The genesis of this EP and the list of songs that became Healing Arts for Broken Hearts was complete and total heartbreak. I had my heart broken in a way that never happened before or since. I was broken, hurting, and in need of something to do to ease the pain. The actual recording and creation was a response to a different problem, though.
It's funny that the journey into my solo music began as a response to my feelings of being shut out of the music industry due to sexism... basically.
After the heartbreak, I walked out of my day job a week before my notice was up after my boss made his 136,845,924th sexist remark to my face. I just got fed up with it. I threw my company credit card in a drawer, quietly packed up my belongings, and left without saying anything to my boss.
I was tired of being ignored or worse, overridden by men I tried to work with in the studio. I was tired of going into a studio and telling a man what I wanted to hear, and not hearing it. To be fair, that was a result of my own inexperience, as well as my fear and conditioning. I was tired of trying to get men to teach me how to use DAWs, only to find that they were using the opportunity to either a) be completely patronizing or b) get in my pants. I was tired of meeting up with men who wanted to start/be in bands, only to find that their taste in music sucked, or that they were not as skilled at their instrument(s) as I was. and I was really tired of supporting men in bands, playing in various bands all over the place, and supporting other people's dreams, aesthetics, and musical ideals, and not my own.
The breakup was the biggest example of that. I had written songs with my ex and just as it was looking so promising, the relationship was over, the songs that we had worked on were shelved, and I was left with a broken heart to try to start the process of looking for new collaborators.
I desperately needed a safe space to explore; to explore my own emotions, to explore my own process as an artist, an engineer, a singer and a multi-instrumentalist. I needed a safe place to explore as a woman, and my loft did it for me. I had spent a ton of money from my day job on instruments of all kinds; a marimba, a vibraphone, an old black upright piano that I had somehow gotten from the street up in an elevator (!!!) to my loft, and the recording equipment that I could afford.
I holed up in my downtown LA loft and recorded obsessively. All day, every day. I left to take my dog for a walk and to get food, and that's it. I had no idea what I was doing as far as recording technology - everything was trial and error.
Listening back on these early recordings, it's fun to hear the experimentation and the vulnerability. I'm still proud of these recordings, especially as a window in time.
Recorded April - July 2007
All instruments and vocals by Normandie Wilson
All songs written by Normandie Wilson