Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Inspired By JaZZzz ...Thursday's Children March 28, 2013

Improvisation. Spur of the moment. Music and rhythm.

That's where I find inspiration. And the topic for this week's Thursday's Children Blog hop hosted by Rhiann Wynn-Nolet / and Kristina Perez

Hop on. Take the tour and be inspired! Then get to work and write.

I host a weekly Open Vocal and Jam Session at Zinc Bar in NYC for the last two years. It started as a crawl and eventually grew into a very busy Thursday evening. I didn't know what I was getting into at the start, but to all of our delight it has grown into a invaluable source for Jazz vocalists to use for performance practice and get their voices out there. Or prepare for an upcoming gig, whether a seasoned singer or just stretching their wings.

And I created it. *pats back*

As a vocalist you must always find your own musicians and be prepared to pay them, either for rehearsals, or for gigs. Gigs are easier, since there's usually money to dole out. But not always, I know several singers and instrumentalists who still play for dinner and tips. Or dinner--or tips. Not an easy road for a musician after years and years of study.

I was happy to have a place to screw up my lyrics, a place to nurture others, and allow my own improvisational skills shine ...and this,  is a lot like writing.

Writers take prompts or cues, and inspiration and weave the threads into a narrative. A vocalist does this with music, on the spur of the moment with LOTS of people watching.

I feel this is very good preparation for my writing. Certainly for a rough draft--slinging it out there. Finding the rhythm--even in the revision process.

Rhythm is very important to me in books. Sometime I read a story out loud to my boys, and if the rhythm in the writing isn't there it glottises my throat. It almost closes up and I feel like I'm choking. Some books I read aloud flow, like cream over a dream, lulling me into a tapestry of sound and images. These are my favorites. This is why it's so important to read your work out loud. You'll know.
Humans are so clued into rhythm, it's older than history (unless you're on of those people who are always late).  o.^

Music and Rhythm...rhythm and life.  You might even check out an earlier post of mine HOWL, Ginsberg and Poetry. Mr. Ginsberg knew Jazz and writing went together.

If you'd like to hear me sing a tune:  The Man I Love.   Happy Thursday's Children to you all.

Spin around and visit the others in the Hop...and be inspired.


Anonymous said...

That was very cool! I agree that writers should read their work out loud, especially dialogue. And you are WAY braver than I am, of course you also have a WAY better voice than I do, lol. Thanks for sharing :)

John Krissilas said...

Hmmm. Very wise!

That's awesome that you've been able to apply that to your writing, especially the notion of beats, rhythm, and flow.

I've also read my entire MS out loud, as if I were reading it to someone else, in order to catch problems with flow. It works!

Thanks for sharing.

staceylee said...

That is so neat about the vocal sessions - so envious of you that you have a voice. I mean, like, a singing voice. Yes, rhythm and musicality all play into writing. :)

K. L. Hallam said...

Thanks guy and dolls. LOL. :)

Mia Celeste said...

Wow, you're so talented. Your voice sounds lovely! Thanks for sharing.

Jaye Robin Brown said...

Wow - so talented!!! I wish I could sing. I wish it so much I wrote a book about a girl who can sing.

Rhythm (I've finally learned to spell that correctly!) is so important to a story. So true.

Unknown said...

And she sings! Nice pipes, girl!

I love jazz. Like, passionately. And I also love to sing. "Stormy Blues". "Love Me Or Leave Me". "Just One Of Those Things". Mama.

Thank you for sharing! This made my day...

K. L. Hallam said...

Jaye--I still have to look up rhythm to spell it. And thank you!

Aw-shucks, Laura.

I host an Open Vocal set & Jam Session on Thursday nights in NYC (at Zinc Bar) ...if you wanna come down and sing Love Me Or Leave Me, or any of those fabulous tunes. OK. So I'll be looking for you. :) xx

Unknown said...

Next time I'm in NY, I am totally in!

jessika fleck said...

Wow! You're pretty awesome and I haven't even listened to you sing yet (plan to come back soon - kids to get to bed and all)!!! Love the comparison to jazz...Xo

jessika fleck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Wow very cool - what an awesome thing to have started up - and you sing too!

I love the music of language too - I hear it in my head when I read.

Chris Allen-Riley said...

You have a lovely voice! I love that you started an open vocal/jam session! That is so cool! I love to sing. :)

I think reading our stories aloud is one of the best things we can do to improve our writing.

Unknown said...

You have a very nice voice! Its pretty awesome that you started a program for other musicians/vocalists! And I think you're right about that being great prep for writing.

K. L. Hallam said...

What an amazing group you all are!! XOX

Trish Esden said...

I think rhythm is one reason I don't listen to music when I write--like I need to hear the rhythm of my words and I can only create that in silence.

Thanks for sharing the youtube. You have a wonderful talent and voice.

Kate Michael said...

I've always wished I could sing. I guess that's part of the inspiration for "A Song In Winter". Your voice is lovely. And I too love rhythm in prose and tend to write more lyrical than not. Thanks for sharing! :)

Michaele Stoughton said...

My daughter's vocal coach says, jokingly, "How do most musicians make money? By delivering pizzas."
Great post! Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

Ooh jazz! You're pulling at my heart strings here. I used to sneak out to jazz clubs in NYC where I grew up during high school. Did you ever go to Sweet Basil of Small's? Anyway, my absolute fave jazz mash-up (before the term was coined) is Mahalia Jackson's "Summertime"/"Motherless Child." Find it on Youtube, you won't be disappointed. Kristina x

Joan Reginaldo said...

As a kid, people used to make fun of my foreign accent. It makes me trepidatious to read my work aloud, to the chagrin of my writing group.
But I've studied poetry and music. I feel beats and rhythms inside me. This post made me very happy to see I wasn't completely whacked for stressing the importance of rhythm in prose.
So right on its inherent sway in people. Something we don't notice when it's right, but when it's wrong, it's a BIG wrong feeling.
Thanks for sharing!

K. L. Hallam said...

Kristina--love that song by Mahalia Jackson. Yes, I know those clubs very well. Small's, etc.

Lol-Michaele, delivering pizzas. Or making coffee at Zinc during the day. But hey, we've got free wifi.

Joan--rhythm, I feel, is essential. Especially for those who have to read out loud exhausted every night to our children. Smooth prose eases the pain.