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Inspiring – not necessarily inspiration specific to what you do in any given performance, but the fact that you create something, bring it into being, and then get up there in front of a group of people inspires others to try new things or perhaps take risks they might not have otherwise taken.
Educational – People learn stuff! At the original Raven Speaks, people learned about the mudras, hand signs and other bits about Indian dance. (And hopefully they learned a little about electronic music production! 🙂 )
Pleasing Aesthetics – The performances are fun to watch in part because the audience gets to look at pretty things that are out of the ordinary experience in everyday Colorado.
Jay Tollen – Soundtrack Producer, Raven Speaks I: Revelations to Peace
Raven Speaks is an uplifting showcase. I loved the way you encompassed Middle
Eastern themes and symbolism, while still making the show all your own. The atmosphere is comfortable and warm.
Raven Speaks is a wonderful evening of serene, spiritual meditation through song and dance and incredible food.
Definitely an experience that I have been very thankful to be a part of.
Fola Akinyemi-guest, photographer
I definitely enjoyed the performance it was very relaxin’ and soulful.
EpAdemyk Wydspread-hip hop artist
There was a story and a progression of feeling states that you evoked beautifully through the dance and your posture and mudras. I also remember you talking about the mudras and sharing where they came from and how they are used in healing parts of the body, which I loved learning about.
Jeff Magnani-supportive guest
I love your art/performances, I think mostly because I know it’s very personal and comes from the heart. There is an interesting quality to experience/watch a performance from a different culture other than your own. I appreciate the historical aspect and to learn about someone else’s culture/arts. Bringing more of that explanation into it will enhance the overall performance.
Karen Doebelin-business owner, Pots Tea
I am the producer of the soundtrack for Raven Speaks performance piece Scars Heal Us. So where did the music come from and how did the collaboration come about with Neena Massey ? Well, tricky one. I have been on several music groups on Facebook for a while now and my meeting with Neena was completely by chance. Some things are pre-destined and I believe this was one of those moments. I had been a bit musically stagnant for a while and although I do write my own music I perform better when I have a project to get my teeth into. I enjoy working with other people and doing the proper producer thing so when Neena came along and was looking for someone to work on a soundtrack for her performance piece I felt drawn to give it a go. I posted links to some of my tracks and she agreed to give me a go. So that’s how it began. Not very exciting is it but that’s how most things start. From small beginnings. The music was a different matter though. Although I have written and produced music for theatre shows, produced remixes for major record labels, produced my own music and other things along my way in my long time musical journey I have never written songs with an Indian theme so I felt a bit out of my depth. There was a point where I had decided not to go ahead with the project. Then I felt a strong compulsion to begin work. Whether an angel was pushing me or I had to deliver a musical message I don’t know but I began to write. And it came really easy. Now because I found it easy indicated that the music wasn’t coming from me but I was just a vessel with the skills necessary to make the messages a reality. When I was writing I was mostly in a state of no mind and one thing slotted together with another thing and so on till the tracks were finished. At the time I was working every hour in my day job and I only literally had a few hours to work on the music so all thanks to the maker for making the job easier. I did have to do some research on Indian style music but I do have a bit of experience as I was born in an area of the country where there is quite a large Indian community. I listened to fresh Bhangra style and drew lots of parallels to UK Trip Hop and break beat music. I love the energy and the stage shows are fantastic to watch. So, I attempted to fuse hip-hop beats with Indian instruments. Some of the tracks on the Scars soundtrack are more UK Trip Hop style but Neena liked them so all good. I do like to write break beat music at times but really my preferred style is more dance oriented – I might have to reconsider that! Just a short intro into me. The Scars theme is very poignant and my personal experience goes a long way to explaining why I developed a special connection with Neena.
Gary Lickorish, Soundtrack Producer, Raven Speaks III: Scars Heal Us
“Raven Speaks is very mesmerizing. Her messages come from her heart. Always different, never too long. Fusion of dance with her very soothing voice with spoken word & melody. You will enjoy experiencing her message.” Carol Mier, Fashion Designer
Neena performed the Raven Speaks performance for the Cafecito Amigo program at the Philip S. Miller Branch Library of Douglas County Libraries in Castle Rock. Her performance was intellectually and spiritually stimulating. The vocals and beats combined with the mudras and South Indian dance revealed to all in the audience that regardless of language, if we are willing to listen with our whole being, we can feel the meaning of story across cultural and linguistic boundaries. Neena was encouraging and guided the audience to answer our own questions in meaningful and personal ways while providing cultural context around the performance. All who attended the performance expressed that they felt inspired to connect and reconnect with the art that is within each of us. I would recommend Neena to anyone or any organization who is looking for a unique, meaningful, and inspiring workshop or performance!
Tiffany Curtin, Adult Literacy Specialist, Douglas County Libraries
I am honored and touched by the experience I had at Raven Speaks. The story, poetry, singing, dancing, acting, live Cello and healing that took place is still settling in my heart on so many levels. This was not only an intimate setting but a game changer! Raven Speaks offers, truth, peace, healing and so much more. Thank you again for sharing your gift with me! I look forward to more time growing in and from this experience. Please share my thanks with Jason for his delivery and powerful journey as well. Wow