Christiane’s Tones

Christiane Leach is a self-described poet, singer, visual artist and instigator. She performs with Soma Mestizo. She also enjoys volunteering–sharing her entertainment expertise with an organization called Dress for Success (sponsors of an event called Women Rock). “The organization helps women get jobs and get back on their feet. I think it’s important to support people who are working hard to change.”

Earlier this winter, Christiane ‘called in’ a tone to this project’s Phone-in-a-Tone line. Her sound was so good (yet so distorted by the crappy cell phone connection) that I contacted her to see if we could record in person. She said yes.

Her first tone, Earthly Delights, is from a song she wrote during a meditative state. “It’s a funny, Luddite version of the future–a vision of entropy–the lyrics are: ‘No place, no space for the free mind to roam.’ Sometimes I wonder if entropy is the legacy of our progress.” This is the longer of her two a cappella tones–it runs approximately 28 seconds.

Her second tone’s entitled Hill Spirits Tone. Christiane said, “I performed this poem recently at Jazz Workshop, Inc. program at the Homewood Library. I wrote it for a group called Spirit on the Hill featuring percussionist Ken Foley. It commemorates all the jazz spirits that have passed through Pittsburgh’s Hill District. The poem is meant to call in those spirits, the feeling of black pride and brown-sugar happiness.”

And now I must confess to another Missed Oppor-tone-ity (the second in Locally Toned’s project history). I *thought* I recorded a Howling Duet Tone between Ms. Leach and her amazing singing dog Rocco. I musta just been ‘setting levels’ though, instead of actually recording. I sure was disappointed to find a track missing from my recorder when I got home. Sorry Christiane! Sorry Rocco! I will be happy to come out and try, try again! Lemme know, Christiane (and Rocco), and thanks very much for contributing to Locally Toned.

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