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1. Truth Unto the People

Well, this is awkward. In honor of Women's History Month, I intended to post an excerpt from Sojourner Truth's famous speech, commonly known as "Ain't I A Woman." Turns out she never actually uttered that phrase. 

"This popular but inaccurate version was written and published in 1863, (12 years after Sojourner gave the "Ain't I a woman" speech), by a white abolitionist named Frances Dana Barker Gage. Curiously, Gage not only changed all of Sojourner’s words but chose to represent Sojourner speaking in a stereotypical 'southern black slave accent', rather than in Sojourner’s distinct upper New York State low-Dutch accent. Frances Gage’s actions were well intended and served the suffrage and women's rights movement at the time; however, by today’s standards of ethical journalism, her actions were a gross misrepresentation of Sojourner Truth’s words and identity. By changing Truth's words and her dialect to that of a stereotypical southern slave, Frances Gage effectively erased Sojourner’s Dutch heritage and her authentic voice. As well as unintentionally adding to the oversimplification of the American slave culture and furthering the eradication of our nation's Northern slave history. Frances Gage admitted that her amended version had “given but a faint sketch” of Sojourner's original speech but she felt justified and believed her version stronger and more palatable to the American public then Sojourner's original version."  
If Frances D.B. Gage were alive today, I would express to her the importance of honoring the authentic voice of others, and honor one's own creativity. I think it's important to acknowledge the source of your inspiration rather than erase it, replace it, caricaturize it, etc.

At this point, Gage's re-imagining / reboot / franchise of Truth's original speech is an iconic entity onto itself, and given the name of my colleague Tim Kiah's composition inspired by Gage's re-imagined version - Truth unto the People - I am compelled to share this truth with you all as we prepare to debut Kiah's piece with the Chelsea Symphony Orchestra this weekend. 

Songs of Hope: International Women's Day Celebration opens with a world premiere of Tim Kiah's Truth unto the People, dedicated to Sojourner Truth and inspired by her 1851 speech at the Women's Rights Convention in Akron, OH. The piece will include text from this speech featuring guest vocalists (including yours truly!). Both nights will also present a concerto for two horns and wind ensemble by Mike Boyman, featuring TCS musicians Jessica Santiago and Emily Wong.

Songs of Hope: International Women's Day Celebration
St. Paul's Church
315 West 22nd Street
Friday, March 6 at 8:00pm
Saturday, March 7 at 8:00pm
Buy tickets on Eventbrite: Songs of Hope: International Women's Day Celebration
2. Open Sing

Sunday, March 8
Carnegie Hall, Resnick Education Wing
7 - 9pm
Space is limited. RSVP by Friday, March 6 to to reserve your spot! 

In this Spring Forward Day edition of our monthly workshop on second Sundays, Moving Star ensemble member Onome will be leading a collective sonic journey based on a variety of collective vocal practices, including the spontaneously composed choral form known as circle-singing, to help us find and celebrate the music between us.

Expect games and songs that engage the whole group of singers in Moving Star's trademark exploratory style. You will also learn some practical tools for vocal improvisation, such as how to build and join parts, solo, and even lead the group, all while trusting the flow.

3. In.Verse

Saturday, March 14
Lethe Lounge
618 w 113th 2F/2R
$20 suggested
Bring your own beverage

I am deeply inspired by Rumi's poem The Guest House, which will make an appearance at In.Verse, a night of performances inspired by poetry, composition and vocal improvisation by the experimental vocal lab and performance ensemble Moving Star on Saturday, March 14
4. Save the Date: 4/5 Ecstatic Voyage - a Vocal Intensive

Sunday, April 5
Noon - 5pm
Limited to 12 participants.
More details coming soon. Thanks to those of you who have already expressed interest!

This experiential workshop is based on vocal improvisation with breath, touch, movement and relational exercises to explore and deepen the inner and inter-personal capacities of your voice in mind, body, soul. Perfect for vocalists seeking creative inspiration, performers, sound healers, music therapists, and vocal improv enthusiasts. 

5. Booking Inquiries

Some of you have been inquiring about booking me for your events. Thank you! I'd like to make the process easier for you by sharing some details to consider when sending a booking inquiry.

Click the button for those details and let's design a beautiful, powerful, unforgettable experience!
Booking Inquiries

6. Vocal Coaching
Your literal voice serves as a powerful portal for your symbolic voice in the world. Would you like to feel more grounded and confident in the dynamic capacities of your voice? Invest in a session with me. Clients leave my sessions feeling revitalized, inspired, more in touch with themselves, and a deeper understanding of what their voices can do. Here is more of what you all have to say about my courses and coaching. Thanks for your feedback! Click the button to book a coaching session, or for a free 15 minute exploratory phone consultation.
Book a Session or Free Consultation

7. Lush Tongue Merch

Thanks to those who have purchased an item! You can support my platform by purchasing t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, tote bags, and more. Click the link below to get your Lush Tongue merch.
Buy Now

Who is Onome?
Onome is a vocalist and interdisciplinary sound artist of Urhobo heritage in the Niger Delta. She incorporates improvisation into her practice as a tool to expand consciousness, creativity, and personal development. Through her audience-interactive performances, workshops and sound installations, Onome embodies joy, enchantment, and infinite possibility. She is an artist-in-residence at Carnegie Hall as a core member of the vocal improvisation lab and ensemble, Moving Star. 

She has performed sound poetry at hundreds of venues nationally, recorded soundscapes for podcasts, and created vocal film scores. She received her MFA in Performance Studies at Pratt Institute. She is the artistic director for Lush Tongue, a project that encompasses improvisation based on a repertoire of songs by women composers, sound healing, singing immersions, workshops, vocal coaching, retreats, and concerts. She facilitates community vocal immersions at concert halls, conferences, galleries, museums, schools, cultural centers, shelters, prisons, parks, churches, wherever voices gather.
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Love and gratitude,
Copyright © 2020 Lush Tongue, All rights reserved.

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