I need your help!

>> Thursday, April 29, 2010


Do you remember a few months ago, me telling you about a community art project on motherhood I'm participating in? It's called Greetings From Motherland, (check out the new button in my sidebar!) and it's a multi-arts, mixed-media, evolving, collaborative art project led by artist Mindy Stricke. We've been meeting weekly for months, talking in raw and honest ways about the experiences of new motherhood, and making art together. We're using the written word, abstract photography, miniatures, collage, sound, poetry, music, and more to authentically present the transition, challenges, and emotions that women experience when they become mothers. We present the familiar landmarks of our domestic landscape in unfamiliar settings and we slide a fresh lens in front of the viewfinder to showcase motherhood in a context that isn't often seen.

So where do you come in? Stay with me.

While Mindy will be taking the project back to Toronto this summer, our workshops here in Madison have been her pilot project, and our exhibition will be May 23 at the Goodman Community Center (more on that later). One of the exhibits will focus on sound, and we are recording ourselves singing unexpected lullabies. Rockabye Baby doesn't come naturally to every mother. Let's face it - some of us are more likely to sing country songs or Joan Baez or Ozzy Osbourne or made up songs about all the food in the produce aisle. And that's real motherhood, too.

We'd love to hear your unexpected lullabies and use them in the show. And you can contribute even if you live on the other side of the world. All you have to do is call The Motherland Line. Mindy set up a phone line that goes to a voice mailbox so that mothers could call at any time of day -- during those middle of the night wakings when you're losing your mind and you need to vent anonymously, or during the afternoon nap when you want to share an epiphany. But she's offering it up now for mothers to call in and sing a song - their unexpected lullaby - which we'll add to our repertoire and play (through headphones) in one of the exhibits at our show. EDITED TO ADD: Mindy wrote on the website that she would actually prefer (if you have the time) to record it as an mp3 or other sound file and email it to her. Click here for more info on that.

So are you in? I hope so. Here's the number. Call anytime, sing as many songs as you'd like. Your made up lullaby, an obscure song passed through your family, your favorite show tune or hair band ballad. And after you sing, explain briefly the story of your song, how it came to be your lullaby. (Or just sing and run. We'll take what we can get!)

We'll be thrilled if you participate. 202-59MOMMY (202-596-6669) To stay updated on Greetings From Motherland and online assignments, please head over to the official website to read up and subscribe.

I hope to post about another opportunity for you to participate (with writing) in the next week.

Stay tuned.


Sarah April 29, 2010 at 8:52 PM  

What an absolutely fabulous idea.
I think I will be playing long. Bedtime songs were always the highlight of my day with my firstborn. Now that there are three they are fewer and farther between. Sadly.

Recently I set up a voicemail box for my extended family to call in and leave messages for my grandmother's 85th birthday. It was the most touching part of the video we put together. The power of the voice. It makes the words come alive.

Good luck with the project. Wish I lived a wee bit closer. :)

thordora April 29, 2010 at 9:05 PM  

DId it! I sang Tori Amos' cover of Thank You to my girls when they were little-always loved it.

Justine April 29, 2010 at 9:25 PM  

Do tunes from The Sound of Music count? :)

It's a wonderful idea! Not just this part but the entire project.

Just discovered your blog and I'm already hooked.

thegypsymama April 29, 2010 at 11:18 PM  

Oh my lands, yes, I have a song I have sung until my voice was hoarse and the words had lost all meaning to me. But still, when he's sick, it's all he wants to hear. Mama's made up special patch him up serenade.

What a fascinating idea. No, do I have the courage to call and sing......

Diane April 30, 2010 at 8:05 AM  

I sang my girls a whole bunch of songs that my college roommate used to sing when we'd all fall asleep at night (three of us in one tiny room!) Some of my favorites of hers were:

-"Sweet Baby James" by James Taylor
-"The Ballad of Penny Evans" by Steve Goodman (though this one is SAD. SAAAD.)
-"Pretty Peggy-O" which has been done by lots of folks, but I think she preferred the Grateful Dead version.

As far as show tunes go, I loved to sing them "The Girl I Mean to Be" from The Secret Garden and "For Good" from Wicked.

momtrolfreak April 30, 2010 at 8:22 AM  

what a great idea. I just called and left my 4YO son's two favorites on the line: Patsy Cline's "Crazy" and Johnny Cash (and others)'s "Long Black Veil." My son seems to prefer the dark stuff, kickin' it old school. Long Black Veil is about a man who is hung to death because he doesn't want to reveal that his only alibi for a murder is that he was sleeping with the wife of his best friend. Perfect for a preschooler, don't you think? ;-)

Hyacynth April 30, 2010 at 8:03 PM  

What a great idea! Have to admit that my go to lullaby, even in the middle of summer, is White Christmas. For some reason both of my kids are in LOVE with that song. And when that fails I automatically go to Hey Jude. They love that, too. Strange, isn't it?

Adventures In Babywearing May 1, 2010 at 7:13 AM  

I Love This. Yes I'm in. At one time in my previous life I was actually a singer. I also made up a song for my kids that they know by heart, and others I sing all the time. Love this!!!


designHER Momma May 1, 2010 at 8:09 PM  

I absolutely love this idea, I'll try to remember to call in next week. Indie art is what I'm all about. awesome.

Heather of the EO May 2, 2010 at 7:51 PM  

This is such a cool project. I actually made up a lullaby when Asher was colicky. But I cannot sing. Seriously. When I sing, I sound like a tone deaf ostrich.

Also, to answer your question...I don't think I'm going to be able to swing the Madison thing. I think my MIL will be visiting. phooey.

Thomasin May 6, 2010 at 1:15 PM  

I freakin' LOVE this idea. I'll have to blog about it. I've an apparently horrible memory and cannot recall "children's" songs for the life of me. So I make up my own. Have been doing so since Uli was born in Oct '08. Then, when she had surgery this spring and was being put under (and fighting it every bit of the way) the nurses and doctors started telling me, "Sing! Sing her favorite lullabye!" Talk about being on the spot. I realized that I make up every one of the songs I sing on the spot, they're are a few similar melodies or themes, but each time it's a different song with a different verse. Ack! So that day I sang a familiar-ish song to my baby, realizing the hospital staff likely thought I was crazy and a very bad lullabye-er, and that I should really start keeping a record of the things I sing to my daughter.

Love this idea. Love it, love it.

Post a Comment

tell me your stories. or just say hi. i like to know you're here. :)

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Clarity in the Chaos

I'm a realistic optimist who relies on raw honesty and plenty of humor to navigate the boystorm that is my life. I am mother to three and wife to one. These are my stories.

Finding clarity in the chaos since 2009.
All rights reserved.

  © Blogger template Webnolia by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP