As the year comes to an end, I can look back and say it has been a great one, with some very exciting events. Best of all was the launch of a new show, combining my favorite music from both Europe and America. With the help of my family and some wonderful friends and musicians, I have been able to realize a dream that I had about fourteen years ago, before I moved to the US.
My dear friend Lené te Voortwis, who is a fabulous composer and bass player in the Netherlands, created a number of beautiful songs that we took to the studio in early 2000. The idea was to record a CD with mostly originals, sung in French, in addition to some well-known classics. However, before we could finish, I moved with my family to Virginia, and I regretfully abandoned the project, thinking French music would not fly in this country. But soon after I started playing gigs, I couldn’t help myself and started sneaking in a French tune here and there, just because I so love singing in that language. And,to my surprise, I would always get great compliments on those particular songs and requests for more.
It taught me a couple of things. First, assume nothing (my favorite bumper sticker)! Just because people may not speak the language does not mean they can’t appreciate it. Second, it also taught me that if you truly love what you do, your audience will feel it, and the experience becomes something enjoyable for all. After all, it is the audience that is most important, for without people to sing for, I would have no reason to be on stage!
Presenting French music in a way that is recognizable for an American audience has turned out to be the best thing of the year. So for all of you who have been supporting me in many ways, here is a little something from my recording days in Holland: “Malgré Tout” by Lené te Voortwis, with lyrics by François Trémouille.
Listen to “Malgré Tout”:
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