Make Your Thanksgiving FLOW This Year
One of the perks of being 50+ is that I’ve become painfully seasoned in just about all aspects of daily living. And that’s putting it mildly. Some would say that I’ve not only been seasoned but shaked, baked, grilled and occasionally burnt too. They’d be right.
I’m not one to wallow in my own self-pity though. The fact is “no one gets out unscathed.” It is this understanding that helps me find the joy in just about every moment. And when I can’t, I turn to another woman who can sooth me back into it, Pianist Fiona Joy.
If you do not know the majesty that is Fiona Joy’s gifted fingers, you are missing out on a musical interpretation of ”seasoning” like no other. Fiona’s own personal hardships, challenges, and spirit are wrapped up in each and every note.The result? A serene experience that leaves you feeling as if life’s been a walk in the park after all, which also just happens to be the name of one of my favorite songs of hers as well as an appropriate way to describe the ease of learning more about her and her music through the reading of the interview below.
Share your personal mantra.
I have two: “If you are not living on the edge you are taking up too much space,” and “To the powers that be, you gave me this gifts. Please help me to share it with the audience the best I can.” I say this every time I go out on stage.
Share a bit about your life and family.
My husband and I have four children between us, one being Autistic. I suffered from Turrets Syndrome when I was young and then - much later in life - was diagnosed as Celiac. I began playing and writing music when I was eight years-old. Had it not been for my mother’s strong urging, however, I might never have seen the stage professionally. It was her push that jump started my musical career at thirty-eight. By forty, I was playing Carnegie Hall.
Is piano your calling or path to your calling, do you believe?
It saved me as a child and helped me cope with my Turrets, which I ultimately grew out during puberty. As my Celiac went undiagnosed, the negative effects compelled my school to lump me in with the special-ed children even though, when tested, I read at the highest reading level. When my grandmother moved in, she taught me that my music was not only my gift but my gift to give.
How has your music developed within your new group FLOW?
We all came into this group as solo artists so there’s been a learning curve in working together -- melding visions, strengths and sound. What’s resulted, however, is highly unique..
What amazes you about each of your group mates: Founder Will Ackerman, acoustic guitarist Lawrence Blatt, flugelhorn virtuoso Jeff Oster and producer Tom Aiden?
Will - Understands the moment of magic.
Lawrence - He has an incredible sense of timing and rhythm.
Jeff - Has a beautiful sense of melody.
And I am just a piano player really. I’m the Australian with the crazy sense of humor who brings more of a classical direction to the union. We are all really good friends.
Who is your audience and what do they know that you are hoping others outside of your sweet spot learn to compel them to give FLOW a try?
We are still learning who our audience is but it is much bigger than we expected already. A lot of people are looking for this type of music to settle the world down.
Describe your music.
Earthy, organic, and real.
Share a social cause or cause-based organization close to your heart.
I’ve worked with various charities throughout my entire career. That said, I would like to see more time and money spent on neurological disorders. There seems to be a big discrepancy here and more needs to be done.
When all is said and done, how would you like to be remembered?
She came; she played the piano; she left. I would like to have raised children who contribute to the world. And I'd like to know that listeners were still gaining something positive from my music 100 years down the road.
No, the benefits of seasoning ain’t just for turkeys on Thanksgiving. They extend all year through. Why not begin your holidays by adding a dash of Australian flavor to them so that you carry on flowing freely and full of joy -- Fiona Joy and FLOW that is. Seems like the mature way to manage the upcoming months, don’t you think?
Many thanks to Fiona Joy for making this interview possible