Indian Summer Jars – Jenn Hara
What is it about music that has made it such an important part of your life?
Music helps me understand the way I feel sometimes. Listening to someone else talk about their feelings in a song helps me understand I am not alone. Hearing what they do with those emotions helps me figure out what choices I have to do with those emotions and then if I want to make a choice or not. Through some of those things, love, grief, anger, joy, sadness. Sometimes feelings are hard! I also love the way it can help people understand each other and sometimes make things okay for them if they had a fight or misunderstanding.
There are many different types of music: jazz, hip-hop, folk, country, pop. Can you describe your genre of music and what makes that genre what it is–like what makes rap, rap and how is it different from other music? Is it the way you use your voice or instrumentation?
I would say we are more folky in nature. Sarah tells stories and talks about emotions like they are things we can touch, leaning towards the history of song writing. I would say that harmonies are traditionally used more in folk and country songs, especially harmony that goes beyond two parts.
Talk about the instruments you incorporate into your songs when you perform? What are your favorites?
I never learned to really perform with an acoustic guitar, but it was the first musical thing that ever caught my ear when I was a girl. It continues to be my favorite, but I have learned to appreciate the subtleties that I can add to music with small instruments that can make the song “taste” a little sweeter. My soft shakers are some of my favorites. I love Jason’s penny whistle which always adds so much light to a song.
You don’t need an instrument to be musical. You can make music using everyday household objects like pots, pans, and rubber bands. What did you use to make music with when you were a kid?
As a child I was always singing. I didn’t look for ways to make noise, I liked the way singing felt in my body. It’s always been a very physical thing for me. I was kind of sad as a child and didn’t really know that I was sad. But singing songs that were sad helped me get the feeling out of me when it became too big and felt too bad to be in my body.
I also longed for the ability to sing harmonies since I was a girl in church and listened to the deep resonance of the men sitting in the pews that would dance along the melody of some innocent church hymn, and do it with so much joy! I’ve been playing with my voice and learning more about it since then!
See Indian Summer Jars perform this song: