Tuesday, May 11, 2010
How It All Started
Sometimes unexpected opportunities present themselves. That's what happened to me in July of 2009. I went to teach my beloved musical theatre class at Walnut St. Theatre one Tuesday evening and was asked by the office if someone could observe my class. "Of course!" was my response. The observer turned out to be Jiu Jian Kenn, who is now my collaborator on the upcoming 2Voices10Fingers Soiree and workshops.
Jiu Jian, an extremely talented native of Singapore, was in the US with the Dance Ensemble Singapore. He enjoyed the class so much he asked if he could have a private lesson with me. By the end of the following week, some lessons and a great deal of conversation had transpired, and we started preliminary discussions for collaboration in Singapore.
The photo you see at the top of this post is from one of Jiu Jian's lessons last summer. As you can see, we both had a great time in these lessons. It was fascinating for me to work with a singer coming from a very different culture. I think Jiu Jian was excited about the vocal ideas and the progress he made in a few lessons.
It was a remarkable experience to find another person from the other side of the planet with so many similar ideas about the power of music. Modern life is so taken with technology, facts, data, the black and white. Music takes data (pitches, rhythms, and in the case of singers, words) and turns it into a medium for human emotion. To find someone else with a similar attitude - I can't tell you how invigorating that was for me. When Jiu Jian suggested that I come to Singapore, how could I say anything but yes?
So, I'm leaving for Singapore in 5 weeks. I'll be there for 10 days, teaching and singing. I'll try to blog at least once a week before I leave and hopefully every day when I am there. Join me on this opportunity of a lifetime!