The past eight years since I closed my shop at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival have been incredibly busy, and have brought me some stability in my life. Through it all, I’ve sought artistic inspirations whenever and wherever I can. One of my favorite places to go for that inspiration is YouTube. I found the following music video by going to Kantele.com. Priscilla Hernandez is playing a Kantele from the same luthier that made mine, Gerry Henkel in Duluth Minnesota. It was when I was watching this video, over and over, that I was inspired to write my first full song: Through the Veil. I had written tunes before, and put a Tolkien poem to music, but that was the first song where I wrote both music and lyrics. It is still one of my favorite songs to play, and is precious to me. I remember running to my studio to write the words that were flowing through me, and then I worked through the chords on my autoharp until it sounded right to me.
The visuals are stunning, and I love the ethereal quality of it. I’d never heard of Priscilla Hernandez before, but I was an instant fan. I have yet to purchase her album, but I intend to remedy that in the next month or so. My first stumbling steps into the world of songwriting changed my life forever. Now I have learned to honor my need to seek out new artists and new inspirations, and to immerse myself in the experience. Without immersion transformation cannot be achieved, and what is art but a transmutation of materials into a new form? A new sense of wonder captures me every time I write a song. I long for them, wait for them, try to be ready for them, but I can never force them. They come when they are ready. Sometimes in bits and pieces and sometimes almost whole, revealing themselves to me as quickly as I can put the words to paper, and strum the notes to find the chords I need to give them birth.
It is a mystical experience, much like drawing and painting. But while the process for a fully realized painting can take hours, days, and weeks; my songs come much more quickly. It’s also a flexible art form in that the song is never played exactly the same way twice. Different instruments create a different result, but it’s still the same song. It can be very private to play a song to myself, or very public to share the very same song in a group of musicians or before an audience. Being present in the moment is what is required. Today I feel very present in re-creating Wyrdhaven Studio into a new form. I have a renewed sense of wonder and excitement since I updated the site just a few days ago. Priscilla is also an illustrator, and that gives me hope, that I too can find a path of my own of creativity, wonder, magic, and joy and share it with the world. Sharing what inspires me is a part of that, because I want others to feel what I’m feeling. It is too precious and too rare. It’s part of being human, exploring the nooks and crannies of creative expression.
I did not fade when I stepped into the mist, I went through the veil of music and creativity to find my heart.