A Thanksgiving Community

Posted by: Posted on: October 19, 2014

FullSizeRender

There are few things that make you miss home more than knowing you will not be there during a big holiday. This past weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada, and I knew that while my family was carving the turkey and devouring the stuffing, I would not be joining them this year. I knew that I had two choices. I could drown myself in homesickness and a finish off a tub of ice cream, or I could create my own Canadian celebration in New York.

I was lucky enough to meet a lovely group of girls on my very first day at NYU. All of us had arrived a few days early to participate in the international students’ orientation. During one of the sessions, we were asked to stand up when our country was announced so that we could get a visual feel for the countries represented. There were only three Canadians who stood up, but I connected immediately with one of them! She had been chatting with a few other students that morning and we all decided to spend the lunch hour together. The little group has continued spending time together, and we jokingly call ourselves the “United Nations”- there are Canadians, one from Venezuela, one from Columbia, one from Switzerland, one from France, one from Hong Kong, one from Germany. It’s easy to see why that name stuck.

Now, can you believe that of all the “United Nations” members, only us two Canadians had ever celebrated Thanksgiving. So I decided to host one, and cook my first turkey! All the girls were so excited, and everyone pitched in by brining a dish to compliment our bird. And so, 10 giggling girls gathered in my apartment to feast. A few came early so that they could prepare their dishes before dinner was served. At one point I looked over at the dining table – multiple hands were chopping away at veggies while stories were being exchanged and laughter was vibrating everywhere. This, I realized, felt like home. In my family, we have a cheesy tradition of going around the room and each saying one thing we are grateful for before beginning to feast. I decided to start the same tradition with the group and almost each girl said: “I’m grateful for meeting friends that I can laugh and celebrate with.”

And though I certainly did miss home, I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmingly joyful this weekend. Not only was it a true gift to have 10 lovely humans grace my apartment, only slightly a month after moving to a new city, but I was also able to help them experience a new holiday for the first time. Each of these new friends were a million miles from their own families, but we were able to create a sense of belonging by including each other. So while it’s true that home is where the heart is, I think home might also be where you decide to share your heart.

giggles

PS: In case you are wondering: my first turkey turned out great! And I put all the leftovers in a delectable turkey soup the next day too! :)

Where Am I?

Posted by: Posted on: September 25, 2014

Well, it may seem like I’ve been on hiatus, and I suppose I have! The last year I did a handful of performances, and a little bit of writing while balancing full time work. I had the opportunity to do a masters degree at New York University (NYU) in public relations and corporate communication and after thinking about it for awhile, I decided it was the right move for me.

So, I write from New York City. I hope that through the next little while I get to learn, and polish some of the ways I have been marketing my music too! It’s a city filled with different kinds of music and I hope to continue exploring what that means for me. I’ll be back in Edmonton periodically, with maybe a performance or two. But for now, I’d just like to learn and play, and grow and see what direction and what types of creativity come from it.

Thank you to everyone who has always supported by music, and all the crazy adventures I like to take on!

Stay tuned,

Erica :)

How I’m Unraveling…

Posted by: Posted on: November 4, 2013

 

Unravel Blog

A few people have joked with me that naming your album “Unravel” is pretty much like actively telling the world you are about to fall apart. I thought about that a lot when coming up with that title. But I loved the way the word sounded. I loved the fact that it could have a negative connotation, but also a positive one: life unravels, stories unravels, mysteries unravel.

And, to be honest, I think I’ve unraveled in both ways. There have been a lot of times in the last few months when I’ve felt plagued with self doubt and frustration in terms of figuring out where I am supposed to be in music and in life.  I felt at times that I was slowly unraveling in the worst kind of way. And so, to calm down, I decided to attend yoga more regularly. If for nothing else, to build a better sense of balance.

It’s funny how after you have a certain word in mind, you start to hear it everywhere. For some reason, in yoga classes the word started to pop up again and again. But here, it was used differently. When holding my body tightly in a pose, or when using all my strength, or when my muscles start to shake, I hear the teacher say: “Ok. It’s time to release that and allow your body to open up and unravel.”

So I started thinking. Unraveling might just mean letting go, not necessarily falling apart. Why am I so afraid to let go and unravel? Could unraveling mean becoming totally open, free of tension or judgement? Can I truly allow myself to unravel?

I think that the album itself is an opening, a letting go of thoughts translated into words and music.  But, I also feel that deliberately giving this creation of mine the name “Unravel” might have been a subconscious challenge for me too – a challenge to continue unraveling and being open in my music. A secret plea to let go and stop holding on to what I feel I’m supposed to be. Even if I might be self conscious about what people may think. Even if  being truly open means writing songs that come from places inside me that aren’t happy, or kind, or thoughtful, or any of the other good things that we hope the world sees in us.

So I made a deal with myself: It’s ok to completely unravel. And in creating new music this year, unraveling is something I am striving more towards now than ever before.

 

Bends in the Road…

Posted by: Posted on: October 3, 2013

This summer has flown by in a crazy fast way! I went for a long run the other day in the fall leaves and realized, with the autumn colors all around me that winter is definitely on its way. I love summer, and look forward to it every year, especially with all the festivals going on in Edmonton. This year felt a bit different though. Post-tour, the season had its ups and downs for me, especially in trying to determine what the next musical steps are. Up until then, everything was humming along smoothly, but a series of grant rejections put a little kink in my “business plan steps” for promoting the album. And like most projects that get a wrench thrown at them, it takes awhile to realize there may be another path or way to take than the one you’ve been pushing on.

For me, some of this made me realize that maybe I needed a little break. The tour planning was busy, the tour itself a tremendous amount of fun, but it was hectic. I also started to notice that, without realizing it, there had started to be a “point” to everything I was doing. I was picking shows strategically, hoping it would get somewhere, writing songs with other people in mind and putting a lot of pressure on myself. And with so much pressure attached to specific outcomes – I started to feel a lot less joy when things weren’t going exactly the way I pictured. I forgot to just sing because it makes me happy.

So I decided to spend the rest of the summer trying to remember what music and creativity feels like when there is no point. And part of that meant being creative in ways that were different than music. I took an art class and enjoyed painting (even though my pictures looked like a 5 year old drew them) because it was fun – and there was no point other than that, because I know I’ll never be an aspiring visual artist. I went for walks and did yoga, and started to realize that so much happiness exists in the now. I won’t be happier when all my expectations for music get fulfilled until I learn to enjoy all the little moments in life that are happening around me now. And there are so many!!! And there has been such overwealming support for my music this summer.

camp

One example: I was a finalist in the Lite 95.7 Artist Spotlite, and while I didn’t win it, the amount of people who voted and sent messages to cheer me on was incredible!! I am so grateful for the time people took to support me. And so now I’m in the process of booking a few more shows and planning some new steps – without any expectation but to enjoy making music and bring out something from a good place inside me! Can’t wait : )

Painting