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Yoko Miwa Sings With A Bird!

Jamme Chantler & Yoko Miwa

       Yoko Miwa, Scott Goulding and I were standing in the parking lot in the pitch-dark of night, save for a lone street lamp braving to shed its brilliance on the world. As usual, we’d had so much fun talking and joking and playing music that we weren’t ready to say ‘goodbye.’

       I heard a bird chirping in a neighboring tree and asked Yoko, “Hey, what note is that?” (I always ask her the note of anything I hear because she has perfect pitch—the reason I named her signature cocktail: Yoko Miwa’s Peach Perfect!)
       “E!” Yoko said and giggled. 
       The bird called.
       “A!” Yoko said.
       The bird sang several musical
phrases!

       “B D G! F E C!” Yoko was singing the phrases back to the bird.
       Seemingly aware, now, of its audience, the bird emitted a full-throated series of staccato sounds.
       Yoko burst out laughing and sang, “D! D! D! D! D!” She fell forward in her mirth, and Scott held her steady.
 
       When the music world’s denizens look upon Yoko Miwa, they see a beautiful Japanese woman with mad piano skills and a profound understanding of her own musical vision! What I saw—huddled for warmth by our cars in the abandoned, frozen lot—was a little girl filled with the wonder of nature and sound! A little girl communicating with a bird in a shared language! A little girl filled with joy and delight! And I knew in a moment that underlying all her musical knowledge and achievements—and those to come—is that little girl.
And it made me love her fiercely, and it made me want to do whatever I can to support her musical life!

            Scott Goulding & Yoko Miwa

It is hard for me, sometimes, to relate to those who don’t allow their vulnerability to show at least a bit. I want to know the real you. Whether we are in conversation by the punch bowl or finger sandwich tray at a wedding, or I am watching you perform for an audience, I want to come away with the seminal experience of “I see you; you see me,” “I touch you; you touch me,” “I give to you; you give to me.” Anything less than that leaves me cold.
       It has occurred to me of late that performers can only give what they have as people. If you’re not a generous, loving person, then what have you to give to an audience?
       We would all do well to consider these musings and implement them in our own lives, whether we meet the public on a stage or at the water cooler at work.

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