Monthly Archives: January 2014

Caged Bird: Our First Single is Released!

Caged Bird Text Bold 700pixels


“Caged Bird” is free at last. Once a song is released, in a sense, it isn’t ours anymore. Ana and I have shared bits and pieces of our creative and personal journeys on this blog–how love and vulnerability have been the keys to unlocking the best parts of us that had been buried or hidden away because of trauma.  I could tell you the specifics of when, where, and why we wrote “Caged Bird.” I could tell you what it means to us.

But what really matters now is: will it hold any meaning for you? Do you hear an echo of your own story? What is your caged bird? What would it take to set it free? We’d love to hear your personal Caged Bird stories. You can email them to us (theauroracrossing@gmail.com), or leave a comment below. You can also connect with us on Facebook (facebook.com/theauroracrossing).

 

We’re currently using the site bandcamp.com, which lets fans pay what they want for a song.  If you can support our music and our future recordings (several of which are coming down the pipe), please buy the song. If you’re strapped for cash, download it for $0. Share it. Distribute it. Send it as a gift. Post it on FB. Help this little song to fly.

A quick note for iPhone users: if you purchase\download the song, bandcamp has a free app that you will be prompted to stream it from. However, they will also have emailed you a download code to use on your computer so you can have the song in both places. 

With love,

Chelsea & Ana

The Aurora Crossing Text

 

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Be Strong and Courageous

That moment when you feel utterly crazy but have no words to explain what’s going on or why and the best option is just to cry and cry. That’s been my week, so far.

Last Friday we recorded Caged Bird in the studio. Jonny and I performed at the same time (me in the soundbooth, and he in the room on the gorgeous, lush Yamaha piano).  We recorded it several times before Ana got there. After listening to one performance, she came into the soundbooth and simply said, “It’s not painful enough. It’s a lament. Right now it’s just too…. Pretty.” UGH. Translation: Go there, Chels. Go there emotionally. Be in it. All the way. She sat cross-legged on the floor of the booth for moral support. I closed my eyes and went for it again.

We did a couple more takes (each more painful than the last…) until we finally hit that “magic moment.” That one take that just… captured the song. It wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t “pretty” in a clean sort of way. It was raw. It was kamikaze. It was Kabuki theater. I feel like I got my guts ripped out.

Yay art.

Photos courtesy of John Doukas Photography.

Ana and I listening to the arrangement afterward.

In the booth.

The team: (L-Rt) Crystal May, Jonathan May, Greg Adamson, Chelsea Davis, Ana Sanchez, Tim Davis.

Who’s that handsome guy??

Can’t forget Steve, our awesome sound engineer!!!!!!!

And the Peanut Gallery to cheer us on. :)

 

We were in the studio in North Hollywood til midnight, and then got home after 2am (thanks to a friendly CalTrans freeway closure). I dragged myself out of bed the next A.M. for a 5 hour rehearsal for the OC FREE THEM concert this Friday. (You’re coming, right???!!!! =D Cottonwood Church in Los Alamitos, 6:30pm, Free!!!!)

My beautiful choreographer\ballet dancer friend Elkin Antoniou is dancing to “Caged Bird” and I was privileged to see her riveting and emotionally charged choreography in raw form Saturday. I am singing in 2 other numbers besides ours, and by the time the long rehearsal was over, I was so tired I could barely drive home.

And then:

No, not an actual car crash, thank goodness. An emotional crash.

After an adrenaline crazed few weeks, I hit the wall. I woke up in the middle of the night Saturday and simply couldn’t sleep. I had no idea what was wrong. I was exhausted and wide awake and suuuuupppppeeeeer strung out.

Sunday morning rolled around and I was so wiped I couldn’t get out of bed. Tried to pray, tried to read, tried to function: nope. I dialed Ana and by the time she picked up her cell phone, I was bawling on the other end of the line. “Are you crying? Why don’t you come over here and I’ll make you lunch.” (sniffle sniffle, nod).

I packed my overnight bag and headed for Ana’s, feeling totally ungrounded, upside down, needy, and confused because it was just 36 hours past the “birth” of our song. This is the goal we’ve been stumbling towards and terrified of and leaning into for 2 years…we did it. I should be elated, right? Well, folks, I wasn’t. That’s the truth.

After a couple of very grounding days of rest at Ana’s, I finally got my bearings again. Having never been through this process, I didn’t know what was going on until I melted down on Tuesday morning. Ana gave me a hug and I just couldn’t hold back the flood. I held on for dear life and sobbed into her shoulder. (Side note: It’s the very best kind of friend who will absorb your nasal decongestion when no tissues are in sight.)

What was it that had been throwing me for such a loop, interrupting much needed sleep, and causing me to feel crazy? Here it is:

This is so vulnerable. I went so far into the song emotionally on Friday, I sang my skin off. I sang from an honest place. I finally put my “insides” on the “outside” in a way that is finished, professional, done. It is a culmination of so much deep, inner work, creatively and personally, and now it exists, not as an idea, but an actual sound file that can be shared with others.  I feel naked. It’s terrifying to be seen when you aren’t sure how you’ll be received.

It’s our baby, and soon people will be evaluating it. People will take it or leave it, listen to it, love it, hate it, or simply be apathetic towards it. It will speak to some and hopefully they will hear their own stories in it. This process takes courage, and I’m calling on mine, as we press forward to this release on Friday.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid… for I am with you wherever you go.”

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Heading into the Studio!

On January 24 at 7pm The Aurora Crossing is performing at an arts event called RESET sponsored by OC FREE THEM, in collaboration with the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force. The event is designed to be an empowering message of hope to victims of human trafficking, and an inspiring call to action for our community. It will be at Cottonwood Church at 4505 Katella Ave, Los Alamitos, CA 90720. We are performing our tune “Caged Bird” live with a pianist, cellist, and a dancer.

We just got notice that the event is so large, it is now going to be in the auditorium (seats 3500 people!!)

The RESET planning team gave us the go ahead to print a QR code in the program that will allow people to download “Caged Bird” for free…. which means… we’ve got to get the real recording done in just two weeks!!

So we are heading into the studio this week to record the first single, “Caged Bird,” from our upcoming EP. This has been an exhilarating and exhausting week. Let’s see… it started with a 4 hour mind-numbing attempt to understand the U.S. copyright website (do at your peril–it’s the belly of the artistic legal jargon beast and your brain is guaranteed to turn to mush on contact). Between that and booking the studio, finding a sound engineer, finishing the piano and string quartet arrangements, creating a budget, booking a string quartet, setting up a bandcamp.com site so we can share the song (for free!), making a QR code so you can scan from your smart phone to download the song and a score of other things, it’s been…uh….a little busy.

But this is what we’ve been waiting for. It’s the start of the real labor pains, and it’s a sign that this music that’s been forming in us is about to say, “Hello world!” Like a woman heading to labor, I’m trying to pare down my commitments, focus on rest, eating well, drinking enough water… you know, manage my stress, so I can be fully present. I don’t want this to be one more thing I show up to after working so hard, and I’m too tired to enjoy the process. Paying attention to my body and being kind to it… that’s a good step for me, and seems like something a laboring mother would be doing.

Here’s a sneak peak of the studio we booked:

Huge mixer…

9′ Yamaha!!!!image

Needless to say, I’m SO EXCITED!!! We will definitely keep you posted as the week progresses and you’ll be the first to know when the song is released. :)

Please join us on January 24, 2014 for the debut of our single at the RESET event, which is in support of victims of human trafficking. Your presence would mean the world to us.

Oh… and I got roped into singing Katy Perry’s “Roar” with a sextet of awesome female vocalists. It’s shaping up to be a good night!

With love,

Chelsea (& Ana)

 

 

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