Summer Solstice 2018
Upcoming Events - In Brief
Upcoming Events - Descriptions
I am really excited about some events coming up!
I'm making my way to Mahalo Art Center in July, to again participate in the Gather in Gratitude program. It was an amazing, inspirational, and creatively opening and validating experience for me in July of 2014. I was able and allowed to be exactly who I am. My task was "to be a creative person". To let it flow. That permission is transformative. I return in order to reconnect with and reignite that flame again. This time, with the wisdom I've gained in recent years, and with the plan to give myself my own permission to be creative, and exactly who I am.
Duluth and Brimson Minnesota will both be hosts to a Listening Room, each, and there's more in the works! I'm seeking more places to host Listening Rooms near the shores of Lake Superior, and other bodies of water. If you know of communities, people, or venues that may be open to working with me, please let me know, or connect us via email: info@JenniferLevenhagen.com
I'm so thrilled to play at Wintermoon Summersun Adventures - where much of the Listening Room seeds were born. I lived and worked there, on over 300 acres in the Superior National Forest. I was a handler for Alaskan Husky sled dogs, assisted in leading sea kayaking trips, worked in the organic gardens, helped raise pigs and chickens, cooked for guests, and stoked up the traditional Finnish Sauna - and more. On Saturdays, after a long day of kayaking, everyone would take sauna, eat pesto pasta, and gather (many times with wine) in Kathleen's cabin while I would play the piano by candlelight. I have such gratitude for this tradition, which so scared me the first time I heard, "Play! Now!".
This Listening Room is a part of Heart in the Earth: "...an exciting and Earth-centered array of activities, workshops and speakers that celebrate the outdoors and our connection with nature. Kayaking, canoeing, hiking, biking, an herbal class, yoga, massage, campfires, labyrinth, swimming, speaker and more to choose from…".
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Duluth (UUCD) has been gracious in their reception of me and the Listening Room concept. I am grateful to have a couple hosts in order to bring an evening of music alive in this green place. Really, it's green - the building, as well as the indoor plants...and there's a stream inside! I've valued UU community and music, and it is with gratitude and humility that I am welcomed into this new (to me) congregation along The Big Lake.
Luke Crowe and I are sharing a show at Knuth Brewing Company in Ripon, WI, on August 25th. Luke and I have known each other for a number of years, and I've had the pleasure of playing violin with him (as well as with The Crowe Brothers band). His storytelling, lyrics, and sound are really compelling. I'm looking forward to the opportunity for each of us to share our music on the same evening. The pizza, salads, and brews are excellent, too!
Happy Summer Solstice to you all!
Today is the northern hemisphere's longest day of the year. It's a good reminder to me of the turning of the year, the changing of the seasons, and the constant movement of life on our planet.
I like having ritual for the Solstice, and sometimes do so for the Equinox, too. Reflection is important to me at these times, as a way of touching base with myself...and sometimes I like to have a party, or to celebrate and reflect in community.
This year I walked in the trees, along a stream, and through a prairie. I said hello to friends, touched food of the earth, and was invited to play with a five-year-old. I'm sitting in gratitude for the people, experiences, health, and opportunity in my life - past, present, and future. I am also digging deep and flaming the fire of creation within me; honoring my pull toward (and expression of) healing waters.
I have been so grateful for the loving kindness of beloveds, friends, family, acquaintances and strangers. Thank you so much for sharing yourselves with me, and for inviting me to share myself with you. There have been the most beautiful times these last years, and some of the most difficult. These are times of learning, growing, and becoming more aware; more of who I am. I appreciate solo reflecting on this, and I also appreciate the kindred spirits and loving souls who have given me their love and support.
Thank you for walking alongside me.
This is Amazing! Please Listen & Read the Story
People were/are singing my song in New Mexico.
I wrote a haiku, Most Beautiful Sky, that I eventually started to sing. After I posted a sleepy instagram video of my singing it (in February), Instagram connection Annie Zylstra (@zestinaferna) asked if she could arrange it for choir. I gave my blessing, and was wowed by the recording she sent me of her singing the melody, along with harmony parts she created. On Mothers' Day this year, her Morning Glory Choir sang the song in Viroqua, WI at Driftless Books and Music, for a Big Sing and Fundraiser, supporting the Prison Doula Project.
Now, through some magic of the community sing, and the way we can pass things through experience and oral tradition, I've found a video of three people singing Annie's arrangement in New Mexico! It's amazing to hear and see this, and to experience the expansion of thought, experience, word, and song. It's an honor that people have loved this piece enough to make such beautiful sounds with it. I also am so pleased that it helped bless an old space for a queer wedding in a dance hall, "to celebrate love and harmony".
The caption from the Instagram post by @yuri.woodstock, who posted the video of three songsters singing Most Beautiful Sky.
p.s. Driftless Books and Music is a great place for used books and for fantastic live music! I had the pleasure of taking part in their songwriters' co-op potluck and recording session in 2017. I got to hear a ton of great people playing their music, eat good food, hang out all day, and got this professional audio/visual recording of Moonlight and Why Don't We Go Home:
Thank you to Ana Acosta and Menasha Public Library for hosting my combined Listening Room and Art Reception in May. It was a treat to have my paintings on your walls for the entire month of May, and a pleasure to also offer a Listening Room preceding the art reception.
I relish opportunities to share multiple genres of creativity. It's wonderful to feel the community support. It's wonderful to have requests to play, and display, and it's supportive in other ways to go home with that paycheck, too.
Each sort of support helps us artists keep going.