Erin graciously took time to answer questions about Manifestra, the inspiration behind the record and who is inspiring her now.
How do you define the word “activist” in 2013? What does it mean to be involved and how can an individual begin to contribute in a meaningful way?
To me, an activist is someone who knows what they believe in, isn’t afraid to say it out loud, and is willing to engage in dialogue with folks who may not agree with them. The best way for individuals to contribute is to really educate themselves on an issue, figure out how they feel about it, then form community around themselves.
What did you learn about yourself as a musician while writing the songs for the Manifestra?
This is a great question! I learned that there is a part of my musicianship that I cannot understand or control, it just happens. many of the songs on MANIFESTRA came to me in dreams- like the title track and “that’s just what happened”. I literally woke up to them. There are also plenty of moments that happen on the record that I could never have planned, they just came together.
How did the title Manifestra originate?
As I said, the song MANIFESTRA came to me in a dream, and it woke me up around 6am one morning after a gig. I rolled out of bed and wrote it down in one sitting. The word “manifestra” just came out, and I never stopped to think that I had made up a word. I guess it has elements of “manifesto”, “opera”, “orchestra”, and the latin word for window, “fenestra”.
Three words to describe your current state of mind?
Turning. Humming. Leaping.
What/who is inspiring you right now?
I am loving the newest records by Rebecca Gates, Anais Mitchell, and Tegan and Sara. I cant stop listening to their single “Closer." Also, I am really digging a photo book, “America” by Zoe Strauss, given to me by the Philadelphia writer, Tara Murtha.
What does being brave mean to you?
Being brave means asking for help when you need it. Being brave means being perhaps afraid of failing, but trying anyway.
A lot of times artists are asked what’s next, instead, what are you savoring most right now?
I am appreciating the opportunity to make music with band, The Fine Parade, on the road every night. It’s pretty rare I get to do that.
Where can my readers find you online?