Notes: I love a layer song which gives me options -- what do I feel like singing? Is singing low and warm feeling yummy? Or floating high? Or getting snuggled in the middle of a set of harmonies? Lisa Forkish's "Possibility" song offers all those choices, starting with a low, potentially gritty, determined line that says "An end is not THE end -- it can be the beginning." Then a fluid river line that requires some release to sing, as it flows among notes. Finally, when singing about being open, there is an amazing note on the word "open" that moves the whole song into a slightly unexpected place, giving a visceral experience of opening up to a different possibility. Love it. A song that helps me embody the knowledge of possibility that change brings.
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Songwriter Info: Lisa Forkish (she/they) is a queer singer-songwriter, community-builder, artivist, song-healer, and self-described "Love Warrior," infusing all she creates with fierce authenticity and heart. For the past 20 years, Lisa has been using song as both an expressive art and a tool for building connection. For Lisa, facilitating music spaces is much more than a job; it is a sacred calling. Lisa breathes humanity into their music and teaching with infectious joy and compassion, aiming to heal the wounds of music elitism and not-enoughness through an embodied, trauma-informed and heart-centered approach. For Lisa, Love is paramount and closeness is the antidote to cisheteropatriarchy, white supremacist delusion and cultural disconnection. Lisaʻs mission is to utilize music for personal and collective healing and liberation.
Insta and Youtube / lisaforkish
Nuts & Bolts: 4:4, Dorian, 3 layer song with 2 layers harmonized, so 5 parts
Notes Tembre shares her song that was created in a bathtub during lockdown, "Brave This World". I learn it as she teaches it. We talk about free-ranging children in the natural world, cold water, slowing down, expanding, spicy sweet potato soup, how Tembre can SEE someone find their voice, Ireland, and more. Tembre has been leading group singing since May of 2001, and developed a beautiful online presence hosting "May We Sing" during the lockdown. She says, "Having an English accent and a French name growing up in a rural community here in Ireland was challenging at times," yet the strong connection she has to both the natural world and music means that Ireland has been a beautiful, nurturing home.
Tembre's website www.tembresong.com
Tembre's daughter, Amelia on instagram, going by the name of DECARTERET
Also find Amelia on Spotify
Joni Mitchell's Blue album
Nuts & Bolts: 2:2, Aeolian (natural minor), 3 part layer song
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Notes Lisa Littlebird shared that Samara wrote this in the Big Sur, after her first surfing lesson, and said it was a personal cure for FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). During the pandemic, I heard it differently, and it became my go-to song for letting go of what I wanted to be happening, and just riding the crazy times.
Click here to listen to (and sing along with?) Samara Jade and Acorn Kin singing Right Place, Right Time.
Songwriter Info A modern folk troubadour, Samara is dedicated to the art of listening deeply and crafting soul-centered songs that are medicine for the moment. Inspired greatly by the wild wisdom of nature and the landscape of the human psyche, her songs ride the crest of the unknown and balance between shadows and light.
Coming from a musical background as diverse as classical, jazz, folk, Broadway musical and progressive rock, Samara stitches together a unique tapestry of sounds with a quality of musicianship distinctly her own. As heart-opening as they are intellect-stimulating, A fan once coined the term "Philosopholk” to describe Samara’s tunes, and no one has ever described it better in a one-word nutshell.
Samara lived in her van, Vincent VanGo, until very recently, and is committed to sharing her song-beings around like thousands of spiraling maple helicopter seeds - which is, not coincidentally, what a samara is.
Next week, Episode #10 will feature an extended conversation with Samara in which she shares her song, "I Trust My Roots", with us.
You can also find her in all these places:
On Patreon: www.patreon.com/samarajade
On Bandcamp: https://samarajade.bandcamp.com/
On her website: www.samarajademusic.com
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/samarajademusic
On Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/WildPamplemousse/videos
Nuts and Bolts 3-Layer song in 2:2, Ionian (major).
Notes To be open to the possibility of something wonderful happening seems both counter-intuitive in the middle of the pandemic and multiple crises, and also surprisingly comforting and hopeful. And indeed, wonderful things are happening in addition to what's hard and perplexing and dismaying. I love how I feel lighter after singing this -- I wonder how you feel?
Debbie said she wrote this song to help a couple people in her life that were going through difficult times. She says it is a great song to help manifest a dream into being -- you can think of something you want to come into your life and sing that into being, to embody it as you sing and to really see it happening, to call it in for yourself.
Songwriter info Debbie Nargi-Brown started singing and dancing on the day she was born! A gifted community song leader, an award-winning dance teacher, and a talented songwriter, she offers her songs with love, compassion, and the hope of bringing joy and healing to others. Debbie’s lyrics and melodies are sung all over the world. She writes songs for the heart, healing, transformation, love, grief, and all that connects us as human beings. Bringing people together in dance and song is one of her greatest joys in life!
You can connect with Debbie and her work at debbienargi-brown.com
Nuts and Bolts 2 harmonized sections which can be sung as a round or layered, in 2:2, Ionian (major) mode.
Notes Let's highlight a song by next episode's guest artist Maggie Wheeler, Maggie said she wrote this on her birthday on a gray day by the beach in 2019. She told her husband and daughters to just hang on, because a song was coming through… I thought, ah, she treats her creative urges with honor. Both my cat and dog contribute to this particular recording, but although the purring and dream yips seemed really loud as I was recording, they're quite faint in the final product.... I decided to just let them blow through.
Maggie Wheeler is best known in the U.S and internationally for her work as an actress in film, television and voice-over and most notably as the character of Janice on NBC’s hit series Friends. Maggie is a passionate singer, songwriter, choir director and workshop facilitator. She has been teaching her vocal workshop "Singing In The Stream" for over 30 years at retreat centers, universities, communities and schools to provide the experience of creating interpersonal harmony and internal harmony through the powerful act of creating vocal harmony. Maggie directs the 100-voice Golden Bridge Community Choir in Hollywood, an inter-generational, non-auditioned choir now going in its 16th year.
She is a prolific songwriter with a catalog of powerful and timely songs that have been sung by choirs worldwide. Maggie’s original music for choirs and communities is available on iTunes and other music platforms. To accompany her most recent CD entitled 'Walk With Me’, Maggie has created a songbook available by request through her website www.goldenbridgechoir.com Throughout this year of change Maggie hosted a weekly online community gathering called Together In Song, bringing together people from around the world to join in the healing power of singing.
To learn more about Maggie’s work please visit: www.goldenbridgechoir.com and maggiewheeler.net
Nuts & Bolts This layer song is a slow 4:4, Aeolian mode (natural minor)
“A Breath of Song” is a new podcast that grew out of my personal experience in singing as a wellness practice. Singing is proven to improve health in many ways. We plant words in our brains through songs, and these messages can support us as we flex and grow. Singing mindfully can move us into a state of flow, which is rejuvenating. It’s all the benefits of meditation without sitting still and being quiet. I believe being in tune with our own voices will uncover wellness in ourselves, each other, and our world.
I hope you’ll join me -- use the contact page to sign up so I can let you know when the next episode is released, or to nominate a song or songwriter. I treat your email address with great respect -- I'll never share it without your express permission, and I won't send you anything I wouldn't want to see in my own inbox.
Each week, in under 15 minutes, I’ll introduce a new song that I trust to help my brain navigate life. I’ll teach it briefly, and we’ll sing it many times. Then we’ll take a break to hear about the origin of the song, before singing it again -- the repetition after a break will help us remember it! Of course, the podcast is available for download, and you can listen as many times as you’d like.
Periodically, I’ll have guest songleaders, sharing songs they’ve written. Those podcasts will be longer, and feature an interview with the songwriter.... I am seriously excited about these conversations, and I've been collecting intriguing questions.
Here on the website, you can find information about singing as a wellness practice, see show notes with links, listen to more episodes, make song or artist suggestions, tell me what’s on your mind, and leave something in the tip jar which makes the podcast possible.
After covering the monthly expenses of hosting the podcast (website, podcast host, domain name), if there is any leftover, 25% will be donated to the Jazz Foundation of America, which directly supports jazz, blues & roots musicians in need. I want to recognize the historic and current unfair treatment of Black and indigenous musicians, whose music and artistry is the grounding of so many of the songs I share.
I am grateful that you are taking the time to listen to and honor your own voice, and I look forward to sharing time together, finding wellness one song at a time.
All 1:1 (Unmetered) 12:8 2:2 3 3:4 4:4 5 & 6 Mixed Meter 6:8 Accept Be Grateful Be Present Calm Celebrate Change Earth Empower Fire Flex Friendship Gather Grieve Grow Heal Hope Journey 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