I like to think this song is about those moments when you feel the interconnectedness of all life, but it's certainly open for interpretation. I asked my friend Jim Harris (who wrote the lyrics and first asked me to perform this song with him) and - intergallactic poet that he is - his answer was more mysterious than the lyrics themselves. I leave the meaning to you, dear listener.
Songs are like children. You might want a shortstop, but you might get a ballerina. Just give birth to them and accept them for who they are, even if you have no idea how that particular song came from you. Don't try to shape them into something they are not. Your job as an artist is to serve the song.
The first thing that grabs you about Trinity Demask is her voice. Often drawing comparisons to the angelic, rootsy tones of Alison Krauss, Trinity’s voice can also pack a powerhouse punch reminiscent of blues rocker Susan Tedeschi. It is a voice perfectly suited to bring songs to life with heart and passion.
Trinity honed that voice singing to her pets as a child and alone in her car as an adult, but when it came to singing to a human audience, fear of rejection kept her silent. “By the time I made my singing debut, I was in my thirties. I had always written poetry and stories, so songwriting wasn’t so much of a surprise, but my friends and family were shocked to learn that I had this voice that I’d been keeping secret. I’ve since discovered it’s not uncommon for people, especially women who tend to nurture others and put their own desires last, to have shelved talents or dreams. Finally, they reach a point in their mid-thirties or later when they ask themselves, ‘if not now, when?'”
Trinity certainly has made up for lost time. She began performing professionally in 2001 just months after playing at her first open mic. From coffeehouses and bars to theaters and festivals, she steadily earned a devoted following who appreciated not only her music, but her disarming wit and humor. The Indie Acoustic Project named her first CD “Venus In Retrograde” (released under her band name Third Road Home) “one of the best CDs of 2004” in the acoustic ensemble category, and her follow-up “Crucible” was named “one of the best CDs of 2009” in the lyrics category. Her bluegrass-infused tune “Whatever Is” was selected for the 2004 New Song Showcase at the popular Walnut Valley Festival and was included in mvyradio’s Fresh Produce #1 CD Sampler.
The introspective collection of songs was lauded by reviewers and listeners alike for its intimate and conversational tone. “Listening to this CD is like a deep tissue massage, some lyrics hit hard, but it makes you feel released and strengthened in the end,” writes one. A casual listen reveals accessible songs that are rootsy, warm and sometimes edgy, with catchy melodies and insightful lyrics. But it is her distinctive voice that captures the listener on a deeper level, delivering inspiration, hope, and healing.
In her new release “Crucible,” she explores themes of struggle, transcendence, and redemption with trademark clarity and heart. The twelve tracks range from upbeat Americana to moody adult alternative with topics spanning from the personal to the political. She doesn’t shy from difficult topics or dark emotions, but neither does she dwell on the pain. “Even in the worst moments of my life, I’ve seen the bigger picture and that’s the kind of message I convey in my songs. There’s always a light of hope. Keep moving forward, keep exploring. Life is all about the journey. There’s bound to be something unexpected and beautiful around the next corner.”
Trinity’s optimism isn’t blind faith. It’s the voice of experience. From her own difficult childhood – she lost her father to cancer when she was twelve – to the lives of those she served while working with the homeless in Denver, Trinity has known hardship and heartache. But she found hope and healing in music.
“Music has always been my closest companion and the source of my greatest inspiration. My path in life would be drastically different if I didn’t have the soundtrack that I did. I owe those artists a huge debt of gratitude. Music should move your body, challenge your mind, open your heart, and expand your awareness. That’s what I’ve found in the music that inspired me and that’s what I strive to create with my own songs.”
It’s this philosophy that makes Trinity Demask’s music more than entertainment. It is songwriting at its most empowering, expressed with a voice that purely and poetically shares the profound nature of being human.
The second song I ever wrote, Sweet The Open Road is about the feelings I experienced when I stepped out to follow my dreams.
Prayer of Intention is a pagan prayer to guide intention with backing vocals by Mythpunk troubadour SJ Tucker.
Whatever Is is an upbeat toe-tapper about my struggle to maintain a friendly and accepting relationship with change.
I wrote Here after returning to the SF bay area after 10 years away from the place I grew up. It started as an expression of my love/hate relationship with my hometown and quickly grew to expose more about my family relationships than I expected.
A protest song birthed by some discarded lyrics I wrote after September 11, 2001, Human Race is a call for awareness that we are all brothers and sisters regardless of our nationality.
Westward Bound is an ode to my "driving meditation."
Avalon was written as a kind of prayer for healing for a loved one who was off on a "vision quest" of sorts.
Have you ever wondered what John Lennon would be up to if he was alive today? Dear John is my open letter to John, wondering just that.
On Friday, October 12, 2012, police confirmed that the body found in Arvada, Colorado was indeed that of Jessica Ridgeway, a 10-year-old girl who had gone missing the prior week. Several of my friends have been experiencing grief and loss recently, so the topic which had already been weighing heavily on my mind of late was brought into stark relief at this tragic news. After reading through Facebook comments from friends, particularly those in the metro Denver area, I sat down to work on the songs that I'd be performing that Sunday at Living Water Spiritual Community (a Unity church). While rehearsing a cover song I felt would be appropriate to help my community find healing, I felt another song trying to come through. It began with the phrase "all that remains is love," then a chord progression followed and the words began to pour out. All That Remains is one of the few songs I’ve written that came out all in one sitting.
Written by my friend Victoria Woodworth, this song has always held a special place in my heart. Her version was the soundtrack to a pivotal moment in my life and I'm very fortunate to have had the opportunity to reinterpret it. There's a lot of healing power in this song. Whether your symbol for the divine is a cross (or in my case, a pentagram), this song is a great reminder that you are loved and supported by your Creator, especially in those moments when you feel most rejected and abandoned.
My initial idea for this song was to write a song that could be both plea to save a failing relationship or about the climate change debate. Somewhere along the way, it became more about the relationship, but I think for the most part the metaphor still stands.
"Phoenix" was truly a gift when it came to me. This song gave voice to everything I'd been through in the darkest period in my life. I'd gone through a difficult, transformational series of experiences and come out the other side stronger, but profoundly changed. I hadn't written in a very long time and was a little afraid of what I'd have to wade through once the levy broke and creativity flowed again. Instead, this song came through and laid out everything I needed to say in a single song.
All of my songs about darker subjects and emotions have a "light at the end of the tunnel" bit of hope in them... except this one. It's probably the closest thing to a Country song I've ever written. This one is just a double shot of heartbreak and misery, so if your heart's been broken, raise a glass to the "Hard Rain."
Inspiration comes in a lot of unexpected packages. Keep your eyes open for those who might be your angels, and remember that you might be an agent of the divine for someone else.
During a short trip to the east coast for a couple shows in the summer of 2013, I discovered this blast from the past at a gas station somewhere in eastern Pennsylvania. Perhaps, this is where Superman lives now.
Promo shot, 2013
This was taken at a show in Cedaredge, CO in 2010. I've been told I look like Meryl Streep in this pic.
1: What artist would you most love to work with?
I'll have to consider this more, but Richard Shindell comes to mind.
2: What instrument brings you the most joy?
That's easy. The human voice. As a singer, I might be a little biased, though.
3: What was the worst advice?
I can't think of any bad advice, but I have been pressured to write "happy songs." I think songs should reflect the whole human experience and one should write what they feel. It's all about expressing something authentically.
4: What was your first concert?
I saw the Jackson 5 at the Oakland Colliseum in 1971 or 1972. I don't remember anything about the concert, but my mom, brother, and sister still talk about how I was making a spectacle of myself dancing in the aisles.
5: What/where is the best road food?
When I discover something worth mentioning, I'll let you know.
6: What’s the best music advice you ever got?
I can't think of specific advice, but I will say that I am bolstered by the saying "fake it till you make it." Just be authentic and show up. Everyone feels some degree of doubt and self-consciousness. Just accept that, show up, and be yourself.
7: Who is your most surprising inspiration?
Of those who inspired me, I'm not sure which would be most surprising. My "voice teachers," as I like to think of them, were Julie Andrews, Helen Reddy, Olivia Newton-John, Pat Benatar, Annie Lennox, Kiri TeKanawa, Frederica Von Stade, and Patti Lupone.