A young friend of mine recently went to Pirate Camp for a week and came back singing a song I had also learned at camp years ago. As we were playing in the river I remembered an alternate ending so that we could sing the end in two part harmony. It was so easy for us that I wonder why it is ever difficult.

I’ve spent a lot of time recently playing music with new people always searching for the synergy that allows for a truly balanced sound. I’m loud. I’ve met people who have beautiful sweet voices, but find myself holding back in order to balance and blend. I love the feeling when singing with someone who has enough vocal strength that we can open up and sing from the soul together.

I also find a magic in the moment when an audience opens up and sings out loud. “Play another campfire song that we can all sing along,” as the woman said on a porch the other night. I’ve been building a random repertoire of such songs to play on the ukulele that speak to me, through me, and to others allowing us all to sing together. I know the music industry pressures us into believing we have to make and buy new music, but to me every live performance of a song is a new story. The more people who sing along, the bigger the story. Yesterday Andrew Fletcher and I shared some traditional jazz standards at LaurelHurst Retirement Community and it was fun to realize that not only did they recognize the songs, but often they were singing along. We all had smiles on our faces by the time we were done.

My mom never stopped me from singing, so apologies to those musicians who are annoyed when the audience begins to sing along, but I wasn’t raised that way. How can we ever have harmony if we don’t sing together?

Yin-Yang Harmony

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