"Throughout the world the fundamental right to vocal expression has existed for centuries in the form of communal singing. At the lakeside, in cotton fields, in battle and in love, in the funeral procession and at the wedding feast, in the mountains of Argentina and in the great gospel halls of New Orleans, singing has been the most arousing and enlivening communal activity since the earliest of times. However, in the modern era of the western world the culture of singing has been lost to a great extent. The conditioning we receive from parents or teachers who tell us we cannot sing, the sense of inadequacy instilled in those who do not read music and have overbearing preoccupations of everyday life--all these have led to a silencing of a true voice which in fact everyone possesses." -- Paul Newham from The Singing Cure.
Today I learned that I want my music (and who I am) to stand for something socially and politically. I also learned how scary this is for someone who cares a lot about what other people think of them, which is definitely me.
I learned just how much that fear has seeped into the way I make music (and how I live my day to day life) after I experienced my first negative comment on the Sharlet Crooks facebook page. I posted a photo of myself on facebook protesting gun violence at the March for Our Lives in Portland — a cause I am very passionate about. The nasty comment made me scared, insecure and self-critical. My fear told me I should delete the post and never again use the band’s page to speak out about social issues I care about. But that option didn’t feel right to me. So instead of deleting it, I paused, and the Grateful Dead popped into my head. Jerry Garcia made the music he wanted to make because it was satisfying for him and he sure as hell didn’t care about how others perceived his artistic process. It was comforting to remind myself that all of the musicians and artists that I admire actively stood up for what they believe in and infused their beliefs into their music.
The concept of keeping my thoughts about social and political issues — my soul — out of music is the antithesis of my artistic process. Artists I admire find ways to infuse their social and political values into the work they do and view it to be essential to their art as beautifully described by Nina Simone in the following quote:
“An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times. I think that is true of painters, sculptors, poets, musicians…I CHOOSE to reflect the times and situations in which I find myself. That, to me, is my duty. And at this crucial time in our lives, when everything is so desperate, when everyday is a matter of survival, I don’t think you can help but be involved. Young people, black and white, know this. That’s why they’re so involved in politics. We will shape and mold this country or it will not be molded and shaped at all anymore. So I don’t think you have a choice. How can you be an artist and NOT reflect the times? That to me is the definition of an artist.”
Today I choose to keep creating and sharing all of who I am in my music even when it feels terrifying.
Sincerely // Corinne
Homing: Verb: return by instinct to its territory after leaving it.
"a dozen geese homing to their summer nesting grounds"
I'm sorry I’ve gone away
It happens sometimes, lost in the gray
Of the silver screens smiling back at me.
I’ve learned that I have a restless soul
Searching endlessly for the pot of gold
I want to live all the lives.
And I’m weighted down
By all of the images swirling around
My voice is tired but my heart beats loud
Bringing me back to the familiar sound.
And I know its true
I’ve lost my way and I can’t get through
Please don’t give up on me like I did to you
I’ll find my way back to the place I once knew
Cause I, oh I’m coming home
On the dusty road
yeah, I’m coming home
Even now I can’t figure it out.
I’ve tied myself to things I don’t care about
I want to change but I don’t know how
Maybe my discontent makes perfect sense
I’m like a wild horse tied up to a fence
Can I free myself before the story ends