adjective 1. of or relating to the present or recent times as opposed to the remote past.
noun 1. a person who advocates or practices a departure from traditional styles or values.
synonyms: present-day, contemporary, present, current
noun 1. a woman, or a force personified as a woman, who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist.
verb 1. be absorbed in thought.
synonyms: inspiration, creative influence,
A creative influence. An unconventional thinker. A trail blazing inspiration. An avant-garde woman. A modern muse.
I want to be these things. I am these things. I will be these things.
The name change to "Modern Muse" was announced in early 2016 during The Winter Blues Jazz Festival in Williamsburg, VA.
It was my first festival. I was singing on the last day for a jazz brunch at one of the participating restaurants. There were about 50 seats available. I was extremely excited and motivated to take this little nook by storm. However, while also being my realistic *humbled* self, I knew that I was going to get more out of this than the audience. I assured myself that my momentous announcement would be only for my benefit, and not anyone else's. If crickets chirped, and not a single head turned, today would be special for me no matter what!
Thankfully, I was wrong.
That turned out to be one of the most up-close and personal gigs I have ever done. Yes, people were chatting with friends, and enjoying their brunch, but they were so engaged and supportive, and toward the end of our time there I shared a bit about who I was as an artist, and announced that as of today I'll be moving forward as the "Modern Muse" of music.
There was an uproar of applause.
I could not have asked for a better reception. It is one of my fondest memories.
(I should note that to this day I still perform at that restaurant once a month for a special jazz brunch, and several of the locals who caught our set still come to see me faithfully.)
During my times brainstorming for a name, I was hoping to capture a persona like the many women in music I aspired to be like. I wanted to be "The First Lady of Song" in my day and age. I felt so much pressure to know myself fully and truly, and have it all figured out so that I could summarize my essence into a single name. I tried to sift through compliments and comparisons to see if I could find myself in them. Gig after gig I would experiment with a slightly different sound or tweak a new look that I thought would accurately portray who I was to the world. Nothing seemed to click, until I realized the spotlight that I had placed on myself was blinding me from what really and truly mattered.
Lights dimmed. Audience gone. Speakers unplugged. What did contentment look like for me?
Will I only be happy singing in front of thousands of people? Will I have arrived when I'm on a major record label? Will I be defined by my music sales?
My mind kept drifting back to that restaurant in Williamsburg.
MY favorite songs.
Fun and creative arrangements.
THAT connection is what I wanted.
It has been a long year of performing since that snowy January day, and there has been much more reflection on what it means to be a "Modern Muse".
To be modern I must always be growing. To be a muse I must inspire others' creativity.
I must change and evolve, and encourage change and evolution in those around me.
It is an aspiration, a self-assured identity, and a constant discovery.
In this season I am focusing on getting MY music into the world. I have a home studio up and running, and this muse is singing, writing, creating, and recording it all.