Kim and Sara, the Language of Music

Like Mother Like Daughter was my first collaboration with Kim Blanchard Souch and her daughter Sara Sobey. This mother-daughter duo began performing together when Sara was just a young teen. Kim was a touring singer/songwriter while pregnant with Sara, so it was not a surprise that Sara could sing before she could speak! What Kim could not have known was that music would be more than a bridge between them. For a long time, it would be their only shared language.

Diagnosed on the autism spectrum, Sara had a very limited vocabulary. It was when she sang that Sara could communicate with an extensive vocabulary, discovering a joy that was both physical and emotional. Her body would almost hum as her voice resonated!

This is just where this duo’s story begins. Tours, fundraisers in support of the Autism Society, recordings and appearances brought much attention to their beautiful harmonies and storytelling.  Original songs penned by Kim have told the stories of mothers and daughters, family, life, love and loss.

Now, something extraordinary is happening. Along this life journey Kim and Sara have developed their own unique voices. They perform together – and always will! But now there is room for self-expression. Kim’s path is returning to her roots as a touring artist with songwriting for herself and others as a renewed focus. Sara’s dream has been to perform with a Symphony, which happened for the first time this year.

There is more, much more, to come from both these artists and I can’t wait be a part of this next chapter! Over the coming months, their music journeys are diverging and yet we know they will always be entwined. For as they find new strength with their own voices, that beautiful harmony they create will only deepen.

Enjoy this link, to Kim Blanchard Souch and Sara Sobey singing:

Like Mother, Like Daughter

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Water in the Desert

This is a story about the gift of contrast. Water and desert are used as analogies not labels – I could use, for example, the polar ice caps and the tropics. Water and the desert just work for me.

Imagine you’ve focused your life’s work on the study of water and you move to the desert.  Like anyone who has a career specialty, we hive together feeding off each other’s energy, comparing our pails of water.  When I moved from Toronto/New York to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, I had no idea where to put my bucket.

It’s a beautiful thing to be a stranger in a welcoming place. You must learn to navigate a new space and before you can know where you belong, you have to know where you are.

Now, you may think you know where this story is going. The water/desert metaphor is just too strong and it would be easy to assume that there is an epiphany of the desert needing the water.

Cue the plot twist.

As I look out my big studio windows,  my current body of work reads:

  • episodic hourly drama series pilot/pitch complete
  • reality tv show pitch complete
  • two podcasts in development
  • national staged project fusing sciences and arts in production
  • jewelry design company
  • special projects for regional organizations that utilize my particular ‘water skillset’

This has been the most productive time of my entire career. Yes, of course, obviously, there is a lot of creativity and artistry in the foothills of these mountains- that is a given. Yet in learning about this place, I have learned so much about myself. It has redefined my work with a freedom that I did not find while swimming in the ocean with my bucket.

Huh! Plot twist revealed –  Turns out that what my study of water was missing, was the desert.

 

 

Revisiting Conversations with Susan Swan

What a summer! A move to a new country; continuing to work with extremely talented artists – writers, creators, actors, musicians; the Bach Festival continues its important planning for 2015; ADA the Opera is moving in tremendous new directions; I am connecting with new arts organizations and creative instigators in my new home; and those who know me will understand my need to share this, I am one of the newest members of the United States Library System-  Yes I am the proud holder of a library card!

In this whirlwind of new adventures I am deeply appreciative of the creative conversations that shape my life path. In 2012 Canadian author Susan Swan and I filmed a series of conversations about writing, the creative process and her book What Casanova Told Me. I often revisit these short videos that offer tasty morsels of insight into the writer’s creative process. Worth watching for all artists!

Here is a link to the videos – I hope you enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6VE0ZlHJvz3BmY9Mgxgaeg

Shimmering Website!

There are a handful of creative folks whose life work is an ongoing source of inspiration. When the day starts to sag I like to take a break and rediscover these colleagues. On my mind today was poet, author, performer Molly Peacock, so I clicked over to her website – which I have frequented often in the past – and, wow what a change! A beautiful reworking has occurred.

Clearly creative, gorgeous in its simplicity, tasteful and informative, outlining the many ways that Molly lives an artist`s life. Check out her upcoming events, the release details of her next book and then, just as you are about to leave her site, click on the `Furthermore` section. Here you will find a link to the show we created together called The Shimmering Verge. Turn up the volume on your computer and listen to a short selection from the show which includes original music composed and performed by Andy Creeggan.

www.mollypeacock.org

Prepare to be inspired!