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Singing at the Edge, Music at the Heart

Uncategorized Jul 08, 2021

(repost from Fall 2018)

Why I do what I do, summed up in a weekend.

People randomly burst into song in front of the fireplace, others wander through the garden humming a tune, friends harmonize in line for the buffet, guests serenade you at the dinner table.

You’d be forgiven for thinking you’d wandered onto the set of a 1940s MGM musical. But happily, this magical place actually exists. Or at least it did for a full weekend in October. I am, of course, describing the wonderful “Singing on the Edge” weekend at Esalen.

With 130 singers on site, it could hardly be any other way. 

In its 56 year history I can only imagine that this workshop will stand out as one of the most exciting. Sold out in a week, this was the first workshop of its kind at Esalen, taking over the entire property and offering 15 distinct and talented workshop leaders to choose from.

And with such a wealth of experienced musical leaders, we couldn’t help but be inspired. Laurence...

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The song with the power to calm a stressed out kid (and what it has to do with you!)

Uncategorized Jul 07, 2021

My son was inconsolable, in a complete rage, could not control his emotions. And I just didn’t know what to do.

So I did the first thing I could think of. I did what comes naturally. I did what I always do when things get too much.

I sang.

And he immediately melted into my arms.

Was it the power of my voice? Maybe. But I think it was more likely down to the power of the song.

Because the song I chose to sing to him in that moment was Melanie DeMore’s Sending you light.

You may know it because Melanie is an absolute musical genius. You may know it because we sang it at the end of every Zoom session during the early days of the pandemic. Either way, to know this song, is to be moved by it. To be calmed by it. To be enriched by it.

That’s just the kind of song it is, and the kind of musician that Melanie is.

And so, I could not be more thrilled to welcome Melanie as a guest teacher for the next chapter of my Coro membership.

I know that many of you who enjoyed...

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What to do when life suddenly feels like one huge improv class.

It’s bizarre: I’m doing work, important work, work I adore, and it’s all going really well. Like, pinch-my-arm levels of going well. Basically I’m living my dream.

Yet here I am, feeling like a mess, feeling lost, crying great big salty tears.

Maybe you can relate?

Maybe you’re crying your own professional tears? Maybe, on paper, life is absolutely wonderful, you’re exactly where you need to be, you’re doing exactly what you need to be doing, but it still feels overwhelming. Scary. Unknown.

I think feeling like that was common enough pre-pandemic. Now, it’s practically inevitable.

Because the last year has changed us.

We had to cancel plans, certainly. But we might have had to cancel (or at least postpone) hopes and dreams too. We’ve had to make immense cognitive shifts as well as emotional shifts. During a year when social justice and the rights of marginalized people have never been far from our minds, we may have changed how...

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