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Interview: Carolee Rainey

What was your first connection to music?

I believe my first connection to music came to me when I was a very small child and would often hear Disney fairytale soundtracks. I found it fascinating and mystifying that stories and unbelievable images could develop from such intriguing music. If Peter Pan could fly on that amazing melody then I was either going to grow up learning how to fly or makeup another melody that could make someone else fly. Same with ‘Wizard of Oz’ could I create a tornado with those sounds or make a melody under a rainbow? My imagination was a challenge when growing up in the sense that I had great difficulty following rules and focusing on the norm. To all creative’s out there… listen to your own inner juke box with pride and embrace every musical note that flows inside of you. Again, at a very young age I remember feeling very emotional when I read any poetry. I would go walking alone in the forests of the Berkshires during the summers growing up and still remember to this day why did those poems not have melody’s inside them, why were poems just words and not music? Another memory I have is riding around on my tricycle around age 3 and hearing so much music on vinyls in my home and constantly wondering how could I fit inside that vinyl record so I could sing that beautiful music? I know I thought about that more than anything in the world and just like aftershocks of an earthquake it resonated inside of me that somehow I would need to spend a great deal of my life figuring that out. The music that I typically create usually grows from an idea I feel greatly impassioned over: a story that’s moved me; someone I feel strongly about; a place that feels like a lover; a dream; a memory that hits me like a thunderstorm; a fiery sunrise. For some reason all of these ideas usually come with a melody.. kind of like bacon and eggs Or spaghetti and meatballs! What is your creative process?

My creative process is very much like a painter standing in front of a blank canvas. I say it like that because I used to be a painter. Usually I’ll inconveniently hear a melody and/or a lyric between 3:am and 4: am and I’ll either need to sing the idea into my phone or write it down. Either way, my song ideas somehow never heard of the hours between 9:-5:00!! There have been soo many times when I’ve told myself I’ll definitely remember this idea and I’ll work on it as soon as I wake up. Oh, but I never do! I’ve learned that lesson the hard way…so even if your exhausted write down all your early morning ideas.


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