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For as long as I remember, I have a peculiar way of celebrating the start of summer: I lose my voice. Because going through life voiceless and having so much fun you can hardly handle it, go hand in hand. The first summer festival hadn’t even started, yet I was voiceless as can be. It’s a sign of good times.

First there was the afterwork petanque game that sounded nice and mellow but left me dancing in the park until late. Dancing comes with singing and in my enthusiasm and volume, I think that’s actually when the damage was done. It didn’t help that the day after there was a football match where I yelled my lungs out. I don’t even like football. I just like screaming in front of a group of people without it being awkward. And Lukaku.

Anyway, the Belgians won so we sang our happy hearts out in a hidden karaoke place. By that time my voice was so long gone I couldn’t even order a drink. The next day was my birthday. Brunch, phone calls, catch-ups, party, everything made me want to sing and scream with delight! But I couldn’t! My enthusiasm was beyond belief, but I couldn’t crank up my volume.

A weekend of festivalling and poolpartying followed. At Couleur Cafe, I bumped into a friend I met at a festival in Canada a year ago. There was a lot of catching up to do. Meanwhile, Gregory Porter was playing so there was a lot of singing to do. I don’t know how I managed without a trace of a voice, but it worked. I might be voiceless, but never speechless.

Last year at Bass Coast festival in BC, a girl came up to me and said: “Wow, your voice sounds just like the character from Pocahontas!” I was flattered, thinking my husky voice belonged to a cool warrior girl. “Yes, you sound exactly like Grandmother Tree!”


This Grandmother Tree is planning on many more festivals, but rather not without my voice. If anyone has tips and tricks on bringing that voice of mine back to where it belongs, please let me know! Oh, and tips like “stop yelling/singing/talking so much/so loud” will be ignored with the biggest of smiles.


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