Finding your voice

May 28th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized

I have had a lot of “wyrrd” experiences in my life.

Those of you that read my blog have probably seen me use that spelling “wyrrd” alot.

It is the original Gaelic spelling of the word that translates into “destiny” so if something is weird.

It’s your destiny…

Pretty cool, eh?

One specific example I remember vividly is a relationship I was in where me and my girlfriend had been together a long time and we were starting to grow apart. Our lives were headed in different directions and the relationship had grown apart. Yet we were still very close and so were our families and there wasn’t an easy way out. We went to dinner one evening with some friends on St. Patrick’s Day and while we were at a red light we saw a girl and her mother run across the road in a flash trying to beat the oncoming cars.

The mother hesitated and held back yet the girl went for it and was hit by a truck

I can picture the whole thing vividly to this day and it was extremely surreal and very very “wyrrd”

She was catapulted several feet in the air and landed at least 10-12 car lengths away from where she was hit.

There was nothing the driver could have done as her decision to “go for it” was made in a flash.

My girlfriend saw it as it was in the process of happening and said; “Oh my god no! Oh my god! no and then BAM! the impact and it was overwhelming to see such a thing up close.

I immediately put my car in park right in the middle of the street and had my girlfriend call an ambulance and rushed to check on the girl.

She still had a pulse and was breathing but was unconscious from the shock of the impact.

I still believe us seeing this was some type of divine intervention and she found the courage to initiate our breakup shortly thereafter.

Something like that can remind you of how short life is and that we are only here for a moment. It was a wake-up call.

I was happy to find out a few days later that she survived.

There were similar “wyrrd” things that led to my finding the courage to pursue a solo career in music in 2004. I remember the one “sticking point” was after so many years being known as a “guitarist” how would I re-invent myself as a singer as well.

Shortly thereafter I met a singer named Jimi Tunnell that changed my life.

He helped me find my voice.

The most important thing in singing is that you believe in what you are singing and that you you mean it. There are myriad examples of this, a few that come to mind are; Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, Billy Corgan, Leon Russell and Dave Grohl.

None of the aforementioned are stellar vocalist but they have the most important holy trinity when it comes to delivering your message;

1. Focus
2. Determination
3. Heart

Music is to be felt, not seen.

I learned this when I started singing. When I started singing everyone was telling me;

“Eric, what are you doing? you can’t sing”

I heard this from friends and family members and you name it.

I still hear it from some friends (he he)

One of my favorite cherished e-mails is a 3 paragraph letter from my sister where she was shocked at how good I got at singing when I went solo. She hadn’t seen me perform in a couple of years and came to my CD release party and it floored her.

In my old band we didn’t spend hardly any time on lyrics we were all music majors so we just focused on that. It showed as our shows were fun and people danced but the message was lacking.

I immediately started focusing on finding the stories and events in my life that I was passionate about and writing about them. I noticed a major difference and I felt it as well.

I had a friend that was murdered in Houston, TX. Houston can be a very dangerous city. I have a friend that was shot there as well. His wife agreed to testify against the man that killed her husband under one condition. The state not pursue the death penalty.

That moved me and I no longer believe in the death penalty after researching it quite thoroughly as well. One day I was at home in my studio and a melody came to me. No words just this haunting melody out of nowhere.

I immediately grabbed my hand held tape recorder and captured it.

The whole thing just flowed on to the tape and I captured it and practiced singing it for a few days.
I had never had anything come to me that vividly before and the “wyrrd” thing was that there were no lyrics just this melody. I took it to Jimi Tunnell’s studio and sang it for him and he came up with this piano ostinato that was perfect and we captured it.

I remember Jimi was out of town in NY for a few days and when he got back he was like “Man this sounds good” That is a nice compliment coming from Jimi who is a hell of a singer.

I went on to pen some lyrics that I was very proud of, but here is what is “wyrrd”

No matter how hard I tried I could never sing the song as good when I had lyrics and with the same amount of passion.

That original track haunted me and it still does.

My girlfriend at the time cried the first time she heard the melody only version with no lyrics. In fact after my album came out she had me make her a copy of the original “melody only” demo so that she could put it on her ipod and just listen to that.

Here is that original demo for you to hear, it still surprises me when I hear it.

There is no pitch correction or auto tune on my voice. The only effect is a little bit of delay for ambiance. Make sure the volume is cranked so you get the full effect.

It is my wish that this inspires you to find your voice as well. It doesn’t have to be music, it could be writing, or public speaking or painting or cooking. Just follow it with focus, determination and heart.

Insist on that and remember “Music is to be felt, not seen”

Much Love,

Eric

  1. One Response to “Finding your voice”

  2. By Peter "Metal Pete" Elsner on May 29, 2009

    Very inspiring Eric…

    Very inspiring indeed…

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