For Eli Gauden, the “Concert and Touring” class for Berklee Study Abroad students put on “a night with international music, drinks and chat”, where she did not only help organize the show but also got to perform in it.
This is what she had to say about it:
Last night I fell in love with music, a little bit with Spain, and a little bit with humanity. The place was The Sporting Club art gallery in Valencia. The event was “a night with international music, drinks and chat“. The people were artsy, young to middle-aged, locals and tourists. I was lucky to warm up the stage and the atmosphere for Canadian Wendy McNeil, Valencia based Cavallo&Hugo Mass, and American DJ’s Jake&Kyle.
I’ve played some challenging gigs lately, in venues not meant for soft, communicative voices like mine. However, last night, the audience sitting, sat quiet as mice in the dim, cozy gallery. They gave me their full mind and attention, allowing me to stand confident in the stage-light and tell my stories just the way my heart wants to tell them. What a difference it makes; the audience, the venue and the atmosphere! Yes, my “talent” as a performer matters, but yet, if the audience is not open for my music, I could sing my heart and soul like never before, and it would make no difference.
Now, moving towards my personal high point… Wendy McNeil. Wendy is a Canadian artist who’s been touring and playing music for years. Wendy is one the kindest women I’ve met. She is professional. She has her style. She is 100% herself. She is relaxed. She’s giving the audience all that she’s got… She played for 45 min, and she kept the audience in her fine hands the whole time. Through lyrics, music, effect pedals, foolish stories, and wonderful personality, she stood out as an artist who does just what artists are suppose to do; use WHO she is, her stronger sides (her talent) to communicate and create bonds with the audience.
After Wendy played a band called Cavallo, this time together with singer/songwriter Hugo Mass. This was different. It was dark. It was odd-metes. It was spoken words in the local Valencian language. Very very intense. But even for this music, which might not be my first choice of music to listen to, the players were open-minded, genuine, and great guys. They did their thing, captured the audience and gave their all.
So what this comes down to is music, and it’s purpose. For the longest time I’ve struggled with finding the balance between challenging myself, trying new things, making money out of music, and doing WHAT IS ME. It’s too easy to try to be something you’re not, and forget what is really your thing. Yesterday, however, I felt like I did DO MY THING. I performed for people who are MY audience, in a venue that was “meant for me”, I conveyed what I aimed for, and I was 100% comfortable. This was all thanks to a grateful audience, and wonderful, open minded, and inspiring musicians who reminded me WHY we are musicians and what a difference we can make!
CHEERS – E.
Words by Eli Gauden
To read more from Eli, you can find this post and more in her own blog, here.
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