Thursday, November 27, 2014

Labrador Creative Arts Festival Wrap-up

I arrived home yesterday after participating as one of the visiting artists at the 39th Annual Labrador Creative Arts Festival in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and environs. I posted one blog entry during the festival. Re-reading it just now, I can "hear" how breathless I was!

My secret source of power for the festival: trail mix with
added pralined nuts and Reese's Pieces
The festival continued at an intense pace: workshops, plays, soirées! It is a phenomenally rich week, but one that requires a great deal of flexibility and stamina. Before I left, I was worried that I wasn't going to be able to make it through gracefully. Fortunately, I feel like I did. I maintained my equanimity in the face of withdrawn high school kids and rambunctious middle school kids. Every class that was willing wrote a song or two. And the less willing did some breathing and stretching and thinking about their own rib cage and diaphragm and how our voices are produced. And most of the students sang along on a chorus or two. Voice can be a very vulnerable place and I hope I presented in a way that held that vulnerability with care and consideration.

I talked with various classes about story songs, metaphors, high sounds and low, quiet and loud and how melody is a way to communicate more meaning in a song that with words alone. (Communication was the theme of the Festival this year).
Some of the students at Sheshatshiu Innu School shared some great beats with me.

We did a benefit concert for Libra House (a women's shelter) on Sunday afternoon at the Birch Brook Chalet. That was lots of fun - my favourite kind of concert: intimate, relaxed. And the setting was so beautiful:

The view from Birch Brook Chalet, home of our Sunday concert
I felt sad to leave on Wednesday morning, but I am also glad to come back to the quiet and solitude of my home life. It was a very stimulating week for me, full of new people and ideas. I did lots of thinking on the fly to try to make my workshops more accessible and engaging. I expended a lot of energy!

Boarding our flight home
It was a bit of an endurance test, but a happy and successful one. I slept for eleven hours last night - so glad to be in my own bed with my sweet cat.

My rest and relaxation guru, Salinger

I will definitely be absorbing this trip and the things I learned for a long time to come. I extend my heartfelt thanks to the Labrador Creative Arts Festival for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

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