Fan Mail from June 5, 2005 - Click to download as MS Document
JazzArtSigns Ensemble - Click to download as MS Document
JazzArtSigns Fact Sheet - Click to download as MS Document
JazzArtSigns Bios - Click to download as MS Document
JazzArtSigns Press Release - Click to download as MS Document
Pictures - June 5, 2005, The Musicall, Portsmouth, NH
I felt priviledged to have been an audience member at Jazzartsigns - all my senses were stimulated as I felt a communal experience take place. As an artist and trained musician, I cherish those rare opportunities.
I attended JAZZARTSIGNSin the spring of 1999 at the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center. It was the most extraordinary experience I've ever had with Jazz. It left me feeling incredibly happy and with a sense of freedom that I don't often feel because I am deafblind. As a savvy Jazz patron (I can feel the low tones of tenor and alto sax, the bass of the vile, the drums' pulse and the piano melodies if I am sitting close to the stage) I've attended numerous Jazz performances over the years, and this one was incredibly thrilling. As I was sitting with my back to the stage where I could turn around and view the musicians as well as Lisa singing, I could feel the music vibrations through my chair and when I say "see" it means whatever fragments or bits of light I can tap into, and with the skills of my American Sign Language Interpreters, who would describe to me what the artist was drawing (the Interpreter was able to utilize the audio descriptive component as a medium); as well as interpret the music and the lyrics. The fullness of this experience was a first time ever, it captured every aspect of sound, sense, visionary collections, musical lyrics, movement, color, details, contrast and on and on.....it brought together every one of us with any kind of sensory deprivation, and the experience of all of us together was extraordinarily unique, something that never happened before, nor since in my life and I cannot wait to experience it again.
Now two years later, I can still recall the full impact of the sensory exposure, the feeling it gave me of being so included, so a part of the intricate depths of the artistic world. I was completely enthralled by the improvisational artist, how she moved with the music to create the colors and shapes was exhilarating for me. I just "flew to the sky" with enjoyment, and it gave me a rare moment of pure hope that I could fully experience once again, the joys of music and art in a way I cannot on my own anymore. I love music performances (once having been a dancer), and if I could, I would follow this performance wherever it went; because its powerfully positive strength pulled all the missing sensory pieces together and produced a masterpiece beyond anything anyone could possible imagine could be created.
I am honored to have been given this opportunity to express my support for JAZZARTSIGNS.
Janet K. Marcous, Educator
(Janet K. Marcous is on the faculty at Northeastern University in the American Sign Language Department)
Painting live to jazz and working in multimedia collaborations for 25 years, my first performance with Lisa Thorson and Co. under Very Special Arts, I experienced something rather unique. On stage and quietly ready to perform, my paints uncapped, the brushes in reach, waiting and taking in the ambience of this large room, tastefully decorative with very high ceilings, when suddenly the large parlor doors opened, and in walked a number of seeing eye dogs with their blind owners.
At that moment I knew it was going to be an evening where everyone in the whole room was to exchange special gifts. I was deeply moved by the whole experience performing with the multi-talented ensemble and this incredible audience;
I felt all evening strongly both physically and spiritually, the whole time I was performing.
At the end of the performance, a woman who was legally blind, seeing only blurred shapes about 2 inches in front of her and was also deaf, (she put her hands on the large speakers at the foot of the stage to feel the vibrations of the music), wanted to come on stage to see my painting up close.
She slowly, two inches away from the work went from one end to the other (9 feet across) looking .
When I speak about this performance and even writing about it, I still get goosebumps.
Gifts were exchanged all evening.
Into the Soul Through Many Roads
I had the pleasure of attending Lisa Thorson's premiere experimental
performance held at Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center in April of 1999. As a blind musician, I was not only captured by Ms. Thorson's freshness and spontaneity in performance, but also by the integrating possibilities
offered by the audio descriptions of the visual art that was simultaneously taking place. I was also aware of the presence of a sign language interpreter.
All these elements were skillfully combined to create a profound sense of spiritual connection among the participants.
Beyond our individual differences, there was art bringing us all together, and attesting once more to the fact that all boundaries can be overcome through the unmeasured power of the human spirit.
The impressions that this project left me have remained vivid until this day. I feel it constitutes a unique, eye-opening experience to our potential for creativity and communication; to our capacity to integrate our senses, mind, and heart, bringing us to a deeper awareness of our oneness with others, and joining us all in an embrace of love and human solidarity.
Patricia Elena Vlieg
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