Returning to Berklee College in Boston for an Artist in Residence reminded me that the young singers are hungry for this improvisation work. They light up. Their voices remember that technique and skill are meant to be partners with improvisation which enables intuition and spirit to contribute.
New York is full of great singers who want to study, bless them. I love teaching there. Thank you Lauren for your help and all the others who make the community strong there! And a gig with Tim Ray on piano reuniting us after some years. What a skilled and heartful improviser. It was a deep pleasure.
In Rome I met with the All The Way In singers of 2014 who did indeed go all the way in. October was our final session for the series and they exceeded my vision with their music skill, their generosity and their big dreams. Rome provided the ancient palate for us to dig deep and not be afraid. Bows of gratitude to iMusic School Rome for all your efforts with special classes and producing the splendid ATWI concert in the perfect funky and theatrical venue.
The students in Utrecht remind me why I do this work. Why I travel these crazy miles and why I want to bring it home so more of them can find me, I asked them what they think about when they improvise. They said; when will it be over, what did I do wrong, why am I so scared and on and on like that. By the end, they were rushing to the stage to improvise, they cheered when I came back from lunch, they hugged each other and encouraged one another with collaborative zeal. Wow, it was amazing. My heart broke open with the desire for them to have more of this musical success so they remember why they sing. If I can train more teachers in my studio on the farm, I can send them out to teach and train others and spread the word that music improvisation changes lives and grows beautiful music.
Paris took my heart and mended the broken places with her beauty. The singers there are new to this work and responded so enthusiastically that I got energy instead of feeling drained. Thank you Kay for organizing with so much heart. Janne and I got to be visitors in Paris as well and partake of the beauty of the Seine, the museums, the shop windows, the patisseries and all the small, quiet streets. We had a great day walking with Laurel and Tosh from Vancouver, old friends in a new world of beauty. Sunset watching the Eiffel Tower light up while we stood on a bridge over the Seine and felt how blessed that moment was. Had a wonderful Circle Sing and gig on a houseboat with Andy Emler, a kind of trailblazing improviser/pianist who felt immediately like a old, wild friend. Perfect l closing to the Paris adventure.
In Koln I had a last teaching organized by wonderful Nina, a generous student/teacher who sees the power of this work. Three precious final days in Europe with eager students. When we work with group led exercises like Shape Shifting, I can feel an aha come over the group as they realize that improvisation can move in chords, in rhythmic variation and harmonic diversity led by our group musical intelligence and generosity.
The last two weeks in the Bay Area of California was coming home where Janne and I both lived for many years, culminating in a ceremony/party out in Point Reyes at the wetlands park and then Toby’s Feed Barn. Lots of food, music, poems, children, family and old friends. Couldn’t be better to speak our vows with starlings murmurating overload and then sing one of our favorite love songs with our community out in the open air. That’s what friends are for.
The close of the tour was two Stra Love 25 gigs with 9 original members of Bobby McFerrin’s Voicestra. What love, what voices, what crazy wonderful times together in rehearsal and on stage. Thank you!
Everywhere we went, Janne and I were gifted and honored in our love. Our legal marriage ceremony will take place in Hawaii on the farm, in the studio, next fall, 2015. Hope many of you will be there.
Big times. Almost lost my mind. and yet what a blessing. Now to build this music barn on the farm.
Please be part of this vision. Please contribute generously. Be part of the music.
Feeling blessed and full of song. Rhiannon