My art (music), has always been a study of what it is to be human, founded upon the belief that at our core, we are much more similar than we are different: Each of us is born, each of us will die. In between those two thresholds we experience the full spectrum of emotions ~ joy, sorrow, fear, surprise... wanting only to be known, accepted and loved. With my music I reach for my own deepest truth, knowing it can then resonate with the deep truths of others, and through this shared resonance we find connection, comfort, strength and healing.
In 2012 the birth of my first son rearranged my universe, changing even the laws of gravity, the theory of relativity. As a career artist it was a terrifying experience, wondering if I would lose my way as everything I thought I knew came undone.
Instead, a new path began to emerge, one I named "The Mama Musician" (#mamamusicianlife). For years I struggled to define this, and to find anyone else who might be able to help me understand this new landscape. I found precious few books and articles on the subject of being both an artist and a mother, but the ones I did find were lifeboats. Slowly I built community and wrote new rules for myself.
The end of 2017 brought the beginning of my next step into motherhood with the birth of my second son. Shortly before, I had come across Lenka Clayton's Artist Residency in Motherhood and instantly aligned with her framing. In the oxytocin-seeped, sleepless blur of my early post partum cocoon, the words resonated over and over in my mind, "Artist in Residence in Motherhood."
And so, for this year of 2018 I have accepted an Artist Residency in Motherhood. For me, it is a way to honor the experience of motherhood, while still honoring the artist self, the musician's path, the hard-earned career. It means finding poetry in the parenting, music in the mothering, art in all of it.
During this residency my primary focus is a permission to explore and nurture my art excused from requirements to impress, garner "likes" & shares, further a greater vision, or meet deadlines. It is an opportunity to breathe fresh life into my creativity by rooting into the honest reality of where I currently live - new, second-time, motherhood.
Additionally, I am continuing to design and implement a new website which more accurately reflects the work I have come to do in the world. I am also continuing part time music teaching, performing, and workshop leading. Learn more HERE
Join me on this journey by signing up for my monthly newsletters, each offering a special "song of the month" plus heart-centered philosophical musings of the moment. You can also journey with me through facebook and on instagram.
I look forward to connecting!
~ Amanda West, 2018,
The Santa Cruz Mountains, California