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Echoes of Innocence: inspiration for a new recital

There's so much happening in the world... so many lives lost, so much fear and desperation... so much anger... so much war.   I’ve found a deep pull towards music as a way to process many of the feelings I've been having lately.

Being a parent shifts your perspective of the world.  I find the travesty happening in Gaza to be particularly awful for children, and then I remember that children in Ukraine have been living in a war for almost 2 years now. Even in my own neighborhood there are children suffering, children who are homeless or lacking food. Children all over the world are facing travesties beyond what I can comprehend and it breaks my heart to try to hold it all inside me.

The decisions we are making today will affect children for generations to come. 

I don’t want to get mired in the multitudinous challenges inherent to politics, but when I think about the effects of bombing Palestinians I wonder, “In this attempt to wipe out Hamas, have we not simply radicalized a new generation to take its place?”

“Careful the things you do, children will see… and learn”

The inspiration for a concert hit me like a lightning bolt - Mahler's Kindertötenlieder (Songs on the Death of Children).  I fell in love with the Kindertötenlieder when I was in undergrad.  The first time I heard Dame Janet Baker's voice felt like god herself had descended to tell me what was what.  I haven't thought of this piece in almost 20 years and suddenly I just HAD to do it.

And look, I’m not a contralto and I have no ideas about trying to be one, but my body has changed a lot these past few years and the notes of the piece aren’t hard to do… why not?  I don’t care if anyone else wants to hire me to do it, I want to!

Over the next few weeks my concept for this recital started to take more shape.  I didn’t want this recital to be solely about dead children... I want to capture the hopes we carry for children. The experiences we want them to have, the joys we wish for them, and the responsibility we have to protect them.

It’s evolved to become such a personally and emotionally inspiring experience for me.  I will say more about this at the recital, but I think it’s hugely important that we consider our place in children’s lives.  We are not simply authority figures.  We are not only keeping them alive.  We hold the key to their livelihood.  I think my generation, the geriatric Millennials, will be the generation that took reparenting to the mainstream and really healed the family wounds to change the landscape for generations to come.

It’s hard work.  It’s quiet work.  It’s thankless work.  And we certainly won't always get it right, but I see my friends doing the deep healing.  I see them not just wanting better things or achievements for their children, but healthier and more fulfilling lives.  We are changing the landscape of parenting in tremendous ways!

Music feels like an extension of this desire, this shift in my internal landscape. I want this performance to be a way to use my voice to heal the world.  UNICEF is one of the leading organizations supporting children and it made sense to champion an organization that does work all over the world.  

So please join me and my amazing pianist, Margaret Halbig, on June 23 for an evening to share in our grief, our hope, our joy, and our love for children all around the world.

Echoes of Innocence: A benefit concert for UNICEF

Tickets are available now through June 22 and there will be a recorded option for those of you who can't attend live.  More details can be found at the link below:

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