Notes: Okay, I procrastinated on recording this episode for the longest of any song yet... I respect Moira so much, and I desperately wanted to share her song in a beautiful way that convinced you to love it, too. I felt like I wasn't good enough, and I got a good run of the whole imposter syndrome going, yada, yada, yada. But you know what shifted? I remembered why this podcast exists -- to share songs that help me heal, adapt, and grow, so you can sing them, too. And this song is one that I've sung to myself over and over in the middle of troubling times to help me release and let go. When I sing this into myself, I can see more clearly which actions might be mine to make next. And when the world is in turmoil, this is what helps me navigate a way forward. None of us (myself included) need to have a stunning voice for a song to be a companion... and I'm grateful to Moira for this gift. Please notice, I haven't shared the entire song here, only an excerpt... check out the links below to hear the whole song, and buy the music on her website for yourself or to share with others. Next episode: a conversation with Moira Smiley herself, who turns out to be absolutely lovely and generous -- we talk creativity, how rest is part of the job, how her voice has protected her, and more...
Sign up for the A Breath of Song mailing list (the little form on the home page; you might have to scroll down a bit) to receive a heads up as a new episode is released, plus a large version of the artwork, brief thoughts from my slightly peculiar brain... and occasional extras when they seem vitally important! This week, for example, I shared a video collected by the Polyphony Project of Ukrainian women singing a traditional song about a son who has gone to be a soldier, and I included a list of possible organizations to support the people harmed by war. No junk -- I will never sell your address. I read out all your names into my living room when I send new mailings... I appreciate the connection to you who are listening and singing these songs with me.
Songwriter Info: As a composer, Moira Smiley is known worldwide for choral arrangements like Bring Me Little Water, Silvy and originals, Stand in That River and How Can I Cry. Her music is sung by millions of singers worldwide. She’s credited with helping to bring body percussion into the choral mainstream and is in demand as a commissioned composer, writing multi-movement pieces including Time In Our Voices and In The Desert With You for the Los Angeles Master Chorale, evening-length secular liturgy, The Song Among Us and Tis A Fearful Thing for Craig Hella Johnson’s Conspirare and CVAE, Vonnegut Requiem: Light Perpetual for Voces Novae, Loud My Soul for Ad Astra Festival and I Have A Voice for ACDA Women's Choral Consortium. The European premiere of Time In Our Voices was performed by the voices and mobile phones of Ars Nova Copenhagen under the direction of Paul Hillier.
In 2018-2019 Moira released the album and choral songbook, Unzip The Horizon as companion to her ‘The Voice Is A Traveler’ solo show. In 2021 she released the all-vocal social-justice centered album, In Our Voices with four powerful singers of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. She continues composing and improvising in collaboration with artists in film, video game production, theater and dance, and her work can be heard on feature film soundtracks, BBC & PBS television programs, NPR, and on more than 70 commercial albums.
“Moira Smiley is a marvel—an omnivorous singing and composing chameleon with a voice that can wail or caress at will!” -- Grant Gershon - artistic director, Los Angeles Master Chorale
“Moira Smiley is a brilliant musician – an innovative composer and arranger, and a heartbreakingly beautiful singer. Her music transcends (and expands) boundaries.” -- Billy Childs - multi-grammy-winning composer/pianist
“I’m so thankful I’ve had the privilege of performing and recording with Moira. She embodies the endless creative potential of the voice, and… (has made) a deeply moving body of work.” -- Merrill Garbus - Tune-Yards
www.moirasmiley.com for all info including sheet music, practice tracks!
https://moirasmileysubscription.com/ to support Moira monthly for as little as $4/mo.
https://www.instagram.com/moirasmiley/ for up-to-date personal and music pics
https://www.youtube.com/c/MoiraSmileyMusic for official music videos, song and body percussion tutorials and live performances
A beautiful recording of a quartet singing the full Stand In That River, part of "The Mt. Tom Sessions".
Moira's own recording of Stand In That River with VOCO.
Nuts & Bolts: 3:4, Ionian, harmonized melody
All 1:1 (Unmetered) 12:8 2:2 3 3:4 4:4 5 & 6 Mixed Meter 6:8 Accept Acceptance Sing Be Grateful Be Present Calm Celebrate Change Dawn Earth Empower Farewell Fire Flex Flow Friendship Gather Generosity Grieve Grow Heal Hope Journey Lullaby Moon Night Notice Nuts & Bolts Open Pain Play Release Rest Scale: Aeolian (minor) Scale: Dorian Scale: Ionian (Major) Scale: Minor Scale: Mixolydian Scale: Mixolydian Flat 6 Song Form: Ballad Song Form: Call & Response Song Form: Harmonized Song Form: Layer Song Form: Round Song Form: Unison Song Form: Unison With Separate Harmony Line Song Form: Verse And Layer Song Form: Verse & Chorus Song Form: Zipper Songwriter Conversation Stars Sun Tend Trees Trust Water