My life as an artist. road warrior. communicator. sponge.
I sit in Montclair NJ resting, reading, writing. Feeling... Watching CNN.... crying. being just me, laughing. Having played a multitude of hats these last 4 days through tumultous times, I see my role as chameleon, as poet, as artist, educator and entrepreneur, as traveler, as lover, as child, as adult, as woman with a mission.... i am on my mission now. Making extraordinary changes in an ordinary way.
I've been in the studio for over a year and embarking on a road trip (which will be over a month's journey) is such a liberating feeling. I love seeing new sights and sounds, touching new hearts, and being touched. This is very invigorating.
Arriving in Philadelphia was like arriving to freedom. In my own personal way. I have been hibernating for so long, and now i am really happy to be out in the world, communicating once again, feeling the travel bug, the spirit of the journey, and roman sandles on my feet. There is much to do, say, hear, feel and share.
I just completed the first weekend of work: the Independent Music Conference in Philadelphia. We just left Philly last night having been there for 4 days.
It's hard to get all excited about a music conference when we are seeing such tragedy on CNN and any tv station about what is currently happening in New Orleans. But let me deviate from this for a moment as I recount the journey I have traveled these last few days that has left me ALSO inspired, motivated and rejuvenated, .. because where there is dark there is light and where there is tragedy there is hope.
The IMC conference www.IMC2005.com has just finished and we have been fortunate enough, as Songsalive! team members, to be part of making this a huge success because we were involved in it to create change, be impactful, educate and inspire artists and i believe that we SUCCEEDED. It takes one person at a time to create change and music and the arts is a hugely impactful way to do that. I am blessed to be an artist and educator and I discovered such love, harmony and synergy amongst the artists who attended this conference. It has reminded me why I have chosen this path.
Toni Koch (Songsalive! artist coordinator/Warrior Girl Music promoter) and I arrived on Thurs evening and caught a cab from the airport into the Conference hotel - Sheraton Society Hill. First evening, a quick walk down South Street for a bite to eat, discover some interesting bars, one in particular had "live painting" to DJ music, which inspired my muse immediately. This city is filled with artistry, on the street, in the bars, on the walls, in my MIND.
Friday morning we got to work. We set up the Songsalive! booth, www.songsalive.org, with stacks of stuff, artist info, our organizational information, our banner flying proudly on the wall behind and various things to display and sell. There were several booths at the conference, including some partners we are involved with such as Oasiscd.com (Cd manufacturing). Toni organized 3 days of amazing Songsalive! Acoustic Roundabout performances, where we had songwriters perform acoustically in the main room, Hamilton Room, with grand piano. This brought a new light to the conference for this year because we were able to provide showcase opportunities for artists without having to leave the focus of the event. Normally, and still this year, showcases are around town in Philadelphia in the evenings only. We were able to offer a showcase environment daily, during the conference activities, and music industry folk came in to check out the talent. it was great.
We saw some great performances at Cavanaughs River Deck (on the river near the Ben Franklin bridge), and I performed there also. It was kind of the evening hub for the conference and a lot of fun! I had a blast performing this weekend. Every day I hopped on the piano and shared, like secrets, my new songs from the new album extraOrdinary life www.gillimoon.com/extraordinarylife, and some old ones that felt like coming out of the bag.
I spoke on many music panels this year, focusing mainly on touring, promoting and getting out there as an indie artist. I also conducted my MPWR Workshop (path to artist empowerment) www.warriorgirlmusic.com/MPWR twice during the conference and i know from the feedback i received that this inspired those who attended to continue on their artist path with strength, gave them motivation and positivism. I believe in defining success on one's own terms, and enjoying the journey. That being artists in this era we need to also be smart business people, using the left and right brains. That we can use the internet to maximize our relationships building. Being at a conference, we all got to know each other well... it was a small conference and in my opinion this was way more effective than being a huge conference where no one truly gets to connect one on one. Other panels i spoke on included Women in Music and the Discourse panel, critiquing artists' demos.
Toni also spoke on panels, including merch, building revenue streams, street teaming and more. On the last day we conducted the Songsalive! Songcamp, which is really becoming one of our BEST programs. We had mentors to assist the full day Songcamp - Steven Memel (Hollywood's celebrated vocal and performance coach), Patti Wolf from SmartWomen.org radio, and Bill Pere, 14 album songwriter and president of the Connecticut Songwriters Association. The Songcamp started out with critiquing, like we do in a regular Songsalive! monthly workshop. We had about 12 songwriters from around the country: Philly, L.A, Texas, New York, even... New Orleans. One artist, Nabiyah, is this young spoken word / poet from Philly had never sung before. We allowed her to present a piece and she sung a little lullaby she wrote. She was softly spoken, but gazed at all of us with strength. Then, when it was our turn to provide feedback, she fell silent and began to weep. I softly spoke to her and realized that this beautiful soul was new at opening up her words to strangers. We gave her encouragement. she then turned to us and said she felt so wonderful to have the opportunity to sing, and speak. Others wept. It was very special.
After lunch we got into the cool part of the Songcamp - co-writing. I placed the artists in groups of 2 and 3 and gave them 1 hour to write a song. it was a huge challenge. And the groups were varied, with songwriters who didn't know each other, and who were from a varied background including geography, race, age and musical taste. By 3pm we had 5 new songs written, within a hour. And they were all fabulous! The artists thought the Songcamp was energizing and challenged them beyond anywhere they'd been on their own as writers. I felt, even in my first few days on the road, that this day made it ALL worthwhile and reminded me why Songsalive! exists. It all started with a workshop, in the round, sharing and writing songs, and here we are still today doing this, making an impact on a grand scale. www.songsalive.org/programs for details on our songcamps.)
Other parts of our work here at the IMC was to promote our Songsalive! Cd Sampler 7, a few members who had partaken in the "Get Promoted" program (www.songsalive.org/sponsoredevents for details). Plus we are promoting two new Songsalive! partners: Unisong - a fabulous songwriting competition we are presenting, and ListRocket.com, a unique email fanlist service. Both are at www.songsalive.org/partners. We have bundles of postcards on these two partners and happy to send some to any chapter who wants some.... We also were selling the IndieBible on our booth, which is a fantastic resource of media and press to promote your music to. www.indiebible.com/sa to get it online.
In summary, Songsalive! was an integral part in the success of the IMC conference this year. I'm very proud. We feel it's like having our own Expo but on the East Coast. Our booth was the hub for songwriters to hang and feel supported and promoted. I want everyone to try and come next September. It's worth it, it's educational, and very very powerful. www.IMC2005.com to see what it's all about. We made connections and relationships with artists, songwriters and music business executives from all around the country.
Next stop on our tour, New York for our Songsalive! Showcase this Thursday Sat 8th @ C-Note www.songsalive.org/newyork for details. Then Connecticut for the associations meeting on 13th Sept where I will be talking, then the New England Music in Hartford CT on 17/18 Sept. My album launch on Wed 21st Sept at the Cutting Room NY. Then up to Boston to speak at the Berklee School of Music on Tues 27th Sept and Nemo Music Conference on 30th Sept and 1st October. www.gillimoon.com/tours and www.songsalive.org/sponsoredevents have all the details.
Our work for Songsalive! is a busy one this month. We are out and about on the East Coast being proactive, educating, building the name, recruiting members, conducing workshops, building the New York and Boston Chapters and doing what we are here to do..... providing opportunities of support and promotion for songwriters.
I do hope this little email was inspiring to you all in your lives this week as we go through hardship and struggle, with the devastation of New Orleans. We have many members from Louisiana. Our home page www.songsalive.org has a link at the bottom to lend donations to this current catastrophe. My part right now is building consciousness and awareness about COMING TOGETHER as a global community in every way.... whether it's amongst us in songwriting, building relationships in the music business, making lifelong friends on the road, enjoyinfg the journey everyday in everything you do, feeling inspired by the little things that make impact, or... even building finances to help others. Songsalive! is doing that. As a 501 (c) (3) our mission is to educate and support. Go online and support New Orleans. Talk to your neighbor, give them a smile. WRITE A GREAT SONG TODAY.
LISTEN TO YOUR HEART EVERY DAY.
Right now, I'm gearing up for a Manhattan show this Thursday, for gaining my strength again to go out into this world and be the warrior. I am truly blessed.
Thanks for reading
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