Quick Q and A with Emily Mure

Emily Mure is a singer-songwriter whose introspective lyrics and melodic compositions are enthralling.  Emily has a way of singing from her heart and sending those intimate messages directly to the listener’s heart and soul.  Her on stage presence is natural and sincere and welcoming.

Learn more about Emily by checking out her website.

Here’s a video of Emily singing her song “Waiting for Change.”

 

You may be the only musician or maybe the only person I’ve ever met from Roosevelt Island, New York. Tell us about living on an island situated outside NYC!

Roosevelt Island is a funny little place and a wonderful one.  It’s actually considered Manhattan County but is situated between Manhattan and Queens.  It’s 2.5 miles long and a half mile wide and there’s one street (Main street). It’s kind of like living in a mini Manhattan except that it’s quieter than Manhattan and has its own unique feel.  My parents moved there in the 80’s because it was much cheaper to live there than Manhattan.  There’s tons of green space with beautiful views of the city.  It sort of feels like a small town except that there are still 11,000 people and we all live in 20 or so story buildings.  I loved growing up there.  There’s definitely a community of people who have grown up there who have a lot of pride in being from Roosevelt Island.  And they should, it’s great.

You are a classically trained oboist.  What drew you to that instrument?

I must have been nuts.  I think you have to be a little nuts to play the oboe. It is an incredibly difficult and oftentimes, unforgiving instrument.  What drew me to the instrument is I think what draws a lot of people, the sound.  In grade school I played the clarinet and I really liked it.  But one night, a wind quintet came to perform at my school and I heard the oboe for the first time.  I had never heard anything like it. It sort of pierced my soul in this way I’d never felt. It was so sad but so beautiful.  I asked my dad what it was and when he told me, I knew I had to play it.

When did you pick up the guitar?  

In college.  My grandfather (Billy Mure) tried to get me to play the guitar for forever.  Finally I caved and he bought me my first one just before school.  I’ll never forget the first time I picked it up to practice. I don’t think I left my grandfather’s garage for a solid 10 hours.  I started immediately writing songs.  I’ll never forget that “aha” moment.  I knew I would be doing this forever.

What artists have inspired you in terms of songwriting and performance?

Gosh, I’m so bad at this question because there are so many.  I mean the first musician I became totally fascinated with was Freddie Mercury.  I remember as a little kid watching him on MTV for the first time and being completely blown away.  He was so honest and fearless and wrote such intricate songs with gorgeous arrangements.  In college I discovered Ani DiFranco and Bob Dylan and I think I listened to just the two of them in solid rotation for what seemed like two full years.  Again, I so admire Ani’s fearless nature.  Her songs also really vary in form, which I love, and I get the sense that she doesn’t obsess about them, just writes them and puts them out there.  She’s also a ridiculously talented performer and guitarist.  Bob Dylan, of course, for his amazing songwriting, there’s no one like him.  Currently, I am totally inspired by so many musician friends.  I am always amazed at what people are capable of and how many incredible musicians there are.

You are a big advocate of writing poetry and a daily journal.  What advice would you give beginning writers about maintaining mindful writing as a daily occurrence?

The best advice I ever got was from the book The Artist’s Way which encourages you to try to write morning pages every day.  Just three pages a day, preferably in the morning, of free writing (not thinking much about it or trying to be perfect, just writing).  But honestly, if three pages is too much, whatever is realistic to commit to on a regular basis.  Just like anything else, the more regular the practice becomes, the easier things start to flow and the better you get.  But it doesn’t have to be a lot (or “good”), just consistent.

What’s your favorite thing about touring?

I have three favorite things about touring.  Playing music all the time, getting to see friends / meeting new ones and seeing new places (at least a little).  This past summer was my longest consecutive tour yet.  I was on the road for essentially two months and though it’s been good to have a little break, I could have kept going.

We’d love to know more about “The Wedding Song.”  Tell us the whole romantic story!

Ok, let me find my nut shell.

I met my husband nine years ago in Ireland.  I was a busker on the streets of Galway and he was a cook at a burger place.  We met through a mutual friend at her birthday party.  At first I thought he was kind of full of himself (which couldn’t be further from the truth) and he called me “Long Island” because he thought I had told him that’s where I was from.  When he realized how mad I got that he confused Long Island with Roosevelt Island, he decided it was a funny nickname.  Not a great start.  Fast forward a few months and we’ve become best friends and have fallen madly in love.  But our time together came to an end.  He had plans to travel around Europe and I was going to stay in Ireland for a bit and return to NYC.  He was actually from Rochester, NY, but even so, we didn’t know if we’d end up in the same place.  So we said goodbye, spurring lots and lots of sad love songs.

Fast forward several months, I’m back in NYC and he got a job and living situation there and we decided to get back together.  It was wonderful.  Then in 2014 on my 30th birthday, he took me for a kayak ride on the Charles River.  We had just moved to Boston and it was such a beautiful way to spend the day.  He ended up proposing without anyone knowing.  It was one of the most incredible days of my life, second to our wedding.  We got married less than a year later.  And between the time we got engaged and the day we got married, I had written a song for him and for our wedding day.  On that day, as part of our vows, I surprised him by singing the song for him in front of our family and friends.

The song is about meeting young (I think 22 is pretty young to meet someone) and growing up together.  It’s a simple song in a way, but it’s honest and representative of the way I’ve felt for him since we first fell in love.  There was no better way to tell him than through music.

 

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