Here is a letter from my musical companion Joe Reilly about our new collaboration Spirits Rising:
“We have a sacred fire, burning between us. Your heart I admire, so full of kindness. I can see it in your eyes, burning so bright. From sunset to sunrise, our guiding light.”
What is it that can lift our mental perspectives above the daily grind of traffic and bills, beyond the continuous news cycles of violence and politics, and through the anxiety and fear that plagues our fast-paced society? What gives us hope and courage and inspires our hearts? For me, a crucial answer to these questions has always been music, the language of the heart.
Listening to music and creating it with others gives me a doorway into a world of hope and possibility, and teaches me how to harmonize the dissonance of life. Music has become my livelihood over the years and remains an essential part of my being human. It gives me purpose and direction, joy and community. It is food that nourishes my spirit. What a gift it is to share music with other musicians, with intergenerational audiences, and with diverse communities! What a blessing it is to be able to sing prayers in support of healing and wellness.
And so I am very fortunate to have found a true musical heart companion, Allison Radell, with whom I have been privileged to share this beautiful gift of music. Although I have been accustomed to traveling this path as a solo act, I have really enjoyed performing as a duo over the past couple of years with Allison. She continues to teach me many things about collaboration, musical discipline, and the creative process.
We have decided to give our duo an official name, Spirits Rising, to reflect the role that music plays in our lives and our intention of using our collective musical gifts to help inspire and uplift others. We will make our official debut this summer at Native Fest on the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Reservation in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan and will both to continue our solo performances as well.
We hope that you will join us on this path and that our music may help your spirit rise. Hope to see you and sing with you this summer!
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