SInging the ole one hundreds

Lining Out & Old Meter Hymns as a Model for Christian Community: Music research has focused on the positive effects of singing in small groups and choirs, and touted the therapeutic and transformative benefits of singing in community. We know that group singing affects the body and builds community. It transforms the mind. It is considered healing. But when unison and harmony are challenged and group singing veers away from matched pitch and perfect blending, seeking a sound that is unified but moving and alive with improvisation, melisma and bravado, the benefits are increased. The result is a sacred song practice that models a way of being part of a community that works as a whole and at the same time honors individuality and difference by making room for the normally unheard single voice to be expressive and acknowledged while still contributing to a unified sound. Published Paper - Liturgie und Kultur: Called to Worship, Freed to Respond - 2019 [link]

THE MIDwife, the mother & the butterfly

A sample of works that combine stories, sacred text, music, congregational song and ritual with the goal of creating music-based sacred spaces in which to honor, ponder and deal with challenges within our communities. Together we look into how story and song have been used throughout time to form, sustain and re-imagine societies. With hypotheses about narrative, myth and meaning-making from psychoanalysts, clinical data on ways humans respond to words and songs, and by offering musings on the stories we tell with ritual, I provide a solid ground as to why a combination of story, singing together, and ritual, are healing and transformative. Included are original stories inspired by the voices of Exodus 1:15-20 and community conversations. The stories, like the biblical text, act as metaphoric midwives for our communities, providing words that out-love destructive narratives, and offer anecdotes that are life-giving and allow for a transcendence of suffering. Excerpt Published - Jazz und Kirche, Philosophische, theologische und musikwissenschaftliche Zugänge {link}

songs for the journey

A Song for the Journey links the community voice to Biblical text so we remember, as a community, that our narratives, too, are sacred. Storytelling that combines sacred text, song and the community voice opens the possibility for the intersection of stories or a “weaving together of the human and the divine stories.” At the center of that space lies hope, for new stories demand to be told. Within our sacred spaces, these re-tellings take on a liturgical role - putting the community at the center of worship and placing them in the footsteps of Christ who masterfully used stories as a midwife to usher in a spiritual rebirth and renewal, and breathe sound into marginalized voices. Publication 2020

how the butterfly got her beautiful wings

A family story inspired by the women of Exodus 1:15-20 who defied oppression around them, and named life over death with their own myths, lore and gods more powerful than Pharaoh. It also grew out of interviews of mothers sharing the life-giving stories they tell their children. Publication 2020.