My relationship with my mother has improved greatly since she died – quite young – nearly 30 years ago. I write – and think – about my mother A LOT. I think about what I got from her – a fierce passion for truth, music as a first language – and a tangled conundrum of inspiration and shame for simply existing. In other words – a human experience.
She died with a sense of always falling short, of never fulfilling her potential. I got that, along with her gift of coming alive inside a story with music — and I search for my own freedom inside all of them.
I bring my mother to every single show I perform. Decades after her death, I’m still poring over the meaning of things she said, still working to repair the unintended damage she wrought in my psyche and still mining the rich paradox of who she was an an artist and a human being.
If you’ve seen me sing “The Nightingale” you’ve seen me channel my mother singing a lullaby. If you’ve seen me bow on stage, you’ve seen me embody the Diva spirit she embraced every time she heard even a single person applaud.
You may be seeing me on stage .. but I’m experiencing her. I’m stepping into the experience she gave me of watching music transform life from mundane to multi-dimensional magnificence. I’m not trying to be alliterative here – just search for the words to truly describe it.
When I’m on stage – whether it’s on a huge symphony stage or a tiny 45-seat theater – you’re seeing me at home — and speaking my mother tongue. And if you close your eyes slightly, you will see my mother, because she’s there every time I walk on stage.
Come to a show. Meet my mom.