Tuesday, July 25, 2017

SHHH! Aug 3 with Laura Caviani, guest song leader

The August edition of Sing Harmony, Hungry Hearts!
(SHHH!) in the Library is

Thursday, August 3, 2017, 7-8:30 p.m.
with guest song leader Laura Caviani!
Laura Caviani, guest song leader for August 3, 2017
East Side Freedom Library
1105 Greenbrier St., St. Paul
Thank you, East Side Freedom Library!

A free-will offering will be collected for the guest song leader and the space. 
Suggested amount is $5-10 ~ though don't let that amount keep you away.
Points of Light Music:  Tell us about yourself. 
Laura Caviani: I play piano, compose, and teach music at Carleton College. I feel fortunate to have made my way through life making music, in some way shape or form, for a living.
For me, my favorite part of music is improvising. I studied improvisation and composition at both Lawrence U. in WI and at the U. of MI in Ann Arbor.
Currently, I live in the Twin Cities, and love it. Minnesota is my home state. I grew up learning songs at home, at church, at school, and around many campfires, namely Camp Koinonia (Hennepin Ave. United Methodist Church) and Camp Olson, a YMCA camp near Longville. I'm recently loving re-learning all of these songs again, and am looking forward to passing them along to interested folks. I'm also looking forward to learning more songs by ear, myself, and to help others learn how to improvise, compose, and get to know their voices.


PLM: You're mostly known as a jazz pianist.  What is drawing you to the voice and group singing?
About 7 years ago, I started composing for choirs to challenge myself in a new way. I've always enjoyed singing harmony for people, but never really thought of myself as a featured vocalist. I've sung back ups for various vocalists over the years, and of course sing while teaching and composing.
Then, last summer I attended a workshop at the Omega Institute in up state New York called "Circle Songs", a beautiful gathering of people from all over the world, inspired by the leadership of Bobby McFerrin, and it pretty much blew me away.  I would highly recommend attending this workshop to anyone who is interested in 
exploring the connection between spirituality, singing, and the creative process. Making music can sometimes be a deeply profound experience for me, but there is nothing like singing in a choir. When you combine that with the immediacy of free improvisation, it's almost a visceral experience, a palpable feeling. Some folks say that singing is like opening the window to your soul. That imagery seems pretty close what it feels like to me.
PLM: What was your first influential singing experience?
LC:  Choirs were a huge part of my upbringing; my family sang together for fun. I grew up thinking every family sang grace at dinner in 4 part harmony!
My Mom taught the children's choir at our church, and my Dad sang in the adult choir. We had a fabulous high school choir, and sang everything from Bach to Brahms to Britten. Our choir director, Bob Sieving, is still around in the Twin Cities today, and is a very fine composer.
PLM: Do you have a singing dream? 
LC: One thing I might add is that sometimes songs come to me in the early morning, just before dawn.
Sometimes they're songs from my past, and sometimes they're new songs. It's almost like they're flying by, and if I don't write them down right away, they just keep flying by (perhaps for someone else to catch)
PLM:  What else would you like us to know?
LC: I'm just grateful for the opportunity to get to know this new community of music makers, and look forward to singing with everyone. Thank you so much for inviting me. In this incredibly crazy time in our world, I believe that group singing, however you can get it to happen, can be a source of healing for everyone.
Laura is leading the "Circling in Song" Retreat at Prairiewoods Retreat Center in central Iowa, Friday, August 11-Sunday, August 13.  Visit Prairiewood's website for more details! 

Here's Laura talking about her recent recording project: 


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