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Spring has arrived!!! Women Songwriters Night Recap

March 23, 2015

Jaspar Lepak (Left) and Avery Hill (Right) take turns playing.

Spring sprang this past weekend at In Other Words, gently and serenely, as we welcomed a very special event into the space entitled “Women Songwriters Night” and hosted by Avery Hill.  Hill is a singer/songwriter herself, who has a new collection coming out entitled “Dreams and Ghosts,” which you can preorder now. She puts this event together approximately three times a year at different socially-minded organizations throughout the Portland area.  Avery feels deeply that “The arts have the power to bring people together around important causes” and enjoys organizing events with that intent in mind.

Avery is a magical storyteller whose music paints elegant vignettes of peace, home, and gratitude for beauty.  She weaves remarkable tales that reach into the depths of her family history and her own imagination. Additionally, in honor of the recent equinox, she sang a lovely celebration of springtime.  I could feel the buds of spring breaking the soil anew, the blossoms, the birds, and the brand new air.  Nothing summons springtime and rebirth like the romantic, soothing voice and gentle folk guitar music of a powerful female.

Avery was followed by Jaspar Lepak, who brought an alternate set of equally astounding cards to the table Saturday night.  Jaspar is the voice of vulnerability and strength.  Where Avery soothed, Jaspar unsettled.  She speaks wonderfully of love and beauty, but it was her powerful expressions of pain and longing that were particularly impactful, especially in contrast to Avery’s heroic positivity and nostalgic storytelling.  Jaspar treads the shadowy and cold grounds of suffering and unfulfilled desire in quite a few of her songs.  But as she poignantly expresses in her anthem to women entitled “I Know a Woman” this is part of woman’s gift to the world, to feel so strongly and honestly; and in her vulnerability she contributes her vibrance and energy to this earth.

Avery and Jaspar each create their own unique type of powerful feminine music which, performed live at our feminist center, moved me to tears multiple times Saturday night. As the event staff for the evening, I felt a distinct duty not to hide those tears, as they united me in solidarity with these women and their brave and vulnerable expressions of self.  You can stream Jaspar’s feminist anthem on her website. You can also listen to her “Song for Spring” to fill your heart with the new season.

Thank you to these fabulous artists for visiting us. We hope to have you back for “Women Songwriters Night” very soon! And happy spring everyone!

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