Flying by the seat of one’s pants!!

I learn of the final exam the day before it (my tutor forgot to tell me!?)

Enjoy the perks of lost-in-translation: “see you at 10:30, warmed up” is not “see you at 10:30, to warm up”.  I swoop in, sweaty from the walk, and the panel asks – are you ready?  Why, YES, of course!  Something good told me to warm up at home…

A rocky first verse or two with that husky morning voice – vocal chords a little too loose for the bright timbre required.  Then, I sing my heart out, soaring to the mountains beyond the leaves, through arching phrases, sexy ornaments and cheeky rhythms, through lush floating vowels and cutting consonants, endeavoring to apply everything I have learned this year… all in a few moments, a few couplets, AND with feeling, please!

Today’s offering, offered.

Some tunes require such a delicious balance of strength and suppleness, such a blend of light and dark, that I feel like I am on a tightrope, and in love.  I get that this ‘search’ will last all my life – like ‘the search’ for the perfect wave that surfers devote themselves to, without expecting to, or needing to, actually ever find it… the process itself is the magic.

The luminous smile on my teachers face says she is proud enough.

What a crazy experience.  A whole year singing old folk songs in Bulgarian dialects!  Why does this music and language grow on me like this?  My love and admiration has only deepened… and I feel, somehow, carried by the daily challenge.

Spring Snow

What a song can do…

Tzigani Street

As living bones are steeped in a damp cold and Koleda (Christmas) lights deployed, Plovdiv pedestrian center takes on a new kind of fast-footed, steaming-breath hush… the furtive cats still own the open rubbish bins, glossy people bustle to buy shiny things, while the matt-finish homeless are less visible, hunkering down somewhere else… fake furs speak with real furs, bling boots insult colored berets, and you learn which paving stones you must not step on lest your weight elicit that mini-mud-geyser up your own leg…

One night, in the soft rain, the gravity of a familiar melody drew me around a street corner to encounter two beautifully weathered Tzigani street musicians: teeth missing, bright eyes and all. On accordion and fiddle, fingerless gloves take on a whole new meaning…

Click here to listen!