|Tunes & Travels|
by Jennifer Matthews
I experienced Switzerland as a musician on a road tour. I flew from Boston, Ma, into Zurich to meet my then manager. He booked a three week music tour of the country that bordered Italy, Germany, Austria and France. My home base was in Neuchatel. Some of the things that really stuck out to me in no particular border of course are the Alps, the numerous castles that look very storybook like, the old winding villages and vineyards all along the country roads. And how about them cows!! And their big bells. Switzerland is aplenty with the huge grazing grass eating creatures. The grass was so very green and the bells on those cows where no small deal. It seemed as though those bells were really works of art themselves. They all seemed to ring at different octaves and were really well crafted. Switzerland is a great place to go if you are a writer, especially if you specializes in writing fairytales or stories of enchantment as all of the castles and architecture is very enchanted and story book. I felt like I was experiencing the REAL Cinderella’s Castle, not a copy at Walt Disney World, but the real bonafide castle where Cinderella lost her glass slipper and the fine young prince returned it to her.
I found the Swiss culture to be highly sophisticated and thoughtful of their politics, healthcare, schooling, etc. They care for the poor, their homeless and elderly. It is a culture that takes the time to nourish each other through proper affordable (free) healthcare and a generous amount of time off from work etc.
The shows I played were really warmly received. The Swiss love American music!! The first time I sat in a café in Switzerland and excused myself to the ladies room, I really got a kick out of it. In many toilette rooms there they have a device that automatically lifts the toilet seat when you flush and cleans it with a device. I couldn’t believe it. It was a trip. It is quite an evolved place.
I have been a professional singer for over
twenty years and teaching voice lessons for over ten years. I received
my vocal training at the University of Colorado School of Music at Boulder
and Denver and at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University
in NJ. Singers who influenced me greatly in my early years were Linda
Rondstadt, Anne Wilson from Heart, Robert Plant, Ian Anderson from Jethro
Tull, Judy Garland & Aretha Franklin.