We had the good fortune of connecting with Sandi Siegel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sandi, how does your business help the community or world?
As a woman nearly in her 60’s, the cross generational interactions in my arts are becoming a key feature of all I do, with teaching, music, writing and modeling. Society is so much better off when we mingle socio-culturally and this includes age. My music is full of story telling that comes from a life lived around the world and with all of the joy and tragedy that being embodied brings to everyone. I hope that through music, which is certainly a universal language, some of what I have observed and processed through the years permeates the boundaries society tries to create mostly for commercial reasons. This is certainly even more true in the world of fashion which is really starting to embrace diversity. Nothing empowers more than diversity and even in nature, monoculture does not thrive. My studies of Sanskrit and in particular the Hindu mythology and philosophy have lead to a similar weaving of complex texture. Our book “Sanctuary Song- A Photo-Poetic Telling of the Tripura Sundari Stotram” comes out this fall. Here crone, mother and daughter see themselves in each other and like an acorn that contains all information of what an oak may become, a woman at any of her three stages of life can call on community and her own contemplations to nurture and grow that which may be needed at a certain time. Because this is about process not gender per se, we are all in the flow of remembering, being present and creating something new. This non-linear way of addressing our lives allows for people to embrace their multiple selves, let in collabortation that is sparked by process and thrive as those are integrated. I hope that teaching these stories helps people live a richer life where all that we encounter and cope with can be made into asset for ourselves and our communities.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am excited about several projects I have going on at the moment, There are 8/9 new songs in the pipeline that are currently being worked on in studio. We have decided that it is best to release one song at a time given the way the music world has evolved so will release these new singles over the course of the next year. Most will have videos to go along with the releases. First up?A wonderful collab called “To Howl is to Live” set for an August 28th release on all streaming services. This song features grammy nominated sax player Bob Rebholz and my trio with Rob Faltinson on drums and David Siegel on bass. Please go follow me on Spotify. It is never “easy” to make music especially in the time of Covid19 because music relies on others and there is a great deal that goes into recording, producing and marketing. But, the songs DO come easily and are inspired by dreams and current world events. I love playing with others. They bring their flavor to my vision and spice it right up. My music is lyric based and as such I hope to bring story telling to a world of pop music. I love all kinds of music but I hope my lyrics and song inspire deeper thinking, travel and empower others to their greatness. I am MOST excited about our coffee table book being released this fall “Sanctuary Song” because it is a melding of my 8 years of Sanskrit study, 22 years of yoga philosophy study and practice and my fashion life. My deep love of Sanskrit and the poetry of the tradition led me to work on translating the “Tripura Sundari Ashtakam” and as I hung around at fashion shows and shoots with women of all ages, was inspired to put these seemingly disparate worlds together. The poem beautifully tells the story of the three phases of a woman’s life and her arrival at “crone” where she takes the seat of the teacher having lived a life of joy, betrayal and all that came along the way. I want the beauty of Julie Rand Kruger’s photography along with the words and sentiments from the poems to inspire people to more of their greatness. I have learned so much along the creative path to these projects. Being an artist is ripe for self doubt but my heart beat strongly that these creations must become manifest so I worked to find the right people to help make it so. It is not always easy to collaborate even when you think there is understanding with the other parties. We can only see the world through our eyes as much as we try to receive others, so misunderstandings are just part of the recipe. As such, I am learning to be more discerning about the creative process of who I work with because all of this requires a great deal of focus and time. I have learned to have the courage to recognize when it might be time to move on and find another way forward. If something seems too complicated and inorganic, leave it behind with love and move on. We honor not only ourselves but those who we may have asked too much from to start with. Be open to the enormous possibility but have maleable boundaries that serve yourself and others.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There are SO many really good restaurants in Denver so we would eat out quite a bit. I am half Lebanese and find the food at Safta at the Source Hotel a must with visitors. Their falafel is the best I have ever had and their craft cocktails are wonderful. This also allows us to explore that part of Denver which is becoming an artistic, dining and shopping hub. After a great hike somewhere we would go to Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox for dinner and some live music. I love this venue and hope to play there someday soon. Good food, suport of local musicians in a wonderful venue. I am an outdoor enthusiast so there would be at least one visit to Red Rocks for a concert and tailgate with champagne and food under the stars. The Denver Museum of Art has been salve to my soul with their incredible special exhibits and wonderful collections. I love going to City O’ CIty afger a day at the museum. Their vegan and vegetarian food is SOO good and the people watching is primo. I don’t remember a lot of the wonderful and copious bars I have been to but there are so many that have interesting cocktails. Hopefully they would come during Denver Fashion Week. It is one of my favorite events not only to participate in but attend. SO much creativity in one place. That would round out the week.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The list is long since I truly see every encounter as someone teaching and inspiring me. My teachers Dr. Douglas Brooks and Marcia Solomon are pillars in my education and their selfless giving of their unfathomable knowledge is such a gift. Denver Fashion Week and particularly Denver designer Steve Sells have been the spark to my life in fashion these past years. The Denver fashion community embraced and encouraged me I am grateful to all behind the scenes and designers who helped me know that side of myself. Musically I owe much to many musicians who make my music way better than I could ever have done myself. In particular my husband David Siegel through his company “Masterd Mix” has produced my recent music, videos shows and livestreams. NONE of this would be possible without him both musically and how he supports my creative life.
Julie Rand Kruger Abad Montoya Eric Ryan David Siegel Shawn Piantoni Suzanne Simone David Rossa Lauren Garceau