August 30, 2008

Michigan Womyn's Music Festival

Singer Songwriter Spotlight

'Oh no, I can't find my guitar,' I thought silently while my eyes frantically scanned the assortment of guitars and musical instruments, all tagged and labelled on shelves in the performer tent. It turns out that my guitar was already brought out on standby to be delivered to the acoustic stage for my scheduled sound-check. It was just about noon on the second day of the festival. We took a nice walk to the acoustic stage where the 'Singer Songwriter Spotlight’ was being held, and met our sound engineer and stage crews. The site for the acoustic stage was set on a unique slope, creating a somewhat natural amphitheatre in an intimate forest setting.

Although I was tensed and nervous about my set, I took comfort that the entire sound-check process went on very smoothly and professionally; everything you needed for a good acoustic set was available and there was ample time for sound-check. Jill, the sound engineer, just knew what to do to get the best sound out of my vocals and guitars.

I left sound-check feeling good and headed back to our tents to change and prepare for my set. I did a last minute decision to ditch my pre-arranged attire for a short-sleeved top more befitting a hot summer's day.

I was to be the first performer for the singer-songwriter spotlight. Back-stage, I peeped through the stage door to see the crowd settling down on the grass; many under the trees for shade and some right in the middle basking in the sun. I gave my interpreter for the deaf, Amanda, a nervous smile, as we waited right behind the doors. Lisa Vogel, the founder and producer of the festival, appeared backstage and we chatted briefly.

"…and now please give a warm welcome…Mei Chern!"

The doors open and the crowd cheers as Amanda and I took our seats on the stage. I sang 'Beautiful Minds' as my first song while the crowd listened attentively; a wonderful audience, excellent sound, and slight summer breeze – 'perfect'.

r so I thought. Halfway through my second song, a fly landed on my nose and walked slowly to the left. Definitely something I did not anticipate or prepare for! But I am glad to say that, as distracting as that fly was, I managed to sing through it. I sang all the songs on my CD. I guess it all went pretty well; the crowd was very responsive and appreciative. I met some of them the following day during the artists signing session at the booth where our CDs were sold.

Below are some photos from the Artists Signing Session:

Singer Songwriter Spotlight Artists

Posters and CDs

(Elizabeth and Amy Ziff, and Alyson Palmer)

Emma's Revolution (Pat Humphries and Sandy O)

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