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Plants in the opera house and songs in the garden!


My newest personal fantasy: Performing to the most wonderful and forgiving and gracious audience ever - plants!

Hello from the post-COVID world. A lot has changed since we last got together to make music. I have been spending my time teaching online, developing videos for Oregon Children's Choir remote learning and for my new venture Silver Lining Voice, as well as helping my kids figure out online school and how to handle their entire world falling in on itself. So like all of us adjusting to a new world, nothing much!

I have not, however, spent much time singing. Singing is a joyful activity and joy has sometimes been difficult to muster. But I can feel myself adapting and beginning to crawl back out towards the music. I'll perform this Friday in someone's driveway and see how that goes!

Singing was hard to do, but gardening is a different story altogether: I have found refuge in the garden. Sweat and dirt and produce and chickens - it all helps me to work into a zone where the world isn't so overwhelming. I love walking into the kitchen and serving home-grown food to my family. I love watching the season progress and plants grow. I get to learn what works and what doesn't work. It is satisfying.

My plants are in a lovely spot, but it isn't a 19th century opera house! In the video from Barcelona, the plants provide lightheartedness, green life and vibrant energy to the space and to the performers. Such a great contrast of colors! Maybe I'll dress up for my garden in a recital gown one of these days!

So I am now picturing my garden in a new way: It can be both my refuge from stress and, at some level, an audience to sing to. Or to think about singing to, if it's a difficult day.

Please enjoy my initial response to the Barcelona Opera House concert to plants. There will be more responses!

Here is another version of singing and gardening from the Cottage Grove composer David Wurts, with Nathalie Fortin on the piano.


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