March 6th: Sea Changes

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Before I jump in, I want to let you know about an upcoming concert. On Saturday, March 10th at 7 PM, I’ll be playing with my father Chris ( on piano and accordion) and Mary Fraser (with her fine fiddle and harmonies) at the Prakasa Yoga Studio, on 152 Ball Road in Goshen.

It’ll be my last time playing in town for a while, and would I ever love to sing for you. We are asking $10-15 suggested donation to pay the musicians and Prakasa, and if you’re worried about the price being too steep, just come anyway and don’t worry.

** A Word about Sea Changes

I’ve been thinking about oblique change. The early-thaw sunsets are to blame, I think, as is a visit to an old friend by a much older ocean. Both sea and sky changes would prefer that I not try to look them in the eye: it doesn’t seem to be my business to try and pinpoint the emerging stars or the tidal shifts. Resisting the urge to go out with a measuring tape, I fix my gaze on something I could hope to comprehend, and change settles all around me; I know that it does.

How itchy, though, to become aware of the way things are shifting! Faced with lonesome, expansive winter I am at once aware of projects and plans settling around. Amongst them are the manuscript for A Kid’s Guide to Making Music— its first draft newly completed— a recording project produced by my father, a house concert tour across the country, and a move to Detroit.

Weighted, by the news and by the season, I am still unequivocally amazed that so many new things could settle so quietly. And I would just like to introduce you to them.

** Headed for Detroit

Following three months of training at the Double Edge Theatre in Ashfield, MA, I was invited by the Hinterlands ( , a Detroit-based performing ensemble, to begin a 6-month apprenticeship in the middle of April. I’ll also be taking up a 10-week residency working in the garden and singing at Popp’s Packing. (

**The Hoping Machine Tour

What started as a small house-concert tour down south has blossomed into some kind of an elephant-on-rollerskates adventure, a road-trip house-tour hybrid, headed straight for California. I’m calling it The Hoping Machine Tour, after Woody Guthrie’s New Years Rulin’s ( , and am so grateful to all those who are making these shows happen. A calendar, subject to changes, is on the Tour page of this site.
It follows that I’ll be leaving home on March 15th. In between now and then there is one concert, a sermon to deliver, and two days booked in the studio at the Institute for the Musical Arts in Goshen. My father Chris has agreed to produce an album of my songs, and I could not be more glad to return to the IMA, where I first worked in the Hilltowns.
Thank you for reading this far. I am sad to leave and glad to love you– it is a Bosnian sevdalinka feeling. I always travel with the Hilltowns and the people here, and I am excited to report back with more and different life. And I do hope I’ll get to see many of your faces on March 10th for one more evening of music.
In love,
Norma Jean

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