The War of Art

I practiced today!  Well, I have a gig coming up so, of course, I had to practice that music.  But I also practiced other music, music that I wanted to sing.  I felt the urge to pull out “Azulao” by Ovalle and the Rachmaninoff Vocalise.  Why?  Because, even though there was no one listening, I felt the need to offer it up to the gods and goddesses of music as a kind of oblation.  These pieces are pure deep love.  To sing them is devotion not only to the gods but also to me, my voice, my spirit.  I felt the need to obliterate Resistance today and just sing, damn it!  I did it with this attitude because I read Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art this week.

Oh Steven Pressfield, how do you know me so well?  Someone gave me this book to read some months ago and I finally picked it up and read it this week.  This little book is a great kick in the pants, for sure, but it is much more than that.  Pressfield’s thesis is that if we all had the courage and fortitude to follow our dreams, the world would be free of all sorts of evils like war.  In short, if we fight the war against our inner Resistance, then we won’t have to fight the wars, both imagined and real, in the outer world.

So, I just wanted to say:  THANK YOU!  Thank you to the gods and goddesses who inspire me to sing every day.  Thank you to my job that demands that I sing every day.  Thank you to my family and neighbors who have to listen to me screech away some days to perfect a particularly difficult passage.  Thank you to all my comrades in arms.  Thank you to all the poets and composers who freely give me my canvases.  Thank you to whomever made this body of mine that can sing.  Thank you to all my teachers and mentors who continue to encourage me to perfect my craft. Thank you to whomever gave me this book (sorry I can’t remember). Thank you most of all, today, to Steven Pressfield, a fellow warrior. I feel less alone in the world because of you!

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About Susan

Susan Mohini Kane, soprano-professor-author American soprano, Susan Mohini Kane's "crystal-clear voice and impeccable technique" (LA Culture Spot Magazine) has captured audiences in performances of opera, oratorio, art song, and classical cabaret. Kane's solo CD recording: A MOMENT OF JOY, released in 2010 inspired these reviews: “This series of art songs and arias brings phrase after phrase of artful music." (McKinney) Music Web International hails Kane's CD as "a truly inspirational disc." Her second CD, for voice and piano with pianist Sunha Yoon, is an entire playlist of vocalizes for calm and relaxation, was recorded in December 2013, and is due to be released in the fall of 2014. Susan Mohini Kane and pianist, Kristof Van Grysperre, (Kristof and Kane), debuted their classical cabaret show in Ghent, Belgium. Their LA debut was at The Gardenia in Hollywood “where it stunned those in attendance through the sheer musical command of these two performers.” (Cabaret West Newsletter) Please visit www.kristofandkane.com for more information about this performing duo. Kane’s recent orchestral performances include the Brahms' A GERMAN REQUIEM, Dvorak’s TE DEUM, Handel's MESSIAH, Mendelssohn's MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, and the Saint-Saëns CHRISTMAS ORATORIO for the Bakersfield Symphony, the California Philharmonic, and the Schantz Music Series in Encinitas, CA. Kane's most recent opera roles include Donna Anna in COSI FAN TUTTI by Mozart and Michaëla in LA TRAGEDIE DE CARMEN adapted from CARMEN by Bizet. Kane maintains a blog on singing, a performing schedule and a private studio as well as being a full professor at CSULA where she teaches voice and directs the opera. Her book, The 21st Century Singer: Bridging the Gap Between the University and the World is due to be published by Oxford University Press in November 2014. For more information please see her website: www.smkane.com.

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