Feminine Medicine 2015
Hi everyone! Happy 2016!
Like everybody else I have been looking back at the last year. 2015 was a massive year of creation. My biggest creative highlight (in addition to creating my wedding!!): I launched the Feminine Medicine™ project.
Feminine Medicine™ is a series of collaborative albums and stage shows that gives the feminine a greater voice in the electronic music industry. I noticed that not as many women have been featured on electronic stages (this was a big conversation in our industry last year) and decided to create something that is a celebration of and collaboration with other women artists.
After an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign at the beginning of 2015 raising over $20k from over 400 contributors, I am currently producing the first album and have been performing the stage show all year collaborating with over 30 female musicians, vocalists, and performers. In 2015 the Feminine Medicine™ show was featured at Lucidity Festival and Enchanted Forest Festival, and we are slated for more events in 2016. The album is set to be released Spring 2016 (and I am releasing the first single featuring Cheraki this month!).
This post takes a look at everything that happened with the project this year and shares some of the highlights and some of my learnings. Here is what unfolded:
I had dozens of recording sessions with over 15 women involved in the project and traveled to Portland and LA to collaborate over multiple days with people based there. Over 15 songs are underway and over half of those are 80-100% complete. I am getting ready to publicly pre-release the first single “In Your Skin” (featuring vocalist Cheraki) from the album this month. The other music will follow fast on its heels.
The project received press from some electronic music media and it got on the radar of some major women in the industry who have expressed their support and interest in participating in future volumes. The attention Feminine Medicine™ received also led to my inclusion as a featured artist in the forthcoming documentary film, “Amplify Her” (the initial trailer looks incredible) and as a contributor to the visionary anthology book, “ReInhabiting the Village“.
I choreographed and produced 3 major Feminine Medicine™ stage shows (with the help of collaborators including Sonya Stewart and Eden Amadora) for Lucidity Festival, Enchanted Forest Festival, and a big hometown show here in the San Francisco Bay Area at GUAVA (which also featured the amazing Deya Dova from Australia).
For each of these shows I brought together 15-25 women per show including multiple live vocalists and dance and aerial performers. The shows were extremely well received by the community and the festival producers. During the shows we often experienced a lot of audience participation and in general received the feedback that what we put together was spectacular.
Here is a video and some of the best images from this year’s shows:
ENCHANTED FOREST FESTIVAL – AUGUST 2015
GUAVA – SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA – JULY 2015
LUCIDITY FESTIVAL – APRIL 2015
Dancer: Sonya Stewart
Violinist: Julia Maryanska
Dancer: Aya Iwasaki
ALIA & Amma Lightweaver of Entheo performing their song, “Opening”
On silks: Lei Lei deKirby
Singer: Ixchel Prisma
Ixchel Prisma, ALIA, Eden Amadora
There were some important learnings that emerged from the creation of the project this year.
This year I found myself wearing multiple hats as the Creative Director of the project and that meant often juggling multiple recording sessions in which I was holding space for the creative process with the artists, scheduling and communicating with multiple artists at a time, working with my legal support to create professional contracts, managing the admin of the project, and a whole bunch of tasks and details related to producing the shows and interfacing with the festival event producers. I was also responsible for fulfilling on a lot of the sessions promised to Kickstarter supporters, managing the production and mailing of all the perks to 400 people, managing the budget, and fielding all the communications for the project.
In short, it was a lot!
I underestimated the timing of the project which came from a certain naiveté about how long it would actually take to coordinate schedules and multiple sessions with 15 traveling artists! I also underestimated how long the production of the songs would take and the number of follow up recording sessions that would be required with the vocalists. I underestimated what it would take to produce the stage shows and the music at the same time and how much of my time would actually be needed to produce the shows. I significantly overestimated my capacity to produce the 15 songs that were started this year because I underestimated what would be required for the other responsibilities of my life. Some big lessons for sure.
As a result, after 9 months of massive forward progress and intensity, juggling everything while also planning my wedding in July, touring and performing a lot, and tending to some other personal and work needs, I got burned out in September and needed some significant time to replenish myself. My body told me I had to stop. It was another lesson in a series of lessons just like it over the last 20 years that helped show me the necessity for me as a sensitive feminine Creatrix to take really good care of myself. I have literally been in my own personal curriculum to learn how to create with Feminine Medicine and unlearn some of my unsustainable habits that emerge from my drive to create. I am not helpful to anyone, nor do I serve at the capacity I am capable of when I don’t prioritize the things that are necessary for my optimal well-being.
So the project moved forward very gradually through the Fall. Now in January I feel significant renewed energy and vigor to complete the album over the next 3 months.
For all of the reasons above the album timing has been moved to this Spring. I am currently solidifying the label I am releasing with and in those conversations I am proposing a 2-part release so the music that is almost complete can be released first and enjoyed in Part 1 and the music that is in earlier stages of development can be released on Part 2.
I will keep you posted on my exact timing for the releases as I gain clarity with my label collaborators. This month I am releasing the first single from the album so stay tuned for that!
To get the news on the releases as they happen, follow my posts on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aliasounds
Thank you for all your support!! I am immensely proud of what has been created thus far and the support of you, my friends, fans, and allies, has helped make all of this possible!
Blessings and love to you for an extraordinary year,