(Global Heart | Esther Haasnoot) Kara Johnstad releases her glorious new album: “Moon in Capricorn.”
May you have the courage to persevere and stay true to your inner voice and clearest vision of how we may create a healthy and vibrant world. Stay Gold!
– Kara Johnstad
A powerful voice in the time and age of transition
“A successful singer-songwriter and passionate lecturer, Kara Johnstad is no stranger to transforming hearts through her words and music. She is an advocate for change in ways that heighten the human spirit.
Kara Johnstad performs, speaks, and teaches what she believes are the core elements of a successful and highly creative life: integrity, honesty, awareness, passion, and kindness. Thousands have been changed by her music, concerts and by applying her breakthrough voice and performance techniques.
Her mission is to help our world understand the role our voice plays in fine-tuning our body-mind-spirit system for embodied Consciousness and pure presence.
She is driven by the vision that our planet can be healed and changed for the better. Each year Kara Johnstad transforms thousands of lives via concerts, lectures, coaching programs, weekly live streams, and radio shows. And now Kara’s glorious new album “Moon In Capricorn” is released!”
An interview with singer-songwriter Kara Johnstad about her new album “Moon in Capricorn”
Esther Haasnoot: People with the astrological sign, Moon in Capricorn, are usually serious and responsible by nature. They try to make the most of the resources available to them, can lead the way, and willingly create for the better. While the moon shapes the Voice and the melodies that ache to be released, is Capricorn implying the need for action. I’m curious, what was the intention behind “Moon in Capricorn”? How were you inspired to create this album?
Kara Johnstad: The name “Moon in Capricorn” arrived on a crisp autumn day. It arose long before we began recording. Astrologically, my sun is in Cancer. I am highly creative, sensitive, full of yearning, and profoundly connected to water’s emotional element. I flow deep and fly high when I am writing or singing. I am a bottomless sea. So, I am fortunate that my Moon sign abides in Capricorn. It grounds me. My moon sign balances my bhakti soul of devotion, intense passion, and zaniness. The Capricorn moon is my protector. It gives me the stubbornness needed not to succumb to whims and strong currents. It provides me with the necessary persistence to carry big projects through to the finish.
Music and Sound Consciousness is my practice, my Sādhanā. My moon sign supports me to go slow and steady. She reminds me to have an oak’s patience, the fortitude of a mountain, and Spring’s perseverance. She counters my highly imaginative and emotional sun sign. The moon is my companion.
Esther Haasnoot: How were you inspired to create this album?
Kara Johnstad: I was inspired to create the Moon in Capricorn album after meeting the Italian arranger, orchestrator, and composer, Fabrizio Pigliucci. He offered to arrange a few of my original piano/ vocal pieces. Upon invitation, I flew into Rome and visited his studio in Ostia, by the sea. He played me the first song he had worked on and the song that opens the album, Desert Prince. He smiled, “I simply want to know if I am on the right track” Within a split second of listening to his orchestration, my heart cracked wide open. Tears flooded down my cheeks.
I knew that we were onto something. Fabrizio smiled and said. “Ok, we continue.” An exquisite adventure began.
Both seekers of truth, we devoted ourselves to creating an album free from any conventional music industry constraints. We called the album “moon,” while working. And as our “moon,” waxed and waned, she revealed to us her secret. People marvel at the grandeur of a full moon, yet few remember her when she disappears. Still there she is, veiled by the all-encompassing darkness and not in plain sight. Yet, she calls us. The moon never forsakes us.
As you listen to the “Moon in Capricorn” songs, allow the music to illuminate your hidden treasures. Invite the songs to cast their shadows where needed. Let them offer you a refuge from any harshness and console you. Songs such as “Wild Garden,” “You Got Mail,” and “Searching for an Angel,” invites you to experience luscious fullness. Enticed by her majestic glory, may you let love gather around you and console you. Other songs like “Desert Prince,” “Yearning,” and “Silence is the Journey” are like slivers of radiant light hanging in mid-air, just like a crescent moon emanating a gentle golden hue, they remind us that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Here we rest. Content in a world of “elsewhere.” At peace.
Many people told us that we are lunatics to believe in such an epic album with no support of a label or big money. They thought it to be impossible. Yet, we are dreamers. We worked just like the moon. Every day we arrived, listened, and entered the next phase. It was not always easy. We struggled with budgets and timelines. We climbed the mountain, “slow and steady.” We stopped to rest, and we nudged each other along. Great faith was needed. Yet, we never lost sight of her fullness, her majestic grandeur. The moon guided us, day in and day out, for over a decade.
Yet, we could not have done it without the many talented musicians that grace this album. Each and everyone played so masterfully. I especially wish to thank Fabio Ferri, Director of Engineering at MediaPro Recording Studio in Bucharest and Millenium Studio in Rome, and producer Fabrizio Pigliucci, who amid the pandemic, as Italy went into a massive lockdown, took the time needed to complete the final mastering. For this, I am eternally grateful. We have arrived at the summit. May the moon continue to grace us with her light.
Esther Haasnoot: I’ve been listening to your beautiful and soulful music. All the songs have powerful stories and possess a strong sense of purpose, like, for example, “The Awakening” or “Message of Hope.” Are songs with a powerful message or with a transformational intention essential for you?
Kara Johnstad: Yes, I believe in the transformational power behind a good story and the healing impact a song can have on our lives. Music is a universal language. One tone properly placed, encourages a melody to fly or become entangled to create harmonic landscapes. Words uttered release buried memories, rouse unlived passion, salve our wounds and invite us to honor our soul-talk. Our Voice knows the geography of our soul. Poets are the way-showers.
Esther Haasnoot: The songs on your new album are all very different; some jazz, some pop, some with a grand orchestra. How would you describe your music?
Kara Johnstad: This is a tricky question, and I have no simple answer. I like to wear shoes, not boxes. And to make it more endearing, I love running barefoot along the banks of the river. I am a free spirit. I enjoy jazz, folk, classical, and world music. Everything and anything acoustic, ranging from spoken word poetry to folk, a jazz trio to full symphonic orchestra works well for me. Some people have described the new “Moon in Capricorn” album as Orchestral Pop in the tradition of Barbra Streisand or Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now.” Others have written that the new album is the soundtrack to their lives. I am personally loyal to my muse and the music while creating. I am delighted to work together closely with Fabrizio Pigliucci, orchestrator, and co-producer of this majestic work, who, like me, dedicates his life to asking the MUSIC what it requires from us and how we may best serve her.
Esther Haasnoot: What is your songwriting process like? Are there things that help you along the way in crafting what you’re trying to express?
Kara Johnstad: My songwriting process is straightforward. I am a seeker and meditator. Sound Consciousness is my playground. Every day I wake at dawn. Every day I light candles and connect to gratitude. Each moment leans into deep listening. Music is everywhere. I simply need to TUNE IN and channel. Some songs arrive on tip-toe, others like a jigsaw puzzle in a thousand pieces, and others enter as finished. I like to play with melodies, colors, and rhythm. Some people cook, I compose. Melodic themes are always streaming through me. Stories beg me to be tossed, spiced, flipped, and played with rhythmically. They stir inside me until I can figure out which dish to make or which song to sing. So the trick for me is simply to listen in and capture them.
Some days, I sit down at the piano and put the melodies that call me into a song form: the structure is practical for concerts and albums. Other days, you will see me walking with my phone to my lips, recording snippets of ideas, threads that I collect and use for future poems. Sometimes, I will hang out in cafes with fresh food and a strong coffee and scribble ink on a napkin or write on my forearm a line or two. Yet, mostly, I simply sing for the birds, the forest, and the moment.
My writing process is ongoing, like breathing. Spirit enters me, and music appears 24/7. As St. Francis said, “Lord, make me an instrument.” If I am lucky, I find time to write songs down, other days, I make soup and focus on my other gifts. One gift is healing voices and mending broken hearts. I empower my clients to tap into their innate wisdom and commence on the voice pilgrimage. As a Conscious Creative, I wear many hats. Music is the river I wade in.
Esther Haasnoot: Earlier, you wrote the song “Spirit walk” – A peace chant for revolutionary times, a cry from the new world we can create together. What does peace mean to you, and how do you commit yourself to it?
Kara Johnstad: For me, we are all masterpieces or masters of peace. Each of us carries within an essence essential for our world to know peace—deep inside our bones, flowing through our veins, love throbs. It calls to us.
“We are creators, not haters
And in these fractured times of division
We dare to take the vital decision
To pit grace against greed
Give the earth back what she needs
Usher in a new world of peace
As we unite in our plight.”
We come to the earth with a full voice. Just like the moon carries fullness, we too arrive radiant. Complete. Whole. We are goodness. It is not a belief. It is a state of being. Love is our essence. We seek connection. We chase smiles. Like the moon, we allow our bodies to rest. We take naps. We eat when we are hungry. Our family and community are attentive to our needs. And then we must ask ourselves, what happened???
It is a painful question, yet necessary for us to face the ache of separation and disillusionment. As soon as we can express with our Voice, we are doomed. Parents and teachers ask us to speak up and communicate clearly, and yet more often or not, we are told that what we feel is inadequate and wrong.
Voices of adults we are dependent on, take over the role of telling us what we should think, feel, and do. And we learn very quickly that if we wish to have peace, we should not only listen but do as they say. Our wholeness starts to fracture. The voices of “others” begin to override our inner truth.
At a very tender age, we are shown pictures displaying that success comes from conquering and dividing. Our history books are filled with Kings and tyrants in leadership roles. The collective economy is driven by consumerism and being “credit” worthy. Many of our parents needed to work long hours to provide for us. A considerable percentage of our society is living on the mere survival level with little to no hope.
We carry sorrow tucked away. Kids master tucking away grief and not being paid attention to the fastest. They cover up the pain and try to maneuver their way through the system. It makes no sense whatsoever. Why are people being killed by guns on the street? Why do we not put our energy into saving the planet when the polar caps are melting?
As a collective, we are conditioned to consume, compete, and disconnect from our bodies, the land, and one another. We have been split and shattered into a trillion pieces. And as Joni Mitchell said so well, “we’ve got to get back to the garden.”
If we want to usher in a new world of peace, we need to unbury the sorrows. We need to cradle our bruised hearts, and instead of mere survival, we need to slow down and nurture that which nourishes our spirit. The normal that we were led to believe was good is not healthy. It was an illusion. We are trying to uphold a system that is not working. And our collective Voice is finally rising.
My song, “Spirit Walk,” says enough is enough. We are born without hate. As we walk our talk and sing out our fate, we plug into the promise that can no longer wait. We master peace collectively by honoring and joining all the fragmented pieces together. Peace is about returning to a place of remembering. The place of innocence, or as I like to say, inner-sense. A place we call home.
“For we are born without hate
Plugged into a promise
That can no longer wait
And our bones are talking loud
Our blood is singing out our fate’
And the dove flies high above
As we gather at the gate”
We are missing the visionary sciences and true creative expression in our school systems, workplaces, and media. I am confident that things are changing for the better. Quantum physics and the newest research confirms what meditators have known to be true for centuries. As we collectively shift the “I to We,” we will also change illness to wellness. This is what is being asked of us. “Do not let the ways of this world trip up your spirit walk.” Stay focused. We are conditioned by fear, not born of it. We are walking miracles.
Every day I commit myself to peace. Through mentoring voices that are changing this world. Empowering conscious creatives to lead, attending to my healing and the healing of my ancestral lines, along with interviewing visionaries, poets, luminaries, authors, and independent artists for my Voice Rising Radio Show and producing and releasing music, guided meditations, and educational material that empowers all of us to return to a life in harmony, I am co-creating a reality I believe possible. “On earth, as it is in heaven.” And so it is.
Esther Haasnoot: A dream seems so ethereal and yet a dream, if it’s remembered and manifested, can create infinite opportunities. For a world where dreams seem to slip away, what is your message of hope?
Kara Johnstad: Emily Dickinson said that “Hope is the thing with feathers.” Each morning, I wake to the bird’s joyful chirping and understand these tiny winged beings’ trust. They sing in utter darkness and usher in the dawn. They sing in the dead of winter. When I am wrapped snugly in a woolen coat chilled to the bone on a crisp winter’s eve, they sit huddled together, leaning into community and warbling. Birds still believe in the power of melody and song to comfort them and guide them.
There is even a theory about migratory birds that they spend their winters practicing love songs. Researchers studied “The Great Warbler” and discovered that during the winter months, the males repeatedly practiced their tunes at slower tempos and long periods. When birds have intricate melodies to master, they use the winter to sing slow and steady. What if we too learned to SING in the darkest hours. To go slow and steady when the times are rough. To take it one step at a time and have the faith of a mustard seed.
It’s the greenest grass that breaks through earth
It’s the miracle of birth
It’s the Spring that lies hidden in snow
It’s our daily bread that starts as grain
And a prayer that heals our pain
For every raindrop a flower does grow.
Each moment points us towards hope. We are being asked to listen more deeply. It goes like this, “It’s the greatest story ever told, how the smallest voice can turn meek to bold.”
Think of voices like Maya Angelou, Greta Thunberg, Nelson Mandela, Malala, Martin Luther King Jr. Think of the adversaries and criticism they faced, yet their voices still resonant and ring loudly through love in action. Like a bell that beckons us, we are called to remember. Yes, the voices mentioned are only a few of the many bold. We presume that we stand alone in our hopes and desires. That there are only a few voices that can cut through the sea of falsehoods. Yet, we have been misled. There are millions of people working passionately for a better world. Thousands of voices have helped us to rise above and believe in hope. Thousands of journalists, scientists, independent artists, mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters, continue to risk their lives and raise their voices for all.
“In a world where dreams have slipped away, where all our sorrows come to stay, I believe in this one single Word. Listen, Listen, the wind blows a message of hope.”
These fellow travelers renew my hope in humanity. It is why I am committed to midwifing the voices of messengers and independent artists. Together we’ve got this. There is much work to attend to. We must stay focused and not get distracted by warring factions. Our heart knows the message of hope. Now is the time to put love into action. It is time to LIVE like the birds. Every morning, dare to sing even if the darkness seems to swallow us. Remember, the stars could not be seen if not for the dark. Meet the chaos with ecstatic joy. The more we sing, dance, and lean into each other, the more we understand that we are the ones we have been waiting for. It is Just-Us. If I can contribute to just a small part to this more significant movement, I can rest in peace.
Esther Haasnoot: What do you do to stay true to your inner voice and keep the clearest vision of creating a healthy and vibrant world. How important is voice integrity?
Kara Johnstad: Staying true to my inner Voice is a daily practice. I meditate. I read poetry every morning, and I enjoy combining my spiritual practice of curiosity with the art of asking soulful questions. Luckily, as a singer-songwriter, coach, radio host, and founder of the School of Voice and Voice Your Essence Coaching Programs, I live in community. I consciously cultivate a practice of deep listening and expression. I am fortunate that no matter what I am doing, I enter a resonance field that reflects whether I am staying honest and authentic. My teachers are everywhere. For this, I am grateful.
How vital is Voice integrity? Voice integrity is of utmost importance. Our throat chakra is the missing link to heart-brain coherence. The Voice feeds every cell of our body, not only with breath but with sound frequency. If we wish to create a sound world, we must make friends with our Voice.
Esther Haasnoot: We design our reality via what we listen to, identify with, and which Voice we choose to share. We also create vibrational or magnetic pathways within our society and as well as in our bodies. Can you tell us about how vibration and frequency work? Which role does our Voice play in the fine-tuning of our body-mind-spirit system?
Kara Johnstad: Yes, thank you so much for this question. We hold the keys to well being in our hands. I encourage everyone to understand how frequency works. We design our reality through what we listen to, identify with, and the voices that we choose to share. We materialize spirit into matter via vibrational frequencies.
Our Voice plays a crucial role in fine-tuning our body-mind-spirit system. It connects us to ourselves and pulsates through every cell in our body. The Voice also blends the landscapes of our hearts with the visions our third eye holds. It is the designer of our reality.
Yet the element that makes Voice so unique is that it is unifying. It is collective. It not only vibrates within each of our cells but also pulsates through every living being. It connects and links us. The ocean sings the breeze sings, and the brook babbles- Everything alive is Sound. Think about it; Sound travels through walls, whereas light stops.
Communication is Communion. We arrive via Sound. The ancient cry is the Sound of our ancestors coursing through our veins. An inner voice guides us. We inhabit millions of stories and frequencies that we later need to muddle through and discern which ones belong to us. And yes, we too nudge others and direct them via our Voice. People take their Voice for granted; they do not realize the multi-dimensional layers to voice work. Voice is the only instrument connected to a bloodstream. It is also the only instrument connected directly to the Stream of Consciousness.
I have witnessed and supported so many healing journies only by re-aligning the voice channel. When we embody into our full Sound, we remember the place of innocence and power we had as a baby. It is held in our memory bank, waiting for us to answer the calling. Be a voice of kindness and goodness. Surprise people with words of encouragement and be careful of repeating propagated fears.
Sound Consciousness is the key to creating a vibrant and healthy world. We can heal the planet in a nano-second as soon as we embody this truth.
Esther Haasnoot: Voices can be used to shift harm to harmony. Many of us are not aware that even our actions begin as small voices in our heads. What is your recommendation if we are struggling with our Voice and want to chant, hum, whistle, write, and get attuned with a better storyline? How do we use our inner- en outer Voice wisely?
Kara Johnstad: Yes, a voice can shift harm to harmony. Unfortunately, all too often, Voice is used to dismantle peace. Tones and rhetoric can quickly spread fear and create dissonance. In the beginning, there was Word, and the Word was GOD. All of our love affairs begin with a word. All our projects are voice projections. Many assume the Voice is only audible. Our Voice comes in thought waves, written waves, spoken word waves, song waves, deep sighs, and delightful giggles. There is no place alive that is void of Sound. Voice is personal, and Voice is collective. One Word can uplift and heal a broken heart. One Word can destroy and rip us apart. It is a double-edged sword. Voice, like fire, needs to be used with mindfulness.
Remember, one Voice, one song can change the world. To create a sound world in balance and harmony, we are invited to attend to our most significant gift that many of us take for granted. The sound quality of our Voice and the self-talk we chatter endlessly needs our attention. Yet recognized spiritual masters ask us to choose silence. Enough people have been silenced. In my experience, a person can only relax into the sweet SOUND of SILENCE after they have found their authentic voice. If they do it too early, they will feel repressed and not heard. They will not be able to tap into their full potential. So in my work, I guide people towards the beauty of Sound—the fullness of their Voice. The rhythm of their feet walking. I lead them not to ascend the earthly plane; I support them to honor their stories and pilgrimage by Voicing it. Embody the divine goodness that surrounds you. Embodiment gives us confidence—the ability to confide and be heard. At the same time, we must look at Sound as a food source. What storIes are we ingesting? Are they serving us? Do we feel clean with our language? Do we feel good after we share?
I have seen too many people leave televisions running and self-absorbed with the bad news of the day. No wonder there is so much illness and depression. No wonder there is so much dis-ease. To find ease, we must live in harmony. KUDOS to all the artists, prophets, and yeah sayers that focus on beauty and well-being. Applause for media outlets that are carrying news of that uplifts and offers us solutions and guidance. When the world goes dark, we are the stars. We are the birdsong ushering in the new dawn.
Esther Haasnoot: What advice would you have for any songwriter and musician or anyone trying to get their voice heard?
Kara Johnstad: Have the confidence to stay true to yourself and follow your inner voice. It’s unique. Hone your skills as a musician. The root of the word discipline comes from the Word, disciple. Dedicate yourself to the song, just like a painter learns to mix colors, you too must learn about harmony, line, color, heartbeat. It is not about perfection; it is about slowing down and tending to the gifts you have been given. Then, just like a tree shares its ripened fruit, you too will see the fruits of your labor. Share it. In any way, you can. If you harvest too soon, it is sour or bland. If you harvest too late, it will go to rot. If you never water your seed songs, then do not expect anything to grow. A songwriter is a gardener of their soul. It is one of the toughest, most rugged paths. You will feel vulnerable. You will feel fragile. You will tremble and shake in the winds. And when the buds appear, you will know when you are on track. Your true voice never lies.
And, when the time has come, share, release. Let it go with ease. Sing your songs to school children, play at a yoga studio, give a house concert, and sing whenever possible. No excuse. You can record acapella or with a band and self-publish. Many of us have been slowed down to release our work because we were waiting for the right producer, the ideal manager, the perfect drummer, a first-rate studio. Our planet has no more time to wait. Keep it simple. Cook with the essential ingredients you have at hand and share it with abundance. No excuses. Creativity is limitless.
The more you give to the world, the more you will be filled up again to create and manifest more. And yes, if you are as crazy as I am, trust in others’ greatness and the wealth of strong friendships and release a full symphonic album. We did it. Moon in Capricorn is a dream come true. It was nurtured and cared for by many for over a decade, and I am very proud of everything we created. Remember, WE are the ones we have been waiting for. Support each other and believe in your work. No excuses. Show Up for a life that wishes to be lived through you. Make yourself an instrument for goodness.
About Kara Johnstad
American singer-songwriter, Kara Johnstad has lived in Berlin, Germany, since the 1980s. Kara has an outstanding reputation as a world-class performer, recording artist, and producer. Her performances on five continents have left fans breathless, and the media eager to offer their praise.
She is a voice expert, spiritual guide, published author. OMTimes expert, recording artist, radio show host of “Voice Rising” and founder of the “School Of Voice”. She is also known as a creative voice visionary and mentor to voices changing our world.
Her New Age, Pop, and Jazz music has charted within the top ten on numerous Indie charts and receives worldwide play on AM / FM radio stations and professional, high-quality online radio stations.
As a transformational catalyst with a powerful voice in this time and age of transition, Kara empowers audiences worldwide via concerts, lectures, masterclasses, and private coaching. Her signature Voice Your Essence™ Training programs are developed to support luminaries, healers, independent artists, and visionary voices to heal their voices and bring their powerful messages into the world. For more information or to connect with Kara Johnstad: karajohnstad.com, Facebook Karajohnstad.official, Facebook voicerising, OMTimes iom Voice-rising, Instagram, Youtube, Spotify, or to purchase the album, karajohnstad.com, Amazon, music.apple.com.
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