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Jane Ralston Pahr

As a child I did what many children do, took pleasure in the expression of natural creative spirit with a gleeful "Look at me!" I danced to music before I talked and my mother put me into a dance class when I was three years old. My first time on stage while Fred Astaire sang , “In your Easter bonnet...”, I stole the show . My mother had forgotten to take the tape off my hat box. So oblivious to everything around me, I sat down on the stage and tenatiously got that bonnet out, plopped it on my head, finished the show, and basked in the triumphant applause.
Of course I had to grow up and go to school where I acted, sang and danced in whatever venue was available .

When I was in high school we moved to Los Angeles and I began to consider acting as a profession. Two years in a community college left me thinking maybe I'm too fragile for this . I went on to UCLA where I got a B.A. in Psychology, still on that search to find out get what was inside out but continued with performing. In my senior year I became part of the U.C.L.A Musical Theatre Workshop playing Jenny in Three Penny Opera. After graduating Cum Laude I entered a Graduate Program in Dance with a minor in Theater and got an MA from UCLA in a cross departmental thesis between the Dance and Theater Departments, Choreographing and acting in The Devils.  Upon graduation I did a bit of exploring and finally entered the world of professional acting.  There was lots of joy in experimental theater breaking new boundaries and and some success but when I went into the world of professional acting , "Look at me," became a plea rather than an expression of glee. I had some success, supporting myself as an actress for a few years but little by little it became clear that I was always reaching for something that in the end was not for me. I continued my love of performing and creating co-teaching and sometimes performing Improvisation , based on Spolin Theater Games, with the well known Avery Schreiber.
Still determined to get what's inside out, to find the beauty, the fun or the hidden depths where there is nothing to find but the sweet sound of a soul singing , I began writing songs while living in New York City. I created and performed a one woman show, Cocktails and Dreams, all original songs... most of which have either been forgotten or mined for material for new songs.

In college I had also begun practicing Hatha Yoga that along with  a Spiritual program became the center of my life . I easily transitioned to teaching Yoga and finding my center, I lost interest in pursuing something that seemed to for the most part be an illusive illusion, “I'll be happy if or when”, to Being Now. Acting needed an audience but I could sing with just my piano and me. I'd bought an old upright while at U.C.L.A. which I carted one dwelling to another and continued to play. It was there when I needed it.

Music makes connections. I found Immanuel Community Gospel Choir , Rev. Alexander Hamilton, in Los Angeles. Singing for the holy spirit didn't require a particular belief , at least in this group, and the singer/performer reawakened but this time to sing for the joy of spirit . And for the pure joy of being alive. No longer , "Look at me," but listen to the music of the soul being whole and free. Also as a yoga teacher, mantra and meditation awakened new depths , after all in the beginning was "Om". A yoga student and extraordinary singing teacher , Evelyn Halus asked me if I'd like to exchange services. I began to explore what it really means to find your own voice and to sing for the pure joy of singing, finding the music in me.

Twelve years ago my husband, Ed and I got an offer to return to his city of birth, Trieste, Italy. Learning a new language in itself opens new horizons and Trieste is a city of contrasts , the border of what was once Eastern Europe with grottos hidden below through which rivers flow to the glorious Bay of Trieste, the Adriatic sea. One author called it Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere which in the Budhist sense is Every 'where.' Winters are harsh but each spring flowers bloom anew and I've learned to appreciate the depths of darkness, a time for things to grow. I also started painting, creating a couple of little story books, Simple Story, from which the title song of this Cd was born and Contrary Garden. When we first arrived here I began studying first with Rita Sussorsky and then Silvana Alessio Martinelli learning the language with new technique; both of them encouraged me to sing the music I love . I have done concerts with the songs from the American Songbook and Musical Theater , teaching as well. I began to write my own words and music and little by little have become more interested in finding my own voice than performing, though I will when asked.

I've had so many helping hands. Carlo Urizio both with his musical expertise and his recording studio has given me a way to record my songs. His arrangements have opened up new horizons and I am happy to share them in this album . Riccardo Morpurgo cowrote the music and played on a couple of songs . And I've many listening ears attached to open hearts... Ed Pahr, Susan Lehman, Joie Magidow, Becky Blakey, Katia Zamarian and so many others who encouraged me to sing my song. I hope you find a Simple Song that touches your heart , inspires you to find your voice and sing your song whatever form your heart expresses.  We all have something magical in us, whatever form...CREATE! The world needs what you have to share.

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