June 3, 2012
February 1, 2010
I am a 37 year old ethnomusicologist, composer, musician and multi-instrumentalist in the United States. All my life, I have sought to harness the power of music to change and heal the world. I started out as a child and teen studying classical music and writing pieces with the intent to raise awareness. I continued studying formal classical composition at university, writing orchestral pieces about the Ivory Coast slave forts, the Cherokee Trail of Tears and other issues dear to my heart. Thirteen years ago, I started traveling overseas to study musical systems of other cultures and thus, my search deepened profoundly. I studied in Ghana, Ireland, Morocco, Mali, and Turkey, seeking out traditional music.
While I've made my living as a music journalist and freelance composer, I'm at a crossroads in my life now. I've just completed a mid-career Master's in ethnomusicology at Tufts University where my focus was on the healing ritual music of the Moroccan Gnawa.
I have begun transforming my path and forging a new way; right now, I am feeling around in the dark but I can smell what it is I'm yearning for and it involves women, rhythm and music, and deep emotional healing of our hearts. I want to empower women through music. I have been speaking with organizers at NGOs and non-profits about how music can be utilized to transform, heal, and build community. I have a particular passion to do this kind of work in North Africa.
One of my clearest visions is to work and live in the developing world, empowering women and womens' issues through the arts. I noticed in the majority of my overseas studies that women were often not the musicians in their culture, and that the music was often directed by men. This is something I would like to harmoniously transform-- at the very least, to give women opportunities to know music, to know rhythm, to know their expressive self in new ways. I strongly believe that we can release our pain through music, transform and empower ourselves by embracing and nurturing these creative impulses wherein infinite wisdom is rooted.