SOUL SINGING: The Voice of the Heart
ARETHA WAS ONE OF MY FIRST HEROES.
She shook me out of my white, middle-class malaise & released my inner Diva(o). The power of her voice, her music, her presence, her essence awoke something in me and set me on a journey to find my authentic voice!
I was in high school when “Young, Gifted and Black” was released. I loved that album and played it until the grooves wore out so when I learned Aretha would be LIVE! at the legendary Coconut Grove I knew I had to be there.
My father advised us that the Coconut Grove was a “very ritzy place” so the night of the concert I donned my best Pendleton shirt and a brand new pair of cords and my sister and I headed into Hollywood in our rundown Cortina station wagon. As we pulled into the Grove behind a line of Cadillacs and Lincoln Continentals I was too excited to feel embarrassed as I handed the valet the screwdriver we used to start the Cortina. I’d lost the keys months earlier and a friend had fixed it to start with a screwdriver. Why we didn’t just get another set of keys I can’t remember.
Inside the Grove sis and I stood out like a couple of sore, white thumbs. There were other white people there but everyone was much older (basically adults) and all were dressed to the nines. I began feeling self conscious because of the looks we were getting as we were led to our table but all was forgotten as the lights dimmed to black. You could feel the anticipation in the room as we all collectively held our breath.
ARETHA opened with “Rock Steady” which was topping the charts then sat at the piano and blew the roof off with the best version ever of “Bridge Over Troubled Water”… ‘DON’T TROUBLE THE WATER…. SAID I WON’T!!” It was a night I will never forget.
Later that year I skipped my high school graduation ceremony to see Diana Ross in Vegas. During “Love Hangover” she invited me onstage to dance with her. I guess she was impressed because during the finale she sang “Theme From Mahogany” directly to me:
“Do you know where you’re going to? Do you like the things that life is showing you? Where are you going to? Do you know?” she sang, and as she handed me her scarf then changed the final lyrics from “How sad the answers to those question can be.?” to “How GOOD the answers
to those questions can be.”
WOW! DIANA ROSS SAW ME!
She felt me! I felt as though I really been seen for the first time.
In that moment Diana became my Diva Guru! acknowledging me and my talent and activating the shakti Aretha had awakened.
In the casino after the show I was approached by some of her dancers. They were also impressed by my moves (that I’d mostly stolen from Michael Jackson and Soultrain). They steered me to a dance studio in Hollywood where I learned about an audition for a movie, DISCO GODFATHER starring Rudy Ray Moore (immortalized by Eddie Murphy in the recent “DOLEMITE IS MY NAME”).
I used “ROCK STEADY” for my audition and not only did I get cast as a “Featured Dancer” the auditioners gave me a standing ovation.
I’m excited about my SOUL SINGING COURSE because it is about learning to listen to that “Voice of the Heart” letting it inspire you to trust your unique voice and vision, and manifest your dreams.
Over the past ten years clients and students have often asked if I would ever be willing to teach my VOCAL TONING and SOUND HEALING techniques. Though I’ve often considered it, I never felt ready UNTIL NOW.
After the premier SOUL SINGING course last spring I received the following messages:
“I just want to say thank you sooo much for teaching us and holding space in the soul singing workshop. I learned so much and I benefited from it and incorporate much of what I learned in my daily life :). Take good care Carsten. Until next time!” (Maria).
“Just being in Carsten’s presence brings a feeling of calm and peace. His guided meditations alone raise me up to a wonderful high vibration. He makes beautiful sounds with his voice that open our chakras and heals our bodies. Carsten makes you feel welcome and comfortable to share what is going on with you. He has a love, compassion, and kindness that is like no other.” (Jill M.)
The next SOUL SINGING: The Voice of the Heart starts JANUARY 2020