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Breathing Wind

Feb 6, 2024

“I believe that community singing, which I define as, when a group of folks come together and they sing songs together that are easy enough lyrically and easy enough melodically to be taught in the moment. And then we sing these songs, which I personally call spells or prayers together that are amplified and help put us in some sort of altered state through the process of singing these songs, it's a technology for  belonging. It's a technology for metabolizing grief.”

~ Alexandra Blakely (AKA ahlay)

From the moment she dropped into our opening invitation to a deep breath, with an admitted mix of tension in her body and openness in her heart,  artist, singer-songwriter, communal grief tender and community organizer Alexandra "Ahlay" Blakely took us on an unforgettable journey. In this profound and inspiring conversation, we touch on the nuances and complexities of navigating this tumultuous time in the world and how songs can help us move our grief through our bodies in a way the mind can’t and doesn’t have to understand. In reframing communal singing as our inherent birthright, she speaks to the shame many of us have around our singing voices, shares the sense of belonging found in song circles and how songs can be spells casting an impact far beyond immediate time and place. In sharing her journey from backup pop singer to activist to ritual and community song circle facilitator, Ahlay proves a compelling storyteller — you won’t want to miss the dream she shares about whales, among so many other moments in this episode, including when she and Naila discover their profound affinity for whales has more in common than they could have imagined. 

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