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Rae's Latest

Filtering by Tag: Singing

Still Sophie

Rae Hering

Hume-Fogg theater in Nashville, TN.

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.

Sophie and me on set! 

Caroline Knight, director, talking with Sophie about the interview.

The Most Happenin' Night I've Had Since...When? (Part 3/3)

Rae Hering

Organic Hi-Fi

Last week I was talking about this kickass jam session I was a part of and the importance of being OK with making mistakes in these types of situations. (well, hell, when is that not relevant?)  Here’s an example of the beautiful music we made, mistakes and all. This is Zach from Fable Crysinging one of his songs as we were all listening and learning:

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/142378929" params="color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

Our fearless ringmaster and cellist Josh Dent weaved effortlessly between being a thread in the musical fabric and directing the creative energies of his guests.  Without his leadership, our music-making could easily have turned into a chaotic wall of sound.

Josh humorously describes himself as an old man most of the time, but not tonight.  He's giddy as a little kid:

Josh's House 11
Josh's House 11

What I found extra impressive is that he encouraged us to have dialogue about the music we were making.  So often musicians stay confined inside the walls of unanswered questions.  Maybe the perfect groove was just an eighth note away, but if we aren’t willing to risk letting everyone know that we don’t know everything in the world, then we’ll never find that perfect groove.

I can safely say we found our perfect groove together.

Here's Ally Brown singing one of her tunes with everyone jamming with her.  So much fun!

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/142379440" params="color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

Going for the Imperfect Vocal Take

Rae Hering

Having a good laugh at Brown Owl Studios in Nashville, TN.
Having a good laugh at Brown Owl Studios in Nashville, TN.

Lately, when I've been recording vocals for my new EP "The Shy Gemini Sessions," one of the most challenging things is to get The Imperfect Take. (uh...what now??...Imperfect?)  Yep, the "perfect take" is NOT what I'm looking for.  Instead, I want an emotional take, a moving take, a vulnerable take, and most likely that's not the prettiest or most perfect one of the batch.

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

It's a tough choice to keep making because, who doesn't want to come off all nice and polished, right?  But the thing is, Imperfection is just downright more interesting!  Ever notice that your significant other prefers the candid photo with that true-to-self, unprepared expression on your face?  You thought that you looked better in the shot with the nicely-placed and practiced smile, but that candid shot captures something about your essence that the well-rehearsed one just doesn't.

Lost in a song at Brown Owl Studios in Nashville, TN.
Lost in a song at Brown Owl Studios in Nashville, TN.

When I find myself picking apart and polishing up my vocals, it's helpful to listen back to singers that I personally love.  Dave Matthews, Tom Waits and Rufus Wainwright may not be technically "superb" singers, but I'll listen to these characteristic voices over auto-tuned vocals any day!

Interestingly, even our health depends on living in an Imperfect environment.  If we over-sanitize our homes, we can become more susceptible to disease because we're not giving our bodies the chance to build up immunities.  This is a good reminder that I need to let my music live in an Imperfect space and to not over-sanitize my recordings.

Recording the Yamaha CP 70 at Brown Owl Studios in Nashville, TN.
Recording the Yamaha CP 70 at Brown Owl Studios in Nashville, TN.

The ultimate goal, of course, is to balance raw emotion with tempered technique.  To combine character with culture and intuitive flow with well-practiced poise.  But the temptation (for me at least) is to smooth over too many edges.

To be human is to be Imperfect.  To be Imperfect is to be relatable.  To be relatable is to connect with others.  So, I choose to embrace my Imperfections because I believe this will allow me to move, excite, provoke and engage - my hope is that this will shine through on my new recording project, "The Shy Gemini Sessions."

P.S. - Thanks to Ernest Chapman (bass), Jerry Roe (drums), Bobby Holland (sound engineer/producer), Mark Zellmer (Brown Owl Studio), and Jonathan Morse (creative director).

Bobby Holland (left)  and Mark Zellmer (right).
Bobby Holland (left) and Mark Zellmer (right).
Jerry Roe on drums
Jerry Roe on drums
Jonathan Morse
Jonathan Morse
Ernest Chapman on bass
Ernest Chapman on bass