Murder Ballad Music Video

Murder Ballad: written and performed by Mary Scholz
Filmed on location at the Okefenokee Swamp in Waycross, GA

Directed by Lindsey Haun
Dir of Photography: Ruel Lee
Featuring: Shannon Murray
Edited by Mary Scholz and Lindsey Haun
Assistant Editor: Katherine Irwin
Color: Adam Bial and Lindsey Haun
Produced by Mary Scholz and Lindsey Haun
[Learn more about the production itself, HERE]

About the video and song…

Sometimes, when we reach the end of a relationship – a very necessary end, that you didn’t even know was building up inside of you, we make big, bold decisions.

Something to break you free of where you were.

Sometimes, it feels as if we’ve done something hideous, and huge.

It’s usually shocking to others.

They didn’t see it coming. They don’t understand.

But they don’t need to. Only you do.

 

The thing about abuse is that it doesn’t have to come from your lover.

It could come from a friend.

A family member.

The thing about abuse is that it doesn’t always manifest in violence.

It doesn’t always show it’s bruises.

Visibly.

At first.

The thing about abuse is that it can be mental.

Verbal.

Emotional.

Sexual.

The thing about abuse is that it can come from someone who has other, non abusive qualities.

The thing about abuse is that it doesn’t just effect the relationship it’s happening in.

It doesn’t just effect the way you are with one another, or the way you feel.

It begins to effect the way you treat other people.

Abuse is given, and then abuse is learned.

That’s what this video is about.

That person you become when you’ve been abused, for too long, and you begin to abuse in return.

The song, I wrote from the perspective of someone taking an axe to their relationship in order to end it, and start fresh on the other side.

Not an actual axe, not an actual murder – just the final end to something that needed to end long before.

The moment when you wake up, and realize what this relationship has been doing to you. How you’ve been manipulated. Made small. Abused.

The moment you say “Enough is Enough.”

The video features two women, because I wanted to explore the blurry line of intimacy in female friendships, and the ways it’s used in unhealthy ones. Relationships where they keep each other down, in order to keep each other close. We can talk more about that later.

For now, I’ll just say this.

I do not support or condone violence.

But I do support the healthy end to an unhealthy relationship.

My Relationship to My Creativity

My relationship to my creativity.

It’s like a relationship with a person. If you don’t nourish it, pay attention to it, learn about it, it resents you and just sits there nagging and unhappy.
But then sometimes you pay attention to it and it kicks back at you.
It’s easy to let everything else come before the creative process. It’s easy to get up in the morning and start with daily tasks and do the things you “need” to do to live your life. There’s a lot of important life things that can easily take over the time you need to create.
This morning I gave myself time to write. I sat and wrote without purpose or form. I have to do this. I try to do it daily, even if just two sentences. And then I let it form into song when it needs to. I have to allow myself time to ponder. To wonder about things. To roll words and thoughts over in my head and my heart so that when it’s time to let it come out with a melody, it’s there to do so.
I gave myself a good amount of time today. Just to write. I tried not to get distracted by my phone – by social media, which keeps me connected to listeners when I’m not in front of them with a microphone and a story to tell.
That part is hard, too. But I gave myself time. Just to write.
And somehow, I felt lazy. Like I was wasting my day. That there were “things” I needed to do. Contacts I needed to follow up with to further my career. Shows I needed to book. Paid work I needed to acquire.
But if I don’t write, everything else is pointless. It IS my job. It is what I do.
I can’t write a song if I don’t work through things first. And just because this day didn’t end in a song written, doesn’t mean that work wasn’t done, progress wasn’t made.
But so little worth is given to that part of the creative process. You know, the ACTUAL creative process. People want to know what you have to show for it.
I want to know what I have to show for it.
But I have to let it be. Grow. Become whatever it will become.
My relationship to my creativity ebbs and flows. Like relationships with people.
It is the closest relationship I know, and one I have been grateful to become more in tune with and aware of over the years.
But it’s different every day. And today was a harder day.
Tomorrow, we begin again.

A Mournful Noise

When I wrote “A Mournful Noise” in 2012, I was writing to find the vibe I wanted for my album.

I was writing an emotion without words.
I had moved in with my best friend and was going through my divorce.
I was feeling hopeful about new beginnings, but was overcome with sadness about what had passed.
I was alone.
I didn’t have much fancy equipment.
I set up my computer and microphone in my living room and recorded guitar and vocals.

I tried to re-create in the studio then for the intro to the record, but it didn’t sound the same.

And so I decided to use the original demo. It’s raw, simple, and meant to set the tone.
The tone of the song comes back in to play for “One More Day,” and it’s rawness is reflected in “Walk Away,” which is not even a demo – just a steam-of-conscience song I wrote while sitting in my nearly-empty-apartment upon moving to Los Angeles.

The video for “A Mournful Noise” is simply meant to convey the same feelings.
Waiting. Wondering. Mourning. Sitting in solitude.
The moments before you choose.
The moments after when you know what comes with the choice.

 

It was filmed in a similar manner to that which it was recorded.
While on tour this summer, I had a day off in St. Louis.
I decided to take some test shots in the beautiful home I was staying in.
I didn’t have any fancy equipment or any crew members.
I didn’t wear any makeup, I didn’t asses how I looked.
I had just woken up and worked out and was sweaty and road weary.
I was alone.
I was tired.
I had been in so many cities in various countries, in homes that weren’t my own.
I was happy in my travels and music making, but was ready to feel at home.

I liked the test shots. They were simple. It was raw. The backlight was beautiful.

So here it is. Just a feeling.

Hello, Love.

I’m currently sitting at a table on the sidewalk, outside of a coffee shop by the beach.
Hello, Love. Hello, California.

I knew how much I loved it here, and I knew I missed it badly, but it sure is reinforcement to come home and feel a rush of relief.

The past 8 months were amazing. I spent time with my family. I was there for my nephew’s first birthday. I saw my best friends from forever. I sang to college kids around the tri-state area. I flew to Europe. I played shows and saw amazing architecture and stayed with old friends I hardly knew and learned that I love, I met new folks and made new friends. I played in three countries new to Mary Scholz Music. I spent a time recording in London. I wrote every day. I drank lots of coffee and espressos. I ate baguettes and brown bread. I had yet another (but my first overseas) solo adventure. I spent Easter at Notre Dame with a woman I met in front of Buckingham Palace the week prior and became instantly friends with. I took trains and buses and metros and taxis. I ate crepes and biscuits. I slept on couches and in hotel rooms and at bed and breakfasts and in hostels. I carried my guitar and that giant suitcase and witnessed the kindness of strangers every time I reached a metro platform that only had a ridiculous set of stairs. I witnessed the darkness of strangers in harassment and heckling. But mostly, I witnessed the kindness. (That blog is coming)

I flew back to Philly and I was grateful for my time overseas, and grateful to go sleep at my parents’ home. I was there when one of my best friends had her third daughter.

I packed up my car. I drove from city to city, playing shows, being chased by the rain. Everywhere. I stayed with cousins and friends-of-friends and family-of-friends and perfect strangers and my closest friends from college. I camped and hiked and sang and danced. I slept on couches and futons and in spare rooms and tents and bed and breakfasts. I survived/loved fun shenanigans with Sarah, when our tours (purposefully) crossed paths and merged into one in the 5th week. I warded off anxiety attacks about being gone for so long and not having my own home base. I met so many wonderful people and shared stories and listened to their dream travel destinations. I drove 12 hour days and 10 hour days and played shows after them and pretended like I wasn’t exhausted. I loved everywhere that I was while I was there.

I GOT HOME.

I nearly ended up in that fire on the 15S, but I didn’t. I got home.

I haven’t been able to write much since my arrival – I think I’m just in a general state of relief and exhaustion. It’s the first time in YEARS that I don’t have the next 6-10 months planned out in full. (Don’t worry, I’ve got a few things planned – it’s just impossible to have an open calendar if you’re this gal) *side note, I’ve started a new song since starting this blog*

My main point is this – I am so grateful to every individual I have met and come to know in some way over the past 8 months. You’re beautiful. All of you. Thank you for sharing your homes, literal and figurative, with me. And Los Angeles – thank you for catching me when I landed.
It would never be what it is without the wonderful souls I meet, or the wonderful souls holding down the home front for me.

I’m going to go sit on the beach now.

Europe in a thank you

 

Wait, that’s over already?! I owe you a solid blog about each country I visited – and I’ll get there, I promise! But for now, let’s just say it was an amazing journey and I’m so grateful to every person who lent me their couch, showed me around their town, or came to a show. More on everything soon!

2014

Holy cow, 2014. What an insanely busy, wonderfully exhausting year you were.

Album release, spring tour, fall tour, music videos, Susan G Komen fundraisers, HMMA nominations, radio interviews, album reviews, magazine interviews…and 19,650 miles of driving to get there. I’m tired just thinking about it!

It wouldn’t have been the year it was without my amazing friends and family – each concert attendee, each album reviewer, each venue booker, each host in each city, my spring tour mate and adventure partner Sarah Ault (I love you, lady!), my publicist Jorey Blake, each musician that joined me on stage (Sean, Jaydon, Brandon, Chris, Demetri, Hilary, Erin, Sarah, Sara, Phoebe, Kyle, David, John, Harold, Kubby, Sander, Paul), Elyse for lending me her keyboard, road buddies Alexandra, Mike and Ian, each photographer, radio station, music video participant/editor/filmmaker/crew (Jason, Jordan, V, Jessica, Sean, Chelsea, Matt), car repair shop and everyone I met along the way. You are the people that make it possible for an indie musician like me to have a year like I did.

I am so grateful for you all.

 

Special thank you to everyone who watched and fed my kittens (Chelsea, Tommy, Sheridan, Sarah N, Sarah A, and most especially Kevin!!) and to Alexandra for sharing the huge drive and cat wrangling with me from sea to shining sea.

 

 

Fall Tour and Tonight’s ALS Fundraiser

Well, tonight is the official kick off of my fall tour!

 

It starts here in LA at a very special event at the Mint. (on Pico!)

My friend Amy Paffrath has been putting a ton of time and effort into her (5th?) year of Team Packrats, raising money for the Los Angeles Walk to Defeat ALS. I’m honored to be a part of this year’s event, a night of duets! I’ll be singing with Taryn Southern and Tina Vonn and bringing in some special guests of my own (you know I love to duet with Sarah Ault and Sean Keegan). If you’re in LA tonight, please come by the Mint for a wonderful event!

Tickets can be found here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/duets-for-als-tickets-13164047019

 

After that, I hit the road for my fall tour – please come out and see me as I perform at various venues around the west-ish coast. This tour includes two Pinktober! events for the hard Rock Cafe, featuring female artists and benefiting the Susan G Komen Foundation.

Make sure to find me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to keep up with the tour! See y’all on the road! (Full tour date info on the TOUR page!)