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How Has the Marriage of These Musicians Influenced Their Creative Partnership?

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Why is music so powerful? What does it do for us?

Kathryn’s podcast with musicians, singers, composers and educators Eric Chasalow and Barbara Cassidy is a delightful conversation with these extraordinary artists, both of whom work at Brandeis University in Boston. Among other themes, they describe  how their marriage has influenced their creative partnership and the spirit and content of the audio podcasts that they are creating for Living Whole Online.

As human beings, we have a lot of different dimensions. We’ve gotten to a point in society where we isolate and silo our existence. Any context that gets us to think about how the different dimensions of our lives relate to and feed one another is really productive and healing.
                                                                        Eric Chasalow

Eric Chasalow grew up listening to The Beatles and Charlie Parker, writing big band charts, and making trips into New York to hear jazz greats play live. After college at Bates and New England Conservatory, he moved to New York to study at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center and developed a career as a composer. Eric is Dean of the Graduate School at Brandeis University and Irving Fine Professor of Music at Brandeis University.  His music appears on CD’s from New World Records and is performed world-wide.

We are very fractured right now. Art, the creative process, the way in which creativity manifests itself, can be the glue that pulls us all back together. It’s another way in.                                                                        Barbara Cassidy

 Barbara Cassidy grew up in New England and among the hilltowns of Western Massachusetts where she learned to drive on a tractor, helped with the haying, and waited tables in a (maple) sugar house. She has been singing professionally since her youth and has recently turned to songwriting.

Our jumping off point is the powerful act of listening…how listening is the connector
                                                                        Barbara Cassidy

Here are some of the themes that Barbara, Eric and Kathryn explore:

  • What are three aspects of how humans connect to music?
  • How does music help us get into a meditative state?

Breaking habits of mind that keep us from connecting to music helps us enter a meditative process. If we can listen from the beginning to the middle to the end of a piece of music, no matter how simple or complex, there is a whole universe of experience in there.
                                                                                                Eric Chasalow

  • What is a positive feedback loop as it relates to music?
  • What happened to Eric when he was young that shut down his voice? How did he get over it and become a singer?
  • What is special and inspiring about the voices of children?
  • What is powerful about singing in the shower?
  • How does self-judgement limit us in expressing ourselves through our voices?
  • What is your party song?
  • How can we move from an unconscious experience of energy to a conscious experience of energy and how does music enhance this?
  • How did Barbara and Eric’s working relationship help them learn new ways to tap into their creative process?
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