Sat 3/11 @ 7-9PM
Cleveland area acoustic singer-songwriter Christopher Reynolds lives by these words: “It’s no longer a time for the goal of our souls to get high. It’s time for our souls to get whole.”
There’s no way around it. The message is convoluted, but so is this Norwalk native, who since the late ’90s has been tackling his own style or brand of music, which digresses into what sounds like a combination of self-help mysticism and new age ramblings. However, the one thing that’s readily apparent is Reynold’s earnestness and confidence when he discusses his new EP Calling Card: The Singer.
CoolCleveland talked to Reynolds about his unique approach to music and his March 11 appearance at the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a singer-songwriter-guitarist. I come from a family of musicians. In our family, you learn an instrument. I’ve been making music since 1977. That’s when I was in my first band. Later, I was in a duo called Those Guys that played at Around the Corner in the early ’80s. We played originals and covers by Simon & Garfunkel and James Taylor. It was more of an acoustic rock kind of thing. I started my solo career in 1999.
Since the turn of the century, how has your music evolved?
I think the main thing was, you make music with your friends or is the music more important? There were a few thresholds where I had to make a choice of being friends or letting the music be the choice. My debut CD, Unio Mentalis: The Mind of the Land, is where I decided I would find the best musicians and the best studio, which for me is Magnetic North because of Chris Keffer. Over the years, the process has always been the same. I go in with material, sit down with Chris Keffer and perform the song. Then we start talking about how to best produce it. What does it call for? What instruments are we hearing? Our rule is, do no harm to the song.
How would you describe your music?
It’s kind of folk rock-ish, but I’ve been growing a theme. I’m developing this idea that our culture is in a rite of passage. I’ve had this groundwork, and now I’m further down the road. In 1999, the songs were about the relationship with earth, and with this (new EP), it’s about the relationship of earth and sky.
Let’s talk about your new EP Calling Card: The Singer. Why are you discussing the earth and sky?
Because that’s the work for this particular period in history. The way that culture has related to the earth is by destroying it. For example, there’s that protest at Standing Rock where it’s a question of should we preserve the environment or should we have more oil? Really all over the place there’s a discussion about what does it mean to live in a sustainable culture?
Who would enjoy Calling Card: The Singer?
People who have a heart for earth and people who care about sustainability, creativity, feeling and peace.
Considering your message is so esoteric, holding a healing concert performance at the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center is apropos.
Yes, in the planetarium. It’s about the image that’s on the CD, which is an update of our constellations that we use. The way our cult constellations are used in our culture has not been updated since the year 150. And we’ve learned other knowledge of the universe since the year 150. I’m updating it for these times. We learn when information about the universe changes, your consciousness changes.
It seems as though you have a very new age way of thinking about music and life.
I am not doing a new age thing. I’m doing archetypal psychology. I didn’t major in psychology, but it’s a major part of my work. I’m conscious in the collective unconscious because that’s the best way to understand human beings.
When people leave your Lake Erie Nature and Science Center healing concert performance will they have the answers?
They’ll have a tool. I’m putting some ideas out there. I’m giving them a soundtrack for thinking about a future where it’s a good future for the children and grandchildren. There are some ideas in there, and I’m giving you a new way of looking at the North Star at night.
Finally, I apologize ahead of time, but do people often have a long-distance stare when you explain your music?
They do. (laughs) That’s why you have to be there. I’m taking a lot in so it takes a while to get to what I’m talking about.