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Rae's Latest

Filtering by Category: Rae's Music

A Desk, a Beer and the Non-Popularity Contest

Rae Hering

When Jonathan found out that NPR's tiny desk concerts and Lagunitas Brewing Company were holding their first annual contest for indie artists I was soooooo excited. 

I know that what I'm about to say will sound like a complete fabrication in order to be all teacher's pet-y, but I LOVE both NPR and Lagunitas. Little secret, my bucket list includes the entry "be interviewed by Terry Gross on Fresh Air." And if the bar serves Lagunitas IPA, that's what I'm ordering every time - no joke.

While I pinky swear that my professed love is tried and true, I'm also pretty sure that the amount I enjoy informative radio and delicious alcoholic beverages has no bearing on the contest results. It does, however, have a complete effect on how much I enjoyed this project!

Enter Chad McClarnon. Chad is very tall, has a dapper mustache, and possesses the uncanny ability to make a kickin' professional video in a matter of hours. The rules of the video were to play live music - behind a desk. With Jonathan playing bass and Duane on drums, we came up with something pretty cool and had fun doing it, too!

 
Shenanigans behind a desk!

Shenanigans behind a desk!

 

But now let me express the REAL reason why I think this contest was worth the effort - because it was not based on how many VOTES or VIEWS or LIKES I corral from my friends or other poor souls that gets accosted by my persistent yet overly cheerful requests to "check out my page!!!"

Most contests that musicians enter nowadays make me feel like I'm in high school again - right back to the old popularity game. But has anyone ever noticed that the harder you try to get people to like you, the more they seem to not care?? 

Running after votes, views and likes, especially from my personal friends, is like whitening my teeth. Sure, a Crest-white smile looks nice, but does it really mean my teeth are healthier for it? In other words, if all my friends vote for my contest entry, am I really any closer to where I want to be in my music career?

I don't think any musician should have to beg or nag people to publicly vouch from them. I think if our art is effective and accessible, people who feel moved to follow our careers will emerge. They will watch our videos, leave their comments and like our pages. This will grow into a happy byproduct called popularity.

Unlike the high school prom queen's 15min of fame, however, this kind of popularity is the kind that sticks. It will stick if we respect our audience enough to let them decide when they want their voices heard and how they want to be fans.

So thank you, tiny desk concert contest, for giving us the space to following our Creative Light instead of a popularity gimmick. Hope you find an artist that shines like a torch in the night.

Over-happiness Heart/Explosion Phenomenon!

Rae Hering

I'm sitting here on my couch eating steamed cabbage (because isn't that everyone's go-to midnight snack?) thinking about how freaking wonderful life is. I am so grateful for the people in my life that make my heart feel like it's going to explode from over-happiness but then my heart doesn't explode from over-happiness because it knows I would no longer be happy if it did indeed explode.

Jan Bossing is the type of lady that can make the heart/explosion phenomenon happen. I first met Jan through our mutual friend (and 18-string bass player) Scott Fernandez before we played a show at Drifters in East Nashville. Ever since then, Jan has consistently promoted my music on social media and always (I mean always) has encouraging words for me.

Later I learned Jan runs the non-profit organization Nashville Fringe Festival (NFF). I can tell Jan lives out her organization's mission statement every day: 

"The Nashville Fringe Festival exists to celebrate the diversity of Nashville artists, and to honor the legends among us who enrich our city and inspire our lives."

This woman is the type of mover-shaker-gogetter-cheerleader-Facebook SuperWoman you want representing your town - so Nashville should be honored to have her as a staple force around here.

So then, Jan really started laying the kindness on thick. She invited Jonathan and me to be featured guests on the NFF's radio show with Radio Free Nashville. After that, she included my song "Infinity" on the NFF Winter 2015 Sampler (it's free folks). But if that wasn't enough, Jan and the NFF just offered to sponsor a Rae Hering show!

 

Here I am with Fringe Radio host E.T. Brown

 

I'm so thrilled. I mean, I was not expecting this. How often does someone come into your life and say, "hey, you look like you could use a little boost to send your heartfelt art out into the world therefore making it a more beautiful place" ??? 

Thank you Jan, for giving back so much to the Nashville Creative Community.

Details to come about the show specifics. All I can say right now is...be prepared to be extremely entertained.

P.s. - click below to check out the FREE NFF Winter 2015 Sampler!

 
 
 
 

Help Take Me to France!

Rae Hering

A well-known performer in France by the name Téte has given me the opportunity to open for him when he tours the release of his new recording in the fall of 2015. The relationship and exposure with Tété would be a great boost in my career.  My band and I are ready to get out and start performing for a bigger audience. Growing a fan base, however, has a lot of catch-22’s and quite frankly what it comes down to succeed is money, awareness, determination and perseverance.

If this tour comes together as planned there is still travel, food and accommodations to cover. Like any business, investment dollars are an important part of getting off the ground and banks don’t loan money to artists that are not established. The estimated cost will come just under $10,000. This is just for a seven-day tour in France. 

My husband Jonathan (who is also my manager, bass player, photographer, co-writer, you name it!) and I are not used to asking for support…but here we are!

So what am I asking?

SPREAD THE WORD
With just a few words, you and anyone you tell about my story can boost the awareness of my music. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. Here are some links to share:

Website: raehering.com/music
iTunes: ow.ly/FvhqE
Spotify: ow.ly/Fvicr
Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/raehering/sets

CD SALES
As many of you are aware, I have two CD’s: “Reality Over My Head” and my latest release, “The Shy Gemini Sessions.” Both may be purchased from my website for $5 each in digital and physical forms. My music is also available on iTunes, though because iTunes controls the pricing, the album is $9.99.
  
LIVE PERFORMANCE
This is what I LOVE to do. And I especially LOVE doing House Concerts!  If you would like to know more about how to host one of these fun, intimate gatherings (which can be totally free for hosts) EMAIL ME and we'll talk about it.  Also, if there is a venue in your town you would like to see me play, I'd love to know more about that venue so we can play where you are!

 

And thank you for your participation in the campaign to share my music!

Smiling "Watercolour" from the UK

Rae Hering

Wow, am so thankful to be surrounded by such a creative community!  Check this painting out by Peter Williams, a fantastically talented artist who lives in Leiston, England.   

 
 

I always love seeing artwork in progress, so I thought I'd include these, too...

Peter has cleverly names this piece "Watercolour" to serve a sneaky dual purpose:

1) he did, in fact, use watercolor paints and...

2.) he named it after my song "Watercolor" (posted below). 

Being that Peter is from the UK and I live in the US, we've been joking about who's spelling "watercolour/watercolor" incorrectly...hehe...  

But the best part about the story is that Peter found me and my music through a mutual artist friend, Ugo Paradido (who also did a beautiful painting of me and my guitar) on a site called Paint My Photo.  I am continually astounded by these connections being made online and through friends.

Thanks for making me smile, Peter - literally! 

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.

I've been in hiding...but not anymore!

Rae Hering

Guys, it's been awhile.  It's been a lonnnnnnnnnng while.  Here's the nutshell since June:

 

I got married!

 
 

 

I got a band!

 
 

 

I was a Newsie for Halloween! (not exactly a life-changing event but a fun fact nonetheless)

 
 

 

And...drum roll please...

I released my brand new album, "The Shy Gemini Sessions!"

 
 

 

I hope you'll consider giving it a listen, purchasing, or sharing it with your friends:


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

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

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" /]

The Most Happenin' Night I've Had Since...When? (Part 2/3)

Rae Hering

Organic Hi-Fi
Organic Hi-Fi

Wednesday I was talking with you all about my awakening at a crazy/refreshing jam session.  Check this out:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5A21k0-9MQ&w=640&h=360]

So I was thinking about it, and I realized that what really made the night was seeing all these artists make connections with each other, make plans to work with each other and show up at each other’s gigs.  I smile just thinking about the Creative Community I’m actively creating because…

My musical history consists mostly of learning solo classical piano by myself, writing songs by myself, teaching myself guitar, by myself…yeah, I think you get the point. When it came to music, I was in strict solitary confinement. I didn’t know how to play well with others and definitely did not want to share my toys.

Colors 2
Colors 2

Through the past few years my path has slowly lead me to embracing the communal aspect of musicianship – something I’ve resisted and wanted for so long.  At the core of this struggle, I see that the fear of making mistakes has had me hunched in the corner with my volume knob down for years.

So when I listen back to the recordings from our jam, I hear acoustic electricity that’s raw and real and – well, everyone’s making mistakes.  But no one cares!  We’re all gracefully stumbling through each other’s songs, emotionally levitating so high that there are no longer mistakes, only colors.  Someone just played a minor 3rd in a major key?  Hey that sounded pretty cool…

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/141805794" params="color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

Don’t go away, there’s more…

The Most Happenin' Night I've Had Since...When?? (Part 1/3)

Rae Hering

My Home Entertainment System
My Home Entertainment System

Once in awhile, an experience comes alongthat knocks you back into being.  You didn’t event know you were sleepwalking until you find yourself holding an accordion in the middle of an intellectual bohemian jam session next to a harpistand a twelve string bass player (check these musicians out – they’re doing cool stuff).

It's dark, it's mysterious...

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOuIePw-qi4?list=UUi_lAR5FJKSJpHUBV8epgHg&w=640&h=360]

(By the way, that's also Joshua Dent playing cello - more on him in a later post.)

So you might not be a musician who’s sleptwalked themselves into a carnival of musical instruments, but I think a lot of you out there have had a version of an awakening.  When something feels so startling and new, yet so familiar that you settle right into it with ease.

I found myself blubbering strings of phrases containing such poignant words as “awesome” and “so cool” and maybe just a “fuck yeah!” cuz really, what can you say when you’re having as much fun as you’ve had since…when?  I don’t even know.  We all were so buzzed off the experience that you’d think our tunes were 9% alcohol.

Stay tuned for more of the story in a couple of days.  For now, check out this song I sang on accordion and we all jammed on called Bei Mir Bist Du Schon, an old Andrews Sisters tune.

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/141544373" params="color=00aabb&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_artwork=true" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

And just for fun, shits and giggles (let's get Ca-ra-zee!) here's the original version as sung by The Andrew's Sisters:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xe2UXccid40&w=480&h=360]

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?

My Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Book (um, kind of...)

Rae Hering

Remember Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books? ME: (wildly flailing my arms about) "Hey there Buckaroo!! Guess what?!?!"

YOU: "You sound pretty over-the-top excited there...what's up?"

ME: "My 2011 release "Reality Over My Head" is on Noise Trade!! Plus, coincidentally I can't stop shouting!!! I think I have a disorder!!!!!!"

*Now YOU get to decide! Turn to page 22 to frantically run away, turn to page 11 to start shouting with Rae, or visit the link below to download her album for free!

AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

Download for FREE on Noise Trade

Album Cover LARGE jpg
Album Cover LARGE jpg

Keep staying tuned! "The Shy Gemini Sessions" is coming out soon!!

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 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" /]

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?

 

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