Two things happened last week that I’d like to share: Interview on Creative Consciousness Radio with Sam and Cabrini Greco, and overtone chanting at a poetry reading at the “Gaia’s Lament: Art Cry!” in New London, CT.
First the interview. I was contacted by Sam and Cabrini to go on their web-based program and we did it live last Tuesday (Bastille Day! “Liberte. Eagalite. Fraternite.”) It was an honor as well as a real joy. Sam and Cabrini are on a mission to give voice to those on a spiritual path who are working to make a difference in people’s lives. They do wonderful work and I encourage everyone to subscribe to their podcast.
(video no longer available)
In this interview, I discussed both my books, Taijiquan: Through the Western Gate and Finding You in a World of It. We touch on topics like energetic coherence, the limits of the conscious mind, and the power of meeting another with your whole being. I haven’t listened to it yet, but I think it flowed pretty well.
On to “Gaia’s Lament”. I wrote about it in a recent blog. It is the brainchild of my good friend, Renee Rhodes (sculptor/healer/visionary) to use art to bring more urgency to recognition of the growing climate crisis. It is a limited run art show at the Hygienic Gallery in New London, CT. Part of the show was a one-time poetry reading last Thursday, featuring some incredible talent. The biggest name on the list was the renowned Gray Jacobik, poet and painter, but all were terrific.
Funny story: I was asked to start the evening off with a recording of a musical piece I recently did with flute player Linda Hickman. It is called “Awakening in the Marsh” and is a duet for flute and vocal overtones, with ambient nature sounds. Overtone singing is otherworldly. You hear two or more tones simultaneously. Ordinarily, the vocal harmonics are integrated into the one sound we identify with the voice. The harmonics give timbre and richness the voice that give each of us our unique sound. In overtone singing, harmonics that are usually blended into the mix of overtones are asked to do a little solo. They have their moment in the spotlight.
I introduced the piece to the audience and played it over the PA. After a minute it dawned on me that the PA was mono and the recording was stereo. The flute was loud and clear, but my overtone singing was inaudible. Gack! I apologized for the technical difficulties and was ready to pack it in when my buddy Jonathan yelled out from the back of the room, “Do it live!” That thought had never occurred to me. I had never performed before a live audience. But what else is possible? It was a challenge to improvise live, but it went over really well. People were quite responsive, and many thought the “technical difficulties” were fortuitous.
Here’s the tune that Linda and I recorded: