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Filtering by Category: Behind the Song

Behind the Song: Piece on Earth

Rae Hering

A few years ago I was in Henderson, KY enjoying a beautiful summer day at my in-laws’. Richard was on the far side of the yard at his meat smoker, faithfully turning a batch of ribs. I closed my eyes to take in the scent of charred sweetness when I hear Dorothy’s infectious laugh, all full of life, coming from the sunroom.

That day in Henderson the sun laid lightly on the skin and the breeze drifted through like we were seaside. I let blades of grass go through my toes and listened to the birds happily chirping away…

Well maybe the City Girl in me is getting a little sappy here, but you get the picture: it was a really nice day. It was the type of day that inspires a songwriter to write a Summer Song.

I had my guitar with me and started picking out some chords. I wanted the song to sound like it had a porch swing built right into it. I wanted it to feel like that little smile you get as you’re drifting off in the hammock under the shade of a tree.

“Piece on Earth” is an ode to loving your Home. It's about accepting what you have and being happy with your life for what it is. No frills needed, just your own backyard.

I think that’s just how Dorothy and Richard have lived their lives. They’re still in the house my husband grew up in and have made a lot of history in that house! It’s also a house with a strict open door policy: you can expect friends and neighbors to stop in on the regular just to say hi. They have an open refrigerator policy, too. :) 

So here it is: "Piece on Earth," my Summer Song, written in Henderson, KY. I hope it’ll make a nice companion to your summer days ahead! 

What?? It's Women's History Month?!?

Rae Hering

Alright, all you Procrastinators, if you haven’t gotten around to doing anything for Women’s History Month yet, or heck, didn’t even know it was going on, now’s your chance!

(Note: being that this blog post is on the last day of Women’s History Month we can all tell who’s the Biggest Procrastinator of all. Uh…yeah.)

Actually, I’ve been thinking about notable women throughout history a lot lately. Not because it’s the month of March even though, hey, it’s nice to get some yearly recognition for our gender, but the real reason is that I’m working on a concept album inspired by fascinating women from all different time periods and backgrounds whom, quite frankly, I’ve never heard of and maybe you haven’t either!

I’ve written five songs so far and oh my goodness! these women have truly become my muses. They’ve entranced me thoroughly with their triumphant valor, bloodthirsty schemes, charismatic wit and unearthly resilience. Are they perfect examples of what humanity should strive to be? You bet they aren’t! But that’s what makes them so beautifully interesting.

Which leads me to sharing with you this magical wonderland of a website I found in my research, www.rejectedprincesses.com. Expect to find (and I’m quoting the site here): “Women too Awesome, Awful, or Offbeat for Kids’ Movies.” Let me introduce you too:

(All artwork by Jason Porath)

Creator Jason Porath sums up what he does this way, “I illustrate and wax poetic about interesting legendary women you’ve probably never heard of.” (Got that from his Twitter profile. He also has a Patreon account you need to check out.)

And I’m totally sucked in. The way he writes about these women’s stories is completely engaging and his animation-style images make each come to life. Suffice it to say I have a lot of food for fodder here for my concept album and I hope you dig in, too! Once you get acquainted with a few of these colorful characters you may want to check out his official Rejected Princesses book that just came out late 2016. 

OK folks, Happy Last Day of Women’s History Month and enjoy the good reads!

A brush with Death, a Chopin Nocturne and yes...Thanksgiving!

Rae Hering

The other day I was talking to my upstairs neighbor.  She told me that a friend of hers, only 25 years old, had a massive heart attack; no one saw it coming and no one knows why it happened.  Her friend died, was resuscitated, and then remained unconscious with doctors predicting that she would be permanently brain damaged.

Woah.  That’s heavy stuff.

Two days later she woke up and started talking and laughing…with no signs of brain damage at all!

At this point in the story my jaw is halfway to the floor and I’m flooded with all kinds of emotion: shock, sympathy, relief…and lots of thankfulness.  A close encounter to death, even if it’s just hearing about your neighbor’s friend, has a way of making the important things in life crystal clear.

Needless to say, my neighbor has been on the emotional roller coaster of a lifetime and is exhausted from spending day after long day at the hospital.  But here’s the part that really got to me: she said she stopped by the apartment one of those worrying nights before heading back to the hospital and heard me playing a Chopin Nocturne.  It was just what she needed to hear in the midst of all the turmoil.  It was a comfort to her, hearing that melody, and she told me thank you for that song.

Well, besides the fact that I’m relieved my neighbor actually enjoys my music and doesn’t file noise complaints on me, I’m thankful for this reminder of how powerful music is - how music can offer a moment of reprieve from life’s problems and can calm a storm of negative thoughts.  How it can resurface emotions that we’ve stuffed away and can sort through the ones that are tormenting us.  Music certainly is a subtle and mysterious healer.    

With this in mind, I’m thankful to be one of Music’s willing and able conduits.  I’m thankful for my neighbor’s friend’s recovery and I’m thankful for the gift of Life, in all its fragility.

Below is a video of me playing Chopin’s Nocturne in Eb.  Chopin has always been particularly close to my heart, and now I have even more reason to love his music.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

I Got a Song Cut!

Rae Hering

That's right, folks, I got my first major record label song cut - how cool is that?!?  I'm feeling pretty excited and very thankful.  The song is called "It's Alright" and MCA/Universal (Philippines) artist Solenn Heussaff just released the pop ballad on her third album titled Solenn.  Give it a listen!

I wrote "It's Alright" with my husband, Jonathan Morse, and our friend Jimmy Borja.  I'm lucky to have met Jimmy - he's a great friend, a wonderful piano player (he taught himself by ear which completely amazes me!) and a hit songwriter.  Many of Jimmy's songs have become classics in the Philippines including the Christmas song "Sana Ngayong Pasko," performed by Ariel Rivera.

So now that you've heard Solenn's version, I thought it would be fun to share with you my demo version of "It's Alright."  Personally, I find it interesting to hear where a song started, so if you find it interesting, too, check out the link below (I included lyrics at the bottom).  By the way, that's Jonathan on the left and Jimmy on the right in the Soundcloud picture.  They're just the greatest!

It's Alright - by Jimmy Borja, Jonathan Morse and Rae Hering

If my eyes were mirrors
Would it bring you nearer,
Would you see what you want to see?

If my eyes could show you
What your heart has been through
Would you stay or would you look away?

No use fighting,
Stop your hiding,
You can’t escape it
But you can face it.

It’s alright, it’s alright,
It’s alright, it’s alright.

The trials and the triumphs,
The song and the silence,
It’s all a part of who we are

Lift your eyes and see
Through the brokenness there’s beauty.
Don’t be afraid, to be afraid.

No use fighting,
Stop your hiding,
You can’t escape it
But you can face it.

It’s alright, it’s alright,
It’s alright, it’s alright.

Look into my eyes,
I am your reflection.
Look into my eyes,
I am your reflection.

It’s alright, it’s alright,
It’s alright, it’s alright,
It’s alright, it’s alright,
It’s alright, it’s alright.

"Daddy's Little Girl" is a Big Success!

Rae Hering

Big News!

Remember that short film, "Daddy's Little Girl," I wrote the music for?

Well...after showing at ten film festivals around the world and winning Best Short Film at Hollywood's SCREAMFEST Horror Film Festival, "Daddy's Little Girl" is now available on iTunes and even made it to #1 on the iTunes Top Short Films Sales!

 
 

Waa?!? It even beat out "Frozen"???

🎉 🎈 🎊 (Insert party noises here) 🎉 🎈 🎊

 

The song that I wrote (also called "Daddy's Little Girl") unfortunately wasn't able to be included in it's full form for the iTunes version of the film.  But no worries!  That just gives me an opportunity to give you all a FREE DOWNLOAD of the song on Noisetrade!

"Daddy's Little Girl"
By Rae Hering

I’m gonna make you love me,
We’re gonna build a castle,
You’re gonna kiss and hug me
When you see I’m special.

You can be my hero
And save my whole wide world,
Cuz I’m gonna make you love me
Like I’m Daddy’s little girl.   

 

So how did this project come about anyhow?  In February of 2014 I got a text from my friend Trey McClarnon asking if I'd write the music for a film he and his brother Chad McClarnon were working on to submit Studio 360's 30-Second Horror Film Festival Judged by Wes Craven.  Trey told me a few details about the genre and storyline over text and about an hour later I sent him a scratch version of the song "Daddy's Little Girl" which then became the title of the film.  After entering the 30-Second Horror Film Festival, Chad decided to re-edit the film to lengthen it and submit it to film festivals everywhere.  After a great festival run,. the film is now available on iTunes and is even flying high with Virgin Airlines as part of their in-flight entertainment.

A short film that's going a long way

Rae Hering

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For someone who doesn't get high, besides the morning cup of coffee of course, last weekend had me on the wings of something spectacular.  I'm sitting in the Green Hills theater, at the 2015 Nashville Film Festival, listening to the song I wrote and recorded for the short film "Daddy's Little Girl," playing on the Silver Screen.  What a feeling.

This extraordinary little film tells the story of a precocious young girl who uses her self-taught science knowledge to take control and finally tackle the problem of her abusive father head on.  Among the many talented folks involved in this film is the film's star, 11-year old Robin-August Fritsch, who is quite the precocious and lovable kid in real life.  Then there's the BRAINS behind it all - Trey and Chad McClarnon of Best Part Productions (once you see the film you'll know why the word "brains" is so squeamishly special.)  Trey and Chad are brothers who make a perfect writer/director team, and I'm so happy to call them friends and creative comrades.

Chad McClarnon, Rae Hering, Michael Kitts, Robin-August Fritsch, Sullivan Street, Trey McClarnon.

Chad McClarnon, Rae Hering, Michael Kitts, Robin-August Fritsch, Sullivan Street, Trey McClarnon.

Finally, let me say that with great hoopla that Nashville loved our film so much after the first showing that it voted us into the TN Audience Awards at the Nashville Film Fest!  The show is tonight and sadly for you, it's all sold out.  But you can still catch the last showing Friday at 1p.

I leave you with my song of the same title.  Check out the music box version, too...it's creepy :)

Habitual Inhibition

Rae Hering

Has anyone ever told you to let go of your inhibitions?  When are you actually able to do this?  Or are you?  It's a nice thing to say or think about doing - but can we every fully let go?  

These are the thoughts running through my mind after my co-write this weekend with my friend Robert LaSalle.  We finished a song about a wealthy man whose spirit is getting crushed by his lifestyle.  He drives a long distance to the ocean and leaves everything behind as he transforms into a Beach Bum (ever wonder where beach bums come from? well, now you know.)  

Admittedly, it's an extreme example of letting go of inhibition, so much so that this character gives up possessions, social norms and loved ones.  But I think the idea is something we can all relate to.

"Beach Bum"

Chorus:
Falling from grace
Falling out from the Great Unknown
(The Great Unknown is calling me.)

After writing this song, the presence of my own inhibition is clearer than ever.  I feel it in my own songwriting.  You see, I love collaborating, but it's as if I mentally block myself from the flow of inspiration when I’m sitting next to a co-writer.  I feel the most comfortable coming up with lyrics curled up by my lonesome where I can crawl into the caverns of my mind.  

But I long to be open with others with my thoughts and creativity - I just don't know how to get there yet.  How do we work ourselves out of these unconscious patterns?  Robert says drink more alcohol - ha, I’m not buying into that solution yet.  For now, my uninhibitor is a strong cocktail of therapy and acupuncture with one of those umbrella thingys for good measure. 

I'll be posting the finished song soon!

 

Navigator/Aviator - I Finished the Song!

Rae Hering

Sketch-Boeing40

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-Ag5R53r04&w=480&h=360]  

A couple of months ago I posted a song in progress and now I'd like to share the finished piece!  One of my most favorite feelings in the whole wide world is to call a song done, and "Navigator/Aviator" has been an idea laying dormant in my head for 8 years now - so the "done" feeling is REALLY a great one in this case!

My ritual is to take all the wonderfully messy scribblings I've been working with and to neatly type out my lyrics.  Kind of like when you get a brand new wardrobe and you get to toss out all the stuff that always made you look frumpy anyways.

Also, I want to dedicate this song to my big brother Nate, who is my very favorite Air Force Pilot ( he likes my song, even with the obvious logistical inaccuracies - creative license!)

Nate and me on Halloween
Nate and me on Halloween

Idle Minds and Window Shrines - Preludes to the Creative Space

Rae Hering

My music room
My music room

In the moments before creation, there is stillness.  I’m standing in front of my keyboard, but I don’t play.  Instead, I find that I’m staring out the window again.  Not wasting time, no, no no.  I'm...resetting the brain.

a_girl_hanging_upside_down_from_the_couch_1883099
a_girl_hanging_upside_down_from_the_couch_1883099

I remember summers as a kid – I would hang upside down off our sticky leather couch and stare up at the ceiling.  In this seemingly awkward position, I would imagine how wonderful it would be if the ceiling was the floor.  How clean and tidy it would be!  Nothing to pick up or trip over - expect for those twirling fans.  I’d stay upside down until the rush of blood to my head would make me woozy or until my mom would find me.

Looking back at this memory, I realize I was probably just giving my mind some transition time.

The window in my music room provides that much needed transition time in my writing process.  Here, I enter the slippery space between feeling the tinge of inspiration and actually opening its creative coffer.  I give myself time to zone out (which is, as I've recently learned, an essential part of the creative process) and forget about the menial tasks of the day and enjoy the view:

Jonathan and I live in an apartment complex in Berry Hill, TN – a small town that is actually right in the heart of busy, bustling Nashville.  I love living here.

Popular-Wooden-American-Style-Window copy
Popular-Wooden-American-Style-Window copy

The daily activities outside my window are excellent fodder for the creative spirit, but what’s on the inside of my window is inspiring, too.  My windowsill is one of my favorite spots in my apartment.  Without being too conscious of it, it’s become an assembly of meaningful nick knacks and trinkets.  I’ve made a creative shrine - a concept I first read about in Julia Cameron’s book “The Artist’s Way” a year or so ago. It’s funny how I came around to making one without even knowing it!

IMG_0577
IMG_0577

The Accordion Angel on the right is a gift from my good friend Jen.  It reminds me of the support I have in my friends.

When I first got the succulent plant I almost killed it.  There were but a few specks of green left when, with a little tender care, it started coming back to life.  It reminds me to always hold on to hope.

If you look really closely on the left hand side of the plant, you will see a needle sticking out – this is an acupuncture needle.  This reminds me to not forget about maintaining simple practices for health and vitality.

Next are the dried avocado seeds.  I used to etch patterns into them and try to preserve them as art.  Although I could never achieve the full effect I was going for, these seeds remind me to keep experimenting and dreaming up new ideas.

Then there’s the bicycle.  I think I picked this up at a thrift store.  Years ago I wrote a very whimsical and playful song inspired by this toy.  Now, it reminds me to always keep my playful creativity close to my heart.

Here’s the song if you want to give it a listen.  It’s called “Bicycles Go Woosh!”  (And mind you, it’s only a work track.)

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/139062188" params="color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

Do you have a way of resetting your brain before your creative process?  Do you keep meaningful objects close by to inspire you?

Behind the Song: Wordless Words (a Special Valentine's Video)

Rae Hering

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVdZCdt95Bc&w=640&h=360]

An Out of Order Love Song

I wrote “Wordless Words” around the same time I met my now-fiance Jonathan.  At the time, if you had asked me whom this song was about, I would have flat out denied that it  was about him!!  Thinking back on it now, I believe our relationship did influence this song, though I wasn’t able or ready to put that into words...

Jonathan and I goofing around...
Jonathan and I goofing around...

Love Makes You Tongue-Tied (or Tongue Tired)

As bloggers, we LOVE words (and aren’t they wonderful? what a paradisiacal playground!) But in “Wordless Words,” I attempt to get at the heart of a certain feeling when there are no words.  I feel that there’s a point where words inevitably fail us, where definition goes only so far, and the only way to express our deepest emotion is through things that require no words at all...

The Love of My Life

Music-enables-us-to 2
Music-enables-us-to 2

I love music because it communicates on a different level than words.  When words are paired with music, the music takes those words to a higher emotional level.  I believe that whether we’re listening to music or making music, it enables us to connect to emotions that are not normally accessible through words alone.  It’s what made teenage girls scream for The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, it’s what gives us the chills when we hear those moody high notes in Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah,” and what makes us smile and dance when we hear the infectious tune by Pharrell Williams, “Happy.”

How do you use wordless words in your life?

The Creative Community Movement

Rae Hering

I've been talking with my fiancé, Jonathan, a lot lately about what a creative community is and how to strengthen those communities around us.  We all have a lot to offer each other, no matter what we love to do: paint, dance, sing, write, play, speak, draw, levitate… Through blogging this past year, I’ve been making wonderful creative connections with other bloggers, one of whom is Rida of Work In Progress.  She was inspired after watching a video I posted of my song “Navigator/Aviator” and wrote her original lyrics to my tune.  How cool is that??

Here's my song "Navigator/Aviator:"

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGZKsUNfBP8&w=480&h=360]

And Rida's beautiful, creative response:

i’ve been traveling round and round been looking for what can’t be found i don’t really know where i belong

life keeps taking pound for pound and i can’t find that stable ground i don’t really know where i’ve gone wrong

i meet you, i’m spun around i once was lost but now i’m found i know with you i am finally strong

bum bum dah ump bum bum dah ump bum bum dah ump baah dum dah dah ump

bum bum dah ump bum bum dah ump bum bum dah ump baah dum dah dah ump

you keep me from falling down no longer feeling like i’m drowin’ for in your loving arms i do belong

all my walls you’ve broken down it’ so safe to play the clown how did you know i was the one

i’ll be your queen and wear your crown once so lost but now i’m found ’cause you put in my heart an eternal song

bum bum dah ump bum bum dah ump bum bum dah ump baah dum dah dah ump

bum bum dah ump bum bum dah ump bum bum dah ump baah dum dah dah ump

with you i know i’m safe and sound have no need to look around for you cannot compare to anyone

my loneliness forever gone you and me, we can’t go wrong being with you babe, i am someone

hold me baby til the dawn we’ll be together all life long for you are my moon and my sun

bum bum dah ump bum bum dah ump bum bum dah ump baah dum dah dah ump

bum bum dah ump bum bum dah ump bum bum dah ump baah dum dah dah ump

Check out her original post here.

What a testament to being inspired by each other!

So what inspires you?  Are you inspired by your friend’s painting?  Your co-worker’s poem?  Your boss’s mother’s hairdresser’s interpretive dance routine?

And if you’re inspired by one of my works, please, jot it down, record it, video it - share it. Let’s strengthen our creative communities together.

Behind the Song: Navigator, Aviator - SNEAK PEAK

Rae Hering

I've been having a great time working on a new song called "Navigator, Aviator."  Here's what it sounds like so far: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGZKsUNfBP8&w=480&h=360]

I've had a hankering to write a song about asking someone to be "my Navigator" for probably eight years now.  It's been one of those ideas that hangs around, floats in and out of my thoughts...I never could fully flesh out till now.

As a musician trying to navigate herself through this tangled music industry, it's easy to see where the desire for some navigation comes from.  In times past, I've certainly wished for someone to just DISCOVER ME, to go "POOF you're famous!"  But I've realized (through these eight years) that I need direction, not someone to do it for me.

Jonny and Me pic
Jonny and Me pic

WARNING: I am a total Cheezeball, but here I go: I've found my Navigator, my wonderful fiancé and manger, Jonathan.  He lets me fly the plane, of course, but together as Navigator and Aviator, we get the aircraft off the ground and on to new places.

Yep, I think that's why this song is finally forming for me.  Well, I'll keep working on it.  Hope you enjoy the 'lil preview!

P.S. - Do you have a Navigator in your life?  Who is it and what do they do for you?

 

New Record "The Shy Gemini Sessions" Coming Soon!

Rae Hering

Destiny 2

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/119963150" params="color=29899d&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /] _________________________________________________________________________

Here's me playing the Wurlitzer with my co-producer/engineer/friend Bobby Holland.
Here's me playing the Wurlitzer with my co-producer/engineer/friend Bobby Holland.

I think it’s about time (actually past time) to tell you all about my upcoming record, “The Shy Gemini Sessions” (name sound familiar to anyone?).  Regrettably I’ve been neglecting my blogging lately because I’ve been so busy recording this project.  What I should have been doing is blogging about the project all along – but what’s done is done, and I’m here now to tell you all about it!

“The Shy Gemini Sessions” consists of seven songs recorded in two ways (what else would you expect from a Gemini?)  Side A features a full production approach; fleshed out with strings, Wurlitzer and accordion to name a few, it soars with all the pump of a full band.  Side B showcases the same songs in their stripped-down essential form, highlighting the space where voice and instrument are simply together as one entity.

A view of the room at Desitiny Studios in Nashville, TN.
A view of the room at Desitiny Studios in Nashville, TN.

The “Gemini” aspect of the project is pretty straight-forward – as a Gemini I am expressing my twin/dual nature through the two incarnations of the same songs.  But why “Shy?”  Well, the reason I call myself “The Shy Gemini” is because, although Gemini’s are often out-going and bubbly (and I think that holds true for myself), I am protective and non-transparent about certain aspects of my life.

Some people may not think of this as being Shy, but when I go to look it up in the dictionary, the first definition I see is “being reserved.”  I think everyone, to one degree or another is reserved about showing the vulnerable parts of them.  Having this blog and recording this album is my way to move past that Shyness.

In the vocal booth at Destiny Studios in Nashville, TN.
In the vocal booth at Destiny Studios in Nashville, TN.

The songs on “The Shy Gemini Sessions” are written rom the most intimate and honest place I’ve been able to reach yet.  The song “Infinity” (I’ve posted a rough mix on this blog for you to give a listen – download is coming soon!) is about facing the fear of going deep into relationship with my fiancé, Jonathan.  It’s not a comfortable place being exposed and vulnerable like that.  I am still fighting the hesitancy that fear creates, but life is not about conquering fear, it is about facing its continual presence.

Sex is not what moves us closer, it’s the mirror in which we see ourselves closer.  It intensifies the intimacy we have cultivated in our daily relationship.  Though being seen so fully by another person is scary, I plunge deeper, embracing that “we are unfinished.” This is a small beginning to understanding the unending depths of intimacy.

P.S. - Anyone have any association with the car company Infiniti?  If so please contact me at: raehering@yahoo.com.  I am interested in creating an alignment with their campaign.

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/119963150" params="color=29899d&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

Behind the Song "Hitchhiker of the Universe" and the Legendary Hippie Halloween Costume

Rae Hering

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/117798723" params="color=441b66&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /] What’s your favorite or most meaningful Halloween costume you’ve worn?

Hippie costume
Hippie costume

Mine has got to be the Hippie costume I wore in 5th grade, replete with seed beads, head scarf, rag purse and the tie skirt my Mom handmade when she was in her twenties.  Although the costume was, in my opinion, fabulous, that’s not the only reason it means so much to me.  My fun disguise reveals a poignant time of transition in my life: from girlhood to womanhood, the beginning of restlessness, longing and exciting discovery.  I ached to be an adult without knowing what that really meant, of course.

As with most adolescence, signs of my transition came in the form of many a frustrating remark to my parents.  I remember changing into my costume at school before my Mom picked me up to take me to the ALL IMPORTANT CAN NOT MISS THIS EVERYONE IS GOING TO BE THERE Halloween Party.  The not-so-logical part of my attitude was that I was embarrassed to be seen at school wearing a Halloween costume on (gasp!) Halloween of all days!!  Oh travesty!

I can hear my Mom’s confused and exhausted voice saying, “But Rae, you never get embarrassed.  Why now?”  I just sank further into my angsty frustration, trapped in the minivan as we headed to The Party, a place of anxious unknowns.  What if no one else is wearing a costume?  What if I stand out like a sore thumb?  What if my costume is stupid and everyone else’s is cool?

The toughest part about going through this transition stage is that everyone has a place on the social ladder at school.  Mine happened to be just a nose hair above the lowest of the low.  Here I was, so caught up in my internal conflict I didn’t notice that I was about to enter a place where the social playing field would essentially be leveled out.  I mean, what does a costume do anyhow?  It makes you become someone or something you’re not.  It disguises your true nature.  It transports you into becoming a silly whim or your deepest desire.  I was heading towards a free ride with my peace-loving, hitchhiking Hippie Child garb on!

But can you expect a hormone-enraged pubescent to think this clearly?  So there I was at the Halloween Party awkwardly mingling with my gossipy schoolmates while getting a taste of non-parental guidance.  And you know what?  I have to say with shining honor that my (oh so embarrassing) Hippie getup won the Best Costume Award.  Take that suckkkers!!!  I can see the envy in all those parochial school girls’ eyes now as I received my prize, a Boyz II Men CD.

“Hitchhiker of the Universe” is not only about longing to be older, more experienced and independent, but it’s about looking back at that time now that I am older.  It’s about reconciling with my younger self for being so naïve and thinking that I’m some “casual prophet of youth” who’s got it all together.  Even though the person I am now doesn’t look like who I thought I’d be, I revel in the strange comfort of knowing that who I think I will be twenty years from now is absolutely unimaginable.  Dream on, Hitchhiker of the Universe…

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/117798723" params="color=441b66&auto_play=false&show_artwork=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

Endless - The Torture of "Tick Tock, Tick Tock"

Rae Hering

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/110911238" params="" width=" 100%" height="166" iframe="true" /] I’m angry with my 22 year-old self.  She was aimless and flippantly said things like “it will all work out somehow.”  I bitterly ask her what the HOW part of ‘somehow’ was.  She would daydream in her music business classes and ignore songwriting for other petty projects that sidetracked her.  I want to scream at her, “what were you thinking!?”  I’ve imagined an unhealthy amount of times how it could have been if she hadn’t wasted so many precious years.

“Youth is wasted on the young” – George Bernard Shaw

The 22 year old Me.
The 22 year old Me.

I haven’t been able to forgive that lost 22-year old girl yet.  This game of mental torment is a poor placeholder for forgiveness, but I keep coming back to it.  I bang my head against the fact that I can’t go back and do things differently.  It’s a familiar story – I’m sure many of you can relate.

I spent my younger years being clueless in my music career endeavors.  I regret this tremendously.  I stayed in relationships that were not conducive to pursuing making a living with my music.  I maintained the belief that it would all fall into my lap.  I chose to pointlessly drink with friends at the bar more nights than I stayed home to work on songwriting.

If you ever argue with yourself to no avail, if you’ve found yourself defending your regrets and obsessing over your loses, if you can’t stop seeing life as a series of mazes and dead ends, then this song, “Endless,” is for you.

I wrote “Endless” as a sort of letter to myself.  Through the writing process, I acknowledge my hurt, even though it is self-inflicted.  I assure myself in full conviction that my Spirit extends much further than the narrow field I draw myself into.  I tell myself that I am Endless, so I shouldn’t stop here, much less wallow in a pity party.

As of right now, the pity parties still happen once in awhile.  Last Friday I found myself stifling tears in the corner of the bathroom stall at Jed’s Sports Bar and Grille in Nashville.

Jonathan and I at Jed's in Nashville, TN.
Jonathan and I at Jed's in Nashville, TN.

I’ve been going there every week to play and get my music out there, but still, my negative thoughts were on repeat (…I’ve wasted so much time, so much TIME, all gone, wasted, wasted, WASTED! )

I went back to my seat to find my fiancé, Jonathan, who knows I struggle with this regret.  I am thankful for having someone like Jonathan in my life to remind me that my thoughts are hurtful to myself.  To remind me that I lead a good life, and that everything is as it should be.  It takes a lot of reminding, but I do believe this.  When I sing “Endless,” not only am I singing it for the audience but for myself.

(FYI: The recording of "Endless" included in this blog post is an un-finalized version I'm making for my new EP entitled "The Shy Gemini Sessions."  I'm shooting to be finished with the project early 2014).

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Heartbreak Hang Up

Rae Hering

http://youtu.be/L7jFiy7iaOk

I'm practicing a new song today and thought I'd share it with you all.  It's called "Heartbreak Hang Up," inspired by a French songwriter that I absolutely love - Tete.  Here's on of my favorites from him:

http://youtu.be/QLQMflyjr_k

Behind the Song: Ethereal Convention - Narrowly Avoiding a Car Crash

Rae Hering

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I was driving 45 mph on the busy street when a woman pulled out in front of me.  I slammed on my brakes, narrowly missing T-boning her car.  Here’s the weird part: I knew this event was going to happen hours beforehand.

It was just another day of teaching piano lessons, except for the fact that I knew that something big was going to happen in my life.  It was an intuition.  The space in which I existed felt different.  I felt the urge to prepare myself.  I kept imagining a car crash.  Something inside me told me to be vigilant, to BE PREPARED.  That day, I decided I would be extra careful as I drove from lesson to lesson.

We are grounded human beings with limitations.  We become complacent to run the same track we’ve tread for so long.  But underneath our routines and self-inflicted boundaries, we long to have a connection with the heavenly wave lengths just beyond our grasp of understanding.  Once in a while, an event happens that wakes us up.  That says, Yes! we are more than just a body running a course.  We are spiritual beings with a connection to a greater source!

My spiritual intuition saved me and the other driver from physical injury, damage to our cars, and possibly even our lives.  After avoiding the crash, relief obviously overwhelmed me.  Then, disbelief that my intuition actually became a reality.  There was no logical reason for me to know that this was going to happen.  I surpassed the laws of space and time dictating the order of events.  I was allowed passage into information that was not rightfully mine to know, at least according to the idea of linear thought.

I wrote “Ethereal Convention” six years ago.  It’s a song about longing to have a connection to the ethereal – a transcendence where space and time don’t follow the same rules with which we are familiar.  It’s a song about feeling the burden of our limited scope as humans, and it’s about getting a glimpse into this spiritual ecstasy or, as I refer to it in my song, a glimpse into the “ethereal convention.”  After my intuition experience, this song has taken on a much deeper meaning.  There’s a place for all of us at the ethereal convention.  We get small glimpses of it every once in a while.  And when that does happen, “the certainty’s serene, somewhat sobering, but mostly somewhere in between.”

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Ave Maria - Healing the Wounds of War

Rae Hering

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If you didn’t know there is a suicide epidemic going on in the US right now well, I didn’t know either.

That is, until my good friend and videographer Mike Quinones asked if I would contribute a song to his film about PTSD-related military suicide called “Wounds of War.” Being involved in Mike’s project creatively and emotionally opened my eyes to this tragedy.

According to a report released by CNAS entitled Losing the Battle: The Challenge of Military Suicide, Army suicides have climbed steadily since 2004.  Between 2005 and 2010, the authors estimate a soldier took his/her own life every 36 hours.  Though only 1% of Americans serve in the military, this small population constitutes 20% of all suicides in the US.

In "Wounds of War", Mike uses my original version of “Ave Maria” to underscore the tragedy of combat trauma and PTSD. If you have 5 minutes, watch this film - I feel it is well worth it.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tdv9MWag7A&w=560&h=315]

The fact that Mike uses "Ave Maria" to underscore these after-effects of the War makes a sobering full-circle effect because I originally wrote “Ave Maria” for the one-year anniversary of 9/11.  This was when Americans’ hearts were full of fiery determination as we were just beginning the invasion into Afghanistan and Iraq.  Now, here we are, on the other side, and we are all seeing the consequences.

“Ave Maria” is a song for healing, a song for reflection.  It is for mourning our loss and it is for holding on to hope.  In the version I wrote I’m singing in Latin.  Here is the translation:

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee.  Blessed art Thou amongst women and blessed is thy womb, Jesus.  Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.

For more information on military issues, including PTSD, visit these sites:

Harvesting Happiness for Heros

PTSD Combat: Winning the War Within

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Behind the Song: Watercolor - Getting to Know Myself Again

Rae Hering

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/84366879" params="" width=" 100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

I just realized that I’ve neglected a friendship in my life, a really important friendship I’ve had for years.  I’ve ignored her for lots of petty reasons: I haven’t had the time to hang out, I’ve felt like we’re moving in different directions, or sometimes (I admit it) she’s just whinny and annoying.  OK, this is probably the point where I should admit that this friendship is with Myself.  Yes, I’ve realized that I need to get to know Myself again.

Cookie Monster!
Cookie Monster!

Most of us have been in this boat before.  We find ourselves at home in the evenings stressing over work instead of relaxing.  As an afterthought, we remember when we had less responsibilities and seemingly more time to indulge in those things we love to do just because – painting, reading, hiking, journaling, playing music.  One of my favorite activities I used to do for pure enjoyment was coloring in my Sesame Street Coloring Book.  And no, I was not 5.  I was in my 20’s.  I did this because Myself – you know, the friend I need to get to know again – sometimes acts like she’s 5, and it’s OK to do what she wants to do once in awhile.

Being a responsible adult who does responsible adult tasks is what we all need to be.  But if we don’t replenish our souls as well, what will eventually be left of us as we show up for work day after day?  I’m constantly getting trapped in giving first priority to the “necessary” things in my life – emails and phone calls.  I forget that to keep the friendship I have with Myself alive, I have to put that stuff aside sometimes.  We certainly don’t develop friendships out of necessity.  The friendship we have with Self is no different.

I was hit with the idea for my song “Watercolor” when I was driving.  I saw an image of me sitting under a tree, painting, all by myself.  I had no obligations that day.  The sun was shining.  I was happy.  This image of painting with watercolors (some unconscious association I’ve made with my coloring book hobby no doubt!) encapsulates everything I want to say.  I want to spend time, not out of obligation but out of enjoyment, to get to know Myself again!

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