We had so much fun with you last night!! A big thanks to everyone who came out for the album release show, and to The Melting Point for providing such a beautiful space to make music in! We love you.
We had so much fun with you last night!! A big thanks to everyone who came out for the album release show, and to The Melting Point for providing such a beautiful space to make music in! We love you.
I got to play a nine foot Steinway Grand today, built in 1864 - one of the first Steinways ever made. You wouldn't believe the sound of the bass clef. A very good day.
"The word courage comes from the Latin cor, which literally means heart. The original use of the word courage means to stand by one's core." - Mark Nepo
It's Album Release Week, and I'd like to start with some Thank You's. If you want to skip to the show info, just head on down to the bottom. If you'd like to receive my appreciation, read on... I am so grateful for all of you who listen to and support what I'm up to. There are a few specific people I want to thank for helping this album come to life. First and foremost, Louis Romanos, my drummer and audio engineer. Louis set up the mobile recording equipment for the album, performed on the record, and then spent the summer with me editing, mixing and mastering it all. We had a ball and I am so grateful for the time, talent and energy he invested. Thank you to my stupendously wonderful live audience, and to Meghan Burke & Sangha Yoga Studio for providing such a gorgeous and resonant space to record in. Thank you to my photographers: Cheryl Shaw who photographed the concert, and Wingate Downs who did my album cover shoot. And thank you all for being part of my rich community of family and friends!
Now on to Babies...
Almost every time I listen to my soon to be released new album, I think about the Bumblebee & the Tutu. They are two of my most favorite people who were present at the live recording. Abigail, the Bumblebee, was almost 2 years old, and Baby Vera, aka the Tutu, a little over 1 year. These two beauties brought whimsy, play, innocence and the freedom to be (and wear) exactly what you want to the album. Abigail's favorite outfit is a yellow and black bumble bee costume, which her awesome parents let her wear whenever she wants. Baby Vera, miniature rock star in training, showed up with her equally awesome parents in a frilly tutu and proceeded to dance, shriek and crawl around throughout the evening. If you listen carefully, you can hear their exuberance on the recording.
This makes me very, very happy. I intentionally recorded live, and invited children, as I wanted the collective spirits of all who came to be an integral part of the album. Music is about connecting - to our own hearts, to each other, to a shared moment. I Will Sing: Live at Sangha captures the intimate, authentic and playful community that gathered that evening, and I am really proud of what we created together. The word Sangha means community in Sanskrit. My heartfelt thanks to all of you who participated with me, and I'm very excited to share the album on November 7th with everyone. Maybe Abigail will let me borrow her bumblebee outfit for the show....
Yesterday a neighbor's dog chased my cat, Bodhi, up a tree. A tree he had never climbed before with no low-hanging branches. He spent all day trying to figure out how to get down. By 6:00pm a bewildered Bodhi had climbed about 40 feet up the tree, and I was perched precariously in the rain on a ladder trying to climb the tree and get him. My neighbors had joined the rescue efforts.
Down the street come 2 fellas in a truck. "You need some help?" calls the driver. Without a doubt, YES. Enter James and Steve, my Sunday Heroes. James just so happens to be a TREE CLIMBING PROFESSIONAL, and has his ropes and harness in the back of his truck....
I recently performed at the Family Event of my high school reunion. Or more accurately, I opened for a 2 yr old named Sam. Sam and several other awesome kids came up after my set and wanted to play my piano and sing into the mic. So of course, I let them. My favorite comment of the weekend came from Katie, age 4. After hearing 'Shine' for the first time, she rushed up and exuberantly told me "You know what? I shined when I was borned!" Exactly. Kids rule.
I had a blast opening for the very talented and beloved singer-songwriter, Dar Williams, for the release of her ninth studio album, In The Time Of Gods, at the Melting Point.
Thank you all for an amazing night! The recording evening was fantastic and we are now editing and mixing the songs for you. The acoustics inside Sangha Yoga Studio are stellar, and I\'m really pleased with what we captured - including your participation! Stay tuned for pictures and album tracks soon...
Expect something new and different for my upcoming appearance on the It's Friday Show. I'll be live on their studio grand piano, and the trio will be just a duo - piano and drums. You can tune in even if you aren't local. Details are on the calendar page. Louis and I will be bringing you new music and some heavier, saucier beats. I'm excited! I've been told piano and drums is like peanut butter and jelly, so hopefully you will like how it tastes! If you have a peanut allergy, well then substitute your favorite snack inside my metaphor so nobody gets hurt. :)
We'll also be performing as a duo at the Marigold Festival, so come out and join us. And if I don't see you, stay tuned for news of new recordings soon.... Happy May!!
You guys sure do brighten up my life! I had so much fun making this video, and I hope it brings a big smile to your face and heart. A few words before I share it...
This year has been a doozy for many of us, and we made be glad to see it come to a close. We are now in Solstice week - the darkest week of the year. This Thursday is the Winter Solstice, when the light is shortest and the night is longest. It is a powerful time to reflect, review, release and dream in what we'd like to create going forward. It is a time to remember that the light always returns - in fact, it is never gone, we just can't always see it.
Gratitude is one of our most powerful tools, and provides us a direct pathway to joy. We all go through dark times, and if you are currently in one know that you are remembered and dearly loved. Allow this video to remind you that life is a gift, the people that surround us are a blessing, and that a joyful heart is one of the best gifts we can offer each other.
Oh - I said I'd pick my Top 3 Photos, which was way harder than I anticipated! You are all my favorites, but click HERE to see my choices. I will contact you separately to get you your free signed cds.
Thank you all so much for being in my life and contributing your light to the world! Please share this video with your friends and family, and have a truly wonderful holiday season! And now, on to the video here: SHINE!
Loving your light and your dark,
When is the last time you felt truly joyful? Hopefully it was within the last 24 hours. Can you even remember? Admittedly, the holidays are not an automatically joyful time for many people. If your last couple of weeks have been like mine, you may have felt much more compressed than radiant at times.
I invite you to pause for a moment and remember what it feels like - to really feel present, full of life, grateful to be alive, open, light-hearted, exuberant, FULL. The memory of this feeling is what keeps us going when we experience the wild fluctuations and contrast of life.
The joy I'm talking about is not a smile pasted on top of sadness or pain. It's something intrinsic, an essence we all carry within. We can easily recognize this shine in children or animals, but what about ourselves? For those of you feeling far away from joy, I love this reminder from Kahlil Gibran: “Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain."
I know you have a photograph that reminds you of this feeling quality of joy....
While we wait for Ellen to watch my previous video and call, I'd like to do a new video of "Shine" to spread the holiday joy and I want all of you to be part of it! All you have to do is email me a photo of you at any age. Pick one that captures you feeling full of love and joy, radiating your shiny stuff. The photo can include others (family, friends, children, pets) as long as you play "Shine" for them! Email the photo to firstname.lastname@example.org to be included in the video.
My Top 3 favorite photos will receive signed copies of the "Born to Shine" album. The deadline for sending in photos is Wednesday, December 14th.
I can't wait to see your photos and have your help creating a holiday video that is just bursting with joy! The video will be available for you to share with friends and family.
To me the holiday season is about celebrating the light of love, which is born inside of each of us. What better gift can we give than reminding each other of how radiant we truly are. Happy Holidays and keep shining!!
Happy, kind, talented, fun, professional, available, enthusiastic, responsive, supportive and committed to Love.
This describes my bandmates. I perform with a band that resonates these cohesive qualities. We live and play from our hearts. We love to laugh and have a good time. We share a passion for creating beautiful music that touches and uplifts others. Our collaboration is mutually beneficial and we feel excited to come together and make musical magic. We are healthy as individuals and relate harmoniously. Our chemistry ignites something original, bold and inventive. We are prosperous, successful and generous. We enjoy touring together and meeting fans in new places. The music we make resonates strongly with people all over the world, and they benefit from hearing it. Our presence and music spread universal love, peace and joy. We ride this musical wave together and have the time of our lives!
Are you one of my band members? Come out, come out wherever you are!
Thanks for visiting my new site! We have updated every page with fresh content, pictures and more. I want to hear from you, so please feel free to comment on my blogs and connect with me on my new Facebook and Twitter pages. I look forward to meeting many more of you in the upcoming months as I perform in new places. And if you are friends with Ellen, by all means tell her to call me!
Come whisper sweet tweets in my ear... I am now officially tweeting and twittering my little heart out! And you should join me. Well, you probably joined a long time ago; I am the late adapter. But find me and let's twitter together like songbirds! I even put a running Twitter feed on my website, to keep things more current and interactive. Here's my link: http://twitter.com/#!/LaraOshon Ready, set, tweet!
I absolutely LOVE this website called lifebyme.com, and encourage you to check it out. There are so many inspiring articles, including this one by Jason Mraz. I just love that guy, and I totally relate to what he wrote. I could have written this myself: "In my shows and in my music in general, I want there to be a nice balance of sacred and silly so people feel comforted and joyous but also like they don’t have to take life too seriously. We can laugh at life. I can laugh at my painful experiences and know they were miracles that got me here."
Read the whole article here: http://www.lifebyme.com/jason-mraz-practice/
At my last house concert I did a cover of one of my favorite songs ever, "Killing Me Softly." Why have I never covered this before? So fun! I love a bunch of different versions- Roberta Flack, Lauryn Hill, Eva Cassidy, Colbie Callait - now I have my own version! :) Unfortunately the audio and video came out terrible, but I will share anyway because we had a wonderful time in the moment. I hope you enjoy!
It was a bunch of fun to participate in Ambassador Day at the Hard Rock Cafe in Atlanta. You can watch a short clip from CBS News about the event HERE. They brought several vans full of children from Egleston Hospital for a special lunch, where we entertained them a little and they entertained us a lot! What beautiful children and families, showing such courage in the face of major health challenges. I loved singing for them, and even got to hang with the amazing Francine Reed, who sang a soulful version of "Stand By Me."
I have seen it clearly in my mind, now you can help make it happen! Ellen is always bringing new musical guests onto her show, and I know she will love this song! Can't you just picture her smiling, bouncing and singing along?
Please watch the short video HERE and forward to everyone you think would enjoy it. I'd love for "Shine" to be heard around the world, reminding us all of our original joy, sparkle and awesomeness. Sharing it on Ellen would be such a fun platform for exposing it to lots of new people.
Last week I had the honor and pleasure of playing at THE VOICE radio show at Egleston Children's Hospital in Atlanta. This is an amazing new radio station built inside the lobby by The Ryan Seacrest Foundation. It airs live on the TVs in every child's room at Egleston, as well as three other local children's hospitals, and then replays for about 5 days. Kids can visit the station, make song requests, guest dj, perform - it is really awesome. It is hosted by Wendy Threatt, a former DJ from STAR 94.
Equally exciting to me was the enormous amount of joy ringing through the entire lobby when I first entered the building. There was a big event happening for the kids...
"To look at a thing is very different from seeing a thing. One does not see anything until one sees its beauty. Then, and only then, does it come into existence." -- Oscar Wilde
As we enter a new year, most of us reevaluate where we are, what we're doing, what we'd like to change. The word evaluate means to estimate the value or worth of something. How do we do this for ourselves- our time, talents, work? And how do we evaluate our intrinsic gifts, those things that aren't easily seen or quantifiable - like the love we give, our listening, our growth, our purity of heart, the beauty and joy we offer, our ability to feel deeply, our presence?
“Seeing, hearing and feeling are miracles, and each part and tag of me is a miracle.” – Walt Whitman
Every single day we make choices between fear and faith. Life is a constant stream of transition and change, with large and small crossroads at every turn. If we are defined by the sum of our choices, which side do we line up on: fear or faith? Do we like to camp out near the middle, huddled with the masses who sing a daily chorus of worry and complaining? Do we run to the familiar comfort of our habitual fears, as they feel safer than the unknown?....
i placed my ear to the earth
why am i here?
an acorn falls
i sit up, wiping my eyes
and then i take a hot bath
.... There is a strength that’s softly heard
A quiet heart speaks louder than words
The sweetest touch, no need to shove
The only power I want is LOVE.....
BORN TO SHINE: A NEW WAY TO MAKE A RECORD
Community Support Funds Full Length Live Studio Album for Artist Lara Oshon
Athens, GA – Local songwriter, performer and painter, Lara Oshon, had an inspired idea: record an album in front of an intimate, live audience, and dedicate it to honor the Earth. That initial spark ignited a successful Kickstarter funding campaign, a live studio recording of 15 songs, and a brand new album entitled “Born to Shine,” scheduled for release on September 24, 2010. Simmering from a long hot summer, this baby was born fast and is ready to fly!
Okay, YOU HAVE MY HEART'S DEEPEST GRATITUDE!!! WE DID IT with time to spare. Thanks to you, "Born to Shine" was successfully funded by 113%!! You are creating a dream come true! I cannot thank you enough. You guys are amazing!!
"Born to Shine" will be born on August 25th! You will all be there in spirit at the recording, and some of you will be there in person. Please send good thoughts to Athens that evening between 7 -9pm, as we'll be recording then. I hope to release the album in late September, so stay tuned for details on that!
May you be blessed with maximum joy and abundance for your generous participation in this community of heart!! Thank you for supporting the power of creativity to spread love, unity and peace for all living things - including our precious Earth. I look forward to sharing music with you in person very soon!
All my love,
Please click to donate.
"Truthful. Soulful. Warm. Beautiful. Heartfelt.
Tender. Elegant. Healing. Powerful."
These are words that have been used to describe my songs.
This new album, Born to Shine, is extremely special to me. These songs carried me through enormous transitions, and may for you, too. They have been my most intimate companions in the midst of fragile moments. Each one lifted my heart, taught me, made me laugh, and opened me. They come from the truest place in me, and I am fiercely committed to being authentic and vulnerable in a whole new way.
Each morning I sit and write. I listen. Become quiet. Like so many of you, I am aware of the enormous changes happening with our physical Earth, and want to contribute. My dear friend recently asked me to help put together a Facebook page that was simply about loving and thanking the Earth. So this particular morning I was sending my love and appreciation into the Earth, and asking what I could do to be of service.
I received a very clear inspiration. It was to record an album, in front of a live audience, and do it in honor of Mother Earth. Simple, right?
I woke up this morning, made coffee, and then checked the standings for Lilith. Still 25th. So close, but I did not make it to the next round. I'll admit I was a little disappointed. I'd been working toward this since December. Then I sat down to do my morning writing and quickly remembered my real dream, which instantly brought a smile to my face.
Hey friends and fans! Please help me be selected to play at Lilith Fair in Atlanta on August 8th! I have entered my newest single, "Back Into One," into the Lilith Fair Atlanta local talent search, which is being hosted online by Ourstage.com.
Vote daily from May 1 - May 24. I need your votes in order to be selected! Ourstage designed a fun and easy, multi-step judging system so each song gets equal exposure. This gives you the chance to hear some of the other entries before you vote for me. :) I hope you have fun! Your time means a lot to me!
I am extremely lucky to still have my grandmom around. She is 101 years old. I can't even begin to imagine what it's like to have lived that much life. And she doesn't miss a beat - she still walks a mile a day, has her own apartment in a swanky independent living center, writes letters, loves to tell stories, and remembers everything that's going on in the lives of her many friends and family members. Her eyes are still clear sparkly blue, and piercing. She may not hear what you're saying much of the time, but she is looking right through you.
I am very excited as tomorrow I will be recording a new song here in Athens at Studio 1093! This is the song I will be entering in the Lilith Fair competition, so I will share it with you all as soon as it is mixed and mastered. I will be joined by the amazing Michael Steele on bass and guitar. Hopefully I'll be able to record the full album very soon! Here's a picture of their beautiful Yamaha C5 grand. FUN!!
I have recently started using a new name with my music and art: Lara Oshon. It is pronounced like "ocean," and the spelling is derived from my family name, Johnson. I just rearranged a few letters. I choose this name because it chose me. I have been meditating about it for more than a year.
One of my favorite movie lines is from 'Pretty Woman' near the beginning when the fella on the street yells out "Welcome to Hollywood! What's your dream??" My close friend, Lisa Bay, and I still say that to each other all the time. I think it's a great question: what's your dream?
I have so many dreams, don't get me started. I am definitely a dreamer - and a believer that if I can visualize something clearly in my mind, it is truly possible. So I'll share one of my dreams for 2010 with you, and maybe you can share one of yours with me. We can imagine them as coming true for each other. Deal?
I have just changed the format of this blog page so that you can now add comments to any of the entries. This will be much more fun! So please feel free to add your two cents... come on, you know you have something to say!
I just noticed I haven't written anything here in over 3 months - super lame! I guess my excuse is I have been really focused on diving into my new home here in Athens. It has been busy and great. Time is flying!
To make it up to you, I think I'll post one of my favorite pictures of myself. Ha!! Is that egotistical enough??! No really, it is likely to make you smile, at least it does me. I call it my first concert photo. I love seeing photos of my friends when they were little woos, all innocent and just starting out in this big world. I feel like the older I get, the closer I come to being that happy little girl again. Doing music and art sure does make me happy. Lately I've been feeling like an 8 year old.
What about you? How's your inner child doing? :) Hugs, smooches and high fives to that little gorgeous genius inside each of us.
I am about to head back to Los Angeles for the first time since I left 7 months ago, and I'm really excited. This year has been been a lot of full circle journeys - moving back to Georgia, my home state, after being away for 12 years, and now returning to the city that completely transformed my life during those years.
The day that I drove out of California on my way east, I saw an enormous rainbow spanning the entire sky (see photo to the right). And it ended directly on the road in front of me, which looked like I was driving straight into the rainbow. It felt like a magical omen of adventure and possibility, and filled me with the sense that driving into the unknown would always lead me somewhere beautiful. And it most certainly has....
California, and certainly the City of Angels, will always hold a very special place in my heart.
Wow does life feels like it's moving at the speed of light. This has been one dynamic year! I have lived in three different states in seven months, with an enormous amount of change. I plan on staying in Athens for a good long while....
I am so happy to finally be back in my home state. For a long time I didn't think I'd live here again, but now it feels very right. I have been making my way to Athens for the past several years. I will miss living near the ocean though - this is a pic taken at Siesta Key just before I left Florida. I am really excited to share music and art here in GA, and meet my new community of friends & fellow artists. The motto for Athens is "Life Unleashed" - I think that about sums it all up!
I am finally almost ready to launch this baby! It feels like the tiniest last details have taken months to complete... Meanwhile, it is true that I have been writing blogs for a nonexistent audience. A little strange, maybe, but I'm having fun! :)
Hopefully you'll be actually reading this in a few days. and if so, thanks for visiting!
Today I've been thinking about Africa. Uganda specifically. Why? Dunno. Maybe because it's Earth Day and Africa feels like the heart of Mother Earth. I keep hearing tribal drum beats running through my head. I've been singing 'Air I Breathe' over and over. If you don't know the song then I guess you'll have to buy my cd! :)
I am reminded of a vision I had on another Earth Day, about 6 yrs ago. I was doing a meditation on peace, and a very clear and unforgettable image began to form in my mind. I saw numerous well-known political and world leaders, all male, become little boys of 2 or 3 years old. I specifically saw then President George Bush as an adorable little tyke. All of these powerful men were in their innocent, fresh, sweet little young essences. And it was bedtime. They were being gently and lovingly put to sleep by their mothers, sisters, grandmothers.
Then I saw these women gather together - all ages, sizes, cultural backgrounds, nationalities - in an enormous circle out in Nature. There was a huge bonfire in the middle of them. Many of the women were naked. And they began to sing, dance, stomp, beat drums, chant, speak, cry, scream, laugh, hug, hold hands. They were communing on a deeper level with each other and with the Earth. This went on for hours, all through the night.
And by the time the light of the new day was breaking, peace had been restored to the Earth. A new feminine balance had been reached, while all of the 'powerful' men had been fast asleep. This new peace treaty was deeply honoring of the beautiful and necessary work the male world leaders had done, and also created a whole new paradigm of what cooperation and global community can be. This new peace was inclusive, kind, solid, balanced, spacious, creative, interrelated, and celebratory of all life as family.
I was so deeply impacted by this picture. I believe it is possible, and already happening. My passion is to contribute to this vision by joining with others in that symbolic heart space, where our essence already knows we are One. I hope my songs, art and other creations can contribute positively to this movement of a new way of living happily together on the planet.
Happy Earth Day.
I am fascinated with birds - their songs, their flights. I often walk around with my face to the sky, pointing out birds to friends who patiently indulge my excitement. Birds can fly. They can float on a breeze or the water. They can dive deep into the water and come out with a fish. They sing and make the craziest noises. They are magestic and ridiculous. They entertain me enormously.
I live near what I call Bird Paradise Park, aka Crescent Lake Park (see photo). I have never experienced so many different types of birds living together in one spot, harmoniously. They hang out - literally. They even chill with the turtles. Baby ducks play with larger cranes. There is a continual symphony of sounds coming from the park that is like heaven to my ears.
STUDIO SKY is less a physical place than a field of awareness from which I create. Those birds remind me of this space, where my imagination can run wild and capture the colors and sounds that my divine Muse is lobbing at me. She's a piece of work, that one. I think I'm going to name her Grandmother Moses. She is gentle and fierce and constantly nudging me to stretch past my edges, open just a little wider so I can catch more of what she wants to give me.
Ok Grandmother Moses, I'm yours. Show me what you've got.