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For the week of May 7 - 13, 2003

Arts and Entertainment

New CD bestows
sonic massage


By DANA DUGAN
Express Staff Writer

Try to think of something Amy Clifford has not done in her 11 years in Ketchum. Oh sure, she never won a medal at the Olympics but this Minneapolis native teaches yoga, acts, models and sings. And, even though Clifford has never had a singing lesson, she is releasing her first CD on Friday, May 9, with a party and mini concert at Chapter One in Ketchum at 7 p.m.

"Humming Bird" is a set of seven movements, known under one title of "Blu Monophony." She sings alone in improvised vocal expression. Her singing has evolved into something otherworldly and, frankly, unexpected.

"My singing voice came to me like a gift," Clifford said in a recent interview. "I have been singing on my own for several years. It made me feel good."

She said the trees in the woods were her first audience. Now reaching out to a larger and more humanly animate audience, Clifford is finding her singing voice has a soothing affect on people.

First, she began singing after her yoga classes to her students while they relaxed and stretched. Then she recorded for an hour during four sessions with Robbie Woodís help at Mountain Beach recording studio in Ketchum. "Humming Bird" is the result.

She thinks of her voice as pure vocal expression and said itís an exploration of connecting voice to the heart.

"Itís not technical singing but the relationship is as committed as some musicians are to their instruments," she said.

Recently, she was the voice of Agnes in St. Thomas Playhouseís recent production of "Agnes of God." She also performed in concert before one of the shows.

"My voice is affected by the human heart and the natural environment," she explained.

"It has an ancient or universal quality combined with the earthy and ethereal."

Indeed, her songs seem repetitive, which makes it similar in intention to that of chanting.

"We respond to sound in resonation and vibrations. Itís a resonate quality like a sonic massage. The sounds wash over you."

Clifford said her singing sounds different each time she performs, depending on her environment. This makes hearing her always a unique experience. Fortunately, the community has always opened its arms to those who try and then share new things.

"I appreciate this community. Theyíve been so supportive through this process. And Iím still here. Itís the natural environment and the people. I think Iím a by-product of this magical place."

Clifford will be doing a Sun Valley Mountain Wellness concert prior to the Debbie Ford keynote speech on May 23, 7 p.m. in the Sun Valley indoor ice rink.

 

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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.