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Finding My Voice

January 27, 2018 0 Comments

Finding My VoiceI had always longed to make a recording of my own music.

Born to two opera singers and having performed for many years as a dancer and singer with the Meredith Monk Vocal Ensemble and the Laura Dean Dancers and Musicians, I had been seen and heard primarily as a performer of other people’s work. I had not yet found “my own voice”.

I complained to my dear friend and colleague, Sonya Shannon, also an artist. She looked me squarely in the soul and declared that I had to sing. She insisted that I rent time at a recording studio one hour per week as if I were in therapy. I decided to do it and see what would emerge. Sonya accompanied me to the first couple of sessions as my artistic midwife, bringing her sketchpad and journal. I brought my violin and my pounding heart and let it roll. Sound engineer and musician, John Guth, quietly recorded my journey, capturing every impulse, melody, and meditation in sound.

I felt great! Now, I had the technology and the moral support I needed. I was granted help, despite my usual resistance to asking for it. Within a few sessions, I became aware that I was experiencing something quite new and profound: showing up for myself and being fully present.

I wanted more…

I wanted to hear another layer of sound. I remembered that a fellow musician, Bill Ruyle, had moved to my hometown the prior year. I hadn’t talked to him in more than a decade. I decided to call him out of the blue. “Bill,” I said, “how would you like to go into the sound studio with me and improvise.” To my delight, he said, “Sure.” Without any rehearsal or planning, we showed up on the specified day and simply began. From a few resonant beats of the tabla and melodic strikes of the marimba, a sound world began to unfold, a world into which I stepped with all my senses alive and attuned, journeying on waves that poured forth from my heart and soul. I was alive!

Here was a new sense of joy!

It was time to share this experience. At first, I invited a small handful of buddies to a friend’s living room for a private performance. With increased conviction, I also increased my audience. The next two performances took place at my home and then at a magnificent salon overlooking the Hudson River. Each of these live performances was recorded by John Guth.

While the events were planned, the music that emerged was wholly spontaneous. And from these recorded musical meditations, I selected nine tracks that now appear on my first self-produced CD, SoundPath. Although I have sung on other compact discs, this experience was different. SoundPath brings forth the Song in my heart, the Voice of my soul, born of inevitability not design.

SoundPath CD

Naaz’s Healing Vocal Journeys

Once the CD became a reality, I was eager to share it with everyone. Listeners began to reflect their experiences of this music back to me.

“Beyond Enya!”

“It takes me on a journey”

“WOW! What magic. The sounds altered my cells and shifted my vibration”

“I play this during meditation”

“Very soothing”

“I just wanted more”

What I have learned from people’s responses is that SoundPath creates experiences and possibilities beyond what I might have imagined.

“It quieted the baby.”

“It calmed my road rage.”

“It evoked images for me to paint.”

“It took me on a journey through magical landscapes.”

 

© 2018 Naaz Hosseini

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About the Author:

Naaz Hosseini

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