Did I mention that I haven't performed in over a decade? Sad, but true. I won't go into the drama that took me away from the live music scene, but I missed it terribly. It was like I couldn't breathe for all of those years. Singing gives me more than joy; it gives me life. There's something about that vibration taking place in my body that brings every single molecule in my body to life. All of me sings!
I remember watching a biography of a great jazz musician whose music was so different and so unique, that after he died, his bassist said that he wouldn't play anymore. He said there was no one else in the world whose music would make his body vibrate the way his friend's music did. Wow.
I can relate to vibrating as can many other musicians. Music affects your entire body and your spirit. When you engage in it, it does things to you. Music is prayer. I truly believe that and I'll talk more about that in another post.
Getting back to the "over a decade" statement. I really have to work to get my voice back into shape. Rebuilding the chest voice is always challenging because I have to make sure I do it properly and not push too hard. Doing it wrong will lead to nodes on the vocal chords. Don't want to do that! My first voice is my operatic one. It's how I first learned to sing and how my voice and my sound was shaped. Open sound, loud, booming, powerful - I love it. The chest voice I developed later on after I started singing R&B in bands. So, I'm rebuilding all of it. Using it, shaping it, polishing it and falling in love all over again with it. I thank God for my voice. It saves me. It heals me. It soothes me. Depression, pain, sorrow and any other negatives vibes fade when I sing. From what other artist friends tell me, they feel the same way. Whether it's painting, dancing, music, etc., using our gifts restores peace to our souls.
Singing live on Fremont Street has given me the opportunity to practice and rehearse freely. I just put myself into the zone and do what I do. I don't seek attention from all of the people passing by and walking through. I look into the open space with gratitude and joy as the sounds come through me. I have a party all by myself. This has been a long time coming. I am finally free and have the opportunity to fulfill this deep desire to just sing. It's just me and the spirits doing this thing. I can't express how grateful I am. There are no words.
People do party with me though. They hear a song that they relate to and dance. Many will sit and listen. Some will make requests asking if I perform songs by certain artists. I try to comply as often as possible. I should probably post my set list, but it keeps expanding as I try to make listeners happy. I will say that I do R&B from the 70's, 80s and 90s mostly. A couple of 60s tunes and my repertoire includes Chaka, Aretha, Donna Summer, Michael, Roberta Flack, Tower of Power, Stevie, EWF ... and more. I have a wide octave range and can sing men's songs as well as women's. Yep. Oh, and I have to mention Minnie Ripperton's Loving You. That's one of my all time favorite tunes. --- And I sing my original songs too!
The pain of not singing for so long has faded and slipped away in time. I'm free. I'm here now. I'm singing, I'm happy and I'm grateful.
Have you awoken any latent talents in your life?