Lusana Sings Angel Eyes
By Lusana Giamella Erekson
My joy, love and adoration for black soul music and Jazz led me to want to sing it~ so I started with singing Jazz standards.
This was the result of a Latihan experience one evening, hearing a voice not my own, of such quality and depth that I had desired to have as a singer. This singing I heard made me want to see where it was coming from, from what sister in our latihan. Momentarily opening my eyes and looking to the left of me, no one singing at my right, or behind me. It took a while to believe it could be coming from me. Oh, gifts of the Latihan Kedjiwaan.
Still, there was always this tiny lament that I could not be a full on Soul singer in this life as I desired.
I decided one morning in my mid-forties to try to hand off that tiny sadness to God, in hopes that it would be taken from me. I stopped in the middle of my living room and unceremoniously spoke out loud, conversationally, to God, asking if we could just make a deal. The deal was, that if we get to come back in another life, could I please be born a Soul singer. And indeed, with my surrender of this life’s heart wish, I actually immediately felt lighter and glad.
Three weeks later, we wanted to hear some live music and remembered the Robert Cray band was coming to town, and so grabbed the ‘Reader’ and looked for the ad I remembered seeing. All of a sudden I heard a voice say to me, “Turn to the musician section, and look under ‘Vocalists’ and Do it Now!” It was a command.
There were 5 ads. The 5th and Last ad read exactly this way: “Soul Singer sought to complete Vocal Group”. I gasped. I did not want to call that number, but I did. It was answered on the 3rd ring by a man. I didn’t know what to say, so I said, “Um, I can’t tell u why I’m calling this number, because I am not a soul singer.”
He asked, “well, what kind of singer are you?”
“Jazz,” I said.
He said, “well….you must be looking at an old Reader, cuz we took that ad out 3 weeks ago.”
I saw this as my chance to hang up. I quickly answered understandingly, “Oh okay, thank you,” ready to hang up. He didn’t say anything. I said, “Hello?”
Great, I thought. Just what I want to be. I was quiet.
He paused again and asked, “So what is it you like the most about singing?”
My answer flew out, “Harmony!”.
He said, “Well, that’s what we can’t find in somebody. Look here, are you available on June 29th?”
“For what?” I asked
He said, “We do the Del Mar Venue every year and I want that 4th voice. We’re 3 voices doing Earth Wind & Fire, but I want 4, so are you available or not?”
Kinda forcefully I said, “I guess so.”
“Look here,” he shot, “send us an up-tempo and a ballad on CD and if we like your sound, we’ll send you tracks. Be ready to perform them at rehearsal”.
He replied “Inner Vision”.
Done! I joined the Soul band and we did the Earth, Wind & Fire catalog. Then we moved to Las Vegas to sing for 10 years immersed in Motown Soul, to my heart’s delight!
God did not wait for any other next lifetime. Although they say, ‘Wait on God’, it’s good to know God takes requests. And this is a very special proof of gifts from the Latihan.