Friday, November 29, 2013

The Weekend


Last weekend was a tremendous amount of fun. I had the honor of collaborating with Mr. Tim Hinck for his latest show. Time is a really interesting individual, and it’s really hard to classify him. He’s a musician, performance artist, and the force behind Chattanooga’s New Dischord Festival.

In October, he and I met to talk a little bit about his most recent project, and he told me that he intended to leave the soundscape up to me. I left our meeting feeling like a) I’d known him for a long time, and b) we should’ve been working together years ago.

 



For the bulk of last week, we rehearsed, and it was an interesting challenge to see what was happening in the scenes and interpret it into a complimentary musical piece in real time. Tim gave me a few distinctions to work with in the two acts, and once I had an idea of the scope of the action, I sketched out my own parameters for what I wanted to strive for with the sound. I wanted things to sound moody, slightly off from time to time because the occasional wrong note engages the ear differently than when everything works, and I wanted things to constantly be evolving.

I didn’t map anything out prior to the show. There were a few things I wanted to throw in as far as texture or rhythm was concerned, but I wanted everything to take place in the moment and to ebb and flow with the action. In many ways, this was the natural progression for what I started doing with my Vacant Outlet Tour last year.

Honestly, it felt amazing to be playing music again. Prior to 2009, I played a lot of guitar and worked with a few experimental rock projects. The show served as a return to form for me (granted, with a few extra tools at my disposal in my setup), and an introduction for several people to that side of me. A good number of people had no idea that I played any instruments, so it was a lot of fun to indoctrinate them a little bit.  

 
I told one of my best friends that if I could swing the time commitment, I would love to be in a band again. I also realized just how blessed I’ve been to exist in such creative spaces this year. Each opportunity that I’ve been fortunate to take has really taught me more about myself. As clich├ęd (and corny) as this is going to sound, art has truly saved my life and continues to do so. It also makes my life pretty enjoyable, too. I’m excited to see what opportunities will come after this. I’m also hopeful that Tim and I will be collaborating on more projects in the near future. We shall see!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Release




Hey ladies and gents,

 
It’s hard to believe that a week has already passed since my release party for Between Beauty & Bedlam. It was such a powerful night for me, and I was TRULY thankful for everybody who came out.

 
When I woke up that day, I was in a really odd mood. I felt a little emotionally exhausted as well as a number of other things. I mentioned before that during rehearsal for the show, it kind of dawned on me just how personal the material on the EP is. A lot of memories got brought back to the surface and I, to a large degree, forced myself to relive some of those emotions. Fortunately though, I got some spiritual feeding and insight and was able to right the ship and get on the right track by the early afternoon.

 

When we got started at the show, Marcus Ellsworth set things off right. He also almost made me cry. He told the crowd how much I’ve supported and encouraged him over the years, and it really resonated with me. I had to shake myself out of it though because if I got teary in that moment, I would’ve been a mess for the remainder of the night.

 
When the time came for me to take the stage, everything felt right. We kicked things off with Here, Home, and as soon as the first words started coming out of my mouth, everything fell into place. I looked out into the audience and saw someone crying, and I knew that it was going to be a special experience.

 
I had the honor of sharing the stage with Jessica Nunn, my good friend Detroit Nick, and an incredible young singer named Zowie Boyd, and I was really satisfied with how we brought the record to life. Plus, the energy onstage was amazing. I was really privileged to have such positive and easy people to work with. It truly makes a huge difference.

 
At the end of the night, I was fortunate to talk to most of the people who attended. Several people told me that they cried at different parts of the show, and that really touched me. I’m really excited by the potential that this record, its stories, its emotional truth and execution, etc. have. I’m incredibly proud and humbled that it’s already started to connect with people, and I look forward to where it takes me. When I left Barking Legs, I really felt vindicated as an artist. I felt like this was the project I was meant to make at this point in my life, and that is an AMAZING feeling.

 
Blessings

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Last Week pt. 1


 
What an exhausting and incredible week last week was! I was really fortunate to participate in the “Come on in My Kitchen” show at Barking Legs Theater. The show featured amazing dances, food and drink, and poetry. We ran for three consecutive nights, and it seemed like each night, the audience grew increasingly more responsive.

 
I had the honor of leading the show off each night, and it was tremendous fun to set the tone for the night. I was asked by Ann Law to do my poem Worlds (which you can find in my chapbook Ghosts & Echoes that is available in my merch section), and because I’m easy to work with, I quickly agreed. Worlds is a really interesting poem for me. It begins in a pretty provocative manner before completely shifting. I wrote the piece back in 2008 on my back while recovering from a foot surgery, and, over the years, it has become a poem that I seldom have the opportunity to perform anymore, so it was a lot of fun to break it back out.

 

It was a real treat to be able to live in that creative space for three nights. I loved every moment of it, and it was really inspiring to see how everything came together each night with grace, sass, and heart. If I had the opportunity to do the show again, I’d leap at it in a heartbeat.

 
WUTC’s Around & About ran a story on me last Friday, and it came out great. I sat down with Michael Miller, and we talked about my EP, some of the stories behind the pieces on the record, and a range of other things. If you’d like to give it a listen, you can check it out here: http://wutc.org/post/poet-collier-steps-studio-between-beauty-bedlam

 
Part 2 is coming next!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Places


 
Greetings Ladies & Gents,

 
I have been rehearsing pretty heavy for my release show for my debut EP Between Beauty & Bedlam this Sunday (https://www.facebook.com/events/733674449978074/ ). Just last night, we rehearsed as a band, and it was a beautiful experience. The energy was amazing, and I’m really excited to translate it on the stage on Sunday. When I got home after practice, I started thinking though.

 
Several years ago, a lady asked me what I did creatively. I was performing a great deal at the time, and I told her that I pretty much took myself apart and put myself back together again in front of an audience. A lot of my life ends up in my work in a number of ways, so I relive a lot of good and bad times whenever I’m working my way through a set.

 
With the different pieces and tones that we, as a band, hit on last night, it really took me deeper into the material, which is both great and kind of difficult. During a recent radio interview, I said that when I perform, my goal is to recapture the emotion of whatever I was either going through while composing a piece, or, if it’s something directly rooted in my life, the emotional truth from a particular experience. I definitely visited some interesting places last night. Surprisingly, it just took a little bit longer than I anticipated to shake myself out of them. It happens though.

 
Anyway, I’ll be performing in a show that runs the 7th, 8th, and 9th at Barking Legs called Come on in My Kitchen. It’s going to be a great deal of fun, and will definitely inject a healthy dose of the provocative into the bloodstream of Chattanooga. For info on the show, you can visit here: http://barkinglegs.org/event/details/come-on-in-my-kitchen/  

 
Lastly, a huge THANK YOU to everybody who has supported my record so far. It’s been selling well, and the response has been amazing. Mr. Richard Winham from WUTC has been playing Walk off the EP a good bit, which I’m immensely thankful for. I keep saying that this whole project is an experience, and it truly is. I’m having a blast letting everything develop and taking it as it comes.
 
If you’re interested in streaming the record and/or downloading it, you can do so here: http://christianjcollier.bandcamp.com/
If you’d like a physical CD mailed your way, you can purchase it here: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/christianjcollier
 
Well, that’s all I’ve got for now. Hopefully, I’ll see you at some point at Barking Legs over the course of the next four days!
 
Blessings