Vocally, I've been compared with Joni Mitchell and Emmylou Harris. Lyric-wise, an early Sarah McLachlan or Lisa Loeb. Style-wise, Joan Baez and John Denver - late 60s/early 70s.
Since I've ventured into writing spiritual Jewish-text inspired songs, like the ones you're hearing now, I've also been called the next Debbie Friedman. That's a huge honor, though I want to be the next Rory Michelle.
My philosophy is that in being our most authentic selves, we most relate to others. I truly believe in this gem from Kurt Vonnegut's last novel, Timequake: "Still and all, why bother? Here's my answer: Many people need desperately to receive this message: 'I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people don't care about them. You are not alone.'"
You are not alone. I hope some of the material in my songs will speak to you. If it does, I'd love to know. Better yet, speak your heart, your truth, and bring more aliveness into this world.
Rory Michelle's artistic life is driven by the principles learned in Julia Camerons' book The Artist's Way. In 2011, Rory Michelle threw herself wholeheartedly into an Artist's Way workshop lovingly facilitated by Kim Childs in Arlington, MA. Of the many lessons learned through The Artist's Way, Rory Michelle finds a long-term view of "being on the path" the most helpful as an artist. It has given her the courage to be a beginner.
She recounts: "I used to subconsciously think of art as a 'go big or go home' kind of thing -- that I needed to either drop everything to do it or not do at all. The Artist's Way helped me realize that I could start from where I was. I could either get really good at guitar and writing songs and then record one album ten years from now, or I could start where I was and record an album every year for ten years. Which scenario do you think will lead to a better album ten years from now?"
It is Rory Michelle's manifestation of an Artist's Way spiritual mantra: Great Creator, you take care of the quality. I'll take care of the quantity.
Here are a few more quotes Rory Michelle finds inspiring and would like to share with you:
From Alfred Stieglitz...
It is not art in the professionalized sense about which I care, but that which is created sacredly, as a result of a deep inner experience, with all of oneself, and that becomes 'art' in time.
From Ira Glass . . .
What nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me . . . is that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, and it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase. They quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.
From Marianne Williamson...
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
From Howard Thurman....
Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.