for future generations came; and that garden lead me to Michelle Obama. Suddenly it became a song for her. Giuliana Pagnotta and I sat down to write another thinly veiled Anti Trump song. I’ve got a few of them by now! This last week has been so disturbing and we felt compelled to document it…
As America gears up to swear in Trump as the 45th president I’ve been watching the brouhaha from across the pond. I voted from Italy, which is where I currently reside, and it is monumentally frustrating yet oddly comforting to watch events unfold from afar. The distance certainly affords me a bit of objectivity. I am sure that U.S. television is...
In limbo, in the cockpit of a spaceship - Untethered loose profound. In the cosmic space surround- those men and women whose intellect demands a search for answers to questions renowned find… A connection with each of us, with each and every one of us. A fundamental deep resonance…
vocally, NoteSpeak consistently changes, shifting from style to style –
acoustic jazz solos into hip-hop beats into harmonized gospel vocals into
electronic jazz and fusion into free verse rhyming – and yet seems to
constantly groove. Simmons’ delivery swims in the deep waters connecting Nina
Simone to Jill Scott, completely obliterating the ...