There was one special person in my life a long time ago that actually said to me while he was enjoying the dinner I had made, “You have a way with seasoning.” The way he said it it was as if I was seducing the salt, pepper, rosemary, tarragon, and whatever I could get my hands on! And it kept me interested in cooking. I related seduction to cooking.
One item I will always have now, is Herbes De Provence. I am not sure when we first met, when I first laid my hands on the very special blend of herbs, all I know is it is an enduring relationships. And not all glassed HDP are the same, not by a long shot. My favorite these days is Citarella, and it is close to where I live in the West Village, NYC.
Make no mistake about it, the art of cooking is alive and well in my most tiny kitchen. You have no idea…
I love all 3 and have been working over the past few months on a new song I wrote with a new young male artist Tobe Baer singing it. He and I and his brother in Germany are producing the track. The song is being recorded in my apartment in the West Village, NYC, Tobe’s apartment in Brooklyn and in his brother’s Janosch Roth’s studio in Germany Lautstumm. It has been a great experience so far, we are diving into the track full steam ahead, it gets better and better as it grows and our creative collaboration has been pretty extraordinary. Strangers in the music…music in strangers. After all we were once strangers. No more.
I feel good about it. Feeling Good. In honor of Black History month…Ms Simone expressing good, in a perfect way.
The early 80’s was a frivolous time; I was dividing life between NYC and London. Before I went to London, I was asked to sing on two records for The Flirts, who were then a big dance/disco project masterminded by Bobby Orlando. Orlando did try to sign me but I was already on my way to London to sign a Warner Brother’s deal. He had a formula for success; he mimicked hit records and he hired different singers to perform at the recording sessions. I did a buy-out for HELPLESS (YOU TOOK MY LOVE) and MAKING TIME–on which Belinda Carlisle sings backup. (Buy-out means a negotiated rate and no royalties. This was a non-union session.) Turns out HELPLESS rose to the top of the charts. Initially, the group was made up of models and performers-seven or eight of them–who impersonated a group. Now with millions of views on youtube for HELPLESS I want to set the record straight–it’s my voice!
As I continue to prepare for my one-woman show, THE PASS, in which I tell stories about my life & career, I have been thinking of my past successes. This has led me to ponder the nature of success in general. Some people experience success as one straight line like a rocket vaulting into the sky; for others it is winding, a fluid motion like the stripes of a barber pole that can lead them from top to bottom to top again. I feel this pattern is most apt in describing my own music career.
My brother David and I recently found cassettes of my music from the 80’s and he wanted to transfer them to CD! We did at a studio in NJ – here’s CHEMISTRY- a very early song of mine. The song resonates with the rousing vibrations of youth and an interest in a new love.
After months of searching, I am happy to say I have found a great pianist Marta Sanchez to help me launch my show THE PASS. Marta is from Madrid, Spain and is currently living in Brooklyn. She has an impressive background with degrees in both classical and jazz composition. Marta has toured the US, Europe, South and Central America and, among her many accomplishments, she was awarded MacDowell Fellowship in 2017.
I’m particularly engaged by the energy and commitment she brings to my songs. Rhythm has always been a big part of my composing and I have felt that through the years my recordings have not always reflected that ingredient. I like what she brings to the music!
Very odd I had posted a blog post a few days ago about my thinking about changing the name of my one woman show and it seems to have disappeared.
So the gist of the post, what do you think of the title ROOM FOR ME vs THE PASS? What do either titles conjure up?
Why you may ask am I considering a title change? Especially when I have been calling the show as it develops THE PASS and even have artwork for it? Good question and happy to share why.
I had 2 friends over at my apartment in West Hollywood the night before I flew out to Florida and we had an impromptu workshop aka read-thru. They gave me some great feedback, suggestions. One friend I met in London and the other I know from NYC; around the same time. We have been friends for many years however we have all 3 rarely hung out together. Both are in the arts and I respect their opinion’s. Somehow a song from my Camden Town days came into the head of my friend (the one from the UK) -she is an actress and voice over artist) and now lives in California, in fact she is my neighbor with a home up the block. My other friend from NYC was in town working on past production for a new film, LET IT FALL. We had a great time hanging out. It was a great trip as a while and I plan to go back more often now. They both discussed the idea of a new title and called me separately. I am now considering their thoughts. I am also going to hold a handful of workshops before I film the show. Much work ahead!
In Florida to celebrate my dad’s 90th birthday. Pretty damn cool. Lot’s of celebrating.
Lately I have been thinking a lot about home, and the role it plays in giving us a spiritual center. The apartment where I live in the West Village of NYC has been my dwelling for over thirty years; I have come to think of it almost as an extension of myself–like my arm or the shell a turtle carries on its back. As I think of performing my show THE PASS in different venues around the country, and maybe even in London, I know I must leave my Village sanctuary, if only for brief periods of time. Right now I can see a beautiful blue jay from my window, speaking loud and clear, perched on a bare tree.
My little apartment–it is one big room like a French artist’s studio–is so cozy and arranged to my liking: an antique Oriental rug, a comfy bed, closets packed with my favorite possessions in cupboards that are painted beautiful colors; my musical equipment including my keyboard; computers that I use for my PR work. Outside my window wind chimes blow a song with the wind and I often see the communal cats prowling around. They keep the mice away. It’s all idyllic, complete.
Yet I contemplate deserting my home and going forth into the world, performing for strangers and staying in hotels, or inns or apartments. The vagabond, the gypsy in me is on and ready. The sailor is looking to find ways to tear up the anchor in celebration of my musical journey through the years.
I might spend some time in Tucson–awesome desert air, a pool, a living room with a fireplace! Or I can hang out in L.A., to experience the scene in West Hollywood. Oh what a scene!
No doubt, after I travel I will long to come back to my little nest in NYC. Or will I outgrow my little pad, as I have before and leave it only for a time. It is where I have written so many of my songs. I know that I will always love my home in the Village, my place in which I have invested my heart. But there may right now be empty places, just waiting for my heart to fill them too.