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Feb 11th
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Marya Stark

music LYLB-MaryaStarkThough she had only intended to record an acoustic album, Marya Stark soon found herself helpless—adding strings, then woodwinds, then a worldly array of percussion and all sorts of bells and whistles—until she emerged, more than a year later, with a fully blown, detail-oriented studio production. But what else would you expect from a woman with such a deep passion for music that she has managed to squeeze two careers out of banging drums and strumming strings? Who was she really fooling trying to get in and out of the studio so quickly? "I wanted to do a full proper studio album, and make it sound luscious and cinematic and awesome,"

Stark says of her new album, The Garden. Stark grew up playing music with her mother in Phoenix, Ariz., and was already showing her dedication to the craft in middle school, where she began singing seriously, which led her to be enrolled in a performing arts high school and to ultimately enter Chapman University with the intention of studying opera—the major she dropped in favor of music therapy. Stark says she picked music therapy so she could incorporate her love of the humanities, philosophy and psychology into her love for performance. And she has done just that. These days, the Santa Cruz transplant works 9 to 5 as a private music therapy contractor at local schools and rehabilitation clinics, while moonlighting as a solo artist—playing a soaring, cinematic style of dreamy alternative pop, which sounds a bit like Tori Amos locked in a car on Wes Anderson's Darjeeling Limited. Through her music, Stark says she wants to "explore what being a human is all about." Her work with autistic children and recovering addicts as a musical therapist gives her perspective into worlds many don't get a chance to see. "I feel extremely blessed and fortunate," she says. "I definitely think it has helped to lubricate my creativity."
INFO: 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $12. 427-2227.

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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