Hi, I'm Marie Tatti.
I’m a multidisciplinary performance artist and herbalist from Washington, DC. I'm raising money to participate in All The Way In, a 6-month mastery-level improvisational group singing course with Rhiannon, an esteemed vocal musician and farmer. If you keep reading, I'll share the background story of my musical experiences, or you can skim the ideas in bold for quick reference.
I grew up playing outside, drawing, listening to the radio and my mother’s cassette tapes of Gospel music, Soul, Jazz and R&B singers like Aretha Franklin, Mahalia Jackson, Ella Fitzgerald, a little bit of Sarah Vaughn, Anita Baker, and Whitney Houston. My mother was a singer, and she first taught me: you'll learn how to sing by listening to good singers. She also put my sister and me into church choirs as children, and I continued singing in Gospel choirs throughout high school. A car accident in my senior year inspired my healing relationship with plants through herbalism and nutrition.
In 2007 I went to New Jersey- the garden state- to study acting at Rutgers University Mason Gross. There, I was introduced to breathwork, energy work, and embodied voice and movement work through the Linklater and Lloyd Williamson techniques. This work honestly changed my life. It awakened the Purpose in me. It awakened the purpose of music in me for its healing vibrational energy and not just as a storytelling tool. I ended up leaving school after two years for personal reasons. The following year, my mother passed, and my sister birthed a little girl after that. As a family, we moved to California, and I started working on a cannabis farm upstate. For two years, I learned large-scale organic growing techniques, explored deeper breathwork and dance, and began songwriting, accompanying myself on acoustic guitar.
In 2013 I returned to DC and continued growing cannabis at an indoor medical facility. I danced for about a year until a foot injury set me down, then I focused on songwriting and began taking professional voice lessons with an opera singer. I was cast in a short film, Vow of Silence, written by my musician friend Be Steadwell, about a lonely and heartbroken composer’s return to making her music. The film introduced me to a new community of artists in Washington. I started building an artistic rapport in the city, performing my songs in small solo shows around town. I also concentrated on building farm skills and community. For two years, I joined Soul Fire Farm's Black & Latinx Farmers Immersion program (now called Soul FIRE Immersion), which focuses on building basic skills in regenerative farming and healing from inherited trauma rooted in oppression on land. My life's purpose in music and my growing passion for land-based community living urged me forward.
(photo by Jefry Andrés Wright)
Along with my Haitian-American friend, chef Sabine Jeanty, I produced six outdoor dinner concerts centering BIPOC farmers and folk musicians called the Garden Concert Series. We began meeting with a group of friends in DC to discuss options for acquiring and stewarding land together. By that point, I had been working increasingly with plants for seven years, so the logical next step was to live among them daily. Then in 2018, two close family deaths and a sudden long-standing bout of bronchitis abruptly shifted my focus on healing through rest and earth-based knowledge systems.
I moved to rural Central Virginia in 2019. The same year I landed my dream role in a theatrical adaptation of Octavia E. Butler’s book, Parable of the Sower, delivered entirely through songs written by Bernice Johnson Reagon and Toshi Reagon. It perfectly mirrored the story of my life up to that point. The narrative follows a young Black woman as she intuits a new Spiritual path for herself in connection to community, plant life, and self-sufficiency for survival in a world that’s fallen apart under climate and social tragedies. As I’ve been practicing survival skills, I have been living more slowly, learning to restore my voice and body while performing intermittently with the Opera. In this fourth year of journeying into deeper rest, I’m preparing to record my premiere studio album and returning to the basics delivering artistry through embodied energy, breath, sound, and movement.
Earlier this year, I was offered a gift to participate in Bobby McFerrin’s Circle Songs School in Berkeley, CA. I returned to the East Coast and started leading weekly online public workshops to practice techniques for embodying the vocal instrument. I was then led to apply to the next step in deepening my relationship with the slow quiet in music and living. I've been accepted to a 6-month mastery-level improvisational group singing course bookended by two in-person sessions- one in Hawai’i and the other in Italy! I have been offered a small scholarship to join the class, and the remainder of the cost for me is $6,000. Airline ticket expenses at this time are about $2,000.
(photo by Jill Goldman)
I'm raising a total of $6,000 by May 1st, when my final tuition payment is due. I was able to pay the first tuition installment on December 15th, thanks to generous donors like you. I'll continue to offer donation-based online embodied voice workshops and apply for study grants and music scholarships. I’m thankful for this auspicious opportunity to learn techniques to embody the voice and deliver my artistry with more impact. I thank my loving community for your support in sharing this journey with me.
(cover photo by Nicole Combeau)