The Austin Chronicle

Swan Songs

By Christine Albert, April 8, 2005, Music

After the benefit, Chris and I had an overwhelming desire to give back and began to think, "Where do we go from here?"

Several years ago I was asked to sing at a gathering of friends and family as a 40-year-old man faced his final weeks. Another time I sang in a hospital room for a fan who loved my French songs, just a few days before he died. The honor of being invited to sing at these powerful moments was humbling and inspiring.

Since that time, I've had a vision of a nonprofit that organizes personal concerts with Austin musicians for individuals in hospice care. Using some of the funds raised at our benefit on Feb. 21, Swan Songs will finally be born, serving as a liaison between Austin musicians and the hospice community.

If someone has a favorite Austin artist, but can no longer go out to hear music, we will work to bring that artist to them. In a town like ours, where music is a living, breathing part of our everyday lives, losing that connection can add to the pain of a life-threatening illness. Hopefully, Swan Songs can bring some comfort at a critical time in people's lives.

The swan represents grace and the possibility of transformation. That's certainly what Chris and I experienced firsthand in those early months of 2005. Carrying that energy forward as the seed for Swan Songs feels right.

Contact Christine Albert at

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