Mad Mar Walker:
Singing is a practice - a form of meditation, an entry to the flow of being. Performing - both poetry and music - are a connection with inner energies and a method to express what is in you and be heard, to share joy, light-hearted irony and all the depth of human emotion. To be heard by other hearts, by a community of audience and performers. At least that's how it seems to me...
And song-writing has been a very personal form of expression which has engaged my attention since I was 11 years old. To me songs are part story, part poem, part howl and sometimes part standup comedy.
I strive and practice daily to perfect my own stylings, to finish and document my songs, to be a better and more secure performer in order to better communicate our common human condition, the nuances of the heart, the ironies of our social structure and the beauty of the cosmos.
Children often sing themselves to sleep as I did for many years. It was a happy thing, Then came chorus and glee club, guitar lessons, then the senior talent shows in high school, coffeehouses when I was in college, the year of car payments made playing weekends at a little bar. Piles of paper song revisions. And there were the life experiences that inspired them - infatuations, plans, friendships, a marriage, a divorce, political insanity, crazy jobs and people, some things, not so happy. Some silly. You know, life....
In high school studied guitar with square dance musician who tried very hard to get me use a pick. (Oh well.) I took piano, flute and chorus. After high school I studied for a Bachelor of Music degree (including four semesters of music theory, three semesters of music history, and three years of voice studies with a classical baritone) and also summer of voice coaching.
a pub shot from the 90's
In the early 70s I performed quite a bit in singer-songwriter way for churches, youth groups, coffee houses, etc around the Philadelphia area. And later in my 20s and 30s, it was small bars, restaurants, coffeehouses and private parties here in New England. When I stopped performing in the mid 1990s, I had already written almost 100 songs, many of which I have forgotten. I stopped playing my own music because if was autobiographical, in many cases recalling things I needed to forget.
So ... I stopped singing my own songs and went classical for a while. Quite a while. Actually for a decade, taking lessons from a dramatic tenor, a swedish soprano and a variety of other instructors, working for churches, a memorable gig or two, with a string quartet, at an opera gala, a recital or two. That is another long story. However, after the suicide of a friend in Nov of 2008, I walked away from a classical church job I had at that time. I had been reminded how short life is and I needed to reconnect with that essential energy. I do not regret any of it. Forward is only direction the river of life can run..... -- Mad Mar Walker