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In Antigua, Guatemala preparing for Voices of Light: Guatemala 2012

Hiooooooooo friends and lovers. I hail to you today from sunny Antigua, Guatemala. I arrived Wednesday and it´s been a whirlwind of activity and incredibly pleasant walking EVERYWHERE. On December 18th at 7pm a recital event I am offering a free night of music and culture for the city of Antigua, Guatemala in the church of an ancient convent called Las Capuchinas. From conception to execution, this is a project created by me for you through love.

Here are some glimpses of the adventure so far:

Flying into Guatemala City the other day was magical. I was too entranced by the mountain views to take out my camera. Here´s a glimpse of the city – but imagine sparsely populated, ancient, rough moutains and adobe homes.

 

Me hanging out in the choir loft of the space in which I´ll be performing as well as accompanied by a crew of talented other musicians. I learned that day that the nuns of this ancient convent, once committed, would never be seen by an outsider again. They would sing in the choir loft for mass, but separated by a black cloth hung in front of them. I had a deep feeling of liberating a sacred feminine energy around the offering Voices of Light.

More of the convent of las Capuchinas

 

This event could not be executed without the support of the Consejo Nacional para la Proteccion de Antigua Guatemala – the historical governing board for this ancient city. This is Anayansy, who greeted us as we assessed the space.

The guys who will be making a totally rad video from this event and keeping the sound tight. Pedro from PMR Production and Juan Garcia from UO Productions.

Time to dream up what kind of additional lighting I want. Colors on the back wall possibly – need to meditate on this to strike just the right supportive balance for the music and overall offering.

My favorite form of transportation in Guatemala. The Camioneta. Fast, dangerous, inexpensive, and full of the life beyond tourism. Took this into the city for rehearsal the other day.

Best flier, ever. “Take what you need” with tear offs that say “peace” “understanding” “beauty” “health”

Volcan de Agua

Now, I think my dad has taken to reading my blog. Hi, Daddy. I love you.

If you´d like to hear from me DIRECTLY through video, I have been uploading some brief YouTube videos giving you glimpses into the process each day. Internet is not the best here so I´ve been uploading them through a sparse wifi connection at my hotel at night and posting to Facebook which is about as techie as I can be under the circumtances. So I haven´t been able to send you guys regular email updates very easily. Find all of the YouTube videos  HERE . You´ll be able to watch the process as it unfolds and come along for the journey, inbetween me getting to a decent internet cafe to write a blog post and email you.

Coming here to do this feels like coming home in a certain way – some part of me is inextricably tied to Guatemala. It´s like a first love.

Along the way I have had many senses that this is bigger than me. Like when our guide told us about the nuns never being seen and having a visceral sense that part of what I am creating is a liberated sacred feminine energy.

One of the interesting opportunites as a “diva” is the conundrum of “divaness.” Meaning, I feel like there´s something undeniably diva-ish required to get on stage in a strapless gown, open up your heart and soul and sing to the best of your ability and command the space.

(And…since I´m slathering THIS poster all over Guatemala, I´ve had the fun opportunity to practice just standing a little taller as I hand it to people and they do a doubletake from the flier to me to the flier and back and ask, “Is that YOU?” hee hee)

The event poster!

 

There have been stretches of time in my life where I felt like commanding energy through music and through my own image was somehow not…acceptable. Like that there was something about embracing this kind of embodiment that maybe I “shouldn´t do.”  Like somehow it would detract from the bigger purpose. Like somehow I should be removed from the equation and still able to achieve the result I desired.

However, my experience has shown me that the exact opposite is true – when you step up from that space within yourself that is deepest, it requires a certain level of confidence and composure. “Diva-ish” if you will. And when you´re in this centered space around who you are, miraculous things happen.

Let me give you a great example:

I came here with some details that I had TRIED to sort out before getting here that just wouldn´t seem to click (I´ve been at this for months). One of them was how to get children on stage with me part way through the program for one song – they are the voices of the future. This is their stage, too.

I get off the plane and one hour after getting Antigua I run into my friend, Emilio. He starts telling me about a new non-profit called Shoe Shine Kids he has started. Their inaugural event is the 15th, 3 days before mine. Kids start swarming around us as we´re talking. They´re the shoe shining little boys and the little girls selling candies in the park to help put food on their families´tables.

All of a sudden, my question of where I could find kids who might not otherwise have the opportunity to ever experience like this and get them involved is answered.

Emilio pulls one of the moms aside and we set it in motion.

We will rehearse in the park next week.

The voices of the future will have a bright light to step into and expand their sense of possibility, and this makes my heart incredibly full and glad. Emilio has a wonderful way with the kids, and I feel so honored and lucky to partner up with him to do something of service.

When I was a child, my most formative musical moments happened as a result of somebody else who had vision and now we get to pass that on to perhaps some of the most in need

Kids on stage? Check. With absolutely no struggle.

And that´s how a lot of this event has come together – people from parts of my life who have stepped in to magically connect and contribute. I feel like this is only happening because I´m showing up to do something that felt bigger than me, that felt like it HAD to be done.

You, too, have something that is touching at your heart saying, “Ok! It´s TIME! Time to get moving in this new direction!” and I hope for you that you say yes to it. Because really, it all feels so much better.

But to slightly contradict myself, beyond anything being “bigger than me”…it´s just fun. It´s fun to get together with people and do something beautiful and in the spirit of expression, inclusion and creativity. And isn´t it so much better to be creating from a sense of joy in your life? Rather than “obligation”? From my experience, yes, it is.

Maybe it´s not a contradiction – maybe it´s that that sense of something “bigger than me” is really just me catching up with me on the bigger scale – that that sense of stepping into something beyond myself is really about letting the shell of your old self drop away and disintegrate, and the new space is not bigger, just more attuned. More resonant. Less constricted.

So, that´s my update so far.

Oh, and my pianist is INCREDIBLE. I can´t wait to share him. We had our first rehearsal the other day.

I´ve been at the computer too long, so I´m going to leave it there, fragmented thoughts and all.

Huge thanks to the computer staff at Mono Loco for printing up a bunch of new fliers!

 

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