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  • Jena Ball


One of the things you will enjoy most about the opportunity to meet and listen to Aubryn on June 8th is her fascination with and willingness to talk about the process of creating music. A good example of this is her song, “Medusa.” Crafted immediately following a break up with her boyfriend of five years, the song turns the myth of Medusa on its head.

Medusa, as you may recall, was one of three monsters from Greek mythology. Though shaped like a woman, she had live, venomous snakes sprouting from her head instead of hair, and anyone who looked into her eyes was turned to stone. “I enjoy using fiction to illustrate life lessons,” Aubryn says. “So with Medusa I was looking for a way to bring light into darkness. It’s a love song to anyone who feels rejected or lonely. I am saying you are stronger than you think and I’m here for you. You’re not alone.”


Let’s have a listen:

https://fb.watch/5YOmteuK6_/


The chorus is especially compelling as Aubryn tries to help the listener see the myth differently.


"How do I make it known, that I won't turn to stone?

If I could hold her and say, 'Everyone feels this way'

Maybe she could stop feeling alone

and believe that I won't turn to stone." – Aubryn, Medusa


Aubryn will be fielding questions for 30 minutes following her concert, so I hope you will have some ready for her. I am looking forward to asking Aubryn some questions about this song as well as the other originals she’ll be playing.


For more information about Aubryn and the show, visit: https://www.braidedlives.com/mrt-aubryn








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  • Jena Ball

https://youtu.be/tZ6FZdxycHk


The Music Road Trip bus is on the road again! Our windows are down and the radio cranked as we navigate the highways and byways of Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Arkansas on our way to a rendezvous with a singer/songwriter known as Aubryn in Memphis, Tennessee.


Known for her quirky sense of humor and willingness to tackle almost any music challenge as long as it piques her interest and makes her laugh, Aubryn freely admits to having a “thing,” for the unexpected. “I love to find chord progressions that are a little unexpected and to hide surprises in lyrics,” she explains.


To give you a taste of both her vocal and writing range, we asked Aubryn to share three songs that showcase her work. The first, “Nothing Civil (Bout a Civil War),” was inspired by true events in her life. “I had family and friends who were victims of domestic abuse,” she says. “I needed a way to deal with the feelings and call attention to be problem. Let’s have a listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZ6FZdxycHk


Stay Tuned

In Part II we will listen to a second song that showcases another side of Aubryn’s eclectic approach to music. In the meantime, if you would like to know more about her, visit: https://www.aubrynmusic.com/about


Mark Your Calendars! Aubryn will be performing on The Music Road Trip Twitch channel at noon PST on June 8th. For more information on the show (and cool giveaways) as well as instructions on how to sign up for Twitch (it's FREE), visit: https://www.braidedlives.com/mrt-aubryn


Questions? Contact Jena Ball at Jena@BraidedLives.com







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  • Jena Ball

“No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.” - Hugh Jackman (TGS)





I confess that music and I have had a troubled, on-again-off-again relationship since I began piano lessons at the age of five.


My memories of those lessons are both vivid and tactile – the hard wooden bench that made my butt ache, my disobedient fingers stumbling over the keys, and the pungent smell of dog farts from my teacher’s Jack Russell terrier napping beneath the baby grand. By the time I rebelled seven years later, I’d developed a lifelong distaste for music notation, repetitious practice, and the rules governing how music is written and played.


In the years that followed, I joined a choir and discovered the joy of singing harmony. I tried out for and did a tolerable job playing a small part in a musical. I even let one of my delusional high school friends convince me to be part of a rock band he was forming. Like I said, delusional.


But the two things that put me off music for many years were the uniformly lousy lyrics in popular songs and the way that music commandeered my body. By that, I mean that certain songs triggered a visceral response that left me feeling played – literally. When this happened, it was impossible to hear my own thoughts. For a writer like me, who needs silence to think and feel, this was maddening.


And so, for many years, music and I led an uneasy co-existence. I listened and appreciated music from afar – in films, via online streaming platforms, and as background music at coffee shops – but continued to write in silence. Then three things conspired to force music and me into an uneasy alliance. First, a business I’d poured my heart and soul into for 10 years was forced to close. Second, a friend who understood my disappointment and wanted to help played me a song by David Wilcox called, “Show the Way.” If you’re unfamiliar with the song, please take a moment to listen. I’ll wait.


https://youtu.be/SBmIIDiN57E


For the first time in a long while, I felt the music and the words in a song were aligned. Even better, the message fits with how I see and believe our lives unfold. I was hooked.

Then the third shoe dropped. A new and mysterious virus began making its inexorable way around the world leaving thousands dead and the rest of us confined to our homes. As the shutdown stretched to months, the two rooms I share with my cats began to feel like a prison. My solution was to reactivate my account in Second Life (a virtual world where people are represented and interact as avatars) and begin to attend live music performances there.

In Second Life, musicians of all kinds from around the world perform live on a daily basis. Most are also eager and willing to talk about their work. Thanks to my many and ongoing conversations with these talented folks, I came up with the idea for “Pass Along Songs” and its parent project, “Braided Lives.”


More on that story – including my first attempt at writing a theme song - in our Wednesday chat. In the meantime, please share your thoughts, stories, and any songs you feel fit with our theme for the week - daring to discover and celebrate our differences.

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