I have been containing a “squueeee!” for several months now. I asked one of my favorite local musicians for an interview back in May and she said, “Yes”! Ginger Doss is on tour promoting her new album, From Love to Love, <♫> so we couldn’t meet in person. Ginger graciously agreed to converse in email between gigs (and WiFi permitting). I was introduced to her music about five years ago and was struck by the quality — technically and aesthetically — of the sound and the lyrics. I have been a fan ever since. If you are not familiar with her music, I hope this read prompts you to become a fan, too. I’ve sprinkled in some of her lyrics to give you a taste of her talents.
How would you describe your faith?
I consider myself a Universalist when it comes to my spiritual path [link added]. I believe I invoke the divine within myself through unconditional love and compassion. All things are energy whose origin comes from the divine which is pure light, pure love. All energy manifests according to its vibrational essence. Human beings are sacred life experiencing free will and the energy that creates. All religious paths are simply languages we use to understand the divine and there is no one path that rises above another. It is the individual soul that eventually rises according to where they are on their path. I have found profound connection to spirit through Christianity, Buddhism, Paganism, and simply listening to the voice within. I need no church, but I will always humbly enter within.
Were you raised in this faith? If not, how did you find your way to where you are now?
No, I was raised Episcopalian. And the voice of spirit was always strong within me. It lead me early on to ask many questions. I became a seeker and avidly so. I read a lot and learned a lot. But what ultimately led me to be on the path I am on now was my strong connection to spirit. I can feel it when I am learning something true to my soul. And I’m always learning, always growing.
This has gone on long enough, this ignorant surrender. You can fly high as you want, find the window and remember.” — Window
How would you describe the interplay between your faith and your music?
My music is an expression of my being and my being is centered in spirit. Nothing I do can express my connection to spirit and its effect on my life the way that music can. It is the greatest gift of this life for me. Through it I can connect with others, heal and be healed, teach and be taught, reach out and be touched. I am so thankful for the gift of music in my life!
Why walk when you can fly? Why talk when you can sing?” — Sister
I am most familiar with your collaborative work, the music you recorded with Velvet Hammer and DreamTrybe. There are songs that reference faith observance or practice, like “Come Down” and “Four Directions.” Do you still call down your gods or cast circles to connect with the divine? If not, what do you do — besides create and perform music — to connect to your faith? Or do you feel the need to anything else besides create and perform music to feel that connection?
I believe the divine is found in all practices approached in a sacred manner and with a heart of pure intent. I wrote “Four Directions” after one experience with a medicine wheel and “Come Down” is a yearning to be close to what always seemed to invisible. My spiritual practice primary includes meditation and prayer, and always has. And now I try to live in careful awareness of my thoughts and actions and align myself with the divine; the constant stream of evolutionary energy which flows through all of creation. I can feel it when I live in alignment with this flow or not. My emotional, physical and mental well being act as my guide. When I am out of line I return by using meditation to come back to awareness of my thoughts so they can be adjusted to bring about calm and divine attunement. My thoughts are the cornerstone of the energy that is within and around me. I use prayer for connection to the divine and for assistance and guidance. Music is one way to express and nurture that connection, but within every moment of life, when you live in awareness, there is opportunity for expression and connection.
Come down and dance upon the earth and for the moment let the veil between us fade.” — Come Down
My fellow princess Jax and I have both posted our stories of embracing Paganism (Jax here and me here). I feel like “Window” is a similar narrative for you. Do you think your fans are inspired by your spiritual journey? You seem very accessible, so I imagine you talk with people who come to your shows. What do you they tell you about your music? Why are they drawn to it? Why are they drawn to you?
Yes, I believe that people are inspired by my journey just as I have been inspired by so many others. I have had people say many different things about the effect that my music has on them, and no two are alike. For example “Window” was written about about opening your mind and remembering that your connection to the divine lays underneath all the chatter and distraction of our thoughts. We create doubt, fear and limitation in our minds, as well as all our other subjective perceptions. The “window” in my song represents an opening to the place of peace where the awareness of our true potential resides. When we remember that place and go there we are set free. But what the song means to any one person changes based on their own perspective. Music is a living art, taking on different meanings each time it is heard and experienced. As you say you thought it was a “similar narrative” to my story; not as I intended it – but however you see it is ok with me. People are drawn to my music for very personal reasons. The power of music is that it speaks a language beyond words and creates meaning beyond what the composer intended.
Well, I’ve been making love to this world, now I’m pregnant with a moment of madness. — Moment of Madness
Being a fan myself, I can tell you I am drawn to your voice. It is both soulful and sincere with a resonance like a soft blanket, comforting and reassuring; the perfect wrap for listening to a story. So, I’m going to take a moment to be selfish here and ask you to talk about the inspiration behind some of my favorite of your songs. I’ve already mentioned “Window.” My other favorites include songs with layered harmonies and a smidge of dissonance. What can you tell me about “Moment of Madness,” “Sister,” and “Ma Belle”?
Thank you for the kind words and for sharing. 🙂 I am glad to know your feelings.
Moment of Madness happened at the end of a difficult road trip with an early version of Dreamtrybe. We had some tough moments and eventually disbanded. I came home from that trip and took it out on the piano. Like most of my music the core inspiration for the song becomes a life lesson with a more general meaning as I reflect on it and write about it. The first notes of that song started with its mid section and moved out from there.
All through the night my dreamer weaves with threads from all I have seen a delicate seam between this world and the one you’ll find me.” — Ma Belle
Sister is a song from my soul to my self, trying to get through to me when I am disconnected and making choices that lead me off the path.
And Ma Belle came from a dream and is a love song – a restless calling out to a lover with a mind and body filled with desire.
Much love and many blessings.
Thank you, Ginger, for sharing your time, sharing your experiences, and sharing your talent!
What about you, Realm? Who are your favorite, inspiring musicians…and why?
+ Featured image, Ginger Doss at her piano.