For whatever reason, deep in the muck of my monkey mind, during my time in Taos I’ve decided to re-work the songs on Holy Bones and make piano versions out of them. WHY?
Thoughts on the trail during my artist residency …
I just crested staying over two months in Taos, New Mexico as an Artist in Residence at the Wurlitzer Foundation. A few days after I arrived here I sought out the Devisadero Loop Trail, a section / foothill of the Sangre de Cristo mountains. It begins around 7,000 feet above sea level and makes its way to 8,300 feet. Needless to say, my Minnesota lungs were winded. I was such a PILE on the first hike. Took me 2.5-3 hours and I was exhausted on those early days of being here. Now I’m run/hiking it, and just had my best time at 1:10.
“Devisadero” has a few searchable meanings – could be from the Spanish word for ‘division.’ The forest service says it means “lookout place” and that “the peak had once been used by the Taos Pueblo Indians to stand guard against the Apaches who would come down Taos Canyon to raid the Pueblo.” Or it might be from the word divisar, meaning similarly ‘to gaze at something from a distance.’
I haven’t been in Taos for two weeks just yet – Tuesday eve it will be so – but time moves slow here – I’ve made it as such. Imposed solitude. Turning down invites to chill with the other artists, to go to a Bob Marley dance party at a gallery, and right now I could be drinking and watching the Superbowl with some passionate intellectuals … but no, I am in my casita … blogging … what a DORK!
A quick update on how I am spending my artist residency – the spiral nature of my time thus far. First – motivation, enthusiasm, excitement spiraled to overwhelm, exhaustion, lethargy and then back around slowly to productivity, awe, creative bliss … Emotions; they are always shifting, changing like clouds in the sky or waves in the sea. The thing is, underneath all of that emotional stormage and weather there’s a clear blue space. And I work with that. I try to work with that.
Small talk, deep talk, chit chat, white lies, subversion, “elephants in the room,” exuberance, speaking your truth, singing, clearing your throat — when it comes to living “authentically” it’s all about your voice. And well beyond words, it’s about finding your truth and expressing it.
The 5th chakra is called the Visuddha chakra, located at the throat and basking in the color blue. In my last four blog posts I’ve been veering towards the self-help, self-reflection section of the book store rather than music business tips + news. In my other life I’m a yoga instructor and have been teaching a series on the chakras to child and family therapists at a community health center. Chakras, to those of you wondering WTF, are energy centers/wheels in our emotional/spiritual bodies and according to yogic, buddhist and new age belief, hold keys to our attitudes, imbalances, and spiritual growth. You might find it total BS, but maybe you’re into self reflection and some of the following may ring true.
Photo by Scott “Starfire” Lunt
My teenage self always thought musicians that had side projects were the coooooooolest. I still do, because I still feel like a teenager.
In this blog I’m going to talk a little bit about some famous and/or regionally known local bands and their side projects (as well as my own!) and how these projects give participating musicians voice to the other, perhaps more wild, sides of their personalities.
“There is nothing more vulnerable than creativity … and what is art if it’s not love?” – Brené Brown
In the midst of putting a new album into the world, I am faced with some trepidation. I’ve heard Tori Amos in an interview describe her songs as babies … on that thought, when you send your children out to live their lives outside of you, mothering instinct must kick in – fear for their safety, how will they get along in the world, who will love them? I can only imagine … comparing songs to babies might be a long shot, but to create something bearing soul, sweat, love, tears and fling it into the universe is quite a courageous act.