1998 and 1999
1st December '99
Some Favorite Encounters this Fall...
Back in September, in my Personal Message, I mentioned going on an "extraordinary trip" with 200 readers of The Nation. Well, here's the story.
I'm sure all of us intended to go on a simple vacation cruise with other Nation magazine readers through Alaska's Inside Passage... just 200 progressives cruising the Alaskan fjords and chatting endlessly about politics at dinner. But then, Gladys asked a question at one of the panels and none of the male panelists could answer it. Bingo! I made a beeline to her and asked if she wanted to get the women on the cruise together to talk since there were clearly so many women of accomplishment and experience present. Sue stepped up next to me and said "Let's post announcements for a Women's Caucus." Danielle suggested "Let's call every woman we've met since we came on board." 24 hours later 75 women showed up at the appointed meeting place and created a list of issues we wanted to discuss.
Those of us in the photo met with The Nation staff and together we came up with a plan that changed the format, demographics and agenda of the last panel. Alice became the moderator, Gladys took a seat on the panel and Lani (already on the panel) facilitated breaking this unwieldy group of Lefties into small groups for feminist ie. democratic and inclusive discussion of Millenium Strategies for Progressives.
It was a truly remarkable demonstration of empowered women's energy, expertise and generosity bursting through in a totally unexpected circumstance. Oh, and the fjords and glaciers were also pretty awesome! I was carrying this inspiring energy with me as I began my Fall Tour almost immediately after the cruise.
14th October '99
Ah yes, reaching into my e-mail bag is so much fun. Here are some messages that made me smile.
Linda Ray from Tennessee...
Dacotah from California...
I was moved to write you this note when I talked with some friends about the recent Oakland concert and we all agreed that we had missed "women's music", that while there are more women musicians than ever, many are much less radical and are mainstreamed. So, please never doubt that your audience IS there, and we are reconnecting to our roots and are willing and able to support our musicians when the opportunity arises.
(As we get closer to the end of the century, it does feel to me as if many of us are reaching back into Women's Culture for comfort and strength. Certainly we will be wise to prepare ourselves for challenging times in the next millenium. We are the ones we have been waiting for.)
Marilyn in South Carolina...
It's great to see news of Women's Music again and all the links to other women and music from the "early days." My early days, anyway--when a friend in TN shared with me the Olivia record albums that she actually kept in her closet.
(I remember tearing the cover off of "The Well of Loneliness" and replacing it with plain brown cardboard.)
Gail from California...
Today I found Margie Adam, alive and well, on the web. I have been a fan long enough that although I have her first four albums, they are all on vinyl, and I haven't played them in eons. AND I thought she had quit performing, which obviously she had. What I didn't know was the she was back. I am a musician, too, and count The Unicorn Song in my repertoire. I'm so happy I found this site! I was pulling some information from the NCLR site and checked their links and there it was. Hurrah!
(See! The more connexions we make with each other, the more connexions we can make.)
Kim from New York...
I still have (haven't lost or given away) "Here Is A Love Song," "Naked Keys" and your song book but I saw Suede recently, and she played one your intrumental pieces that made me cry. I was so pleased, and told her so. It moved me to try to find you.
( I have heard from someone that Suede is also singing one of my songs, "Tender Lady". Are you out there, Suede? If you can hear me...Thank you, Girlene-I love that you are doing my songs. The ultimate compliment for a songwriter is when another songwriter performs her music. If you have a website, Suede, I'd love to post your URL on my "Connexions" Page.)
6th September '99
First, my month-long songwriting retreat was both productive and very humbling. I did bring home several raw chunks of music which I will trim and hone and polish until each can stand on its own. Or not. Several people have asked that I explain how the songwriting process works which I will be glad to do sometime in the near future. Suffice it to say, the songs I have written which continue to give me pleasure are the ones that arrived on their own time without being worried or shoved into line. So you can quickly see how dicey it might get in the attempt to write on a time-line. Ha! More later.
I have just returned from an extraordinary trip with 200 other progressives, all readers of The Nation magazine. I can hardly put into words how thrilling it was to be on a cruise liner sailing the inland passage of Alaska with a group of people who enjoyed talking about politics (analysis and activism) from dawn till midnight. I was in a total swoon. Many stimulating and inspiring things happened between the departure from Seward and our arrival in Vancouver seven days later. I will share the most exciting details as soon as I water my plants and unpack.
12th July '99
Just this moment I am sitting in a tiny cottage along the Northern California coast looking out at the Pacific Ocean-on a month-long songwriting retreat. Each day I am receiving gifts from the world-wide web even as I am spinning and weaving my small threads into the tapestry that is our precious Women's Music. I wrap these messages around me like a velvet cloak as I venture into the cool silence.
From Tuckey in Maryland...
(You Go, Tuckey! I've also heard many great tales about Naked Keys and the instrumental recordings of Kay Gardner and Mary Watkins.)
From Ayako in Nagoya, Japan...
Today I visited your beautiful website. I could find every lyrics of your songs. I already have almost every your CD or LP, but some of them are without insert card of lyrics. Finally I can understand all of your songs. Thank you very much. And I found many useful links. I can visit many web sites of Women's Musicians and organizations. I hope Women's Music is alive forever.
(So do I, Ayako. Keeping the web free and open is essential. I am alarmed that already some search engines and directories, not content with advertising $$, are charging fees for website listings. If this trend continues, it will drastically alter the ability of independent artists to have a presence on the web.)
From Carol in Pennsylvania...
Thank you!! Coming out later in life, I wish I'd heard your music sooner. I needed you. I won't let anyone else feel so alone when women's music is out there if I can help it!
(Yes, yes, yes! Pass it on. Give Women's Music to your friends who haven't yet heard it - cassette prices are dropping fast as CDs take over.)
From Dmytry in Blagoveshchensk, Russia...
Your albums is not present in our city. I have heard 'Beautiful Soul/Tender Lady" on CD-collection Classical Erotica II (Rising Star Records, Inc.) and very wanted it to play for one person... Whether it is possible to receive the notes or MIDI file?
Beforehand to you is grateful.
(We sent him a complimentary Soon And Again CD which includes this performance. That this whole exchange is possible just undoes me!)
These are just two of many great notes I've received after my speech/performance at 25th National Women's Music Festival in Muncie, IN. We had such a time, didn't we, girls!
From Carollee and Donna in Ohio...
(Not to be too dramatic here, but I think I have the best audiences in the world. And I have to say that the experience we had a National was a special thrill. Must have been the Indiana water. I can share my speech but you'll have to imagine the music and the audience as we swooned and swayed and sang together. Hot stuff!)
From Tracy in Ohio...
My partner and I had the opportunity to hear you speak and sing at the National Women's Music Festival this past weekend. It was truly a blessing. You have such a gift for relaying the true spirit of women's music through your words and your piano. I am 31 years old and up until five years ago did not know this music or community existed. I will ever be grateful to my partner for opening me up to this beautiful world. Five years ago she took me to a concert with Cris and Tret and from that moment on my life was changed. It felt like a new world opening up to me. Then I happened to come across one of my partner's tapes of yours (Another Place) and listened to it while I was cleaning out our garage. It was unbelievable. I had to stop what I was doing because the words you sang moved me to tears. I think I listened to that tape at least five times in a row and learned every word. What it made me feel was hopeful and to be honest a little unsatisfied with my life because I felt moved to do something more. To get involved with life and make it my responsibility to change my world around me.
(Thank you Tracy for articulating so clearly what Women's Music is all about.)
25th June '99
I have just returned from the 25th National Women's Music Festival in Muncie, IN and am still vibrating from an extraordinary 'concert/speech/Q&A" interaction with the audience. Mary Byrne, producer of the whole event and a woman I have known and respected for twenty-plus years, honored me by personally introducing me... by the time she was done, I walked out into the most amazing standing ovation. It was like climbing on a magic carpet and being whisked off by the loving energies of hundreds of women. I just leaned back and breathed it in. It was thrilling to have the opportunity to not only share my music but also my thoughts and observations about Women's Music. Goddess knows I think about it all the time. The atmosphere we all created in that hall Saturday was electric. It sparked and crackled in me for hours after. Practically straightened my hair. Practically, I said. If you're curious about the speech, here it is.
I also was extremely happy to encounter artists who seem to me to be part of the future of Women's Music. A pop singer/songwriter duo from Dublin named Zrazy grabbed the audience and wouldn't let go. A certain pleasure in that! Also there was intense buzz about Maria Zamentauski, a flamenco-style guitarist and composer. I look forward to hearing about their progress as they make their way.
15th May '99
Thanks to Julia Fain for this photo demonstrating that even at soundcheck, the women of SisterSound (Lexington, KY's Women's Chorus), have a great Southern sense of Gracious Living. Check out the tulips on the piano! One of my particular pleasures of the last few years has been performing with women's choruses all over America. It's been a blast! As I am fond of saying from the stage, I LOVE having the audience on one side of me and thirty + women on the other... it's a Margie Sandwich! It has truly been a breath-taking experience to sing a song like Wake-up Call with that many voices.
And then there is this...
Every day I am more convinced that the world wide web is a most unexpectedly brilliant and subversive tool for the on-going dissemination of life-affirming, woman-loving Women's Music.
Here is a dear message from Leonie in New Zealand...
Wow, Margie, you were there when I was coming out and you're still here, 21 years later. It's been a great life so far!! I look forward to updating my vinyl to CD as the funds allow. The Web is allowing those of us far away to 'see' some of the women who influenced our lives at critical times. We may never get the chance to see and hear you in concert but it's great to know we can surf on by at any time and here you are, in our homes, giving a private concert.
23rd March '99
I just got the following e-mail which rocked me back in my Doc Martens. Also I'll share a story about this dear song that has moved me deeply. Peter, Paul and Mary recorded 'Best Friend - The Unicorn Song" on their REUNION album some time ago. More recently, I had occasion to see P, P & M in concert in San Francisco. When Peter heard that I was in the audience he introduced me and then told this story. He recounted that during the last two weeks of his mother's life, when nothing else could comfort her, she requested he sing one song over and over again. It seemed to be the only time during the day when she was at peace. He then began to sing 'The Unicorn Song" and invited all two thousand of us in the audience to sing along with him - which, of course, we did. Clearly he has a special relationship with the song and listeners from as far away as Hong Kong have gotten the message...
Dear Friends at Pleiades Records:
Pardon my ignorance! I have never heard of Margie until very recently. Peter Yarrow came to Hong Kong and sang 'The Unicorn Song." I thought it was by Yarrow - and nope, it was by Margie Adam! Actually many people here in Hong Kong knew of that song for years but it had been sung in Chinese by one of the local artist.
Now that I am grown (as the song goes), I am a high school teacher (teaching music and English) and would like to use that song in my class. (Believe it or not, this song is excellent as an example of gerunds...)
I find this whole sequence of events amazing...from the moment this song came to me in 1973 in San Luis Obispo on a beat-up old upright piano to 1999 when William Ng heard it in Hong Kong. Truly music is the language of the heart transcending all politics, all social boundaries, all cultures. I give thanks to the universe for Best Friend-The Unicorn Song.
12th February '99
One of the things I love about this website is that I am reconnecting with so many old friends. Here are just a few of the e-mails I have received since we launched our sailing ship out into cyber-space.
From Massachusetts, Linda G.
From California, Tracy G.
From Tennessee, Linda RM.
From Illinois, Amy N.
From Georgia, Dan T.
10th January '99
.....You know, I have to say I am riveted on the growing list of visitors to our site from countries all over the world. It gives me a whole new set of things to think about as a conscious woman artist.
In the short time we have been on-line, we have had visitors from Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia and Brazil...
From the Mid-East...Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain...
From the East... Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, India, Singapore, Taiwan....
From Europe... Scotland, Denmark, Belgium, Lithuania, Sweden, Slovenia, Germany, The Netherlands, Ireland, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Finland...
Also, we have had cyber-travelers from Trinidad & Tobago, Australia, Canada and Georgia (formerly part of USSR)...
Some say the web is just a tool. Does writing music or text, recording, speaking and touring fall into the same category? Are all these activities "tools"? If so, tools for what? Selling products? I see the web connecting us and, in doing so, serving to make the Feminine Principle visible at a time when it is sorely needed in this heartbroken world. So is the web "just a tool"? ...or a manifest component of the new paradigm for cooperation and community? Just mulling and roiling over here.... Any comments?
12th December '98
.....One of my favorite parts of being on-line is knowing that anyone who wants to find me and knows how to use the web, can finally find me. It's been years since Women's Music was likely to be in your local music store. But now, every day more of us arrive on line, and music by independent women is more available again. What a pleasure to be a part of another wave of the on-going movement of women around the world.
I am happy to welcome visitors from Slovenia, Japan, Scotland, Malaysia, Germany, UK, Australia, Canada and the Netherlands.
I am very interested to know who you are, what you like about the site and what you'd like in addition to what's here. Thoughts? Ideas?
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