Hani: Being Alive
In my world, life isn't complete without a song. A song that tells a story. A story that involves the listener, that makes us feel. And we 'feel'... not just because of a great melody, or great lyrics... we feel because they are delivered in a style that engages us. All my life, I have loved songs that touched me in some way. It's interesting that when a song is so meaningful, in order for me to sing it, sometimes I have to get past the emotion so that I can interpret and share it and have my listener have THEIR own personal experience with the song. I remember many years ago, I was learning the lyrics to 'Wind Beneath My Wings'... of course, I knew the song, but I chose to sing it at the end of a Fashion Show of seniors showing their own personal finery. I'd introduced each of them and described what they were wearing for this occasion. I'd intended to close the show with 'Wind...' Several days before, I was in the car, driving to some appointment, and practicing the lyrics and I started to think about my mom, and I began to sob. Powerful lyrics that took me to 'that place' for me. I called my dear friend and accompanist and said, 'how will I sing that song, when I can't even get through it?' Fran said, 'you will.' And she was right. I had to 'get to the other side' so that my audience could appreciate the song and the lyrics in their own personal ways. 'Remember Who You Are'... talk about being touched... that song had a profound impact on me when I first heard it... that was back in 1998... I was in San Diego for a convention, and a speaker used an audio tape (remember those?!) of that song at the end of his talk. Afterwards, I went up to him and asked him about 'that song.' I got a copy of the tape from him and wore the song out. In fact, one night I was listening to the song and I accidentally pushed 'record' and erased one second of the song. You know of course, one second in AUDIO, when it's you and that piece of music, one second is an eternity. From then on, whenever I'd listen to 'Remember Who You Are' it was as though EVERYTHING stopped with that blank second. The artist was a local San Diego artist. I found her and purchased two CD's from her. Fast forward 10 years, and I was chatting with a friend about things 'metaphysical' and mentioned this song. I sang her the lyrics in a restaurant and she was stunned by the words, as I had been so many years before. I had a concert coming up and she said, 'you MUST put that in your show!' Well, not quite, but I did something better. I recorded it on this CD, 'Hani: Being Alive.' In fact, I recorded it TWICE, because the first time just didn't get it. That little song... from no music, just a recording by the composers, Roxanna Ward and Lynn De Finol... to be able to include it on the CD was a beautiful thing. Listen to the words! Amazing. 'Where Do You Start' ... The lush melody of Johnny Mandel, the haunting lyrics of Marilyn & Alan Bergman. I first fell in love with that song after I heard Shirley Horn sing it. She is a personal hero of mine. She sings in 'Shirley Horn time' you know...or so said Miles Davis! Touching and real, pondering who we are... our relationships never end, really. And this song, is heart-felt, simple, sweet and magnificent. 'Before The Parade Passes By' ... What would the world be like without a Jerry Herman tune?! And this one, sung in the Cabaret style, won't have you marching off into the sunset. For me, it is a beautiful reflection of taking the chance, grabbing the brass ring, going for it. It's a true rendering of thought and feeling and deciding to 'go for it.' I've always loved this song for it's pathos, it's heart. And once I had the feeling, I was able to remember the lyrics. For years, I just loved the song, but couldn't remember the order of the lyrics! Then came that time. I'm so grateful to be able to share this one with you. I love pomp right along with the rest of them... and 'I Could Go On Singing' is a testimony to the talent and the hope and the feeling... even the sadness... of Judy Garland. A personal hero of mine, too. If she sang it, I probably sing it. This song, written by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg, is the title song of a film by the same name from 1963. Garland's last film. Hey, I COULD go on singing till the cows come home! Because music fills the soul. It certainly has mine. 'I Wish You Love' is a song that I've sung at the end of just about every show I've done for the past ten years. Funny, that after 2 CDs of my own, and singing on another artist's CD in 2009, I never recorded this. Until now. Of course it had to be the final track on the album! So, music tells stories. Lyrics reinforce them. Melodies fill us. And when, in combination, the elements come together, we have our own experience. I hope you enjoy this CD. It's some of my best recorded work and I am proud of of the co-creation in the studio with each of the talented musicians and my engineer.