Joëlle talks about her magical journey in Music for People and shares her experience of feeling like music was singing through her in an early improvisation.
Joëlle Danant: Music for People — I love Music for People. And the whole process was a magical journey. I feel like the universe orchestrated it and is still doing that. I met David Darling 20 years ago at Omega so this is an anniversary year for me, and 15 years ago I graduated at Omega also. The way that it started it was very amazing because I feel like the universe planted seeds, little by little, gradually. I was meant to sing, just for the love of it.
It started out with dreams. When I came to the US — I’m from France — because for me speaking English is like singing. Because I find that the music is in the English language so I stopped singing when I came to the US. Then I had dreams asking me to sing where The Beatles came to my home and sang to me. My first week with Music for Everyone with David Darling [at Omega] I had a dream — somehow I work with dreams or dreams work with me — where the Music for People staff invited me to join them. And years later I joined the staff of Music for People so it’s very amazing.
I remember that there was one particular moment where it was one of my very first improvisations. It was Listener’s Choice. I really felt it in my heart that I really wanted to sing, not necessarily by myself. I loved the community. It was so inviting. There was a circle, and I just followed my heart. I went into the circle and I said “I really want to sing and if there’s anyone here who feels called to sing with me, please join. I’ll just trust whoever wants to sing with me is the right person.” And then three amazing people came from the community who are like senior musicians — Emily Metcalf, Suan Armstrong and Jane Butters. (I’d like to send you the recording. It remains a very special first improv.) All three of them jumped. We did this amazing quartet where I actually feel like music was singing through me. I was just allowing it to happen. One of those magical moments. And that’s what Music for People has been doing for me. As David Darling says, “Just show up. Just show up. And then just trust the process.”