I know you guys haven’t heard from me in a long, LONG time, but this post is going to be about a person far more interesting then I am.
It may surprise you to know that unlike many other blogs on the Internet, I don’t get a ton of fan mail. I also don’t get much mail worth writing about. So imagine my surprise a few days ago when sitting in my inbox is an email from someone with a) real passion b) incredible talent and c) an honest story to tell.
Kara McGraw is an artist in the truest sense of the word, one of the many DIYers making their expressions known through the digital marketplace. While her vibrant piano playing and silky voice will assuredly speak for itself, what really sets McGraw apart is the vision she has for her creations. In the few emails I’ve exchanged with her, I can tell she’s driven. Equal parts composer, playwright, and performer, McGraw is currently finishing a full-blown musical, the process of which is chronicled here. This sort of creative transparency is rare in music today, but it shows that McGraw is interested in more than merely entertaining people. It’s not enough for her simply to make something; she wants to see it shape the world around her. In an age where the looming, technicolored claw of Glee has crushed the feeling out of musical theater, it’s refreshing that someone is still operating with real heart, about real issues.
This goes to the main reason McGraw contacted me: To share awareness about her new Christmas composition “The Chandelier,” a song that explores frailty both in tone and timbre. But more specifically, McGraw was also writing to let me know that all the proceeds from purchase (before Jan 1, 2012) will go to assist local farmers in Vermont that were hit by Hurricane Irene. The holiday track is a “name your price” sort of situation, and McGraw has graciously offered a variety of formats (FLAC included for all you audio nerds out there).
In model and in message, I believe that such a gesture (especially around the holidays) is one that other artists could really take to heart, and one that gets at the core of what Kara McGraw is trying to do with her impeccable talents. If you have a moment, give her Facebook and website a quick visit. Very few artists out there can make solidarity through sound seem so effortless, to use their art as a catalyst for healing rather than one for pure profit. If you want to support one that can, look no further than Kara McGraw.