In about a week I’m moving from Gothenburg to this marvelous city’s arch nemesis: Stockholm. One of the elderly men that I help as part of my summer job in hospice care used to live in Stockholm. When I told him that I am moving to Stockholm, he said: “You know what the best thing was about Stockholm? Moving to Gothenburg!” Well, I won’t know until I test it out! I’m going to attend Birkagårdens Folkhögskola and study with a super inspirational voice teacher and figure out my own musical path in the big city. Thanks to my degree from a liberal arts institution, I am incapable of nerding out on just one very specific thing for an extended period of time, so my new-found craving to write singer-songwriter-type songs is exactly what I need to balance out classical voice studies. I am in a place where I can have an idea, make it concrete, mess around with it and not need to take it so seriously! I have no idea what will come from this, but it is exciting! I’m itching to work with others and collaborate on the material I’ve written…

I have fallen in love with Debussy this past year. I could listen to his songs all day every day. And sing them all day every day. I watched this interview with Natalie Dessay and Philippe Cassard, and was fascinated by how Natalie moves her hands and arms during their recording sessions. It was great to see such a successful singer have the same need to move as I do! One of my biggest struggles is learning to shift the energy in my body (primarily my extremities) to the parts of my body that need it the most for song. Watch this video and let Natalie Dessay’s singing plus Debussy’s rhythms, melodies and dynamics steal your heart and send a tear down your cheek! Oh the joys of feeling things and being moved by music and people’s dedication to it!

The first song in this video is one of my current favorites, “Beau Soir”:

Text to "Beau Soir" by Paul Bourget
Lorsque au soleil couchant les rivières sont roses,
Et qu'un tiède frisson court sur les champs de blé,
Un conseil d'être heureux semble sortir des choses
Et monter vers le cœur troublé;

Un conseil de goûter le charme d'être au monde,
Cependant qu'on est jeune et que le soir est beau,
Car nous nous en allons comme s'en va cette onde :
Elle à la mer, -- nous au tombeau!

When streams turn pink in the setting sun,
And a slight shudder rushes through the wheat fields,
A plea for happiness seems to rise out of all things
And it climbs up towards the troubled heart.

A plea to relish the charm of life
While there is youth and the evening is fair,
For we pass away, as the wave passes:
The wave to the sea, we to the grave.