…and I realize I haven’t posted in a while.
I’ve spent a lot of the past year writing and reeling. Reeling from reality of chronic illness hitting home (not me, but my immediate family and most favorite person in the world). Also reeling from the constant insanity that is the state of our current government. (and never really knowing whether I can count on having health insurance, after working steadily for the past 30 years.)
I’ve written a lot of angry protest folk songs this year. I think some of them are pretty good, but I keep asking myself if I want to keep singing them. Because staying angry is hard, tiring work. And I’m tired.
I’ve written some songs that I still consider protest folk, but have some more hopeful messages in them, and those are the songs that I think I’ll keep (and record??) from this year. Like “In the Sun” which I wrote after Charlottesville, and which proclaims “in the sun is where we belong. love and color aren’t wrong”. And the song I wrote about a close-to-home struggle about books and censorship this year. The song is called “Open Up”, and it’s about why I love to read (and my frustration with those who’d choose to censor what our kids can read).
And my favorite song that I’ve written in the past couple of years, “Wash Over Me”. I’ve been singing this with my amazing duo partner Jamie Corff in Luminous Heart. This song was written after the Pulse nightclub shooting, and it was my attempt to answer a question from an LGBTQ friend about how anyone can find hope in the face of such darkness and evil. I think it’s my favorite song simply because I was so distraught after the event, and I feel like the song was somehow beamed to me by some force, urging me to have hope beyond what I actually felt was possible at the time.
I haven’t made any new recordings this year because honestly I haven’t had the funds to do so. And also, I’ve learned that recording without having money for publicity means that a handful of people will hear your music, which is awesome, but not quite enough if you’re hoping to make back a little bit of the money that you put into it. And if you spend $5-15K recording an album (which is really what it takes if you want to pay everyone), you need A LOT of people to hear it.
So, over this winter, I’ll be working on new songs, fine-tuning my favorites from this last year (both solo, and in Luminous Heart), and hopefully finding a label or funding so that I/we can not only record some new songs, but pay for the publicity to get the songs out to the radio stations and others who need to hear them.
And in the meantime, I love playing house concerts… if you have a house, and say 10-20 chairs (or access to chairs), and if you are frustrated by the current political situation, please consider hosting a house concert. I will happily work with you on a guest list, planning, etc. All you have to do is say yes, reserve a couple hours of time, and I’ll help with the details. Could be this Fall, or after the holidays. Or heck, I do holiday shows too. You might even convince me to bring my sweet keyboard…
Talk with me…(music at valblaha dot com)