Friday, May 26, 2017

Summer Dances

I have bad news and good news. 

The bad news is I won't be in town ANY of the 3rd Saturdays of June, July, and August.  I'll likely be in Albuquerque, NM, East Central WI, and South East MN those weekends, respectively. 

The good news is I'm hoping to partner with others to schedule other special events.  There's one event on this list so far, and I'm hoping to add a few more...
  • Sunday, July 2, 10:15 a.m.-11:30 a.m. @ Spirit United Community, 701 Lexington Parkway N, St. Paul
Would you consider inviting me, another musician or two, and a bunch of friends to gather and practice the age old activity of singing and moving together? 

All that is needed is an open heart, a willing spirit, and a body able to hear external authority and discern if the inner authority needs to be expressed to accommodate personal needs.  That and a dry flat surface that can be walked upon with shoes or without.  Outside would be awesome as is covered warm shelters when the forecast is wet. 

Contact us at Shine (at) PointsOfLightMusic (dot) com. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

May 2017 Updates

The light is shifting this month.  Here's a heads up about some changes for some of our regular events: 

Sing Harmony, Hungry Hearts! (SHHH!) in the Library
We're moving the time an hour later, 7-8:30 p.m.!  It seems gathering folks to sing at 6 p.m. on a weekday late afternoon/evening seems to be a hard sell, especially for those who would be making a drive from the south or east.  Same location:  East Side Freedom Library, 1105 Greenbrier, St. Paul. 

Dances of Universal Peace
Regularly scheduled for the 3rd Saturday of the month, in May it falls on the same day my Korean family arrives, May 20.  There will be no Dances that evening, though I am considering moving it to a different night and time.  Stay tuned.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Sixteenth Notes: April Showers of Events

Here's a quick rundown of upcoming events: 

Dances of Universal Peace
    
    Dances of Universal Peace logo. Image
    adapted by (c) 2016 Points of Light Music.
  • Today, Saturday, April 15, 7-9 p.m. - Dances of Universal Peace at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, 1895 Laurel Ave, St. Paul.  Celebrating the springing forth of new life!  RSVP on MeetUp.com or just show up. 
  • Friday, April 28, 7-9 p.m. - Open Dances of Universal Peace Circle at Newton Christian Conference Center, Newton, IA.  Leading and supporting the Dances with flute, cajon, baritone ukulele, and shruti box!  It's not my debut, but it will be the culmination of a 2-day retreat focusing on musicianship. To be followed by ...
  • Saturday, April 29, 9 a.m.-Sunday, April 30, 12:30 p.m. - Public Retreat with Anahata: Planting Divine Qualities, Harvesting the Blessings.  Dancing and singing, probably more playing of instruments for Anahata.  For more details, see http://peacedancemn.blogspot.com/2017/03/HeavenOnEarthRetreatWithAnahata.html
Spirit of Peace Unflash Mob
Meditation Walk.
Image: (c) 2016 Points Of Light Music
Spirit of Peace Unflash Mob
  • Tuesdays, April 18 & 25, 2 p.m. - Spirit of Peace Unflash Mob Meditation Walk.  Meet at the Veterans Service Building just south of the Capitol Building.  Walk & sing for the turning of the world.  More details here.


Full Voice - 5 Elements Framework (TM)
Image:  (c) 2016 Points Of Light Music
Full Voice Workshops
  • Thursday, April 20, 6-7:30 p.m. - Steeling Our Magnolias: Forging our Voices for the Ongoing Work of Speaking Up & Out at East Side Freedom Library.  1105 Greenbrier St. St. Paul.  RSVP on Facebook.
  • Monday, April 24, 7-8:30 p.m. - Open Your Voice: an introduction to your Full Voice at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, St. Paul.  Register on Eventbrite

Reflections

The last month has been full with preparations for Palm/Passion Sunday, Holy Week, and Easter, weddings for family and friends, doing some music engraving for others (taking a composer's handwritten notes and formatting them in Finale, a music notation software program), as well as supporting an interesting labyrinth project (Labyrinth Around America) and my on-going hosting on Airbnb

Never a dull moment here!  I'm not posting here as much as I'd like, but follow me on Instagram where I'm likely to do a mini-post on what's going on. 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

SHHH! April changes

East Side Freedom Library
Sing Harmony, Heavenly Hearts (SHHH)'s host, the awesome East Side Freedom Library* (ESFL), is the site for "Down in Mississippi: A Gospel Play with Music" a production by Carlyle Brown & Company Mar 23-Apr 8. 
So sadly, the Thu, Apr 6 session of SHHH in the Library is cancelled.  SHHH will be back on Thu, May 4.  (We are really excited for ESFL to host this awesome production though -- who wants to go with us?)



Instead we'll be offering an element-focused Full Voice workshop loosely called "Steely Dan:  How to Fortify our Voices for the Long Hall" on the 3rd Thursday of the month, April 20 at ESFL*.   Stay tuned for more details to come. 


* p.s. checkout all the events ESFL hosts!  Later this month, they're hosting a screening of Let Freedom Sing, a documentary about the singers and musicians who stood up against inequality and racism, and gave the civil rights movement its anthems and its soul.  Mon, Mar 27, 7-9p. (want to go with us?)


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Full Voice Groups: March 2017

Here's a schedule of upcoming Full Voice group workshops: 
If you'd like to see a daytime or weekend offering, please let me know.  I'd be happy to schedule a time that works for you... there's probably others that would like a different day/time too. 

Blessings! 

Release.  (c) 2015 Points Of Light Music

March: Spirit of Peace Unflash Mob/Walking Meditation

Our walking meditation continues!  In March 2017, we will be convening at the MN Capitol Mall on Tuesdays at 2 p.m.  Join us!  More details here
  • March 7
  • March 14
  • March 21
  • March 28
You'll notice the calendar has Spirit of Peace Meditation Walks on the weekends as well.  These will be in other locations that need a presence of peace.  We'll announce those locations as they get decided. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

SHHH Guests, 3/2/17

I'm really looking forward to the next Sing Harmony, Hungry Hearts (SHHH!) in the Library tomorrow, Thursday, March 2, 2017.  The Uprisingers will be joining us! 


Here's how they describe themselves: 

Uprisingers: Bringing more songs and singing to our movements.
Sing along!

UPRISINGERS is not a performing group - it's a songleading group to spark community singing at protests, marches, rallies, and the like.

UPRISINGERS is for people who want to sing strong,
easy, sustaining songs when spirits are lagging or people are tired of chanting - with the intention of always encouraging others to join in if they want to.
You do not have to be a "good singer" to participate.
 
Leadings songs at downtown Minneapolis Library
during This Machine event on Monday, February 20, 2017.
Sounds like a good match to me! 

You can learn more about them on Facebook.  They have a public page and a private group for internal discussion.  If you don't do the Facebook thing (and I love that you do/don't), email uprisingers@gmail.com and ask to be added to their email list. 

Looking forward to singing with you on Thursday evening.  Cheers! 

Going back: Leading Chapel at my Alma Mater

Me and a friend at commencement.
I'm going back to my alma mater on Friday to lead some singing and community movement for the daily chapel service. 

It's been almost 20 years since I've been there and it's interesting to reflect on where I've been and where I'm going and comparing it with what I remember of the 21yo me.  While I ponder articulating the amazement of how I got to where I am and how that place and community shaped and supported me, I'll just invite you to the event.  It's open to the public and free. 

What:  Augsburg College's Daily Chapel Service with me and the Augsburg Choir
When:  Friday, March 3, 2017, 10:40-11 a.m.
Where:  Hoversten Chapel inside the Foss Lobeck Miles Center, 625 22nd Ave South, Minneapolis

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Spirit of Peace Meditation Walk Continues!

Greetings, all,
You all are due a wrap-up post from Day 4-6 from the pre-Inauguration Meditation Walk schedule.  And more background about the Spirit of Peace and its 1989 pilgrimage to Russia and its sister US tour in 1993.  Soon, I promise!

My partner Patti and I are continuing the Meditation Walk with twice a week frequency.  Join us*!  We're aiming for every Tue & Sat afternoon, but it shifts due to conflicting appointments and life commitments.  Here's the dates for February: 
  • Fri, Feb 3
  • Tue, Feb 7
  • Sun, Feb 12
  • Tue, Feb 14 (I love this falling on Valentine's Day!)
  • Sun, Feb 19
  • Tue, Feb 21
  • Sat, Feb 25
  • Tue, Feb 28 (Arts Advocacy Day!)
* Learn the song and read more background here.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

SHHH Guests, 1/19

Tonight is the inaugural Sing Harmony, Hungry Hearts (SHHH!) at the East Side Freedom Library!

I'm excited that we'll be gathering together to use our voices to speak our truth, weave them together with the truth-telling voices of others, and practice the act of welcoming others, making space for all voices to belong, adapting to the needs and will of all present.  These are skills so needed, especially with diverse gatherings of folks. 

We will have some special song/dance leader/carriers in our midst. 
  • My friend Saleem Adam will be sharing some Dances of Universal Peace. 
  • Laura Nelson who hosted the Election Eve Sing in St. Louis Park will be joining us too! 
Bring water and a chair or cushion to sit upon.  Tonight we'll be in the lower level meeting room, so enter the front doors, hang a right and go down the stairs.  There won't be many chairs available to us as a larger group will be meeting upstairs after us.

Sing with you soon!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Mid-point Reflections on Spirit of Peace Walk

My partner and I have really enjoyed our daily hour of intention together over the past three days. Here's a few of our reflections:

Day 1, Sunday, January 15
It's a beautiful sunny day. We gotta wear shades (I'm evidently a child of the 80's). 
Check out that amazing blue sky!  (No filter) Photo by Points of Light Music.
And look there's another labyrinth popup! 
Fresh snow canvas = snow labyrinth potential.  Glad someone used it!  (Photo by Points Of Light Music)
There's a few visitors touring the new finished renovations of the capital building. One guy asks: "Are you guys drunk?"  I reply, "No, we're stone sober." 

Start with setting intentions in front of the Veterans Service Building. We walk down the right side. Shuffle across the street. Restart again. The sidewalk has a pattern of a darker on-point square in the middle of the typical concrete and I enjoy watching my shadow spread my justice and peace energy as I walk up using the angles as my guide.  We find ourselves in front of the steps and sing a reminder of the light and love in every person. End with gratitude. 

Then we ventured inside for a look-peek. Do a little impromptu humming in the rotunda. And then walk back the other side of the mall. 


Day 3 walkers:  Patti, Saleem, and Conie
Day 2, Monday, January 16, Martin Luther King Jr holiday
Weather: overcast but not windy or freezing. I didn't wear my snow boots or extra cushy socks so my toes get cold. 
Walkers: Patti, Saleem, and I 

 
As we three are chatting by the Gold Star Table, I notice capital security has pulled into the parking lot. Since it's a federal holiday, we're the only ones parked there. We trot over to ask if it's ok and confirm the holiday and that the meter doesn't need to be fed. We're fine, he reassures us. 
 
Convening in front of the Veterans Service Building I notice the beautiful lotus-like sculpture in the center of the fountain(?). Does anybody know its background or its creator? There's so much beautiful and meaningful memorial installations on the Capital grounds. If you haven't had a chance go and explore! 

Today we decide to walk the left side up to balance what we did yesterday. It's lovely having another person to add to our harmony. As we make our way across the lower quad, I notice another (the same?) security vehicle in a different lot. They seem to be watching us? When we reach the street, we sing but don't walk the slow pace across. Over the course of the chant we advance 8 steps so crossing a four lane street would take at least 4 repeats. Not worth risking our safety or inviting question. 

I've been watching two group of folks milling about on the capital steps since we started. Now that we're closer it seems like some are logistics organizers for the Women's March and another group is live streaming a promo of the musical acts appearing at the March ... But we don't know that until we've photo (video?) bombed part of it. Oops! 

Today's trio ends by climbing the steps to the capital doors (locked due to the holiday) and then sending out prayers of blessings for all people from that incredible vantage point that views the river straight ahead and the Cathedral of St. Paul slightly to the right. 

Day 3, Tuesday, January 17
Weather: overcast like yesterday. It rained overnight and at home I slipped on the slanted, wet icy sidewalk (triple threat, can't win!) and fell on my tush taking out the recycling last night. Fortunately, the capital grounds folks are totally on it and the sidewalks are well salted for the opening of this week's session. Thank you! 

Our feet stepping out at the Vietnam War memorial installation at the Capital.
(Photo by Points Of Light Music)
Walkers: it's just Patti and I. We walk the labyrinth that appeared the other day, check in, and then head to our starting place. Today there are folks working in the buildings and walking here and there. A different vibe than the last couple days. But we begin again. 

Setting our intentions we recognize the cloud of witnesses surrounding us and this place, all people from the past, including the indigenious, and future as well as the thousands planning to be attending the March on Saturday. It is a bit awesome to behold. 

Today's variation: after we cross the street, instead of remaining in a single file line, I wave Patti to join me so we are side-by-side. A year and a half ago, I was leading this Dance at Village Fire with one other person. We modifying it for the two of us and I was floored by the feeling of strength I felt walking side by side as we crossed a field. That experience has stayed with me and continues to prod me with this public practice. The dream has evolved to include variations of groups of people walking toward each other and becoming a partner dance where they meet, turning together as they move through each other. Some day...

We reach the lower steps and move through our closing ritual. Our closing song are the words of Joe Miller, a Buddhist blessing: "May all beings be well / May all beings be happy / Peace, Peace, Peace."

But I know another version of it with an additional line and it was calling to me on my drive home yesterday. Saying "I need to be said." The line is "May all injured be healed." Telling my partner this, she affirms it is important to recognize this. We gloss over trauma in so many ways and the only way to move forward is to recognize it. Otherwise it gets stuffed down and remains undealt with causing unforeseen problems in the future.

May all beings be well,
May all beings be happy, 
May all injured be healed.
Peace, Peace, Peace. 

May we be open to the vulnerability required to admit our mistakes and learn from them. To rise over and over again. One step at a time 

We step forward again for the next three days. Join us at 2p in front of the Veterans Service Building or from work, home, or wherever you are. More details here.  Peace and blessings. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Spirit of Peace Walk

I've been getting nudges to do Dances in public places for months.  It's a bit daunting, to step out, but I've been accruing support from friends and ancestors to do it.  And yes, it is time. 

Spirit of Peace Walk

When:  Starting Sunday, January 15, 2017.  Everyday at 2p until Inauguration Day, Jan 20.*
What:  Walking/singing Spirit of Peace (see below).  If this calls to you, please join me in person or in spirit where you are. 
Where:  Meeting at Gold Star Table west of the courtyard in front of the Veterans Service Building. (map)
 
Gold Star Table with the Minnesota State Capital in the background.

* Depending on interest, this may continue daily for awhile with a transition to a different frequency (weekly, monthly?) after that.

Song words: 
Spirit of Peace
To your cause we give our strength
That love may reign and wars may cease
Mir, Miru, Mir*

* "Mir, Miru, Mir" is a Russian play for "Peace, peace on earth."  (There's a lot more history about this song that I'll share at a different time)



Movements:  Please follow the leader for variations on following.  Each line corresponds with a line of the chant.
  1. Start with hands cupped in front of heart, spreading/opening arms out over phrase and walking
  2. Continuing to Walk, hands on shoulders with people next to you
  3. Make one Turn in place
  4. Make a Slow Bow over the course of the phrase
Dance Doodle:  Spirit of Peace

Group Full Voice sessions: Jan & Feb 2017

Here's three open group Introduction to Full Voice sessions you can sign up for: 
  • Thursday, January 26, 6-7:30p @ SMEC
  • Thursday, February 9, 6-7p @ Holistic Gateway - RSVP here
  • Thursday, February 23, 6-7:30p @ SMEC - Register here
Class Fee:  $10-20/person
Ask Questions:  email shine@pointsoflightmusic.net or call/text 612-756-8011. 

See location details below.

Your Full Voice is made of 5 Elements:  Earth, Fire, Water, Metal, Air
Location details: 
  • SMEC = St. Mary's Episcopal Church, 1895 Laurel Ave, St. Paul, MN. (map) Review the sign in the lobby for location, but likely to be in the choir room.
  • Holistic Gateway is 1415 6th Street Northeast, Minneapolis, MN. (map) Enter the front door and climb the stairs to the second floor. 

If these times and locations don't fit your schedule, please contact me.  I'm happy to work with you to find other times and locations.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Singing Recommendations: Melanie DeMore & Spring SiL

Singing opportunities abound this spring!  Mark your calendars for these events.

Melanie DeMore is doing a couple of events this weekend with VocalEssence.  All FREE!  Here's the details to register for Friday night's Community Sing and Saturday's Together We Sing Festival.

She is fabulous.  See her latest call and echo song written in November 2016: 



Barbara McAfee has announced the Spring dates for Singing in the Light.  Mark these delicious Sunday afternoon sound baths in your calendar too.
  • January 22
  • February 12
  • March 12
All from 4-6 p.m.  All in the Art Gallery at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church.

Singing the Light. (some times we touch, but not often if that's not your thing)

SHHH! reborn at East Side Freedom Library

We're excited to announce the re-emergence of SHHH!

New Name:  Sing Harmony, Hungry Hearts!  (SHHH!) in the Library
New Location:  East Side Freedom Library, 1105 Greenbrier Street, St. Paul, MN 55106
New Times:  6-7:30 p.m.

The inaugural event will be on Inauguration Eve, Thursday, January 19, 2017 to follow up with the Election Eve sings organized by the Center for American Studies at Concord. 

For the rest of the spring, hungry hearts are invited to gather on the 1st Thursday of the month.
  • February 2
  • March 2
  • April 6
  • May 4
Suggested Donation:  $5-10 per person, but don't let a fee keep you away.  All voices are needed! 

Why?  Humans have been singing together for thousands of years to fill their spirits with community, pass on stories, and express joy, grief, and everything in between.  Around the campfire, every voice was honored and respected for their contribution.  Have we lost touch with this in our digital world?  Let's reignite this flame and rebuild our heart to heart connections. 

Come!  The voice you speak with is enough.  This is not a performance. 
Come!  You don't need to know any songs.  The songs will be taught to you. 
And if you have a song to share, wonderful! 
Come!  It is time to create beauty with the raw materials of our bodies, breath, and vibrations. 
Time to rewrite a culture of hope, strength, and love in our hearts and communities.