My relationship to my creativity.
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.
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.
One of the fun parts of the tour kickoff was getting to sing “Run, Baby, Run,” with two of my Philly voice students, who I have been working with since they were in grade school. (!)
They’re two beautiful, talented, grown women now, and it was so much fun to sing with them. I only wish you could see their faces in this video. -_-
Me, Erin and Sara McMenamin on harmonies, and Brianna Sig on drums. Enjoy!
It’s been a busy few weeks in the world of Mary Scholz Music. I’ve performed for beautiful people in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Granville, Chicago, Indanapolis, St. Louis, Defiance, St. Charles and Grand Island. The stormy weather has followed me seemingly everywhere, but it’s looking bright and sunny (with scattered storms) this week in Denver!
I’ve had guest musicians, failed PA systems, farm land, city lights and so much fun so far.
Here’s to the next half of the tour, starting this week in Colorado!
Today! Supporting Music Education in the Upper Darby School District!
CLICK HERE for more information about the fund. Thanks for having me, Upper Darby!
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!
Watch: Mary Scholz premieres her new video for “Run Baby, Run”
The song and video explore the theme of running forward towards your own happiness, whether it be pursuing a dream or just creating the life you desire for yourself. It’s told from the perspective of a person who has been given such advice as, “don’t ever wait until tomorrow for your time in the sun,” and is now passing those words back to that same friend, who also needs a reminder.
The video also follows the journey of the creation of the album The Girl You Thought You Knew-from the studio, to its release and its subsequent 2014 US release tour.
Watch the video below and tell us what you think! Also, be sure to check out “Run Baby, Run” in ourOfficial Love Run playlist here.
Sometimes the self-driven life of an indie artist seems extensively trivial.
Like when you turn on the news and hear about the beheading of 21 people. Or when you realize you never really heard about all of the young girls who were kidnapped in Nigeria by Boko Haram. Or that no one really talked about how on the same day as the Charlie Hebdo attack in France, 31 people were killed in a terrorist bombing in Yemeni.
And here I am, peddling cds and digital downloads and concert tickets and urging you to be excited about my next music video.
Feels a bit unimportant. Even though the goal is to connect with people and let them know they’re not alone. People are dying, and I’m singing.
Then you start to think, “What can I DO? In what way can I make an impact? In what way can I really, truly help?” And then you start to feel…helpless. At least I do.
I was thinking about it today, when I was out shoveling the snow from my parents’ driveway. It has been quite some time since I’ve had to deal with shoveling out, other than some brief moments over Christmas holidays, or a light cleaning off of the car on tour. Perks of being based on the Golden Coast.
But today was a beautiful, sunny day, and the snow was shimmering in the light.
And I was thinking about Isis. And the young women. And for some reason then, as I looked at a shovel-full of snow, I thought about 2008.
My father had to have emergency heart surgery and we had a snow storm. I remembered what a trying, scary time that was. And how our neighbor across the street shoveled out our driveway and sidewalks so that we could get to and from the hospital without thinking twice about the logistics of dealing with the snow.
As I came out of the memory, I realized I had stood up from that hunched-over shoveling stance and was smiling.
That was such a nice thing they did. I had forgotten. But at the time, I was so grateful. I then also remembered that they would take the trashcans in from the street for my mom over the next few weeks. Just small, but kind and unknowingly impactful things they did that made our lives easier when we needed it most.
So my mind moved to how important it is to lend a hand to your neighbor, your friend, and the strangers that pass through your life for a brief moment. Or be patient with the frazzled mother with the young kids who needs directions and is holding up the grocery line.
Be kind to yourself when you’ve had a hard week, and be kind to others because you really don’t know what is happening in their lives. And when you do know, be even kinder. Because the small kindnesses are not as small as you’d think, and that oh-so-talked about ripple effect is real. What would have happened if I had to dig out in order to get to my parents at the hospital? I don’t know, and I’m grateful. That was seven years ago, and though I can’t pointedly tell you how, it contributed to the path that I am currently on, and was a reminder for me, in the moment and today, about the goodness in people.
My brain snapped back to Isis. And I looked up at the neighbor’s house.
Small kindnesses. Do they change the terrible things that are happening in the world?
Not in the grand way we’d like to have things work.
But if the horror we feel about the hostility others are inflicting comes from an innate understanding of how we should be treating each other, maybe we can, at the very least, incorporate more of what we know we should be doing into our daily lives.
Because the more I stood there in the bright but bitter cold afternoon, the more all I could hear was a quote from a songwriter we call Jewel.
“In the end, only kindness matters.”
If that is the goal, then it can only happen if we are all conscious of it, and putting it out there into the world. Even if we aren’t the individuals directly fighting against those inflicting pain.
But each of us can fight hostility indirectly, and piece by piece, person by person, we can create a kinder world.
I laughed when I realized I had boiled my thoughts down to a quote from a song.
I’ll file that reminder away for the next time I am feeling like being a songwriter is trivial.
Does it ease the glaring awareness of my inability to be physically present, helping those kidnapped girls, or those inured people? It doesn’t.
But I know connecting with words and music is extremely powerful. So I’ll keep working to do just that. And I’ll remember to be kinder, in the small ways, not just the big ones.