Improvisation

A storage room full of wrapped pianos to be sold in a deserted mall of the 90s along the once busy and glamorous Friedrichstraße, a grand piano, a laptop on the grand piano, a professional piano player/musician/composer/poet/teacher/good friend and me. 

This is how the story of this completely improvised and raw recording (no individual microphones just the one of the laptop and no filter) of „Cry me a river“ begins.

Cry me a river Impro March 2019 by MicAckermann p/ Zoey Zoley v

Its also perfect to continue with my musical diary that I started many years ago and have treated like a bad mother because of many reasons. 

For the people that know me for a long time and know me well they know that music and singing is a very sensitive subject for me and its the root to my name Zoey Zoley. 

Just like this recording I am going to be very raw and honest and share a little bit of my musical hearts philosophy here, so consider this recording maybe as the soundtrack to this public post.

I am a very analytical and rational mind with a huge, emotional and shy heart. As for many artists in all forms of art, music and especially singing was my way how to cope with life first and foremost. I have a voice, there is a raw diamond in my throat so I have been told. When I was little I played with it without judgement and I behaved like an opera singer, I screamed, I sang, I spoke up for the weak, used it as an actress on stage, connected my voice to other singers in many choirs in different countries and as I grew older used it on and off to connect with other human beings via musical storytelling. Its the most vulnerable way for me to feel connected with human beings and to share my feelings in a world where I mostly feel wrong or like an alien. 

But since its such a vulnerable way for me to express myself you won’t find me singing in the center of attention whenever possible, in auditions nor when people ask me to spontaneously sing. So far I have never even joined a music jam because of anxiety.

In the past there were many music projects that I took part in, but they never took off and always got sucked into quicksand pretty quickly. So I eventually told myself if this is not meant to be a part of my life, then I am going to store it into a box far away so those failures don’t hurt me too much. But you can’t store away and deny the urge of creativity because life goes on and there are many challenges to cope with and here I am and there is music, there is singing – the healer. There is the diamond that collected dust and once in a while there are in between the blind spots, gaps where the sun shines through and is asking for attention.

Meanwhile my sometimes broken heart or sad soul meandered towards other magical and healing forms of creativity and thus human connections, like photography and dancing. I never thought dancing could be such an important way for me to express myself and my moods and that could be a safe haven in times of wild waters. 

Now coming back to my now longtime friend Michel whom I met as my piano teacher once, who brought me back to singing this year in a new most vulnerable way possible- Improvisation! 

Funny enough exactly ten years ago we have started a Jazz-music project that is at the bottom of a quicksand pool and the song that we recorded and even filmed then was „Cry me a river“ as well, but it was confined in rules of the sheet music that we had in front of us. 

I hereby thank you Michel for giving me this opportunity and to open this safe space for me to be vulnerable and to support me to be daring with my voice each time that we meet. To make music together like this requires a lot of trust with your musical partners to be not confined by judgment and to create something together. It is like life you never know whats happening and we have to listen to each other and adapt. 

You have a construct in front of you a pattern and from there on are so many ways possible how to develop a melody. Just like the construct of life we are born and we die and in between are so many ways of life possible and we constantly adapt to what is and hopefully listen to our intuition to ask, is this where we are going now?

Just like doing an improvisation life is very raw and individual you can go all of a sudden into a wrong direction and you have to be brave and try out new things and with that you will learn and then you find your way back to the melody of life and there are moments of the most beautiful chords or melodies that you create as an individual, as a duo, as a band or as a community. 

Every time we have met this year and just improvised we both felt that it reflects our well being, it was never the same, my voice is always different and totally mirrors wether I am tired, wether I am happy, wether I am introverted or extroverted.

So again thank you Michel and I am looking forward to all the further experiences with you and maybe one day I will find the brave female warrior in me to be more present with my voice and just sing wherever and whenever and connect again with many other human beings through music! 

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