How are you all doing? As our lives keep spinning on, I am thinking of the many people I know who receive this newsletter and hoping that you are finding time during this beautiful summer weather to make some space for yourselves and listen to your heart. I, too, must carve out this time that is so precious amidst all of the demands that life presents. With that, I want to share a little story with you about what it means to listen to one's heart. But before I do that, I want to tell you about my upcoming concerts and workshop dates and a couple of other items.
Upcoming concerts and workshops dates:
Thursday, July 30 - Public House Concert
Doors: 7pm, show: 7-9pm
To reserve seats and receive the house address, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Light snacks and non-alcoholic bevvies provided, BYOB
Friday, July 31 - Skylight Festival
All weekend festival + camping
Paris Fairgrounds - Paris, Ontario
See www.skylightfestival.ca for information and tickets!
Sunday, August 2 - Public House Concert
Doors: 7pm, show: 7:30-9:30pm
Kitsilano - Vancouver, BC
To reserve seats and receive the house address, email: email@example.com
Light snacks and non-alcoholic bevvies provided, BYOB
Saturday, August 15 - New Westminster PRIDE
All day festival
New Westminster, BC
For more information on this free festival, go to: http://newwestpride.ca
September 10 - BOLD Conference
All weekend conference
For more information about BOLD and to purchase tickets, go to: http://www.boldfest.com
Kate will giving a presentation on the writing and making of the song and video for Breast Cancer Pink with her co-collaborator, Dr. Chelsey Hauge.
Friday, October 16 - Training for Durham Regional Police
St. Francis Centre - 78 Church St S.,
Kate will be providing a workshop for the Durham Regional Police Service focusing on best practices and current language use for serving LGBTQ people and communities.
Friday, October 16 - Workshop and Concert
4:30-6pm (workshop), 6:45-8:30pm (concert)
St. Francis Centre - in conjunction with the Ajax Youth Centre
78 Church St., S.
Kate will be facilitating a workshop on LGBTQ-related issues, music and poetry; and giving a concert for the youth and community of Ajax, Ontario. For more information, please contact Amy Nagel: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Breast Cancer Pink video update:
The Breast Cancer Pink video is being edited and I will keep you posted on its release date on YouTube. Chelsey and I wish to thank, from the bottom of our hearts, all of the folks who came out in support of the video, who lent their bodies and voices in the filming of the video…they were all so enthusiastic and lovely! It was great to work with everyone who volunteered their time for this project. As well, we wish to thank Carla Sinclair and Colin Burwell who flew all the way from Ontario to shoot the video footage for us. As always, Carla and Colin were a pleasure to work with and it was fun to see their creative minds at work while they filmed!
Heal Myself - The Documentary:
After more than 8 years of hard work, Heal Myself - The Documentary, by Carla Sinclair, is complete. If you would like to purchase a copy, please let me know.
And now, a story about listening to one’s heart:
As many of you know, over the past two years, I have been working on attaining my Master's of Arts at UBC. It’s been a mixture of joy and agony…indeed at times, it has been a bit of a slog! Currently, I am in what I hope to be, the final stages of writing my thesis. I feel as though I am on the homestretch and what this means for me right now is that I am focusing heavily on finishing up the writing of my chapters for my thesis and then will submit it to my committee and plan a defense date. It feels like the "final push" and it's hard work....writing a thesis is challenging! It's challenging to knit all of the theory and methodology and research together so that it makes sense and says something interesting and contributive. However, I am committed to getting it done so that I can move back into the rest of my life again.
About halfway through my MA program, I realized that I had the ability to do a PhD: I discovered that, not only did I enjoy academia, but I am also smart enough to do this work....who knew? I didn't. It's been really enjoyable to think about how theory and artistic practice can be intertwined, and how we can brings arts and academia into conversation with one another. There has been so much work done on this, and I have been thrilled to be able to contribute to this body of knowledge. So, I began to set my sights on a PhD, thinking that it would be a valuable and fun challenge, and of course, a huge learning experience to go through that process. I tossed back and forth images about what it would look like to continue existing in the academy as a student and researcher for the next 5 years, which would amount to doing a lot of reading, thinking, writing academic papers, (sitting!), and conducting research. I have worried that doing a PhD might very well take me further and further away from what I love to do, which is to write and sings songs and connect with people through music. And while, if I did a PhD, of course, I would make it be about artistic and musical practices in some way, I was worried that I would be spending the majority of my time in my head writing academic works, rather than being present in my body, writing songs and singing. I was simultaneously excited at the possibility of doing a PhD and also worried that it wasn't really want I was supposed to be doing.
Then, I met a new friend named Chelsey. And, when I met Chelsey, she had breast cancer. As many of you know, Chelsey and I came together a few months into our friendship and wrote a song called Breast Cancer Pink, which is based on the experience she had over the past two years with breast cancer. After writing the song, we recorded it in the studio. Then, with the help of a lot of generous donors, we filmed a music video to go with the song, which, as I said above, Chelsey is in the process of editing. We aim to launch the video by the end of the summer and we are looking forward to sharing it with you on YouTube!
But the really important thing for me that came out of the experience of writing and recording Breast Cancer Pink is that, once again, I was reminded of the healing power of song: the sitting together and sharing stories, the crafting and re-working of lyrics, the tears and the anger of recounting difficult experiences, the joy that comes from putting one’s story to music, the healing that comes from singing it out loud and sharing it with others. I enjoyed every minute of the process of composing Breast Cancer Pink, recording it and now making a video for it, because it meant that I got to do something I love: I got to write music that means something to someone. I got to help make someone’s life a little more livable and a little more joyful, and that makes my life more livable and joyful.
So, long story short, I have decided to embark on a new adventure in my musical practice. In listening to the desires of my heart, I have scrapped the PhD idea for now because what I really want to do is write songs for people: songs about important events or experiences in their lives; songs to commemorate and acknowledge moments of joy, sorrow, anger, challenge, love, loss. Therefore, I’ve decided to start a new business, or a new musical venture!
Here is how it works: If you or someone you know would like to commemorate, celebrate, or heal a particular experience in your life, I would like to offer a way for you to do that, through songwriting and recording. First, you would decide a specific story, experience or event in your life that you would like to write about. Then, you and I would decide on a time to sit down together, either in person or via Skype and you would share your story with me. Next, I will take that story and fashion it into a song, based on the discussion we had, and using key moments from your story. Or, depending on how involved you want to be in the process, we could work together on the song over a number of sessions together so that it is an even more collaborative process, where you and I are co-writing the song. Once the song is complete, I would make a professional recording of it in the studio - either with just my voice and guitar or all the way up to full production, ie. a full band, depending on what you want. If you wish, you could also sing on the recording, if it is possible for you to do so. As a final product of this experience, you will end up with a professionally recorded song which could be a therapeutic tool to help you move through a challenging time in your life; or it could be a way to celebrate an exciting milestone or event in your life; or it could be a gift you give to someone in your life. I am open to working on whatever story you would like to share: ultimately, it is the story you choose that we will turn into a song, and that story will be at the heart of our songwriting and recording process.
I wanted to share this with all of you because I am excited about the prospects of this endeavor, and because I am aware, on a soul level, that being able to narrate our stories, write these stories into songs, and then record these songs so that the song can accompany us in our lives is a marvelous thing. And, I would love to do this work with as many people as possible. So, if you think you may be interested in talking with me about being one of my first songwriting partners, or if you know someone who might benefit from or enjoy this storytelling-songwriting-recording process with me, let me know! I will be rolling out a new website in the next couple of months that provides more information about this service: the lay-out of the specifics in terms of the different levels of this service offered, costs, booking appointments, and other information. Stay tuned for details to come in my next newsletter….
Thank you all so much for reading my newsletter! I so appreciate your companionship on this musical journey. It means a lot to me. I hope to see you at a show somewhere down the road. And if not, I wish you all a summer filled with spaciousness, creative time, outdoor exploration and time with loved ones.
Yours in music,