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Rae's Latest

Filtering by Tag: The Shy Gemini

Ouch!! I'm tearing off my Emotional Band-Aid

Rae Hering

Band-Aids are kind of “an issue” in my household. 

The other day my husband Jonathan notices to his delight that I’m sporting an adhesive bandage (newsflash: that is the real name, read all about it here.)  He breaks out into a smile and claims, as he always does, that I have an emotional attachment to Band-Aids.  My natural defense tactic is to deny, deny, deny!…but then I break down and admit that it’s kind of true.

So we get to talking about what this “emotional attachment” really is.  On the surface, it means that my average brush-with-death scrap requires a quick Band-Aid application every time.  But as we go deeper into that wound I realize it really means I’m attached to the immediate sense of resolve I get from uncomfortable feelings – and I’m talking emotional discomfort here.

Example: I get into an argument and say some nasty words that I immediately regret.  I’m feeling guilty.  Instead of my first thought being, “oh man, I hurt that person – I’m really sorry” it’s more like, “oh shit, I need to explain why I sounded like a big fat a-hole and set the record straight that I’m not usually like this.”  Gotta get rid of the guilty feelings with a quick Band-Aid, right?

Sometimes we put the Band-Aids on other people.  A friend calls you up and says she just broke up with her boyfriend.  Your first reaction is to say, “you were too good for him anyhow - you’ll find someone better!” or maybe even, “I never could understand what you saw in him…”

Some Band-Aids are applied every weekend watching TV or drinking beer to tune out the stress of family life or the thought of going back to an unfulfilling job Monday morning.

Now don’t get me wrong, comfort is a good thing; however, comfort can be misused to numb the pain rather than relieve us after the pain has been fully experienced.  You see, pain is a good thing, too.  When we put Band-Aids on uncomfortable feelings, we rob ourselves of the full experience of life.

So with that, Happy Discomfort everybody!

Album artwork Unveiling!

Rae Hering

Soooo excited to present to you all the new album artwork for "The Shy Gemini Sessions!"

     Back cover                                                                                    Front cover

     Back cover                                                                                    Front cover

Thanks to my friend and very talented artist Chris Longs, "The Shy Gemini Sessions" now has a visual story to go with the music.  What's extra super duper cool is that everything on the artwork has significance relating to the music.

The two sketches of me on the front and back covers are inspired by the Greek Gemini twins Castor and Pollux.  The significance of the gemini is that we recorded each song in two different ways - full band and acoustic to show the varying sides of my artistry.  

The canyon not only represents the song "Canyon," but it also runs in between Castor and Pollux, both connecting and dividing the gemini twins, showing they are the same yet very different.

The instruments represent the trio that made the heartbeat of this album pump.  Jerry Roe on drums and Ernest Chapman on bass are the definition of badassery + creative genius.  

The infinity symbol on the drum set is there because this theme runs heavily throughout the project.  In fact, the album begins with the song "Infinity" and ends with "Endless" (if you can call that an end?)  We could probably psychoanalyze why I'm obsessed with the unknown unending abyss, but then again, who isn't?

Finally, the album cover is actually a watercolor painting inspired by the song "Watercolor."  I love how Chris left the canvas showing on the edges.  To me the painting looks intentionally unfinished in this way.  Chris is showing the process of its formation; what's lying underneath, undone.  Even the Castor and Pollux gemini sketches are undone looking because, well, they're literally quick rough sketches.  I fell in love with them so much that Chris decided to use them in the real artwork.  

This idea of being in the process, unfinished and undone, couldn't be more telling of the personal place I'm coming from with recording this album.  We are all works in progress...

Anyhow, can't wait to share with you the MUSIC!!  Coming soon!

  

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!

 

Showcase at The Hight Watt was the Jam!

Rae Hering

J & R at High Watt

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVzoGZv2cFI&w=640&h=360]  

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.

photo
photo

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.

Here we are rehearsing for the show.
Here we are rehearsing for the show.

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:

Duke Mode Fresh Coat Tales

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" /]

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?

Simon Says...

Rae Hering

CAT NIP!!!!!!!! (It can't be that complicated, right?)

What do you think Simon is saying?