Merry Christmas! Hope you enjoy my version of "Silent Night."
Filtering by Tag: Piano
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You know how couples remember their first kiss or their first dance? Well, for songwriters we remember the first song we wrote together (LOL!) "How the Wind Blows" is the first song my husband Jonathan and I co-wrote and I'm so glad it's finally out in the world! We'll see where the wind takes this song...hopefully far!
Be sure to check out the behind-the-scenes video of us recording live (yes, the name of the series is honest!) at Pentavarit Studios here in Nashville, TN.
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’m so happy to have been a part of such a meaningful and poignant film, “Still Sophie” directed by Caroline Knight, which will be making its world premier today in Charlotte as part of the 100 Words Film Festival (a festival where all films must use exactly 100 words! Talk about tricky!)
“Still Sophie” is a seven minute documentary that tells the story of a young woman, Sophie, who suffered a stroke when she was 19. After four years of therapy she’s made amazing progress but still struggles with aphasia, which is where her thinking process is completely intact but speaking those thoughts is extremely difficult.
Singing, however, is easier. Sophie has always loved to sing and that hasn’t changed a bit because of her stroke! In fact, the documentary features Sophie singing “Maybe This Time” and that’s where I come in – I’m accompanying her on piano!
What a strong, determined and beautiful young woman Sophie is! An inspiration!
Read more about “Still Sophie” and The 100 Words Film Festival.
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.
Quick 'lil post...just want to put out this montage video that Jonathan made recently. We're hoping it will help us book regional house concerts and gigs, but really it's just some fun footage that I think you all will enjoy!
Happy WEEKEND! :)
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.
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 :)
If anyone of you friends, folks or music fiends out there live in or around Huntsville I'll be playing a show this weekend NEAR YOU! My fellow piano player and co-writer Robert LaSalle has asked me to share the show with him this Saturday. I've got to say, he's one of the most creative writers I know, and that's why I love writing with him. We'll even be performing a few songs we've written together.
The Lumberyard Event Bar is the newest addition to the well-established Historic AM Booth's Lumberyard property. It's the kind of intimate space that provides a true listening experience. If you plan to attend, just make sure you send your email to email@example.com - it's a requirement to come to the show! Once your email is on the list you may bring whomever you want.
On a personal note, I'm excited because this is the beginning of playing shows outside the Nashville area. If you would like to see me play in your city, the main thing that will help me to do this is house concerts. If you or someone you know would like to host a house concert, please reach out to me.
And to all you Huntsvillians - see you at the show!
Just had a killer Monday night playing at The High Watt for their weekly "8 off 8th" event (interpretation: the venue is off 8th Ave. and 8 bands play 3 songs each - it's a marathon night, but a lot of fun, too.) And WOW! I'm so blown away by the talent in Nashville! The bands playing represented a very diverse picture of Nashville, from a progressive rock/metal/jazz group to a catchy southern pop act to an energetic bluegrass/folk ensemble to a steel drum-fronted funk/fusion band.
To add to my excitement, my fiancé Jonathan took the stage for the first time since the early 90's playing bass with me!! Jonathan and I have written songs together and have jammed together, but performing with him took our musical relationship to a new level. He was even telling me the other night that he realized the performance aspect of making music completes the circle for him - it gives reason to the practicing, jamming and writing.
Also, joining me was my lovely and talented friend Arianna Fanning on drums. Jonathan has known Arianna for a couple of years now, but when she moved in to our same apartment complex it became toostupid easy to start playing music with one another! It HAD to be done!
And here are some other bands to check out from Monday night:
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.
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.
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!
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.)
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Do you have a way of resetting your brain before your creative process? Do you keep meaningful objects close by to inspire you?
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...
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
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?
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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
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.
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.
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" /]
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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.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. I am interested in creating an alignment with their campaign.
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[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
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.
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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