Featuring Ann Hillesland

Ann Hillesland

“Singing is like meditation—you breathe in and out, you have to be in the here and now.  And yet performing is something more.  I think of it as projecting my energy outward to the audience.  Here is my love of this music, the emotion it brings out in me.  Please share in it too.

Writing is like both of these aspects.  When you are in the zone, writing is like singing, the eternal present.  But it is also projection to the audience.  In fiction, I’m hoping that people will understand and care about the characters as much as I do.  In nonfiction, I’m putting myself and my emotions out there and hoping that people understand me and that they won’t be bored.

Because this piece, “Wunnerful, Wunnerful, Fabulous,” combines these two interests, singing and writing, it possesses a kind of duality—doubly in the moment, doubly projecting outward—that’s strange for me, like out-of-alignment binoculars.

If you’ve already read the essay, you may have formed an idea of what the singing group, the JewelTones, is like.  Now you too can experience a duality—your vision of the JewelTones can come up against the real thing.  The following short video was produced by a local public access video group about the JewelTones.  The videographers filmed us mostly at typical gig: a 90th birthday party in a carport on a hot day.  We are costumed for the 40s (not in our fabulous long red dresses as in the essay) and singing songs from the 40s and 50s.  Here are the real JewelTones, sweating on a makeshift stage.  Here is our love of this music.  I hope you enjoy it.”

–Ann Hillesland