Art is a way of life for many Nashville residents and Nashville’s Arts & Business Council (ABC) has a program to help artists succeed as entrepreneurs.
According to the ABC, Periscope: Artist Entrepreneur Training “sparks the moment when artists’ careers really start to take off.” Periscope offers six weeks of intensive professional development training, year-round alumni activities at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, and the Periscope Pitch Event every fall. Karen Renee Robb, a member of the 2016 Periscope class, recently spoke with Sports & Entertainment Nashville.
S&E: You worked in the corporate world prior to your current career. Why did you make the shift to this new path?
KRR: After 25 years in the high-tech, digital music and instrument industry — working for Apple Computer, Digidesign (creators of Pro Tools), Gibson Guitar and Griffin Technology, I left to advocate for the power of sound and music for healing and well-being.
In 2012, I was researching music therapy for Griffin and had a number of profound experiences during that time. It became very clear to me that live music and sound vibration was vital . . . that in the digital age, we have lost our connection to the power of sound and vibration in our lives. I started the Music City Alliance for Sound and Music Healing, and in 2013, I was introduced to the frame drum. After watching a TEDx Talk by Eliana Gilad, I picked up my first frame drum at Fork’s Drum Closet in Nashville and started singing into it.
Within a few weeks I intuitively started drumming over and around people and the effect was mind-blowing. I found that I could make people as relaxed as a full body massage in a very short period of time, without physically touching them. I found the frame drum is a convenient, portable, powerful tool; Frame Drum Wisdom was born.
Tell us more about the experience of Frame Drum Wisdom.
There is a mystical thing that happens between the drum and the holder of the drum. It is difficult to explain, but so many of my clients and students understand. For me personally, I now explore many more facets of my voice and rhythm than I ever did before. My voice is more powerful and I feel like I am a lot stronger and sure of myself since I came in contact with the drum.
The frame drum is traditionally used for hand drumming. What I do with is not what it is normally used for. There is a history to the frame drum that is very intriguing. Originally used by women in previous civilizations, they were taken away from us because women were considered too powerful with them. I am on a mission to get the drums back into our lives: I serve as a public speaker; facilitate workshops (I call them “play-shops” because they are a lot of fun); hold Frame Drum Sound Circles (group experiences that do beyond a traditional drum circle, using voice and other percussive sound instruments); provide private vocal empowerment and sound vibration massage sessions; and perform with my frame drum as often as I can.
In what ways did your experience with Periscope benefit you?
While I have 25 years of product development, marketing and project management skills in my previous career, I felt that having this experience would help me in applying that wisdom to my very soul-driven, passionate, artistic life expression. I had mixed feelings during the course of the Periscope program.
It was challenging for me to be back in what felt like a corporate setting at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center having been free to explore and create on my own terms for almost four years. I enjoyed meeting, sharing life experiences with and learning from the other artists. I did clarify specific needs for growing my business going forward . . . and thoroughly enjoyed working with my mentor [film score composer] Stacy Widelitz.
What are some upcoming events for Frame Drum Wisdom?
I am excited to be bringing my private practice and small group facilitation to a new space in Cool Springs in partnership with Peach & Crane Acupuncture & Apothecary starting in February. I have a new day retreat experience, “The Art of Allowing~Through Sound & Color,” and I hold monthly Frame Drum Sound Circles at Art & Soul Studio that are open to the public (January 31 and February 21 from 7:00p.m.-8:30p.m. are next); I also will be holding sound circles weekly on Monday evenings from 7:00p.m.-8:30p.m. at Peach & Crane starting in February.