“All music is folk music.” - Louis Armstrong
Folk songs and folk melodies have always captivated me. My grade school years were filled with singing folk songs in class and learning to square dance. From 6th grade on, popular music dominated my musical interests. Maturing in age and taste meant exploring new music and discovering the wide world of sound. As I became more educated and aware, I heard expressed in music the commonality of all human experience. As a psychologist and meditator,I learned to sit with my own suffering and the suffering of others. Over time I came to understand that the ‘stories’ that people ‘sang’ were manifestations of their humanness and provided a vehicle for expression and relief, however temporary, for their longing or suffering.
I began composing in earnest when the pandemic started. It was a replacement for what had been taken away, as social gathering was eliminated. Composing music became my response to loss and helped fill the need for connection. My early compositions were supported by friends near and far, so I kept going. As a practitioner of meditation and having worked on my body and mind for my entire adult life, I knew that there was something unfinished inside me—that there was unfulfilled life energy seeking expression and resolution.
At this point in my musical journey, I would have this advice: Listen to and play the folk music of your local terroir—music that informs and nourishes you; music that keeps you grounded in your local community; music that helps you know who you are and where you came from; music that makes you want to sing, play, and dance until the spirits (your ancestors) descend upon you; music that is handmade, real, personal, and intimate. It will help ground you in the reality of your life, give your life meaning, sustenance and guidance. Peace and thanks for the opportunity to share my music and story with you all.
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