Saturday, December 17, 2011

I Can Sing... Did I Ever Mention That?

Incidentally, this week I spent some time in one of my favorite places (so far) in Texas and enjoyed the ferocity of the landscape from inside a giant piece of art. Richard Serra's Vortex juts out of the side of the Museum of Modern Art in Ft. Worth, and even though I've been there a hundred times, I've never been inside the sculpture during bad weather. I had the pleasure of passing some time there during a windy storm, and sang to some train in the distance. I've decided that the beauty of this place is best experienced when nature swirls outside and you find a little reverberation in the cold metal walls.

I've recently rediscovered music, and with it, found a little joy in performing in public again. I wouldn't say I'm 100% recovered from my years of not singing, but I think I'm coming back around. I feel like its an important exercise to sing publicly when I find it possible (internally) to do so... it will make me a better performer, and a more honest human. The truth is I forgot how beautiful my voice is, when I can hear it in a way that it's not tied to my success. No one expected me to sing in the sculpture, no one paid me to, and certainly no one cared whether it was good or bad... that is just the freedom an artist needs to exercise their medium.

So now, in an act of honest self-exposure... share with me the first internet debut of my recordings. I can't believe it took me until the age of 30 to be able to hear myself objectively and say the following:

I'm a talented singer, even out of practice as I am now. It doesn't matter that I can't sing like Christina Aguilera, because I'm not her. It doesn't matter that I can't make a living, or don't want to - using my voice. What does matter is that I posess a skill that makes people smile sometimes, and I should use it without reservation. My success is not based on critical examination of my performance, but on the number of smiles I'm responsible for... because it is possible for me to sit in a giant steel sculpture, in the rain, and listen to my voice lift above my body, reflected back perfectly and imperfectly, enjoying the mistakes in my art as much as the successes. Someone helped me see that this week, and I'm marking this milestone by not being shy, and sharing the moment with you. In the end, it doesn't matter that I'm not perfect, because perfect is ugly anyway... and despite holding myself to a psychotic perfect-pitch standard, real beauty sounds like this...

I sing Janis inside Vortex

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