While I’ve wondered this about my relationship preferences for years, I was just pondering how people ask me, “what genre of music do you sing”? and my answer is that I am musically polyamorous on the macro and micro level. In my 30+ years as a vocalist, I have sung in 18 languages. When I sang with the Orpheus World Music Ensemble, it was common for us to cover 6 languages in just one set! My years of being mentored as a song carrier in Lakota ceremonial traditions, informed my approach to this in a way I hope has always been through respectful acknowledgement of the history of the tradition, the songs, committed study of the pronunciation and translation of the lyrics, and a basic understanding of culture.
On a micro level, I go wild over polyrhythmic and polyphonic music. The expe
rience of holding down a part against something sonically or rhythmically different is (to steal a phrase from Janis Joplin) “the mostest fun there is”.
Growing up in homes where I heard Spanish, French, Haketia (Judea-Arabic-Spanish), Greek, Hebrew, some Arabic, and then English, my ears were primed for variety. It was fun to learn some of the creative benefits that come with being bilingual:
But language is not the only way to develop skills such as switching back a
nd forth between two different tasks, taking someone else’s perspective, problem solving, and finding creative solutions to a task. Music is the art of arranging sounds in time through the elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre, texture, and it is also a language of emotion! Learning the elements of music can fortify our neural capacity to engage in these tasks, as well as developing neuroplasticity: (scroll down to the conclusion).
So, my friends, while listening to music is indeed wonderful, I encourage you to consider taking part in MAKING MUSIC.
Feel trepidation because you’re not a “musician”? not to worry, my drop-in classes
are for people of any level of musical experience. Check out the experience of happy participants!
I look forward to singing/breathing/playing/moving with you soon. Let’s make this life more and more sweet in spaces where expression can thrive and support your well-being.
May the voice be with you,