What is the Skylark Project? To begin with it is a self-produced artistic project. I invested the resources I was awarded for the many extra hours I did in my job for three years. The investment was into a creative project that springs from a vision of what the voice is and can do for us. Therefore it supports and produces artistic and musical activities. It is a form of indipendent female entrapreneurship for the performance and dissemination of music and singing, especially jazz and MPB, in a period of great changes like the one we are living now.
The Skylark Project is also an approach to my changing femininity, when I am facing the menopausal transition with curiosity for the future and not regrets for past. The project is, to me, like a new dawn, a creative space to be shared with those who are experiencing the same moment in life or have already been there and want to share, or will be in the future and are keen to know more.
Why the name ‘Skylark’? A poem and a song inspired me.
To a Skylark is one of the most beautiful poems of English Romanticism. P. B. Shelley composed it in Italy in 1820. While Skylark is an American song written by Johnny Mercer with music by Hoagy Carmichael in 1941, a beloved jazz standard.
What do the poem and the song have in common? Though from different spaces and times, they both want to describe something which is indescribable. They stubbornly want to find the words and the music to say what ‘singing’ is. Not a small goal to say the least… almost impossible to achieve! Yet they succeed, each in their own way, and they do it with the help of a small and humble creature: the skylark, that turns into the very symbol of singing. For Shelley it is the bird of dawn offering a new song to each new day: its aerial gaze caresses the world and translates it into sounds of spontaneous beauty. Carmichael’s music reproduces its mad flights and flickers of joy, while Mercer’s words express the desire of those who would like to fly on its wings of music.
The Skylark Project, like the poem and the song, springs from a deep love of singing and an irresistible curiosity about the nature of the voice and the effects the voice can have on those who use it and those who listen to it. Exploring the practice of singing as well as thinking about the relation among word, sound, and music is the mission of the project.