New Year: a commitment to write

The New Year has always been for me a time of reflection and a time for new action based on that reflection. This year will be no exception.

On my altar sits my father’s conducting baton. It has now been joined by a pen.

2010 has been a year to move to a leadership position as a musician, inspired by my father’s example, and to connect my commitment as a teaching artist to my work as a performing artist.

2011 is the year for the writer in me to emerge, inspired by my mother.

How does musical leadership, writing, teaching and performing all fit together in my head?

• Working with musicians in Lille, France and in Los Angeles, stepping up to lead the band, to feel my father’s conducting baton in my hand, so to speak. It was thanks to my Music Director, Dr. Jason Martineau, that I developed the skill to count off a band, and learning from the challenge of having DONE so infuses my Master Class teaching with a commitment to teach singers to count off a tempo.

• My past work as a performer of Musical Theatre helps me to create and deliver a class in Musical Theatre History and Practice to 150 4th and 5th Graders in the Albany Schools, weekly, collaborating for performances with Berkeley pianist Dave Miotke. Dave also performs jazz accordion in my band, TWIST.

• My erstwhile training as an opera singer and language geek allows me to bring material of several languages into my band’s jazz without borders songlist. I work also as a teaching artist with San Francisco Opera Education. This spring I am set to create mini-operas with 5 classes at Rooftop Alternative School in San Francisco Unified District. This will require me to become stronger in my skills as a songwriter.

I sit here, on December 31, still waiting for the results of the French American Jazz Exchange Grant application I made in October. I realize that in the act of making that application, envisioning the project and falling in love with the idea of creating a new French-American Jazz Suite in collaboration with Albin Suffys, Candace Forest and Jason Martineau — I realize that the envisioning of it has made me want to commit to more writing, also on this blog.

So whether or not the grant comes through, that is my commitment for 2011, my gift to myself, and my challenge.

In the photo: the Balinese goddess of Art and Education: Saraswati

Happy New Year to all and a victorious 2011!

Balinese Goddess of Art and Education

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4 responses to “New Year: a commitment to write

  1. Cara, ci siamo sentite il 31 e mi hai parlato delle riflessioni che l’ultimo giorno dell’anno sollecita in te, e ora leggo il tuo blog, poche ore dopo quella telefonata…anche per me “era” un’abitudine soffermarmi a chiudere i conti dell’anno e a lanciare un ponte su quello nuovo, ma da qualche anno non lo è più, almeno nella stessa misura. Mi sono lasciata prendere dal vivere quotidiano, anche ora la realtà quotidiana è prevalente, o dal vivere in viaggio che è stata la mia realtà forte degli ultimi anni. Ma, quest’anno, sono qui, a casa, e riprendo a riflettere, in uno spazio quieto, e prenderò esempio da quanto hai scritto, prenderò dei commitments, pur continuando a credere che il qui e ora è la nostra vera realtà. Ho anch’io dei debiti con me stessa, con lo scrivere e forse anche con il cantare, con la guarigione (healing), tre dei miei talenti. Ti racconterò cosa accade, scrivici cosa accade a te! ti abbraccio

  2. dimenticavo! ….Saraswati, l’ho incontrata tante volte, in India…una delle mie preferite nel pantheon indù!

  3. Si, amore, allora ci teniamo in contatto per sentire come si muovono le forze della vita! Un grande bacione e auguroni della anno nuovo! – Lua xoxox

  4. I just learned that you are going to be with my son at Rooftop and wanted to say thank you in advance! The extra’s these children get at school as such a huge impact on their developing minds and I hope will bring as much reward back to the teacher… Looking forward to hearing about their experiences!

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