LY: Can you choose a song (title) from your songwriting catelogue, which represents your style and describe your style of music?
PH: Can You Feel It? (from Her Muse EP) 2011.
I like all styles music. I create from where I am inspired.
My style can be a mix of folky, jazzy latin, bluesy rock with classical influences blended with a fiery edge.
LY: What was the inspiration for writing that song?
PH: Can You Feel It? The inspiration not only from 9/11 tragic occurrence with the Twin Towers and also this album by India.Arie "Acoustic Soul" 2001 totally inspired me musically to write Can You Feel It? especially for example the track 'Back In The Middle' I remember being up at my family lake house all alone and zoning in on the sadness of the world with this violent act just committed and merging with India. Arie's acoustic soul to express my grief.
LY: What would you consider are your top 3 music influences, albums or songs of inspiration?
PH: My top three…. This is very difficult for me to choose! I gotta do at least four music artists who were important musical inspiring influences for my early start of music making, mostly from the 70’s:-) Joni Mitchell, Joan Armatrading, Neil Young/CSNY,
Joni Mitchell albums which inspire me: ALL OF THEM!
This is difficult to chose…
Blue 1971, “All I Want”, “River," “A Case of You”,
For The Roses 1972, “Woman of Heart and Mind”, “Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire”, Court and Spark 1975, “Help Me”, “People’s Parties”, “Troubled Child”, Hejira 1976, “Hejira”, “Black Crow”, “Amelia", “Coyote”, Night Ride Home 1991, ”Cherokee Louise”, "The Windfall”, “Nothing can Be Done”. Joan Armatrading album: Love and Affection 1976, “Love and Affection”, “Save Me”, “Willow”, “You Rope You Tie Me”. Neil Young/CSNY albums: After The Goldrush 1970, “After the Goldrush”, Southern Man”, “Birds”, Harvest 1972, “Old Man”, Needle and the Damage Done”, “Helpless”, Van Morrison album: Moondance 1970.
LY: Is there anything (music, stories, or activities) that have helped you to better cope with the pandemic?
PH: There is a piece, for example, arranged and played by jazz guitarist Pat Metheny, “The Moon Is Harsh Mistress’, written by Jimmy Webb which has very much inspired me this past year.
LY: What's been happening for you since the start of the pandemic until the present?
PH: It’s interesting. The pandemic has drawn me to be in a totally unfamiliar, new mind and heart space musically. I have been writing more narrative style inspired by dreams and also have been playing more instrumentally these days. I am composing from a whole unknown place…. Narrative and instrumental guitar. I have become more introverted, more reflective and quiet in my life and I am an extrovert! Well, I have 12 unrecorded originals which are enough for an album. But I've only recorded 4 demos of those 12. Then with the pandemic happening early 2020 all that came to a temporary end. I was last in the studio the late fall of 2019 along with my last live performance being that August. And since the pandemic I've been in a totally new unknown space personally and artistically, like many of us. Who knew? It seems that I have been really more focused on musically studying what has been tucked away on the shelf for a long time... like my classical guitar work and jazz study. I have been writing more narratively as far as poetically and interested in more of a soundscapey open tunings instrumental expression on my guitar. I would say I am in a gathering place AGAIN! The album of unrecorded 12 songs is still on hold due to the closing up situation of studios and live venues and such. Not feeling inspired to go pick them babies back up as of yet. Hopefully soon...
What is fun is I'm starting a new virtual project with my friend Allan Molnar in New York. He is a vibe player and multi-instumentalist. He and I were music teacher colleagues for years back in the 90's here with the Toronto Catholic District School Board and have remained friends. We are going to do a virtual medley recording with our musician friends with two ageless iconic Motown cover songs by Marvin Gaye which I adore... "What's Going On and Mercy, Mercy Me. It's so important to maintain the igniting of pleasure and fun musically to keep the creative juices flowing with the art of the matter!