Let's be clear (no pun intended, well...). NONE of these are professional recordings or videos, but for the time being they are all I have to offer. Please enjoy, but do not judge the sound nor the editing quality. This is but a mere sampling to show that I can in fact sing stuff.
This is a song I wrote while creating Laura for the play, Wounded Bird on Virgin Land, by a dear friend Kate Douglas. Wounded Bird is about women, domestic abuse, and the inherited violence of American history. Laura is a woman of the west. She has lived through abuse from her father, her brothers, her boyfriends. Abuse that runs so deep, it isn't even acknowledged as such. But, Laura is strong. She perseveres.
The first time I heard Strange Fruit, I didn't know what it was referring to until I heard the third line, black bodies swinging in the southern breeze. I remember the immediate chills I got throughout my whole body, the prickling of the hairs on the back of my neck. I remember crying uncontrollably as soon as Billie Holiday stopped singing. I remember falling desperately in love with her as she sang. I remember learning how song was written after Abel Meeropol saw the famous photo of the lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith in Indiana- the state in which I spent my whole childhood, the state I was in as I first heard this song. At first, Billie Holiday didn't want to sing this song- out of fear. One day after reading and watching a documentary about lynching, I felt the need to sing and record this song.
PROUD MARY | LIVE PERFORMANCE
(cover of Tina Turner version)
Berklee Performance Center
Berklee College of Music