It’s been a while, to be sure, and I wanted to check in with you! Many of you have been asking about new music. I know that I went off the grid this past year, but all for good reason, I swear! ;)- I had an opportunity of a lifetime that I couldn’t pass up and, as artists do, decided to go for it! In one year I backpacked through 25 countries, on every continent but Africa, made it to both the Poles, worked as the music director on an Expedition ship in the Arctic, learned to speak German (well, still working on that!;) and lived in Europe. This process has opened some wonderful new doors for me- I’m working with a few European artists over here in Germany and, yep, putting a body of new songs together inspired by my travels. From the the joyous harmonies in Figian folk music to the Afro-Brazilian batacuda in Bahia, I wrote songs inspired by the people I met and the history of the land. I hope to bring these sounds into the music somehow. Every place has a rich story and inspired me to no end.
Also, if you’re interested I started a travel blog called The Fresh.. you can check it out here… http://thefreshsite.wordpress.com/ Sign up to receive weekly stories and anecdotes about how a girl from California manages to handle things in the wide world of travel! I learned a lot out there.
And here it stands. From the profound calm of Mother Nature and her deafening silence from Antarctica to the South Pacific, how incredibly complex the issues on the planet are. I was able to debate myself on issues like environment, women, religion, because every corner you’d turn there’d be a new reason for why it was the way it was. In the end, I think it is because we are only human. I think people are just trying to survive and doing the best they can. It was difficult to see. It was brilliant to see.
I thank the school girls I met at Borobadur in Indonesia who took the time to tell me about their lives, the guides and locals in places like Cebu and Pohnpei who told us the realities and innerworkings of their countries and communities, the victims of human trafficking in Manila who let me come and share their time with them, the Javanese men who worked in the sulphur mines, the South Korean lady divers providing for their families, the North Korean border that reminded me how ultimately free my life is and how little I have suffered. Thank you to the Filipinos who’s love of music restored my love of music, the kids in Yap and Tonga as they struggle to keep their traditions alive in the face of globalization, and to the solitary Polar Bear up in the Arctic who’s a constant reminder of how fragile our world is.
A big thank you to Michael, my traveling companion and photographer who showed me to see the world through a very different lens, and to all of you who commented and laughed at my ridiculous posts and blogs along the way. To be able to share the journey is what makes it so special!
Please stay tuned for music developments! In the meantime, I hope to see you out there in the wide world, whether it be musically-oriented or for a cup of tea and some language exchange. Always trying to learn! All the best and peace to you,
Me with Kim K Hi, a North Korean music teacher who defected to Seoul. The only music she was allowed to teach there was pro-Nationalist songs and anti-American/Japanese songs. She escaped by smuggling herself across the Yellow River, leaving her 4 daughters behind. She is working on getting them through China to Seoul so they can safely come live with her again.