Eden Girma's drawing "expansion of the heart"
The Art of Being True: Sonic Creation & Motherhood in Music
"expansion of the heart" by Eden Girma

The Art of Being True: Sonic Creation & Motherhood in Music

[Ed. Note: Last week, the debut anthology of writings (poetry, essays, and more) by the 12 participants in M³ (Mutual Mentorship for Musicians), edited by author, journalist, and musician Jordannah Elizabeth, entitled The Art of Being True, was published on Elizabeth’s website Publik/Private. Back in December, in support of M³’s debut concerts, which were presented online by the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, we asked all twelve of the initial participating musicians involved in this initiative to write about how mutual mentorship and creative collaboration have affected their artistic process. Beginning last week and continuing until M³’s next round of concerts on June 12 and 13, 2021 (again under the auspices of the National Jazz Museum), which has received funding from New Music USA, we are publishing excerpts from each of the 12 participants’ contributions to the anthology, 2 per week, on Fridays. Last week’s excerpts are available here, but to read all these writings in their entirety, please visit the dedicated portal for the anthology on Publik/Private. – FJO]


Erica Lindsay holding her saxophone (Photo by Jean M. Laffitau)

Erica Lindsay (Photo by Jean M. Laffitau)

From Erica Lindsay’s essay Sonic Creation

To express what is beyond your own understanding, or your control, is the destination. To achieve the heights of thought-free expression, to trust in something beyond – to be concerned only with staying in vibration with a higher frequency that speaks a truth inside you personally and viscerally – that is your only responsibility. Having ideas about yourself, or concepts about your musical expression has its place, but the “I” that thinks these ideas will not tune you into the vibration of Source that you are seeking.


Sara Serpa photo with an overlay of a patch of green (Photo by Carolina Saez)

Sara Serpa (Photo by Carolina Saez)

From Sara Serpa’s essay Motherhood in Music in 10 Steps

Most of the music clubs, venues and concert halls don’t allow children. I once had a musician telling me that I couldn’t bring my baby to a concert because “this scene is not for babies”. I absorbed that quietly, feeling embarrassed for even asking. Most artistic residencies for musicians refuse families and children, with only 10% of artistic residencies in the US being family-friendly. Most grants for musicians do not consider or offer childcare support. I have never seen a children’s room in a performing space. Very few music festivals, studios, or educational institutions have childcare facilities. In general, it is the mother musician who is expected to be flexible and accommodating and not the institutions.

NewMusicBox provides a space for those engaged with new music to communicate their experiences and ideas in their own words. Articles and commentary posted here reflect the viewpoints of their individual authors; their appearance on NewMusicBox does not imply endorsement by New Music USA.

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