MUSIC REVIEWS FOR THE WEEK OF 2016.02.14
A review of CASTLE OF ICE, by Ingrid Smith aka Eclipse- The Songmaker
Jilli- Ingrid, thank you for agreeing to interview today with me for the TCP. I am fascinated by your music, most especially, the different sounds I hear in all of your songs. I really don’t have a name for it, there is no one bucket to fit it into. What is this style of music that you have created and what is your inspiration for it?
Eclipse- I created my own genre. I did not want to become main stream and be locked in to something, so I called it Transcendence. I realize that a lot of music professionals might have a problem with this, because I don’t fit in to something particular, so what does it mean? I go by the dictionary with this word Transcendence, which means the state of surpassing beyond usual limits. I wanted to have real stories supported by music, so every song is different, matching the mood. Every song is a surprise.
Jilli- Wow. I love that. Every song is a surprise. That is really moving. I have to say, I find your name to be very intriguing. Tell me, who is “Eclipse”? Where did the name come from and what is “Eclipse” all about?
Eclipse- Eclipse, what is an Eclipse? First of all, our planet Earth is ruled by Sun and Moon, we have our sunny and our moody and unhappy side. I picked the word because my life is an Eclipse. Once in a while, the sun covers the moon and once in a while, the moon covers the sun. So, I identified myself with an Eclipse- it’s the reoccurring cycles of life. It’s just me, and many people who are under this influence. It’s Ying and Yang.
Jilli- Ying and Yang. Incredible. I find myself smiling all throughout this interview because I find you to be so interesting and just want to know so much more about you. So, tell me, how did you begin your music journey? Did you grow up in a musical family? Was it just in you or were you involved with music as a child or just grow up into it?
Eclipse- I did not start singing until I was 21. I never took any singing lessons or was even interested in it. I loved music. My father was an organ and piano builder, but he was was killed when I was three. My mom, for all her life, was heartbroken, so music was always a very touchy subject. From my relatives, I know that my father was a musical genius, and to the horror of priests in churches where he repaired church organs, he played jazz on it to see if they would work right again. One priest fainted! (My favorite story, he was a rebel). I wanted to become an actress, but that subject was also taboo, so I followed the instructions of my family, went to high school, business school, language school, worked in a bank, and EUREKA met some hobby musicians who were looking for a singer. As I said, I never sung, not even in private, so I decided to listen to some music, learned it, and auditioned, and got hired. We played on some local bases around the Frankfurt, Germany area, got another opportunity to audition for contracts in Greece and Turkey, got it, and this changed my life dramatically. The band I was in, called Blue Light Combo, stayed together for 10 years, playing for the American Forces until a terrible car accident ended everything. We ended up in a river, we all survived, but everybody was hurt badly, but me. I had a tiny scar on my leg. I stopped singing until two years ago when I found Deltona Records Recording Studio and Frank Starchak, one of my 10 lucky moments in my life.
Jilli- Wow! What a story. I am sorry about your father and the accident. I am astounded by your journey, and find it so interesting that you speak of Deltona Records Recording Studio and Frank Starchak with the same passion that another artist I interviewed last week spoke of. Seems to me that he is a very important component in your music. We all know that many artists are influenced by all different kinds of music, artists, and genres, even ideas or issues that spark the imagination. Who and what are your influences for making the music you create?
Eclipse- I love all kinds of music and artists, hard to say what influenced me. I have some idols, but I cannot put them in this question because I change my mind according to the mood I am in. Today it is this one and tomorrow it is another one, but I reconsider it … yes to Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, Ray Charles, Anastacia, Sarah Connor, Annie Lennox, these are my favorites.
Jilli- Great array of artists. From Michael Jackson to Anastacia to Annie Lennox. Great artists indeed. Ingrid, I have to say, the song Castle of Ice is so moving, so touching. What is this song about? How did you come up with the concept for it and how did you compose the melody and song?
Eclipse- The song Castle of Ice, here comes the spooky part. When I was 10 years old, I went through terrible ear operations and almost lost my hearing. Shortly after that, I saw a movie about a Native American child who was born deaf and left by a tribe in a forest. Wolves found him and raised him, and I wondered what he would have said if he could speak, all he could do was make noises, and true story or not, I wrote some lyrics just for myself, and called it, “The Castle of Ice“. One day, while recording a song in Deltona Records Recording Studios, working on a song, Frank Starchak looked at me and said, “I don’t know why, but I can visualize you singing a blues song about a Castle of Ice”. My jaw dropped! I just wrote lyrics, called “The Castle of Ice” and he said: “Let’s do it” and with a melody in my head, Frank just played the music around the lyrics and recommended one of the most fantastic guitar players from Deltona, Florida to collaborate with me- Douglas Flaherty, my biggest thanks to him. He nailed it … in one session… without rehearsing…unbelievable. So what is the message? You can overcome fear of the unknown, in my case, always being afraid of becoming deaf, and release it in music…
Jilli- Amazing. Just amazing. I sit here shaking my head back and forth just with such eagerness in my heart to know you more. This Frank Starchak sounds like such an incredibly gifted musician and engineer. With all of the different music you have, tell me, is there a message that you are trying to convey to your listeners?
Eclipse- A message … every artist, in any profession would like to leave a message …most of it is personal… If you can change one person’s life with a song, then he or she got the message…not my words, the words of Frank Starchak.
Jilli- This is true. And I have personally been affected by certain songs that make you think differently about things or feel in a way about things you hadn’t before. Ingrid, I have heard quite a few of your tracks and honestly, without sounding biased, I am a true fan! Can you tell me who you’ve worked with so far and with whom you would love to collaborate with in the future?
Eclipse- My favorite to answer this one ….I feel so blessed, the magic of Social Media. My composer, Michael Winter from Austria, who created a lot of songs for me and still to come. Aissa Torres, Sarah Starchak, Douglas Flaherty, Marco Akamawa, Mike Wallace, Michael Hawkins and now Jack Scannell and Thirl Hupp and last not least, the man behind all this, Frank Starchak , the musical wizard and engineer, who can read my brain…. it’s magic. Now what future collaborations bring, I don’t know, I go with the flow.
Jilli- Michael Winter, also a name that I am now familiar with because of Aissa Torres. How amazing that Social Media has worked for you in this way to bring you together with musicians from all over the world. What are your plans for your music career, for Eclipse?
Eclipse- The One Million Dollar question- plans for Eclipse? I could not answer this one. I have goals, plans can be changed, my goals, I never change. I have trust and faith in people, my family, my friends … I have a great agent, Christina Campbell, Curtis Young, son of Dr. Dre, Tiffany Gaines, World Wide Music Group, Universal Music Group. I love them, and they, they have the plan.
Jilli- Is there anything else about you, aside from music that you would like to share with us? Perhaps your interests and hobbies?
Eclipse- My hobby and interests became my business, lol! My daughter, my rock, says, “Mom, is there anything in this world not making a business out of a hobby?” I guess not. I am a jewelry designer, in my own family business together with my daughter and son in law, Gem Creations, Inc. with Disney World. I love designing jewelry and I am with this company for 16 years already spreading the magic.
Jilli- I’d love to see some of your creations, Ingrid. If there was one message that you could tell your fans, tell us what it would be.
Eclipse- My message. Walt Disney said, “If you can dream it, you can do it … so never stop dreaming”. That will be the next song which comes out, with Jack Scannell and Thirl Hupp. And the next message, it is not about me, it’s about all of us. To quote, “We are the world, we are the children“, by Michael Jackson.
RATING: ***** (5 Jilli’s) RADIO READY and IF NOT ON RADIO, WHY THE HELL NOT?
For more information on Eclipse, catch up with her on Social Media:
Watch the video here: