I have always been a huge nerd. When I was a kid, my family co-owned a shop at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, and I loved it. You should hear my sweet Renaissance British accent. “Pardon me my lord, would you like to play Catapulting Frogs?”. Ohhh yeaaaa, I ran that game. Every fall in Shakopee, MN, artisans of all sorts converge with the carnie people and entertainers for 6 weeks to celebrate art, music, debauchery, and turkey legs. I think I had as much fun working at the festival as the patrons did visiting it. But, the most interesting events always took place in the fair grounds after the festival closed for the night. For better or for worse, if you were out to find a weird or illicit adventure, you could get into just about anything you wanted to out there. And as a young person, it was where I first witnessed the true force and power of Art in the world, and helped to pave the way for what I do today as an artist, musician and teacher.
Flash forward 30 years to the present day, and now I constantly wear headphones to shield myself from all the music and “art” blaring everywhere I seem to walk. Pure human elements of singing with purpose, expressively shaping musical phrases by stretching tempo and imbuing notes with personality are now regularly “fixed” in the studio by producers with computers as if they are mistakes, yielding a final musical product devoid of the true human life force and emotions. It is with these vital energies removed that much of our modern music has become a weaponized vampiritic stew of flashiness, formulated for the sole purpose of gathering as much money and attention as possible. And with these vital human qualities removed from the art, an energetic vacuum is then created by what’s missing, which in turn pulls that very life force out of you instead to fill the void. They are drinking our blood, and apparently it is delicious because they keep doing it. One more 4 bar loop played for 5 minutes straight with no elaboration will make me go completely bananas, I swear. Another female singer who sounds like Beyonce? People have been imitating that sound for over a decade now, and you still want to do it again? I am much more interested to hear what your real natural singing voice sounds like. Pure and original you. You are one of a kind, my friend. In strange times like these, it is singers like the little girl below who glow like a towering inferno for me. The purity of her offering in this performance stands as a metaphoric beacon of light for the reclaimation of our true Voice in this current cultural sea of lies and disenfranchisement. The spirit of Art and passion will never die. Bring on the Renaissance.