Welcome to the Songtaneous Blog

ProfileSongtaneous is where spontaneous singing happens. Once a month, singers (and other creative people) gather to share their voices and their selves while making beautiful, complex and fleeting music. I always learn something about singing and myself when I facilitate Songtaneous. In this blog, I'll share what I learn and experience while traveling in the intuitive, joyful, beautiful, expressive, challenging, abstract world of vocal improvisation.

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April in Minneapolis

Posted by on May 13 2015 | Sarah Sings, Songtaneous

While April in Minneapolis is sometimes less than charming in terms of the weather, it’s always full of singing. And, it includes my birthday making it one of my very favorite months. *smile*

If a blog is like a journal or scrapbook, the here’s my entry for April 2015.

BLU-7 at the Nicollet, April 2015

BLU-7 at the Nicollet, April 2015

I heard BLU-7 guitarist Jim Ouska sing his song “Halfway around the World” last summer and fell in love with it. I told him then and there that I wanted to sing it. When tasked with creating a set of contemporary tunes this spring, BLU-7 debuted our version of his haunting tune.

Halfway Around the World, BLU-7 (click the red triangle to play)

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with Coloring Time at the Icehouse, April 2015

Coloring Time at the Icehouse, April 2015

On the first Tuesday of the month, the improv collective Coloring Time takes the stage and serves up a night of invented music and spoken word. In April, I got to join them for a satisfying and soul-stirring evening.

I particularly liked this spontaneous composition about composing spontaneously.

It All Comes Out (excerpt), Coloring Time (click the red triangle to play)

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The Cast of Beauty and the Beast, Northeast Middle School

The Cast of Beauty and the Beast, Northeast Middle School

Oh how I wish I had an audio clip to share of the cast at Northeast soldiering on after we blew a fuse during the Thursday night performance! The lights came back on (thank heavens), but they performed the end of Be Our Guest (and the rest of the show) a cappella!

It was sight (and sound!) to behold; Bravo!

 …

Jay Young and the Lyric Factory at the Dakota, April 2015

Jay Young and the Lyric Factory at the Dakota, April 2015

I got to celebrate the conclusion of Beauty and the Beast at Northeast and my birthday at the Dakota with Jay Young and his Lyric Factory.

Happy Birthday (to me), Lyric Factory

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2015-05-13 GGS@NVF

Give Get Sistet at Northern Voice Festival, April 2015

The Give Get Sistet and I traveled to our twin city St. Paul for the first annual Northern Voice Festival in April. With the help of our audience, we improvised a trip abroad.

Red London Dawn Improv, Give Get Sistet (click the red triangle to play)

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My latest collaboration is with my friend and mentor Anthony Cox. The quartet, called Riotus N, features Anthony on bass, John Penny on guitar, Davu Seru on drums with me on vocals.

More (excerpt), Riotus N (click the red triangle to play)

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Beauty and the Beast

Posted by on Apr 06 2015 | Songtaneous

Come see Disney’s Beauty and the Beast!

Two Shows
Thursday & Friday – 7 pm
Tickets: $5

bandbposter

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Releasing Overwhelm

Posted by on Mar 23 2015 | Songtaneous

The next several weeks of my life are very full. Having just finished my spring series of workshops (thank you, workshop singers!), I now launch right into the middle school musical, spring semester student performances and numerous performances of my own.

It’s a good full, but it’s a lot.

(And I wonder as I work with my word for the year – release – if I should be taking things off my plate. *smile*)

“Too many choices can overwhelm us and cause us to not choose at all.” – Sheena Iyengar

As I’ve said before, this musician’s life of mine seems to move in waves and cycles, from times when there’s very little going on to times when there are many opportunities and commitments.

So I’ve been making lists and double checking my schedule and trying to work my busy days one day at a time.

And, I am allowing myself to adjust the things I can in my schedule so I can enjoy what I’m doing. (i.e. the next Songtaneous will be in May. *smile*)

In other words, I am releasing the overwhelm. (Or practicing releasing it anyway. *smile*)

I release the idea that the number of items on my schedule determines my mood.

I release doing all the things on my schedule perfectly and will strive to do them well enough.

Like in an improvisation, I release my intention and energy into the world and let them do what they will.

“Do your little bit of good where you are; its those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” – Desmond Tutu

 

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