Several of my readers know that I'm in NYC the first half of this week. Only two or three of you know why.
And now so will the rest of you.
I was invited by one of my favorite new recording artists to lend my voice to three songs on his upcoming debut full-length album. (If you don't know about Mario Spinetti, check my posts here and here, then go to iTunes or Amazon and buy his currently-out EP.) Originally, Mario sent out an invitation to his fans to participate in one of the new songs on his upcoming album. I responded (as you knew I would) and got the nod. The fantastic twist in all of this was that not only would I be adding my voice to the 50+ chorus on the new song, I would also be singing with his close vocalist friends on two other songs as well. This was quite a surprise to me, as Mario has only briefly met me twice and we've only chatted online about six times.
Mario is simply one of the sweetest, most gracious people I've ever met. He treats all those around him equally (both in comparison to each other and to himself). He truly appreciates the talent and energy of the people around him ... in fact, it fuels him and drives him forward. It was an education watching him interact and direct and pull out of the singers present what he needed from them. To get that from a room full of performers without becoming overbearing or diva-like is an accomplishment.
Singing with these two choirs filled me with emotions I haven't felt in a long time. I felt part of something greater than myself (relationship aside *MUAH*) that I haven't felt since The Consort. In a way, I felt undeserving ... the odd man out in this gathering of friends. Yet here I was, joining them in voice on some mighty powerful pieces of composition. I can't express enough the gratitude I have for being allowed to have been a part of it all.
And these performers! Yes, they are all New Yorkers which would lead one to think that the carry some level of pretension, and maybe they do. But if they do, it wasn't on display last night. It was refreshing to have been pulled in and treated as if they had known me their whole lives. The support given, the energy shared, the joy that permeated the room was ... what's the word? Real. Honest. Free. I truly wish them all the best in their various endeavors.
I have some pictures from the 50+ chorus along with a short video of Mario giving instruction for the recording of that one song. I'll be posting them when I get back to D.C. later in the week.