story behind the song: FALL AND RISE

Fall and Rise talks about the ebb and flow – the rise and fall – of life. There are great seasons, and there are horrible seasons. There are ups and downs, and if you’re like me, you experience those ups and downs in the same day (or hour, or minute!). In all seriousness though, I have found that in those dark moments, it is so important to know and believe that the story does not end there. So I thought of the idea of flipping the phrase “rise and fall” to “fall and rise,” and I was particularly inspired because this year has been a really hard year in many ways for a lot of the people closest to me. The song came together in one sitting this past summer. I liked it, but thought I would “save it for later.” Then, I played it at a few shows, and multiple people kept singling out, so at the very last minute (like, two days before I went back into the studio!) I switched out another song for this one, and I’m glad that I did because this ended up being probably my favorite on the EP. Tommee and I recorded it with a variety of sections (rises and falls…) and a cinematic feel, with the hopes that it might one day get picked up for TV+film.

LISTEN TO THE SONG HERE: fanlink.to/RorieDawnEP

Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 11.01.58 PMIMG_7140

Advertisements

story behind the song: GOLD

Before I begin: these stories are little doors into my personal thought process and inspiration as I wrote these songs. As a poetic songwriter, I really value listener interpretation, as there is something special about listening to a song and making it your own. The other day, someone told me about another interpretation for “Gold” based on a relationship story, which I thought was incredibly cool. That being said, I’m excited to share these stories over the coming weeks, but if there is something in one of these songs that I don’t mention, it can certainly still be part of your personal listening experience.

So there is a bit of a theme to the songs on this EP. I’ll be honest and say that it was unintentional, however, as the choice for which songs I was going to record this summer played out, I realized that the four I chose were the right ones simply because they said exactly what I needed to say this year. Gold is about that fight for “success,” and whatever image we have of that in our head or whatever we feel has been impressed upon us. I wrote this in a season where I felt really wrapped up in an expectation of what I should be doing, or how things “should be.” I think it’s good to realize that things aren’t quite how they should be in life, but I noticed that within this intense pressure I was actually stifling the value of what I did have, and the beautiful people I live life with. There is a whole lot lot more to life than what we have, what we do, or what we achieve. I wrote the song during the summer, so it has a sort of anthemic but light, floating feeling to it. I wanted it to be open to interpretation, but to also instill that feeling of finding light in the middle of the fight.

LISTEN TO THE SONG HERE: fanlink.to/RorieDawnEP

Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 11.07.14 PMIMG_5338.JPG

story behind the title: ‘DAWN’ EP

It’s really no secret that writers and poets have been captivated by dawn (the time of day) for centuries, and this little blurb that you are about to read is no exception. Every time I write and release music, it feels like my whole life story and the state of my mind are being poured out into the studio and uploaded to the internet, so I try to choose titles carefully…

The dictionary definition of dawn is: “the first appearance of light in the sky before sunrise.” Wikipedia is careful to emphasize that it is before and different from the sunrise. There is also another definition, for the verb tense of the word: “become evident to the mind; be perceived or understood.”

There is some light, but it is not quite day. You can suddenly see where you are headed, but you are still aware that you are not quite there yet. I’ve always seen tension as a catalyst for art, and here in the tension of the “not yet” and “what once was,” is that first glimpse of light – the dawn.

In these songs, I talk about some of the stuff that can be a bit difficult to talk about: doubt, depression, difficult seasons, success, failure, loss, real love, perseverance, and faith – in my life and those around me. If I was releasing a larger project, there would probably be a greater variety of themes present throughout the songs … but I have realized that there was something truly purposeful about being in the place and time that resulted in this music.

Dawn is hopeful. In the Bible, David says “My heart, O God, is steadfast; I will sing and make music with all my soul. Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn...” Dawn is the beginning of something, and it happens over and over again, every day. In 2017, I sat here looking out into that in-between. Maybe you have a similar experience. Whatever the reason you found yourself reading this, maybe something in one of these four new songs will resonate with you. Thank you for reading, thank you for listening, and thank you for being you.

xoxo,

signature

LISTEN TO THE EP HERE: fanlink.to/RorieDawnEP

ps – I’ll be sharing Stories Behind the Songs + Lyrics soon (one post per week for the next four weeks!), so be on the lookout!

Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 11.23.46 PM 2

(screenshot from filming the Dawn Teaser Video at Ocean City Beach, NJ)

How-To: A low budget music photo shoot… in your kitchen

Last winter, I had an idea for a single cover, but didn’t have the budget to plan a whole professional photo shoot. So I started brainstorming ways to take the photo within the confines of our tiny apartment – and that is how this came about: 

Dawn_Single

If you haven’t heard the song: –> YOU CAN LISTEN HERE <–! But the motive of today’s blog post is to give away all of my secrets, step-by-step, and perhaps convince you that you too can take a photo in your kitchen and use it for a professional endeavor. I mean, if you want to of course. 

1. Dream up an idea 

2.  Notice that the light looks best streaming through the kitchen window in the winter

3.  Schedule the photo shoot for a Saturday morning in January

4.  Spend a few cold winter nights making a basket-full of paper cranes out of light grey paper that you could only seem to find in bulk at Office Depot (about $11.00)

Screen Shot 2017-06-19 at 3.20.56 PM

5.     Go to the fabric store and find three things: 1. The very last piece of shiny, iridescent fabric (about $12) and 2. a spool of shiny, iridescent basket filling material ($4.99) 3. Clear Fishing Thread (~$3.75) 4. Painters tape (I already had this, but I think it’s about $3 at Home Depot)

Screen Shot 2017-06-19 at 3.21.31 PM

6.     Take the original fabric that you had used as shutter curtains (shown above) off, and (using the painters tape), temporarily replace with the basket filling material. Make sure you remember that this new material is see-through and does not count as curtains!

IMG_3131

7.     Take the clear fishing thread and cut long pieces to hang from the ceiling (also using painters tape). Stand on a step stool to tape the birds to the ceiling (try not to fall)

8.     Take your piano bench – which just happens to be the perfect height – and set it in front of the window

9.     Invite your mom, Kathy, over to help you with the camera (thanks mom you are the best!). Adjust the settings how you want them, and take a bunch of photos

IMG_5985

10.  Choose the one that you’d like to use, and send to your super-talented friend/colleague Camilla to work some magic…because I don’t know about you but stovetops do not belong on a song cover unless, of course, the song is about a stove, or cooking, or something that I probably won’t write about any time soon. 

11.  And there ya go! Those are all the kitchen-based photo shoot secrets I have for today…and probably for a while. A few months at least. 

xoxo, 

signature

new music coming soon!

Dear Friends,

Helloooo! I’m here today to tell you a bit about a new project I’m about to release this Fall. I had the opportunity to work with an incredible producer named Tommee Profitt: and we created a 4 song EP that I couldn’t be more excited to share with you! Here’s a little video where I tell you this same thing in a little more detail, with a few too many attempts at an intro:

The first single – DAWN – drops Friday, September 15 (and the full EP will be out in November), and I am asking for YOUR help. If you love what you hear, these are a couple things you can do:

  1. Share with your music-loving friends and family, both online and in person!
  2. Follow on Spotify / Subscribe on YouTube / Instagram / Facebook – I mean, you get it. There are people asking you to do this all the time, but it really does help, and I would sure love to share lots of great content with you this season!
  3. Add the song(s) to your Spotify/Apple Music Playlists! Playlists are huge right now for artists!
  4. Leave a Review on iTunes – it really does help when people are browsing around to discover new tunes!
  5. I am always writing and planning to make more music – but before I make an album or anything like that, I am needing to grow to be able to afford a big project (or even another small project). If you really want to support these projects financially, you can download the song on iTunes for $1.29, or on Bandcamp (where you can name your price – they’ll be up here when the full EP releases). Huge thank yous to those who have tipped on ConcertWindow this year – you help to make this possible, and I am constantly blown away by your support!

I can honestly say that it is your support and friendship that keeps me writing new songs and I am FOREVER grateful to share this journey and great passion with you.

Thanks again for everything. Can’t wait to share these songs with you.

Yours Truly, ❤

signature

a dress with a story

I found this dress for the second of three high school dances that I actually went to. (tbh, I spent most of the dance running around the hallway with my friends and having a Twizzler eating contest at the snack table.)

Then, the dress made its way into the first set of photos for my first ever music project. Let’s just say that my stage name at the time was “Bird in a Belltower” (inspired by a John Keats poem, of course) and there was a Myspace Music page involved…

The dress prevailed through the years and still somehow managed to be a part of the first Rorie photos, by my friend Andy Paulissen.

10835343_809618649132811_6782241170723343831_oRORIE_009_121614_FINAL

I’m still finding excuses to wear this dress whenever I can (which sometimes means just wearing it around the house, because black tulle and sparkly teal polka dots are my jam). As someone who doesn’t shop for clothes that often (or at least, when I do go shopping, it’s really hard for me to find something that I like or fits right! anyone relate? anyone want to learn how to sew with me?), I love finding that one outfit that I can wear over and over (washing it between uses, of course – lol, did I need to explain that?).

Do you have a piece of clothing that tells a story?

xoxo,

signature

dwell in possibility

“I dwell in possibility…”

Oh Emily Dickinson, the required reading excitement (or demise) of every middle and high school student in the US. I’ll admit though, I absolutely loved the poetry topic. Even though it only came once a year, I found a friend in each poet that we studied.

The other day I was feeling particularly distraught about something, when suddenly this thought popped into my mind: “I dwell in possibility.” I remembered that the poem was supposedly written about the power of poetry over prose, which I can still relate to – and could still write about, but the thought spiraled into a different analysis. My first thought? “So do I, Emily Dickinson, so do I.” And so do a lot of people, probably.

Most people who know me well would probably not describe me as “optimistic.” I tend to over-analyze and dive straight into the worst emotions – because if I don’t deal with them right away, they will linger. But this quote helped me to remember that there are other forms of “optimism”: one is hope (which deserves its own post), and the other, possibility. Does anyone else feel particularly wired to dwell in possibility? Constantly envisioning “what could be.” Always dreaming up something new. Thriving off of that adrenaline rush that makes you create. Somehow finding a way to keep moving forward and to keep risking your pride for the sake of seeing “what might happen.” Not to be confused with restlessness or discontentedness. There might be a fine line between them, but I think you can be content/grateful and still be a dreamer.

I started thinking about the “letdown” that dwelling in possibility can bring. That heightened heart-rate that drives you to pursue a “new idea” or a “new possibility,” only to realize that it was a dead end. The embarrassment of being vulnerable only to be received with the remarks of an unimpressed critic.

Sometimes it seems like it would be better to just go through the motions – no dreams, no new ideas. Just wander, gracefully floating through whatever might come our way. But reality has shown me how much I don’t want to live a life like that. Learn to work hard and keep a level-head, but always “keep some room for the unimaginable.”

In fact, I don’t think that being wired for possibility is such a bad thing. We were created for a reason and, to quote C.S. Lewis:

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”

xoxo,

signature

ADP_2658edit1photo by Andy Paulissen, dancer Jordan Ippolito for this video