I had a great gig on Sunday night. It was my biggest audience yet, and included people who were neither my friends nor friends of friends, but bona fide FANS who just came out because they like my music. That was very significant to me. I called it my "Christmas Show" since I did three holiday songs in addition to my usual originals. My approach focused on Christmas when you're single and don't have children and don't have any family in the area (like me). No one ever talks or sings about the loneliness of the holiday season, but I think it's important to recognize and address. I ended the set with my version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," again tailored to those of us that live alone. My next performance will be Wednesday, December 15th at Gunther Murphy's where I'll be the featured artist of their open mic night.
I have no segue into this next bit. Rey Flores is a columnist for the Spanish publication Hoy. He contacted me a couple of months ago and asked me to write a piece that would inspire schoolage girls to develop their musical skills. He translated it into Spanish and it ran in Hoy a month ago, but it was the middle of the election and my blog was devoted to that. Here it is. The original English version that I wrote is below.
Let's Talk About Music
Last week I was the only woman who performed at an open mic night I attended. Where are the woman musicians? Many fields are male-dominated, but how can we yield music to men? Music is the expression of emotions, moods, thoughts and feelings. In other words, it is ours. Music is rhythm as complicated as how we feel about our parents, melodies that soar like your heart after an incredible kiss, and percussion that slams like the moment you realize your ex is dating someone else.
Girls, it’s time to take music back. If you sing, keep singing no matter what. When you feel something no song can match, make up a song to fill the need. Others need it, too. If you love singing or playing an instrument, don’t ever believe it’s impractical. The need for music is as real as physical hunger and it cannot be satisfied with regular paychecks, beans-made-from-scratch or clean, ironed clothes. If you love making music, that desire will never leave you, so you’d better just make room for it and train those around you to expect it.
The world always needs more music. There’s an audience for every new fusion of sounds and very sentiment expressed, even if that audience is just you. If we all poured out our hearts in whatever style, rhythm and volume felt right, the world would still have room for more music.
Girls, music is ours, so grab that hairbrush/microphone and practice stage presence because when you walk into a rehearsal you’re going to have to hold your own against guys who don’t always believe you belong there. But don’t ever doubt that we do belong there. Where are the women musicians? We’re everywhere, we just haven’t all stepped forward yet.