Friday, May 23, 2008


When I first went through "The Artist's Way", what I was looking for was encouragement to pursue Storytelling as a way of emotional emmancipation and spiritual unfolding despite being a stammerer. Back then, I was down in the dumps for many reasons, most of which I have addressed several times in this Book of the Crossroads, and while Feri was the perfect guiding light to the bottom of the pit, it proved fickle, ill-intentioned and uncollaborative for the way back. Julia Cameron had an amazing clarity in her blazed trail, and impeccable kindness and generosity to share it, which are what made all the difference to me.

Upon undertaking her course, a long-dormant Musician began awakening in me. I grew up in a very music-unfriendly environment, for which I blame many defficiencies and destitutions in my character. At 15, I got a discman for my birthday gift, and during the rest of my teens I remember being addicted to Michael Jackson and then the Spice Girls, until later on I discovered other musicians through them. Pop Music was the only musical reference I had back then, since Radio and Television were the only access I had to anything anybody ever dared call Music, even when a visitor to the neighbourhood or somebody at school's sassy cousin or boyfriend popped out of the blue with a guitar.

But still, All that Jazz, Rock or Pop (with the very unforgiving demands for funny-but-empty things to say all the fucking time, expensive clothes and a slick hairdo, ostentation, previsibility disguised as "style", and--UGH!--microphone) was not the kind of Music I wanted to make.

I carried on as a writer and storyteller. As a writer, my talents were already pretty much acknowledged since childhood and even awarded at times. As a storyteller, I became pretty accomplished for an amateur, performing several times to a couple of hundreds of respectful and interested listeners. But something in me craved for the other medium.

I have always loved everything Celtic, even way before I knew they had this name, "Celtic". I love harp, bagpipes, fire bringing people together, memories from the Otherworld, as close as whatever we have behind our eyes. Celtic Music, especially Irish (which to me is the sexiest form of Music in this world), had an irresistible appeal to me. But, as I learnt over time, this type of Music you cannot learn from books and lessons. You need to share the spirit, the spirits, the hearth and the everyday joys and struggles to have it interwoven into your chromossomes like fine Irish lace or those uber-sensual Neocelt knotworks. I temporarily gave up on the Fiddle (but I'll surely come back to it).

When I moved to São Paulo, the vibrant and very fertile cultural life did me extreme good. Joining a choir on Tuesday nights was the trigger to a whole new world that now is slowly becoming the center of my life. I started taking private lessons with the choir's vocal coach, and then moving to Madrid two years later, where the atmosphere is even more appropriate, made me dive deeper into the world of Art Songs and Lieder.

The new path didn't come without its challenges: the radical and complete absence of Music in my upbringing brought me up as a sort of tone-deaf person. Fortunately, it's not the genetic trait that makes it actually impossible for a person to even enjoy listening to simple songs. I just needed patient coaches, dedication and a lot of practice with the keyboard, ear training softwares, new choirs and live music experiences so I could compensate for the lack of what should be the right of every person in this world.
Image: the Chartres labyrinth design on Edin Karamazov's lute.