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Artist Interview

Robin Lane

February 4, 2013

For over a decade Robin Lane has dedicated her talents as a singer/songwriter to helping women and children who have survived experiences with childhood and domestic violence, substance abuse, mental and physical health issues. She started her organization, Songbird Sings, with the hopes of empowering women in her community through therapeutic writing workshops and music retreats. Robin uses the creative processes of writing and performing to give women and children confidence and evoke a source of inspiration. Her work is surely an inspiration to us and we are happy to welcome her to ode for Arts Night Out this Friday night, February 8th for special live performances from 6-8pm.

Ode will be donating 5% of profits from the month of February to Songbird Sings as a part of our Fashion with Compassion program.

Robin Lane

How did you get started?
I grew up in a musical family. My father worked with Frank Sinatra and many of the greats of that era, playing piano and writing songs. He wrote Dean Martin's hit "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime" and was also his piano player for many years appearing on his TV show. Music was a part of my life. My first professional job was singing and playing guitar with Neil Young on "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" album. Later in the late 70 early 80's my band Robin Lane and the Chartbusters had the 11 video on MTV with our song "When Things Go Wrong" which is also the title of a new documentary film that is coming out about my crazy life.

What do you love about your job?
I love that I can help women and children who have experienced and suffered from childhood abuse and neglect and domestic violence learn to tap into their own healing capabilities through the power of songwriting. They write lyrics about something important that happened to them or just something that is about the hope they learn to have through the process of being together with others who have gone through some of the same experiences; the validating that comes from being in a circle of women each realizing that they are so NOT alone that their struggle is every woman's struggle. I see them transforming their lives on a day to day basis. With the youth it is a bit different but I see them gain self empowerment over their circumstances through the process of songwriting. Music is powerful and telling a story in a song is even more powerful for healing transformation.

Where do you find inspiration?
The clouds, the sky, the winter, the spring, the flowers, my friends, my cats and dogs, walking, hiking, gardening, working on my house, just about anywhere and everywhere. Not just beauty though...When I hear about the awful things that happen to people I want to shout it, illuminate it so that it doesn't fester hidden under rocks where it can't be seen. The only way anyone can heal is to tell their story. The people I work with are my inspiration. Huge inspiration.

Who is your role model?
The people I work with, Carl Jung, Julia Cameron, Gandhi, Pema Chodrin. The true Jesus. I have many role models. The ones who can get up every day and fight the good fight even though the odds are stacked against them. These are my heroes and role models.

What is your dream project?
For Songbird Sings to go nationwide, worldwide. To be able to take these songwriting/recording programs to anyone who needs help, anywhere there are people suffering from abuse, neglect, violence. Putting it all down on Cd's or on Internet so that the whole world can learn that there is indeed a way to heal and come together through music, song, art. I really believe that music can heal the world. Just need the opportunity to make it happen. One song at a time.

What are your plans for the future?
To find more people willing to volunteer their time to Songbird Sings, an intern or two would be great. Finding a grant writer who knows what they're doing to write the grants to bring in the funding. I do not charge people for Songbird Sings songwriting programs. And so in order to do them we need the funds. I also want to teach the teachers and other musicians who have a heart for this, some of the things I have learned so that they too can be part of Songbird Sings as we form a network all over the country. We just finished A Woman's Voice CD and it will be in some of the Whole Foods stores in New England. 100 % of the proceeds will go toward funding the programs. We're also going to start something up on Indiegogo, a platform to raise funding to bring the songwriting programs to Trafficked girls New England Wide, possibly country wide. This is very important. I was able to work with trafficked girls in Boston. Boston girls, not from Romania. You should hear the songs they wrote. Amazing. I'll be working with them again this spring through Roxbury Youth Works.

If I wasn’t doing this, I would be...
There is no way I would not be doing what I am doing. Having started my own non profit Songbird Sings and understanding the importance of these programs and how they affect the participants ability to tap into their own healing resources through songwriting, I am committed but I am also able to continue performing, House concerts, working with Red Sox organization Hot Stove Cool Music, run by Peter Gammons, the great sports writer, where we perform once a year at The Paradise in Boston, with other musicians, to raise money for organizations in Boston that help youth at risk. I'm doing what I want and need to be doing in this world. Thank you Universe.

What's your favorite line from a movie, song, or book?
"The trouble is that once you see it, you can't unsee it. And once you've seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. There's no innocence. Either way, you're accountable." — Arundhati Roy

If you were a piece of clothing, what would be and what color/pattern?
A not too heavy beautiful Edwardian style tapestry long jacket circa 1960's, like the guys in "Cream" used to wear, that you could wear over T-shirts and jeans which would dress you up no matter what.

You’re building a robot. What does it do?
It would cook yummy healthy food, take care of and cuddle with my cats when I'm gone, keep me organized in all the ways I need to be organized, pay my bills, write grants, make phone calls on my behalf and would be there as another good friend.

What's the first line in a book about your life?
"Her mother gave her nothing from her mouth, there were no worms for Chirpy"

What is your favorite word, and why?
Love. Because it's all you need.

What's your go-to "happy" song?
Anything that comes into my mind when I need it.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
All is well.

What super power would you like to have, and why?
Flying of course. Because it would be the most awesome thing ever in the history of my dream world.

Who would you want to play you in a movie about yourself?
Kate Winslet if I may so bold.

When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
I can't remember but it does happen quite a bit.

You can catch Robin Lane performing live this Friday, February 8th from 6-8pm here at ode.