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What if you are an under-represented musician? Feeling guilty about being privileged? The Answer is Advocacy. In this episode, we discuss issues around inclusion and what it really means to be an artist.

With many moods and meters, Ariel Wang's music pulls from a deep grounding in folk with traces of metal, western classical music, and progressive rock. Her songs trace a path of growth, lessons, traumas, triumphs, love, and heartbreak, cataloging experiences both unique yet universal. With a backing of talented musicians, and as a multi-instrumentalist herself, Ariel Wang and her Wang Gang provide a kaleidoscopic musical experience that'll tingle and excite the ears of any listener.

DISCOVER:


  • Ariel's favourite modern composers and how to get into classical music if you know nothing about it
  • Why it's never too late to start playing music
  • Why it shouldn't be the vulnerable to always speak up
  • Why Advocacy is an answer to privilege
  • Inclusion, Gender and Racial Politics and why the bully should be invited to the discussion 


RESOURCES:


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TRANSCRIPT of INTERVIEW

Speaker 2: Welcome to another episode of there to be seen. I'm your host Elisa Di Napoli and today's episode features Ariel Wang. Her songs trace a path of growth lessons, traumas, triumphs, love, and heartbreak, cataloging experiences, both unique yet universal with a backing of talented musicians and as a multi-instrumentalist herself, Ariel Wang and her when gang provide a kaleidoscope of musical experience that will tingle and excite the ears of any listeners. Before we meet our guest for today, I would like to invite you to go to tiny url.com/pod discount, and you will be able to get 20% of my online course there to be seen, where you will discover how to magnify your presence and command the stage in 10 easy steps. So you can perform at your best in front of a larger audience. And now here's our guests for today.

Speaker 2: Oh, we've got Ariel Wang today on the show. I, came across your music and I was quite impressed by how versatile you really, you are, you, you seem to be able to do a lot of things. You are, I'm a teacher, a coach. You also are a multi instrumentalist. You play lots of different instruments and you also, your music is quite kaleidoscopic and it's basically, you know, the way I understand it is it's quite for key, but then it's got this very interesting traces of Western classical music prog rock metal. So I guess, first of all, I wanted to ask you about how this love for music. How did the ma did it emerge in your life

Speaker 3: Yeah, so I started first on the piano at age five. My mom is a piano teacher, so she was determined that I would play an instrument and we quickly realized that having my mom teach me was not a good idea. So that didn't last very long. but I remember when I was eight, my mom took me to see the Titanic and my favorite scene of all time. And that whole three hour long marathon is when Jack and Rose are in third class and they have this huge dance party with all of the musicians. And I remember after seeing that movie, I decided I was going to play the violin and I predominantly wanted to learn folk music. And at first my mom was a little bit reluctant because the piano lessons went so poorly. So she wasn't sure how committed I was, but I, I hammered her for a year.

Speaker 3: And finally they got me classical violin lessons. And as a kid, I resisted that I didn't really want to learn classical music, but the more I learned about it, the more I fell in love with it, I think classical music is like a lot of different kinds of music. And I think what, where there's a pretty big expanse of what classical music actually is. And I know a lot of people who say, Oh, I don't like classical music. And I felt like I was one of those people for a really long time, but just like any other genre of music, there's so much that you don't hear, you know, in what's popular. And I think for a lot of people who don't like classical music, I highly highly recommend actually going in and listening to different pieces of different composers in different instruments, because it's so different.

Speaker 3: And especially a lot of modern classical music. Some of it sounds like, like if you listened to, like Shostakovitch or co die, these composers are, are more within, I guess the last hundred years instead of 300 years ago. A lot of it is very metal. A lot of it is very dissonant. and it's not like, I think what a lot of people imagine when they think of classical music. And so I started falling more and more in love with it. And I always knew I wanted to be a musician. I started guitar and just really self-taught on guitar when I was about 15 and I wasn't really writing music. Then I was just learning things on my own. And I always knew I wanted to be a musician, but when I was younger, I think my parents sort of discouraged that, that path because they knew it was going to be really difficult.

Speaker 3: And they told me I had to get a college degree. Like I, whatever I did with my life, I had to get a college degree. So I stopped playing music and I stopped taking violin lessons. So I stopped taking violin lessons at 16, focused more on school. And then I actually stopped playing music for a really long time. And it wasn't until after school, after college. and I was a little bit uncertain where I wanted to go. I moved into a house of musicians and I was surrounded by music. We a basement where the, my housemates had turned it into a music studio. People were having rehearsals and it was really my housemates who encouraged me and pushed me to play music again. And I started playing guitar again, I started writing songs and my first band that I had was actually just my housemates playing with me.

Speaker 3: And I would just be, and this happened a lot in this house. It wasn't even just with me, but with anybody in the house, somebody would start playing and then one of the housemates would join in. And then next thing you know, you know, we're all just jamming and playing music together. And then when I was about 26, I decided I was going to just go fully into becoming a professional musician. So at that point I hadn't played violin officially for 10 years, but I picked it up again. I went to grad school, got my masters and in violin. And I've been basically a music teacher and professional musician professional violinist since, since then. So I've had kind of a different path, I think, than a lot of musicians. I think a lot of musicians I know and play with, they start when they're really young and they never stop. And their families are very involved in their music playing sometimes. but it took me a lot of zig-zags to get where I am here today.

Speaker 2: Well, I, I that's really fascinating because actually funnily enough, I was talking about this today, with my boyfriend, because I was thinking, I was telling him that a lot of the people that I have interviewed, you know, they have some kind of musical background, you know, maybe their grandma, the mother, their father, they went to school music school from a very young age. And that was saying, well, you know, I'm feeling a little bit, envious because in my case I didn't have that encouragement. I really wanted to play music when I was young, but my family, you know, no one is a musician they just wanted, they, they didn't think it was possible, you know And, and so it's really refreshing to hear someone who actually started later, you know, and gives encouragement to other people that it's not too late. You know, it's never too late. You can start again, even if you haven't played music for 10 years.

Speaker 3: And that is one of the things that I've learned a lot about. I think I have a lot of insecurity around my music playing because I feel like I'm surrounded by these extraordinary musicians who've been playing their whole lives, but at the same time, I've also through, I think being just in the Bay area and being around such a diverse community, there are people I've met who did not grow up as musicians, but always had a desire for it. And my oldest violin student is I believe in her sixties or seventies, she's definitely retired and she's been playing for, I believe like 20, 25 years. So she didn't start playing until she was in her forties. So, and she's, you know, she's made so much progress and she plays pretty advanced pieces. So if there's anything I've learned from my musical experience and especially having had a community, which supported me so much, like the first open mic that I played, which I thought personally was a complete disaster.

Speaker 3: I, I played a cover of a song and the first three rows were my housemates and my friends and that music community like screaming and cheering for me as if I was the biggest fan that has come in ages, like, you know, and I played one song pretty poorly, I would say, but the support really was what kept me going. And I think that anyone who wants to try music, if you're not around people who support you, like find someone who does, because you're, it's never too late to play music. It is something that I think is of the life of the soul. and everyone has access to it. Like it's, it's never too late.

Speaker 2: Yes. That's, that's a really, really inspiring message. And again, a serendipity here as a play, because just today I was reading, a really good book,

Speaker 3: The war of art. I don't know if you've ever heard of it. Yeah. I haven't read, read a whole lot of it, but yeah, I have it on my shelf.

Speaker 2: Right. Well, I would really recommend it because even though there's some things I don't quite agree with at the end of it, but as a whole is a very good book. And one of the things it says is that, like you said, music is about, feeding the soul and that there's a, you know, there's always a bit of resistance, that can happen. especially if you're blocked, but also, you know, basically resistance is fear, you know, fear, that's too late fear that you might not be good enough or whatever it may be or fear that other people are not going to applaud you

Speaker 3: Or they might reject you.

Speaker 2: But he says actually, what is recommended, it's much better to think of it as playing music for its own sake, rather than playing music because of the, you know, approval that you may get. and I thought that was, that's very true because if you start thinking about it in terms of you all many likes, am I getting how many people are buying my album Well, you're going to be disappointed, but also that's not what music is about. You know,

Speaker 3: I think it's very difficult for musicians, especially in the modern way that the music industry runs. It's, it's difficult to, to find a balance between that. Cause I think if you want to be a professional musician, or if you ever want anyone to hear your music, there is a level of having to learn about marketing and how to get your music out. But I think that you're right in that without the music coming from the soul and just your desire to make music first, it doesn't, it's not that important how you market it. If you don't have something that you feel connected to and that other people can connect to. I think an experience that a lot of musician, friends of mine and I have felt as, and I think especially in classical music and that world where a lot of the times you're hired to play something is if the music is not moving you, the audience can tell and you have to, you know, and especially if you're creating your own music, if you're not moved by your own music, or if it doesn't say something to you, the audience is not going to hear anything about from it either.

Speaker 3: And in my own experience, writing music, the more I judge my own music or the more I try to fit it into a box or get too technical with it, or it's the result is never as good as when I can just enjoy the experience. And that doesn't necessarily mean that I like every song that I write or every piece of music I write ends up making it into the public ear. But if you're not, if you're already not inspired by what you do, you're not going to get very far

Speaker 2: True. True. And also, I guess what this reminds me of is the ego versus the higher self. So, you know, again, quoting that book here and he's talking about, the, you know, he talks about a lot about God and, you know, maybe even if you're not religious, you can think of that as your higher self or your unconscious mind, you know, and he's saying, if you are writing music from the ego perspective, then you're seeking some kind of, approval from other people. you're not going to go very far and you're doing this service to the muse or the higher self or God, or however you want to understand it. And because in his view, the artist is more like, a whole new read, or, you know, a vessel for something higher wherever they may come from that flows through you through you. So it's not really about you, but you are the interpreter, if you like. I mean, would you agree

Speaker 3: Yeah. And I think it's a healthier perspective too. Cause I think that it's easy to, I mean, I think as people who are, you know, we're, we're social, right Like we do seek approval from other people and it's easy to get. what's the word it's easy to get discouraged when you focus too much on two people like this, do people not like this I mean, some of the most revolutionary music was disliked by a lot of people and it's time, you know, and I think that this idea of the muse, which I think is a very, I could be totally wrong, but I think it's a very Greek way of, of thinking of it that, that, you know, you're not the creator of the music. It's the muse. That is the creator. And you are, like you said, the vessel, and I think it's a healthier way of thinking about it because then it's not about you. And then there's also less pressure for you to be the center of everything and, and having the music do well or not do well in a public or commercial way. There's less pressure. Cause you can just say, well, my muse really did it get out of bed this morning. They didn't give me anything today. You know And I think it is a, a healthier perspective because you don't feel like you're yourself, you're yourself hood, is a reflection of, of the music, self worth is not based on.

Speaker 2: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. And it's like, again, I dunno, I'm just warden is Booker left right. And center tonight. But, I guess it's in my awareness, but it makes sense with what you're saying, because again, he's talking about the difference between amateurs and professionals. And he's saying if you're, if you're a professional, you know, think about a job, you know, that you have, maybe it's not music, another job, a job that you do for money. Well, if you do a job for money, you're going to show up every day, you're going to do the work every day, whether you're in the mood or not in the mood, because you need to bring home the bacon, so to speak. So if you, think of, music, in a professional kind of manner, then you do the work. You do the work every single day, whether you're in the murder in the moon and you see it as work and that can help you to distance yourself a little bit from it, because he said, if you're an amateur, one of the problems you will have is that you will identify too with your music.

Speaker 2: And then it's going to be very, very difficult because then, like you say, if somebody doesn't like it, then you're going to take it personally. But actually it is a personal, maybe, maybe their person isn't ready for it. Maybe it's just, you know, the equivalent of Vongo not being understood, you know, during his life. So, actually I'm just slightly on, off topic when you were talking about classical music. that's another thing I was thinking about recently about how many people don't actually know a lot about classical music, unless they're classical musicians. And, but also the fact that I think, you know, because there are so many different composers and some are more rhythmical, some are more melodic based. is there anyone that, you know, any specific component that you would recommend for someone who doesn't know where to start in classical music

Speaker 3: Cool. Whew. That's a good question. especially because I'm actually pretty terrible with names and I, so some of the composers I mentioned before, like, I would say like Shostakovitch, codeine, and, and Oh my God, see bad with names. I'm even working on one of his pieces right now. There's another, there's another Russian composer in Shostakovitch, his time who at Shostakovich actually, despised, Prokofiev, there we go. like their music I think is, especially if you like a lot of metal or heavier music, things that are very energetic. and I think kind of just angsty, their music is quite different from your Mozart and your, your Beethoven. I think people who like really technical music would really enjoy Bach. there's a lot of classical composers women. So, Nadia Boulogne J is a, is a woman composer who I really love her music is incredibly diverse.

Speaker 3: there's a, a lot of people know Robert Schumann, as a composer, but I think I actually like his wife, Clara Schumann music better. So a lot of people know of Clara Schumann as a pianist. She was considered the best pianist in the world, when she was alive. And she also did a lot of composing and I think her music is absolutely beautiful and inspiring. And, there's, Oh my God, there's, there's just so many, Ravel is a composer, a French composer who I absolutely love. And he had a lot of jazz influence and, and his music is, you know, you can hear the jazz influence, but it's like someone took jazz and classical music and kind of put it together. So, Oh my God. Yeah. It's, it's endless. And there, what about in your music though What is your influence that comes through in your music Ooh, that's Hmm.

Speaker 3: That's really hard to say. Cause I think for me there are pieces that I really love. I think if there's any composer that I think I'm really influenced by is, is Beethoven, who is one of the big greats, that a lot of people know, but I think with, with Beethoven, I love his music and his music is, is like just the craftsmanship that goes into it. he was, he had to work really hard with his music, comp comparatively to someone like Mozart, who was just a very natural talent. And so I think when you listen to Beethoven's music, you can hear how every little bit of it was like, he spent a lot of time going over it and going over it and trying to pick what really goes in every place. And he thinks a lot about what he wants to bring out in the audience when he is creating his music.

Speaker 3: And, and I think a lot of the times his music doesn't always revolve around melody. It revolves around how the harmony takes people to different places. And I think with more and more with the music that I'm writing, melody is, is still, I think, important. It's what a lot of people gravitate towards, but I've been thinking a lot more about the things that go underneath the melody, the harmony that creates a specific mood and how picking certain chords beneath the melody can really change the expression of the melody. and, and I think with Beethoven, he was just, you know, like, and it sounds very egotistical to, I think, say this or think this way, but I think Beethoven was someone who really believed that his calling was music. And, and I think it sounds arrogant in a lot of ways. It's like, Oh, you think, you know, and, and he was really influential.

Speaker 3: So of course, you know, like that says a lot, but I think there is something to be said about like feeling like, you know, and I think this has a lot to do with just this idea of the muse. Like it's like when I make music, I feel like there wasn't really anything else that I could really do with my life. And that's why I came to it. And that's not to say, you know, I'm Beethoven or I'm going to become the most, you know, it's like, it, it almost like it has nothing to do with that. It's just, there's nothing else that I can imagine myself being compelled to do with my life is making music, is making art. and I can relate to that sentiment that I think Beethoven expresses, although I think he took a much more, he testicle stance about it. but I can really relate to that feeling. right

Speaker 2: There, you you're, you're following your calling really your heart and your

Speaker 3: Cooling. Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 2: And, you know, you, you mentioned, in your music that, I mean, in your bio, you mentioned that there are specific messages that are close to your heart. You talk about growth, trauma, triumphs, love heartbreak. so this is, sounds like, you know, you have some specific topics that you're particularly passionate about. So would you say, what would you say is, the message, if any of your music or a theme that runs through your music

Speaker 3: I think if there's any theme, it would be that of community and, and really building good relationships with, with other people. And I think it doesn't necessarily come across directly in a lot of the music that I write. but I think just the, the importance of being vulnerable. and I say this as someone who has a lot of difficulty being vulnerable with other people, I find it really hard to, to talk about myself and to get really deeper and talk about things that are, you know, that are very close to me that I think are just difficult things to talk about. But I think that it's a worthwhile pursuit to learn, to be more vulnerable with other people. And I think making music is a very vulnerable thing to do. because you're expressing something either about your own emotions or about something that happened to your life, or you're trying to say something with your music.

Speaker 3: And I think that that's, yeah, if there's any theme it's like, that's how we build community and how we build good relationships with other people is by being vulnerable and by opening yourself up to other people. And I think also by opening the door for other people to be open to you, and if we come from a stance of being vulnerable and opening up and asking other people to be honest and open and vulnerable with their feelings, that's the way we're going to build a better world. I think recently I have slightly more direct, I think I would say, I guess maybe political is the right word for it. Although I feel like seeing something as political is, is an instant way to turn a lot of people off. I think the songs that I write do address sort of the inequalities and things in our lives a little bit more directly than I have in the past, but I think even the songs that are right about loss, you know, those are to me still along the same things, because I think expressing your own losses in your own fears and your own love opens up the door for other people to explore those feelings in themselves.

Speaker 3: and talking about something that's maybe a little bit more political or, or talking about something that is a problem you see in society. I hope it's, it becomes an opener for people to either explore it as a topic, whether they disagree or agree with it. and also I say, because I think it's, you know, art, I think what it does really well. And what I want to do with my art is, is point people to something like, like by saying something with your music or expressing an emotion, you're saying, you, you know, to the audience or whoever's this, and he like, look at that. That is something I think we need to turn our eyes to and our hearts to. And if we can all turn our hearts to the same things and feel open to exploring those topics, I think that's how we're going to relate to each other and how we're going to build better communities and hopefully solve interpersonal or international problems.

Speaker 2: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Like we were saying at the beginning of this interview, before we started recording, we were talking about, you know, how sometimes it can be difficult to be in a world where we feel like we can't change it. We can't do very much, but, I was saying, to you, and I would repeat that now that, you know, if you fully are aligned with your own, heart's desire on like you are, then you are fulfilling your mission. You are, in alignment with your purpose, so to speak. You know what I mean with purpose is, you know, the kind of meaning of you give or create for yourself in your life. And so it sounds to me like you are, through, through this calling through pointing out in your own way, using the talents that you have, pointing to the social themes that are important to you, you are making a change you're, you are making a change in a way that is, that is aligned with what you can do.

Speaker 2: And that's all we can do. You know, we do a little bit while we're a little bit and, it may seem insignificant, but actually sometimes it can have quite big consequences, you know, and also you're talking about a vulnerability, which, is a topic dear to my heart. I don't know if you know, Brenda Brown. Yes. She talks about, you know, being in the arena and, and being, being vulnerable with the people that have earned your trust. Of course. And I can see how this is relating also to the way that a lot of people see vulnerability as weakness rather than a strength. but I would agree with you that it is, it is definitely a strength to be able to be vulnerable, but also, I guess there is a little bit of a, of a risk there too.

Speaker 3: And I think that, especially thinking about things like trauma is something that I think for a lot of people is what ends up closing them to vulnerability, which makes a lot of sense, you know, like trauma teaches us that you can get hurt and you can sometimes get hurt really, really bad. and it's, it's hard. It's, you know, I think with, you know, thinking of Renee Brown and, and when she talks about vulnerability, like something I relate really a lot to her is she talks about being a person who talks about vulnerability. Who's also very bad at vulnerability and I relate to that so much. and yeah, I think it's like anything it's just, it's so complicated because it's hard to ask a traumatized person or a traumatized group of people to be vulnerable. and I think about, you know, what, like how do we create spaces where people can be vulnerable to each other

Speaker 3: Especially I think that it's really hard for people who need to be vulnerable to each other to build huge bridges. those are the places that in some ways we need the most vulnerability, but we're also asking the most vulnerable people to put themselves in a lot of danger. and you know, and I think about with Elissa and the U S the, you know, when you're talking about racial politics and just kind of a lot of the social things that are going on now, you know, like, I think there's a lot to, it's a lot to ask people from more vulnerable populations to open up. and I think that's where things like allyship and learning how be a good ally is so important. It's like if you are not in as vulnerable of a position as some body else, then in a way in order to make a better society and a better future, it is kind of up to you to step up, and, and try to be advocates for the people who have to suffer.

Speaker 3: And there's a lot of different things, you know, like people who are able bodied advocating for people who have to, you know, have disabilities that don't allow them to have the same privileges that able bodied people have. you talks about, you know, about race and racism and it could be, you know, LGBTQ, like people who are not trans, I'm having difficult conversations with people who are maybe transphobic, but having those conversations. So it's not the trans people who always have to have the conversations. and it goes in homeless population. I mean, there are so many vulnerable populations. and I think that, you know, it's overwhelming to try to take it all in, but I think it's important if you have some sort of privilege, you know, that you, you know, you don't have to bring up, you know, homelessness at every party, but, you know, it's, I think if there, there are times when it feels right to advocate for someone, part of being vulnerable, I think also is like, being brave enough to advocate for someone that's a kind of vulnerability, as well as like you're opening up and saying, Hey, this is something I care about.

Speaker 3: And I think we should have a conversation about it.

Speaker 2: Yeah. The other thing, I wanted to say about this is that a lot of the time I've heard of people, you know, who are privileged for whatever reason, you know, whether it's a race thing or, or how much money they have, or the place in society. And, I've heard of these people feeling sometimes guilty, you know, I've had some clients that have come to me thinking, Oh, you know, I'm just feeling so guilty because I've got everything and I shouldn't be happy. And one of the things that I say to that is, well, you know, okay, so you're privileged, but what is your guilt doing You know, is, is your guilt doing any good to anyone and what would be a better way to actually use the privilege that you have Because you know, it is a gift you're lucky if for whatever reason you have it, maybe the best way to, to really, appreciate it is to use it in a, in like you say, in advocating for people who are not so lucky. And you were telling me that, again, at the beginning of this, podcast, before we started recording the, you have a podcast yourself, and it's actually about, advocating for musicians that are, music, people of color or people from the LG LGTB community. so do you want to tell us a little bit about that and also, you know, mean, I'd be curious about, knowing where your interests for this actually emerged in you. How did that come about,

Speaker 3: to answer your first part, the organization that my friend Margaret Jones and I co founded is called sub-rosa sound. And we currently mostly have a podcast and also a radio show on an online radio station called shady Pines radio. And our main, our main mission is to advocate and push forward the music by people of color by women, by LGBTQ plus. And it's the way I like to describe it as is mostly right. Like, I don't think that white men, which is really the demographic we don't mention and don't spend a lot of time with, I don't think they need to be excluded from the conversation. They're just not our main aim. So, you know, we have bands that have white men in them. you know, it's, and I think that that's a, an important thing for me at least, is that yes, there are vulnerable populations that need to be advocated for.

Speaker 3: but that doesn't equate with excluding someone from the conversation. And I think that that's a distinction that gets missed a lot in the back and forth of political debate is I think a lot of, white men, especially, but I think a lot of white people in the, at least in the issues around race, they feel like, Oh, if we're talking about this, it means we're not allowed to have a say, and that's not really what I think anybody wants. I think what people want is to create more inclusion, not less. And when people point out that someone has been, you know, whether it's about race or gender or, or, you know, economic inequality, people are not saying, we want to put somebody else down there saying we should all be risen up. and sub-rosa sound, that's something that I really, you know, I, I usually say it a little more like sarcastically or kind of as a throwaway, like mostly in D mostly people of color, you know, but really the reasoning for me behind that is like, I want there to be space for.

Speaker 3: And the only reason that we're focusing on these populations is just, they haven't had the same opportunities. It's not because we don't like white men, you know, I'm dating a white man and great, he's amazing. And, you know, going back to my, you know, my, why I started playing the violin, if it weren't for him, and he is a professional cellist, and also composer and songwriter, and he has, I mean, his musical talents are extraordinary, but if it weren't for his encouragement and the fact that he was very open to showing me how he makes it as a professional music musician, I would not be here. So I have a white man honestly, to thank for, for supporting, you know, my musical ambitions. So I think that, that's the thing that gets lost in the internet, social media, you know, back and forth is, is these nuances.

Speaker 3: so yeah, sub-rosa sound, our website is sub-rosa sound.org. And, you know, we do an album of the week podcast, episodes where we, where we talk about albums, that we really like, and that are coming out. And then we also have interviews with musicians and on the radio show, that's Pacific time, Mondays eight to 10:00 PM on sub, on shady Pines, radio.com. That's the online radio station we're on. the subs Rossa sound radio show is Mondays eight to 10:00 PM Pacific standard time. And I play music by mostly people of color, LGBTQ plus women, mostly NG music as well. although I will put on some of the more popular stuff sometimes, but it's mostly more indie musicians. And, and I also do interviews on that. So that's kind of what we do. And, and to, I guess the second part of your question, the impetus to be an advocate and do these kinds of things, I think has been something very dear to me as far back as I can remember, I feel a calling to that.

Speaker 3: I don't know if it's as strong as music. I sometimes can't tell, but I think just this idea of trying to connect people and trying to help people build relationships. That's something that I've always wanted to do. I think of middle school, I was the total lame kid who like, you know, the, the, one of our assignments I remember in seventh grade was to prepare a speech and it could be a speech about anything. And people were doing all these like really cool speeches about like really awesome musicians or, you know, their favorite sports figures or teaching a pallet, like really cool food and all this stuff. And I went up and I was like, not a popular kid. I was quiet. I was nerdy. And I did this whole speech about bullying and how bullying is a big problem in all levels of public.

Speaker 3: And I'm sure private school and how it's something that needs to be addressed. And I swear like my entire class, except for one person fell asleep during my speech and it was not long. It was like five minutes. And I was like, well, you know, I guess this is, I guess, I, I don't think anybody heard me, but what was interesting about that Like, you know, when you say like, you know, if you think too much about audience, then that's not, you know, I think for music, for, advocacy for all of that, like, you know, it becomes too self centered is actually there was the one person who stayed awake, came up to me a week later. and then again, years later, while we were in high school and told me, like, I still remember that speech you made. And it was, it meant a lot to me.

Speaker 3: And it got me to really think about my actions. and he wasn't a bully, but he was like, you know, I started thinking of the sort of interactions I see around me at school very differently. and I think all of that is to say, I think, you know, what you were saying about privilege and guilt and things like that. It translates so much to other things too to music is like, I think any time when you become too focused on self, it's, that's when you can kind of lose your way, because you're distracted by guilt or likes or audiences, or how many people fell asleep during your seventh grade speech. So wait from the message and to what you feel called to do with whatever it is.

Speaker 2: Yeah. And also another thing that, you know, there's, this flows also also what you were saying before, because you were talking about, you know, not as grueling white man and including basically everybody in the conversation. And I think, you know, in the political arena, at least at the moment, it seems to me that there's a lot of, black and white and polarization and, you know, good versus bad, the bodies and the goodies. And, you know, it's very easy to just blame each other and that's how Wars start. And it's like, well, you know, I may not be a very sexy subject to talk about inclusion, even to include the bully, you know, let's talk about, the problem with the bully rather than saying, well, you're a bully, you're a bad person and you shouldn't be the way you are out to go, because of course, that's only going to create more problems.

Speaker 2: Now it's difficult to talk about this sort of things. You know, it's still, it's very difficult. It's much easier to say, well, that person's bad. You know, let's just push them out, that's blame them. but at the end of the day, you're not really resolving anything, you know, and that way, whereas with the approach you're, you are mentioning, you know, okay, so am I, a lot of people may fall asleep, but the one person that has listened, you may, may make a difference in their life. So actually that's worth it, you know, and it's worth to focus on that one person.

Speaker 3: Yeah. And I think that it's a lot of the consequences of this kind of simplified conversation about inclusion and exclusion and, you know, and, and who gets, you know, canceled and cancel culture. I think that the problem comes when people do not think deeply about these issues and people don't research. And I think people also, don't like to admit that sometimes they don't know what the right answer is, or they don't know everything about a certain situation and other, a lot of what I'm alluding to is the idea of, of being able to differentiate, say someone like Harvey Weinstein, who has been using his position to abuse women his entire career. And it was so well known that it was like, you know, at least within the film and acting com Hollywood community like Harvey Weinstein was someone who's been known to be someone who abuses his position for a really long time.

Speaker 3: So the consequences for someone like him should be very different than say, you know, someone who's say in high school and says something really abusive or racist, or, you know, any number of horrible things as a teenager. And then, rather than addressing it and having a deep conversation about it, you know, they are no longer accepted to school. And, you know, I'm sure there are people that will disagree with me when I say, like, I think there's a specific case I'm thinking of where, a students said something really racist in a fam flammatory and, and got caught. And then Harvard, I think he was accepted at Harvard and then Harvard rescinded his, acceptance. And while I, you know, the merits of whether that was the right way to address it, honestly, I am not qualified to make that decision.

Speaker 3: but it, to me begs the question of what happens next, because someone who's a high school graduate, is that a very different part of his life than someone like Harvey Weinstein who has been, you know, abusing for decades. and the fear that I have around cancel, culture's not so much a debate of whether canceling someone was right or wrong. but what comes after a word are people really going to do about it You know, if somebody say loses their job, because it comes out that, you know, they've sexually abused some, you know, a few women, like, I don't know that making sure that they have zero income for the rest of their life is going to make a change. that's not to say it isn't the, the, you know, that it's wrong to say, okay, you've been abusing women there, there has to be some consequence.

Speaker 3: but, but it's always the, what comes after. Cause I think what happens with the internet is people, you know, get really passionate about something. And then to them, when someone finally gets fired or when someone's, you know, college acceptance gets rescinded or, you know, when someone goes to jail, that's feels like a win and then they go off and do their next thing. But I don't think those things really solve the problem. And I think it's the same thing with, you know, at least America, the, the conversation around police brutality, and especially police brutality in terms of people of color. I think it's really easy to say, Oh, I marched in this protest. and you know, we got covered by news and we had these conversations great. And then people drop off. but that's not really enough. And I think that I don't, again, I don't know what the answers are, but my fears around the way things are handled right now is it's so easy to say, okay, I did this thing now it's done now it's solved, but then there's never any real change that comes out.

Speaker 2: It's easier to point the finger and blame and then just resolve that actually resolved the issue. And it's the difference between punitive justice and restorative justice, you know, rehabilitation, trying to figure out what is actually happened in the first place. And actually reminds me a little bit, even though it's a different topic, but it reminds me a little bit of, you know, when someone is, for example, addicted to drugs. And, we, we think of this person as the problem and, you know, when we need to punish this addiction, rather than actually understand where it stems from, where it comes from, what to do to make the situation better, you know, in the longterm, it might be a lot more difficult to make it better, but it is worth the effort because if we don't, well, it's just going to happen again.

Speaker 3: This is something I'm realizing more and more too, is that, you know, I think a lot of the things that we talk about within certain frameworks, whether it's, you know, guilt around privilege addiction or, how to create music or how to, you know, there's so many topics that I think are just elements of the human experience. And I think we forget that even though you're talking about a different thing, that they still reflect the same human experience and that if we can learn to take what, whatever it is we do and, and expand it to further our empathy, to other things and other people like, like, I don't know, I think, yeah, a lot of the things that, that we talk about, I mean, even in this one conversation, the same themes apply in so many different places. Yeah, absolutely. Well, this has been really fascinating and I could go on forever and ever, but I think, I think we should show some of your music to our listeners.

Speaker 3: And, so you were mentioning that you wanted to play a song for us called, Carolina. Now, do you want to tell us a little bit about that so this is a song that is one of my oldest songs that I've written, but I think it's still one of my favorites for sure. And it was a song that really came from the muse. it took like 30 minutes to write the whole song, all the words, everything. And it just all came at once. It was like someone just handed me a package and I just had to slowly open it and then read everything and then learn, you know, like it definitely felt like I was learning a song rather than writing it. and it's, you know, my, my music has gone through a lot of phases, I think earlier on I, I really wrote about kind of just more emotions and I like to sort of tell stories, and kind of illustrate experiences through storytelling and illustrate emotions and feelings through storytelling. and now, and then now I'm like more in the, I'm just going to tell you what I think about this one, you know, thing that happened. And, but, and yeah, I like to combine those two, but in any case, this song is it's very much about experience and emotion.

Speaker 3: It's been so long. Rosa

Speaker 4: Forgot. spin see the style

Speaker 3: It's been so long.

Speaker 2: Beautiful. I love that. So sweet. Just very sweet melody before I let you go. I just wanted to let our listeners know that you also do a weekly live stream on your Facebook page. You've got videos weekly out and you're working on an album as well. Our listeners can, find all the links to this through your Facebook page on the, the show notes. but, the last thing I want to just ask you before I let you go, it's just about your upcoming album. If we want to tell us when to expect it and what it's going to be about. Yeah,

Speaker 3: Yeah. it's the plan is for it to be out next year in September, which is a long ways away. but it's probably the biggest, most ambitious project that I've made so far because I wanted to be sort of like creating a world and it's going to be a double album. And one of the things that I think with the most recent album I came out with, which is called bridges is I really wanted to combine sort of the different sides of my musical life, the kind of more instrumental classical composing side with the more songwriting and, kind of folk, with some, you know, metal and prog influence and, and a little, you know, I, I felt like with the last album, I wanted to just put everything in it. And I wanted to take a different approach this time and actually really hone in on the two different sides, but then sort of present them together.

Speaker 3: So the plan is for it to be a double album of, of the same songs, but just kind of two completely different visions for the same songs and the same kind of basic elements. So I have huge plans for that. the ideas that, you know, I'm going to create two sides actually to my, to my website for this album where they're going to have visual representations that kind of go with each of those. And there's a lot of other things that I'm planning, which I'll be kind of releasing, starting in the new year, I'm going to release singles, but there's all these other levels to this that are going to come out slowly, leading up until September when everything is going to be finalized and, and come out in the final album and the final recordings. So all of that, it will be happening on my YouTube, my Facebook, Instagram, my website. I also have a band camp, and I'm starting to learn about Twitch. So, this is one of the things that I've really enjoyed about quarantine is learning about all of these different platforms. And now I want to kind of use all of them to present something that is multifaceted, and that people can enter this, this album and this kind of Sonic world through all these different elements.

Speaker 2: That's fascinating. I can't wait to hear it. So I know people who can find all of these links from your website, is that correct

Speaker 3: Yes. Website Facebook. And there'll be actually things that I'll be putting onto my website that say, won't make it to social media, but then there will be things on social media that might not end up on the website. So yeah, I, I want to, you know, try to use each of these platforms and the way that I think they were made to be presented and the way for people to interact with them. So I'm going to be kind of putting in all these different elements and choosing which platform to use based on how I think it'll really best be experienced. So yeah, website, Facebook, Instagram. Wow.

Speaker 2: You're not only an artist, but you're also attack with

Speaker 3: Not the tech was, this is a, I have friends. This is, I mean, speaking of community, if it weren't for my friends who are much more technically inclined than I am, and also friends who have introduced me to like different like platforms that help you learn about this. Like, I mean, this is why community is so important is because no one person can do and understand everything. And that's why we all need each other.

Speaker 2: Thank you so much for being on the show and all the best with your musical endeavor.

Speaker 3: Thank you so much for having me. This has been great and you are wonderful. And I loved having this conversation with you. Thank you.

Speaker 2: That was my guest whom I like to thank once again for coming to the show every week, I'll be chatting to fantastic in the performance to uncover what it really takes to be a female independent singer song writer in this day and age and how we can support one another to keep shining our light into the world through our creative endeavors. So make sure you don't miss out by subscribing today to be seen and follow us on social@tinyurl.com slash there to be seen pod

Speaker 1: That's all for this episode of dare to be seen. Join the conversation on facebook.com/groups/dretobeseenpodcast and help create an empowering community of independent female singer songwriters who support one another for show notes, resources and information on today's episode, visit tiny url.com/derek to BC pot. I remember to shine your own unique light onto the world. It needs it.

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