Monday, November 29, 2010

Singing in the West

We’ve taken the tour out west. October 30 was the date of the launch at Symphony Space. The Irish Arts Center produced the event in association with The New York Public Library and NYU’s Glucksman Ireland House, and with Fountain House, NAMI Metro-NYC, Bring Change 2 Mind and New York’s MDSG (Mood Disorders Support Group).

For the debut of all the songs from the album, most of the musicians who performed on it were able to play their parts live. Halfway through the evening Paul Holdengräber moderated a discussion with myself and author and psychiatrist Kay Jamison, delving into some of the works featured on the album and exploring the connection between madness and creativity. The album is one which has songs in many styles, moods, and a number of vocally challenging pieces. I was grateful to have all the wonderful guests present and that everything ran according to plan, making it a magical evening.

Since then I’ve been touring the Ryan McGiver, Eamon O’Leary and Jason Sypher on the East Coast which included a performance as part of the Johns Hopkins Art & Psychiatry Series introduced by Dr. Raymond DePaolo, with remarks from Kay Jamison. Kay is Professor of Psychiatry there. That event took place in an old medical lecture where the staff still hold their Grand Rounds.

Two nights ago we were in Eugene Oregon and so I invited David Oaks of Mind Freedon International to talk about his organization at the concert. What he had to say was enlightening and thought provoking and you can learn more at

Last night’s event at The Secret Society Ballroom featured Will Hall and Myriam of Portland Hearing Voices ( Their presentation featured their own stories and the work of the Hearing Voices Network, which is fascinating to me. When I last met with them in Portland in September, Will told me how much he had enjoyed Daniel B. Smith’s book Muses, Madmen and Prophets: which I have since been reading.

There is not a day that I don’t wake up grateful that I’m able to earn my living from music, but on this tour I have a particular sense of gratitude connected with how this album is being received. Having planned the work for so many years there's a tremendous sense of satisfaction in releasing it through these meaningful events.