2016. Here's my blurb for this project for International Festival for Improvised Music taking place in Toronto in May.
Survive The Year Songbook is an experiment in memoir and improvised song. The memoir starts with a marriage ending. As Bezreh tries to recover from the shock, pull her way out of depression, and reassemble meaning in her life, she writes a lot of songs --- casual songs, to herself, for herself. Songs that express grief, songs that aspire to hope.
This project presents these songs with enough textual context that the reader/listener can understand not just the personal moment of despair and what the song is about, but how the improvised song functions. What setting and moods invite a song? How does it lift her? What emotions does she sink into? What wisdom does the song bring? How does it sooth her pain? Where are these songs coming from? Sometimes it seems like they come from the “survivor” version of herself; a mode that can enjoy writing a song even during (especially during?) a time of tragedy.
And it becomes clear in the narrative, that surviving the collapse of Plan A turns all of life into an improv.