Thursday, April 1, 2010

Aching Honesty

A client came in the other day longing to improve her R&B sound. Herself a professional jazz singer, she'd just picked up Mary J Blige's new album and wanted desperately to learn how to create "that aching honesty..."

Isn't it funny how often the answers to our questions lie within the questions themselves?

So many people I work with- singers and non-singers alike- are looking for explanations for how to create more sincere musical and personal statements, unaware that they already possess the answers.  My job is simply to help coax out from hiding what they long ago deemed unable or unworthy of properly learning about and achieving their dreams and goals.

The great leaders and artists- those that indeed ache with honesty- do so because they constantly pour out from within what they've culled from the deepest reaches of their interiors. Their gifts are not necessarily those of inherent greatness, but rather, the ability to search for the uniqueness within themselves, and the bravery to proudly express whatever they find.

The true source of my client's longing became clear when we explored what Mary J Blige's voice and image represented to her: "uninhibited, sensual, powerful, emotional voluptuousness, dripping with self-love..."

... none of which she felt about herself.

Together we began the journey of uncovering and releasing the sensuality within her, as well as the buried belief that she has the right to express it. Once we did, what began as a desire to imitate turned into a truly unique and special voice making itself known... quietly at first, then louder, stronger, and more sure...

Watch out, Mary...

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your comments remind me of a recent, wonderful concert given by Capathia Jenkins, for free (!) at the Brooklyn Public Library last month.

I love the tone of her voice so much, but as I was listening, I noticed something more. I felt like I knew where the lyrics were going, even as she just began a new line. At the time, I attributed her skill to "good acting," i.e. non-verbal, physical movements and expression. Then when I listened to the CD, I heard that same "completeness of thought" in her voice and had an aha!: So THAT'S what they mean by good phrasing.

As in your example, Capathia Jenkins (and DO check out her CDs- you will NOT be disappointed) had a clear sense of what she was trying to communicate, and the music became the vehicle.

Phil Alexander

April 1, 2010 at 11:10 AM  
Anonymous Bryan Reeves said...

... I see you're still wrangling people (ever so lovingly) by the throat chakra to wake up and just be ... LOVE IT!

April 5, 2010 at 4:49 PM  
Anonymous Dominick said...

First of all, I think all women should release their sensuality!!!! Wait!! Don't hang up!! Seriously, I remember reading the definition of "cool", as in being............and it was simply being yourself. I thought that said so much about not trying to be what you think someone else is and start being who you know you are. Easier said then done, but there really is no alternative. Thanx Jennifer for another well written, close to the heart piece. Stay well, Dominick

April 6, 2010 at 3:33 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Hamady said...

Hey guys! Thanks for your thoughts (& for the laughs, Bryan & Dominick... : )

April 7, 2010 at 11:44 AM  
Blogger Allison said...

Jenny - I am not sure how I even stumbled upon all of this, but it is totally and absolutely remarkable. I am truly excited to read your book - it has come along (not surprisingly) at absolutely the right moment in my life, and I will welcome your insights - so artfully communicated - with open arms. :) Just wanted to let you know how amazed I am by what you have accomplished/are accomplishing, and grateful that such important work - helping to release people so that they may express their fullest creativity - is being done. Always, but especially now. With best wishes, Allison (Protas) Gustavson

June 26, 2010 at 4:03 PM  

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