This program pulls together all the different strands of my life. It uses my training as a singer, flute player, sound healer, my love of improvisation, the modes and medieval music, my ten years with Anonymous 4 plus the different spiritual traditions that I have engaged in over the years. The program is a mixture of chants, prayers and improvisations in a variety of languages. The texts I chose are from different times and places but I feel they relate to each other on a deep level and I have arranged the pieces to reflect this. All the music except for the Gregorian chants and Cantiga is either composed or improvised by me. I accompany myself on piano, medieval harp and shruti box (Indian drone instrument) and I also play the renaissance flute and recorder.
Scattered throughout the program are six wonderfully evocative poem/prayers that I set to music written by my sister Elizabeth Cunningham (from her book Small Bird, Poems and Prayers). I also improvise on several Latin Marian texts. I include two traditional Gregorian chants and a medieval Cantiga as well as one Hildegard chant in praise of wisdom. I’ve included several Sanskrit chants and I also sing one Gaelic text from the Ceili De a Celtic spiritual order. Near the center of the program is what I call a sound journey. This piece is improvised and will change with every performance. It is an intuitive musical response to the space and those gathered for each concert. As well as singing in the journeys I often use a variety of instruments.
Though some of the pieces are set there is a very strong improvisational aspect to the entire program. It will never be the same twice. Music and sound profoundly affect the body and emotions of the people listening. It can transport you. I look at the whole experience of this concert as a journey. So when it is over people have gone some place with me and I with them.