Awaken the Dream
PERSONNEL: RICHARD BIENVENU - songwriter/singer/guitarist/pianist Originally from New Orleans he brings the sensibilities of the city's music and traditions to Misara's music. He released a critically acclaimed CD of all original solo piano music, Tone Poems. "Although I am technically more proficient on piano, my first instrument (I don't even know the notes on guitar) I took up guitar because the piano is not portable and I loved playing folk music. 'Also, singing and playing guitar you face the audience and am viscerally engaged with them. With piano you sit sideways to the audience, it's more internal. You just hope you can take the audience along with you. "I started to really learn guitar in Sevilla, Spain where I lived teaching English. Pianos were very scarce so I bought a cheap guitar and started playing bluegrass music with my British-Italian roommate Gianni. He was a good banjo player and I learned a lot of songs from him. We'd play on the streets and make $20 an hour. The Sevillanos were very generous and we got invited to play in pubs and nightclubs. I also learned some flamenco licks which I use a lot. "It was also in Sevilla that I really started writing music for voice and guitar. So here I was in Spain learning bluegrass music from a British-Italian, absorbed in contemporary Spanish music, classical and contemporary flamenco and listening almost daily on a little cassette recorder to one tape I had of Pete Fountain, (the great New Orleans clarinetist). What an education." MISA HOPKINS - singer/songwriter A native of Washington state, she is a singer of unusual talent and power with nearly 30 years of stage and theater work. She writes haunting, inspiring songs with universal themes-spiritual yet secular. She is also a professional sound healer with a unique ability to blend her healing sounds into her performances. Misa Hopkins is a professionally trained singer who first discovered she had a healing gift when her mother miraculously left her deathbed after Misa sang to her. Her tones and vibrations reach the cellular level of the body. These sounds operate on a core vibrational level to support health and well-being. Some of these healing sounds are woven into the Awaken the Dream CD. Her sound medicine CDs and individualized healing CDs are available by contacting her at firstname.lastname@example.org Awaken the Dream was recorded in Portland, Oregon. Since that time Richard has returned to New Orleans and Misa lives in the country with her husband in Colorado. MUSICAL STYLE: We call it Nouveau Folk Music -- which blends American roots sound with musical idioms of different cultures for an upbeat contemporary sound. Misara has garnered acclaim for their originality, liveliness, creativity and inspiration. ESP Entertainment describes them as having "depth, earthiness and purpose." Their themes have universal appeal, transcend culture and are uplifting and spiritual without being religious. AWAKEN THE DREAM- is a musical project between Richard and Misa. The CD contains 9 songs, 7 originals and 2 traditional. All songs have been arranged and produced by Misara. The album is all acoustic utilizing vocals, guitars and African percussion instruments. It includes Jewish folk song Lo Yisa Goy, Buddhist chant 'Om Mane Padme Hum' in Jewel of the Lotus Flower and an Irish blessing with music composed by Bienvenu/Hopkins. TESTIMONIALS "Heartfelt conviviality borne of diverse genres, excellent musicianship and warm fireside harmonies." -Richard Werth, Music Producer, Seatttle, WA "Very uplifting and energizing, superb vocals and the guitar playing reminiscent of Taj Mahal."--Kim Argula, Seattle WA "The music is beautiful and inspiring. Thank you for sharing your talent." -Barbara Hollcraft "Their songs really pulled at my heartstrings." -Jaunita Greenway "Misara's lyrics speak to the soul." -Randy Duboff "Their music really lifts my spirit." -Sandra Watt "Truly inspirational. I felt authentically nourished in body, mind and spirit. Thank you for blessing us with you gift of love." -Aura Wright "What a combination! Misa's heavenly voice, Richard's perfect harmonizing and world class guitar playing! The memory of Misára's music lingers sweetly in my heart." -Arlene Snow Thorner, Advance Promotions, Inc., Portland, Or "Misa's voice has been described as one that opens doorways...come be surprised by this woman's many facets." -Nancy Soukup, Author, Seeds of Change 'It was a great personal joy to experience these two masters of sound. With Misa's rich vocal clarity and Richard's mystical guitar, Misara is a cause for celebration.' -Kevin Hooey, President, Elm Seminars "I really liked their original songs." -Yari Brozynia, 19, Musician, Student "Misara's music is simple, uncluttered, and goes straight to your heart. I often find myself singing 'Jewel of a LotusFlower' without realizing I had been doing it! Now we can experience your music anywhere at anytime." -Julie Taylor, The HAT Group, New York City "You know of all the tracks yours is the only one that stays and sings in my head. The contrast of your acoustic track really works after living with the finished sampler for the last couple of days. Tell Misa !! I know you guys are hard at work in the studio and I can appreciate that very much.You will love this debut ESP Music Sampler a lot and I thank you for your inclusion in making history with me and ESP." -Jesse Cutler, ESP Entertainment "Misara's music smooths the rough edges of my life, helping me experience feelings I have ignored." -Cynthia Stubenrauch, Educator, Portland, OR "The talents and heart of Misára added rich dimensions to our afternoon of talent for the Human Rights Commissions fund raiser. The combined balm of their deep insights, poetry that flows from the heart and voices to soothe the soul, their songs could heal the world! -Patti B. Collins, Human Rights Commission Fundraiser Chair, Vancouver WA "We appreciate, love and support your musical contributions. "Steve Vaile & Friends Light Train Internet Radio' looks forward to including your new CD in our programming. We have many special plans upcoming to promote the station to the global community. Together we bring peace and harmony through music to a planet eager for transformation. We are musical heroes on the front lines of evolution. Thanks for being on the CD player in my car, performing at a concert, club or on a rooftop, or traveling across the Internet and airwaves. Thanks for being part of my life." -Steve Vaile, and the Steve Vaile Internaional Staff, Portland, OR.