Notes: Ever feel stuck in a really bad place? The hobbits got stuck, and Gandalf blesses the eagles who rescue them. I chose to start this episode with a quote by Cynewulf (9?th century), one of the four Old English poets whose works survive today, because that was a time period J.R.R. Tolkien, (20th century) was deeply influenced by -- and here's Joshua Blaine setting this blessing in the 21st century. This makes for a great "setting-off" song -- and also a song of trust in that wind carrying. As I sing this, I love to feel a connection with something ancient in my own bones. I played with it as I shared it with you, making up extra parts at the end -- please, explore -- let the wind bear you! -- as you sing with me.
Be one of the first to know as new episodes are released, plus a large version of the artwork, brief thoughts from my slightly peculiar brain... and occasional extras when they seem vitally important! 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. Click here.
Songwriter Info: Joshua Blaine (he/him) is a community songleader, Jewish ritualist & storyteller, and resonant healing facilitator & coach. His work as a songleader began as an inquiry into the state of protest songs after the 2016 election, which sent him out on the road to interview dozens of musicians and song leaders for a project called “Finding Our Voice.” Since then, he’s been a humble servant of song, singing in capitol rotundas, at meetings & marches and around dinner tables across the country. Whether as a songleader, organizer, or resonant healing facilitator, he draws upon the rich tradition of both his recent and ancient Jewish ancestors of seeding resistance and resilience through song. After spending eight years in the heart of Texas, Joshua now resides in Providence on the oceanic lands of the Narragansett and Wampanoag, also known as Rhode Island.
The song is free to share but Josh always welcomes financial and/or networking support if/when folks are so moved.
Joshua's live recording with a group (and his own Gandalf voice!)
Nuts & Bolts: 4:4, Minor (Dorian implied), 3 layers
Notes: Judi is wishing for sunshine, then some rain; moonlight and starlight -- for herself, and for all of us... and when we get to sing this song of hers, we get to wish it for ourselves -- and each other. Every little wish for me and for we.... such a good feeling to remember our social connection, how natural it feels as humans to care for each other. I love the way each part you can sing in this song builds to a natural ending note... and those notes, stacked on each other, create a sweet, surprising chord. I also find the silence intriguing -- lots of space in these layers; chances to listen to the other voices. It's a little bit like remembering there are other people in the room with their own lives and stories and sorrows and delights, and there's space for them, too.... and maybe, combined, we're even more intriguing and colorful than alone? I particularly appreciate this song as I tentatively explore gathering more frequently with real, live people now... and I am surprised by the intensity of the experience. Disclosure: Judi has been my mentor and teacher and friend since 2015.... I asked her nicely (pleaded) to create a pocket song for the podcast. So I think this counts as a bespoke song?!
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! 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: Judi (Donaghy) Vinar
“The incredible thing about Judi is that no matter what style she happens to be singing, it sounds as though she doesn’t do anything else”…Rick Carlson – Pianist
A member of the Twin Cities music scene since 1989, Judi has sung with the Wolverines, JazzMN, St. Croix Jazz Orchestra, The Girls, and numerous shows under the production of Lori Dokken. Judi tours worldwide with Vocal Master Bobby McFerrin as a member of his latest band “Gimme5”. By day Judi is a freelance Vocal instructor and Choral Director for Unity Minneapolis. She has been a faculty member of Bobby McFerrin’s “Circlesongs” workshops since 2005. Also an award winning songwriter (JAZZIZ), Judi’s songs have been recorded by Debbie Duncan, the Girls, Paula Lammers, and Three Hits & a Miss.
To find Judi’s recordings on ITunes or Youtube, search under Judi Donaghy.
To learn more about upcoming events or join her mailing list, go to www.judivinar.com.
Judi's website: www.judivinar.com
Judi singing "I Can See Clearly Now" with Bobby McFerrin (just one of my favorite videos ever)
Nuts & Bolts: 4:4, Mostly minor... except for that one crucial note. Layer song.
Notes I love the way songsharers around the country during the pandemic dug into music as a way of healing, comforting, hoping. So much new music came out of this time that helps us uncover the wellness that's already there, inside us. Now you might think those songs would all at tempo=comfort, or heartbeat pulse, or something else that soon feels trite. But this song, for instance, has a driving urgency as well as the sense of smiling just a bit, which feels fresh to me... and as it is unexpected, I can hear the message in a new way.
Elisa S. Keeler is a composer, song leader and retreat facilitator who has taught voice workshops since 2003. She holds degrees in Music Education and Vocal Performance from Ithaca College and a Masters in Transpersonal Psychology from Sofia University with a focus on the therapeutic benefits of singing in groups. Elisa is the founder of Freeing Your Voice program for adults and the Music for Unity and Social Change program for public schools. As a songleader she has worked with Threshold Choirs, the American Association of Choral Directors, religious organizations, community choruses, colleges, universities, and staff community-building retreats. Since 2011, Elisa has facilitated personal and spiritual growth retreats for adults as a co-teacher of the Hidden Treasure Program at Light on the Hill Retreat Center. She lives with her family in Ithaca, NY.
www.elisamusic.com for music, scores and information about workshops and retreats
www.patreon.com/elisaskeeler for Patreon account
Nuts & Bolts 4:4, harmonized song with a bass line, Aeolian (natural minor)
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