Kleinstuck Nature Preserve
Kleinstuck Nature Preserve – 2100 Stearns Ave.
42.2704397, -85.6015499 : Directions
Kleinstuck Nature Preserve is just a half-mile from my home, but I never went there until the early days of the pandemic during the lockdown in March and April 2020. Suddenly my family was taking walks together every day and the daily time in Kleinstuck became restorative and precious to me. It was where we would see other people and safely say hello. As things shifted with the pandemic in the summer of 2020, we got busier with work again, and we no longer went to Kleinstuck very often. I really miss those daily walks.
This is not a traditionally composed piece inspired by this location. While I recommend that everyone visit Kleinstuck, my intention here is to bring Kleinstuck to you, wherever there are. As I discovered, a walk in Kleinstuck has its own music. Nothing I could write would improve upon the rustle of the leaves and rocks underfoot, the friendly exchanges with passersby, the stillness, and the incredible birdsongs.
My goal was to share a piece of what my walks are like there. Wondrously drinking in the glory of nature, but only for a moment as my responsibilities as a mother are ever present during the pandemic. Despite the interactions with the kids keeping me from diving deeply into my own world, seeing the woods through their eyes is edifying in its own right.
Going into the woods reminds us of many things, some ancestral and deeply connecting. Walking helps us process and opens up our minds to different ideas. The hope is to hold on to the energy of the woods when we come back out into regular life.
Ashley Daneman is a singer who a combines “a literary sensibility with a driving experimental jazz style where the heart of the song can find itself anywhere and always in a personal intimate space” (Marlbank). Her new release, People Are Fragile (Flood Music), traverses the emotional waters of pain, recovery, and rebirth following a series of losses.
Daneman grew up in Toledo, Ohio, studying classical voice and performing in musicals before turning to jazz and songwriting in her twenties. She honed her craft in Washington, DC, New York City, and by touring in the U.S. Daneman was also a resident artist at The Kennedy Center’s Betty Carter’s JazzAhead and The Banff Centre’s Jazz and Creative Workshop in Alberta, Canada. She earned her master’s degree from Manhattan School of Music under the guidance of Peter Eldridge, Kate McGarry, and Theo Bleckman.
People Are Fragile follows her 2015 critically acclaimed album Beauty Indestructible. Selected by DownBeat Magazine as “Editor’s Pick,” her music draws comparisons to Becca Stevens, Laura Nyro, and even Stephen Sondheim.
Don’t miss the artist Q & A with Ashley held on May 26: