Solo Artist, sort of. Working with the best the San Francisco Bay Area has to offer. Music from all over the emotional/spiritual map. Oh, and lots of genres. I love rich harmonies and deep production value.
Diving Deep/Music & Meditation
"Music has always been like a straw into the deepest part of me," says Valerie Janlois. "Even as a child, when I was singing, I was floating on waves of bliss. But when the music stopped I felt cut off...I just wanted to get that feeling back."
Following that bliss, Valerie left her home in Rochester right after her high school graduation and headed for New York City with $30 in her pocket. Living in a low-rent bedsit on the Lower East side, she cut a demo, hustled her songs, wrote every day in a tiny practice room in RCA and learned all she could about the music scene. She put a band together and toured New England, playing for food and gas money.
Then Valerie learned Transcendental Meditation (TM). "Everything changed," she says. "It was an a-ha! moment. Here was a way to find the bliss I felt when I was making music, to begin to live it all the time. That straw into my soul just dissolved into the ocean of life."
So Valerie dove in. She became teacher of TM and spent years teaching hundreds of people how to meditate around the country. But she never left music. She performed a children's opera with members of the New York Philharmonic and periodically recorded demos. Last November, Valerie walked into San Pablo Recorders in Berkeley and recorded "Sara/Miracles" in one take. Recording engineer Bond Bergland looked at her through the control room window and said, "Let's do a record."
Valerie wasn't sure. She had a CD's worth of songs and wanted to put them out. But she was committed to teaching TM, and she knew what kind of time and energy the recording project would take. "There was this cacophony of desires," she says. "But through transcending, I had gained access to that deepest part of me. Everyone has that place inside. And if you can sit and soak up all that silence and order, when you come out and act, you make the right decisions and do the right things."
That's how Valerie got the inner green light to move ahead with the CD. Once she did, a roster of incredible musicians joined the project.
"I've been learning from everybody I'm working with," says Valerie. "The process has certainly had its challenges. Yet it's been so effortless compared to the music I tried to make in the past. Having the music I've written fleshed out this way - made real - has brought me full circle. I'm dipping into the reservoir of inner bliss through music, but much more deeply. Performing live used to be like drawing pure water through a straw in the desert - now the straw is a wide channel. There is so much joy in life, even after the music stops. The connections I'm making with this band are so powerful. I can't wait to perform live with them. And with the CD, I'll have a new and tangible connection with my audience. The album closes the gap between me, them, and the music between us.