I recorded “Respire” in 2014 as a way to rediscover my own breath.
I sang in falsetto with a resonant space in my mouth but lips closed and vibrating slightly. I was inspired by how Arve Henriksen makes his trumpet sound like a cooing voice. I tried to do the opposite: make my voice sound like a gospel-inflected cousin of a trumpet, theremin, or flute. Doing so got me out of my own head and into my body.
Then I brought in the accordion, which also breathes: vibrating chords and the simple pull and push of air.
I put the resulting piece away for another time—until the COVID-19 pandemic, when I returned to “Respire” and finished the mix.
So many have suffered, struggled to breathe, and lost their breath entirely to COVID-19. “Respire” reminds me to be grateful for my breath and all that might flow from it.
May you, the listener, breathe easy and be well.
“Respire” will be released digitally by Meristem Music on March 12, 2021via Bandcamp and all streaming platforms.