LINDA MARY MONTANO
Art is so generous. It allows itself to be used as medicine, as healing, as a language, as communication, as celebration, and as a teaching for self and others. In February 2018, the three of us performed “Piano Portraits” together at HiLo in Catskill NY. During that performance, I played the piano and sang for participating audience members while Nina and Jennifer co-performed via their own practices of movement/sound and gesture. Each of us had individual ways to artistically communicate to those coming to me for a portrait that I would play for them on the piano while using my voice to articulate a “healing” for the person participating in our group-medicine-encounter.
A few months later, after a meeting where we talked about the “Piano Portraits” and our evaluation of its efficacy, we all agreed to find another “way” to proceed and decided that we could use the art of whistling into/on/over the participants who would sit inside our “circle” and in designing the performance more intimately and collaboratively, we decided that this new concept would be much more successful for both us and the participants. And that was true. It was a perfect solution to our need for collaboration and inclusion, and use of our gifts and abilities to offer our “art medicine” to those who played with/participated with us. Our whistling was magnetic, soulful, and magical. And the participant was totally embraced in our circle of love.
We are artists first and do not assume the position or power of shamans; we do not claim we are healers; we know we admire birds and the cultures that do use whistling as their language so that they can communicate minus cell phones over long distances. We are artists and we learn from the birds and from those indigenous real peoples who communicate the way simply. We are artists and we love to share our art and hope to continue sharing “Whistle Portraits.”