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Rae's Latest

Filtering by Tag: Acoustic

Dance Your Heartbreak Away 💔🕺🏽

Rae Hering

For those of you who feel broken or abused, down and out or downright mad, I know I can't change your situation, your life or your outlook. But you know what I can do? I can get you to dance your heartbreak away for 3 and a half minutes! Hope "Heartbreak Hang-Up" gives you a little lift in your day.

Get the song on Spotify and iTunes HERE.

 
 

Also, check out this behind-the-scenes video of the band and me recording LIVE at Pentavarit Studios in Nashville, TN!

 

I Smell a Video Series...

Rae Hering

That's right!  I've posted two of these babies over the last couple of weeks so I thought it was time to call it what it is.  

You see, I've been exploring my beautiful city of Nashville for the tucked away (or not-so-tucked-away) places that inspire me to find my muse in Music City.  I hope you'll come along with me...  

All I Got For Christmas...

Rae Hering

All I got for Christmas was this holiday album called...

 
 

Just kidding.

A couple of months ago my friend Ford Heacock with Firebreath Media asked me to be a part of this fun 'lil holiday project he was putting together. The result is 10 eclectic and colorful Christmas songs by many talented artists (read more about them here!) - all yours for FREE!! But if you would like to give, all the proceeds will be donated to the Nashville Rescue Mission

Hope you'll check out my track, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," fea. Duane Borba on percussion and Laura Vance on background vocals. Thanks for sharing it with anyone you think would enjoy it!

 

Here I am with Duane Borba recording for the holiday album at Firebreath Records.

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!

 

I Feel So Painted!

Rae Hering

Ugo's painting
Ugo's painting

Thank you to Ugo Paradiso, a talented (and super friendly) artist who made this kicking' painting of my image:

Ugo is working on a series of musicians and their instruments.  Personally, I can't wait to see what he comes up with next!

Also, thanks to fellow blogger and painter Mary for introducing us.  This is the meaning of strengthening the Creative Communities around us!

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?

The Art of Resting in Motion (When There's Just Too Much To Do!)

Rae Hering

Photo from Wikipedia.
Photo from Wikipedia.

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/133254573" params="color=00aabb&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

The process of recording an album is different for everyone.  Some musicians complete their album in a week’s time, maybe it takes a couple of months, or if you’re Miles Davis, you can knock out an album in just two days – worked out beautifully for his 1959 album Kind of Blue. I’m not that kind of musician - at least not yet.  Teaching lessons during the week pushes recording time to the weekends.  And the fact that I don’t tour consistently means it takes longer to figure out how the song should sound on the recording. Nonetheless, I’m happy to report that the tracking for “The Shy Gemini Sessions” is now complete!  This marks the end of a six-month period where Jonathan, Bobby Holland (my

Here's Bobby and I working out some parts. Photo credit: Jonathan Morse.
Here's Bobby and I working out some parts. Photo credit: Jonathan Morse.

producer and engineer) and I have spent almost every Saturday and Sunday exploring parts, experimenting with instruments and hammering out details.  We sure have had a lot of fun working our butts off!  Time for a break, right? Silly Rae, recess is for kids!  The moment I start thinking that I have my weekends back for a little R&R, I remind myself that when it comes to being an independent music artist, weekends simply aren’t for relaxing – there’s a LOT more to do.  In fact, I’m frequently saying to myself there’s too much to do.  For those of us that are moving towards bigger visions for our lives, there’s always going to be too much to do.

library.defenderdirect.com.
library.defenderdirect.com.

But I try to keep in mind what Rory Vaden eloquently states it in his book “Take the Stairs.”

Successful people “understand that there’s no real finish line, no magic moment when they will ‘arrive’ and get to rest on their laurels. Discipline is a perpetual process, and the growth is in the journey.  Simple, but here’s the part that you won’t want to hear – you don’t get a day off.  Ever.”

There have been plenty of times where I feel like I’m running the hamster wheel, never getting a chance to just finish something.  But when I have the discipline to stay active with moving my music career forward, I realize that I’m rejuvenated by staying active, NOT from taking a break!  I find that maintaining this state of being wipes away that craving for “zone out” time in front of the TV, luxurious weekend spa treatments, or drinking the weekend away.

juliacameronlive.com
juliacameronlive.com

In her book “The Artist’s Way,”Julia Cameron depicts this idea perfectly when she urges her readers to learn to “rest in motion.”  It’s a counterintuitive truth that I think we all have a good grasp of already.  Think of it this way: exercising our bodies requires energy, but it gives us a whole lot of energy in return.  Exercise gets our blood flowing, which delivers oxygen throughout our bodies – oxygen that’s required for making energy.  In short, we spend a little energy to get a whole of energy back (now that’s my kind of investment!) “Endless” is a song about continuing to move forward even when it feels like there’s no where to go.  (Please keep in mind that this is a SNEAK PEAK unfinished version!)  Now that a milestone has been achieved with recording “The Shy Gemini Sessions” it’s time to tell myself, “good job!” and then quickly tell myself to keep moving. [soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/133254573" params="color=00aabb&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

A Christmas Video for You

Rae Hering

"I'll be Home for Christmas" - I've always loved this song.  Something about the easy-flowing melody, the nostalgic lyric and the deep emotional content captured my heart from the start.  Naturally, when I sat down with my guitar to play through the tune a few weeks ago, it poured out like it's always been in there, waiting for its moment.

Being a musician who focuses on songwriting, I don't do a whole lot of covers - I only do the songs I really really really like - which is the way it should be, I think!  My motivation for playing covers is 100% to perform it in my own style.  The process for learning the cover is basically this: play through as much of the song as I possibly can without referencing sheet music or a recorded version, put aside any thought of the original rhythm and chord structure, and play what comes out.

And that's exactly what I've done here!  My hope is that you find it as fresh and unique as it is familiar and comforting!

Hope you enjoy my 3rd annual Christmas cover - I'll be Home for Christmas

P.s. - If you have to be away from home for Christmas this season, or have had to in the past, leave a comment and share what you miss most!

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" /]

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

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/78345320" params="" width=" 100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

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.”

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/78345320" params="" width=" 100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

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!

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