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Kathleen Murray

lylb KathleenMurrayFolk singer Kathleen Murray’s show at Kuumbwa Jazz is going to be huge for a few reasons. First, it will be her last concert before she moves to Seattle in September to continue her studies. Second, it will be a release party for her debut CD, Woodland Voices. And finally, it is a big deal because initially, Voices wasn’t going to be released to the public.

“I mostly just wanted to make something I could show my kids some day,” Murray says. “But it’s a very personal project that I ended up sharing with people.”

A charming coming-of-age folk record, Voices invites listeners into Murray’s journey of self-discovery. The gorgeous folk track “Fallen Branches” uses lyrics like, “Questions upon questions upon answers I don’t trust,” to demonstrate the period of searching Murray found herself in when writing this record. Similarly, the ambient folk of “Alive” is representative of some of the album’s more spiritual aspects.

Throughout the record, Murray is unflinchingly honest with herself and others.

“A common thread on the album is this need to be authentic,” Murray says. “So through different stories and perspectives there’s this common theme of this desire to find authenticity in my life.”

Murray has been learning throughout this entire process, however, that while freeing, being so open and honest with her writing also has its down sides.

“There were definitely some moments [during recording] of thinking ‘Oh, this is scary!’” she says. “And especially as the album release is approaching, I’m thinking, ‘Oh man, people are going to listen to this now!’ It’s like saying, ‘Here’s my diary for you to read.’”

Moments of anxiety like these, however, have borne more fruit than not, because they have forced her to step outside of her comfort zone, a fact which she appreciates.

“It’s been scary, but there’s a lot of beauty in being vulnerable,” Murray says. “That’s what connects people, is when they decide to go out on a limb and be honest with each other.” 


INFO: 6:30 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 17. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $10. 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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