Truth in Art and Connection- Songwriter Bryce Ernest Taylor

The man with the muse has a room with a view
In the clouds where he gains some perspective
All the pain and the love, he sees from above
Reacting, perhaps, but reflecting

‘Cause he is up there, safe from the cares and the stares
And the wounds of dreams ripping away
And he paints and he prints big ideas that makes sense
While we scrounge for some morsel of meaning…
At the end of each day

I, I want to be you
I, I want to be you
The man with the muse

-Lyrics from Bryce Ernest Taylor’s “The Man With the Muse”


 

There is a heartwarming introductory video online of Indiana singer-songwriter Bryce Ernest Taylor, where he opens up about how music has become an important part of his life, both in songwriting, and also in his profession as a psychologist (Taylor is a licensed psychologist with a Doctorate in Counseling Psychology).

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For Bryce, music has become a natural way to connect with others one-on-one, to create community, and for himself and others to gain insight for emotional and psychological healing. Over the past decade, Bryce has taken his songwriting to the next level as a way of connection between himself and others.

 

“Songwriting and musical performance are tools, but also are a part of me that I go to for self-expression, for gaining insights into my self and others, and for facilitating communication and connection about thoughts, feelings, and experiences.”…“I also began to use music more in my therapy interventions, particularly with children and adolescents who were going through difficult times, or who had traumatic experiences (of which) they needed to make sense. Writing and recording songs within our therapy process was an amazing tool.”

 


BryceErnestTaylor-LighterThanAir

In addition to applying his musical talents to his counseling practice, Bryce Ernest Taylor writes and performs his music regularly throughout his area, including opening twice for John Prine’s guitarist, Jason Wilber. In 2015, Bryce Ernest Taylor released his first CD Lighter Than Air. Then in 2018, Bryce’s song “The Man With the Muse” won first place at the Eagle Creek Folk Festival Songwriting Competition (and will be included in Bryce’s upcoming CD).

 

Early Influences

Bryce traveled and lived in various parts of the United States throughout his life, including his birthplace of Texas, then Oklahoma, Indiana, and South Carolina, and earning his PhD in Counseling Psychology before returning to Indiana to settle with his family.

His travels contributed to his songwriting, most notably his visits to settings of nature such as Charleston, South Carolina and the Rocky Mountain National Park.

 

“These places are ‘second homes’ to me”…”where I feel more connected to nature. Nature themes seem to find their way into my songs, both directly and indirectly. Nature reminds me of my insignificance in relation to its forces and cycles, but also nature reminds me to appreciate the beauty around me and all that life has brought my way.“

“…Attending the Black Mountain Folk Festival, outside of Asheville, North Carolina (now the Lake Eden Arts Festival), had a very significant impact on my musical development. There I heard singer/songwriters that amazed and inspired me with their songwriting and performance, and led me to say to myself, “I want to get better at this so I can have the experience of these performing musicians, and do what they are doing for me, for my listeners.” They were so inspiring. In particular, there was a musician there named Don Conoscenti who has continued to influence my music and performance over the years in many ways.”

Don Conoscenti 02
Don Conoscenti. Photo courtesy Don Conoscenti official website http://www.donconoscenti.com/gallery


Connections

After settling in Muncie, Indiana, Bryce Ernest Taylor discovered Indianapolis as the place that would support his musical endeavors, in addition to other areas of the state. The singer-songwriter also plays in surrounding states, such as Michigan at the Folk Alliance Region Midwest music conference in Grand Rapids.

 

“I think there is a really strong community of support and definitely a strong community of musicians here. Personally, I am currently pleased with many of the gigs and venues I am able to play. I feel fortunate and I am beginning to extend the areas in which I play more regularly into the Bloomington area (southern Indiana), as well. Now, as an empty nester, I hope to also tour outside of the state some.”

 

Bryce refers to the importance of connecting with others in various ways, whether it be a connection between artist and listener, between artist and artist, or between artist and a group, which in turn can create a sense of community.

There is a connection where the listener feels that the artist is singing directly to them, whether it is at a live performance or over the radio, and this is what Bryce mentions and alludes to when it comes to whom and what his early inspirations were, and how those who influenced him later in his career formed his perception of how his performances can be a drive to form community.

When it came to songwriters who inspired Bryce early in life, such as Jim Croce, James Taylor, and Simon & Garfunkel, Bryce mentions ‘I felt like they were singing to me, so there was that first connection.’  Other influences making the connection with Bryce throughout the years included singer-songwriters/storytellers/performers David Wilcox, John Gorka, John Prine and, as previously mentioned, Don Conoscenti. Ray Lamontagne, Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, The Avette Brothers, Noah Gunderson are contemporary artists who also made an impact on Bryce Ernest Taylor’s songwriting.

Eventually the connections Bryce made evolved into an awareness of creating community through interaction with an audience through live performance.

“The creating community part comes from an understanding or insight from a playwright, Julie Portman, who was a mentor at a songwriting camp I attended. She helped me understand that with each performance I had the opportunity to decide what kind of community I wanted to help create, and to be more intentional about creating that. Of course, in a concert-type situation, the performer has much more control over that than when they are making background music at a bar, but still there are choices that are best made intentionally regarding one’s role in that community.”

I want the result to be a connection or an interaction with their life and experience that leads them to greater understanding, or appreciation for their own experience. This makes me think about the quote from Picasso that “art is a lie that enables us to see the truth.” For me the “lie” is just that my songs are somewhat of an abstraction or metaphor for my experience (or one’s experience).  And the “truth” is everyone’s individual truth about their experience.”

 

03 Bryce Ernest Taylor

 

New Upcoming CD

Bryce Ernest Taylor has a new CD in the works, which is yet to be titled, and which he hopes folk music lovers will enjoy once it is released.

 

“(Folk music-oriented communities)…such as Folk Alliance International are a good home for me and my music…The plan is to take many of the recordings I have already been working on and to add to those others that I have written but not yet recorded, and perhaps others that I have not yet written, to create a more cohesive whole. I am excited about creating this body of work that will be a good representation of where I am now as a songwriter. It will definitely be worth the wait for me AND my listeners.”

“For me, these are the type of songs and albums I enjoy the most…more raw, less produced… just an artist communicating with their audience.“

“This CD will be much more stripped-down when compared to my first release. I think it will also reflect me finding my voice through my music. I think the songs are also perhaps more passionate, both in their words and in their performance. I am really excited about getting these songs out for a larger audience to hear.”

While some of the songs address struggles or questions of love and life, the message is mostly a hopeful one, which suggests that returning to nature, creativity, art, and what we value most, helps us gain the perspective we need to move ahead.”

VIDEO:  Man With the Muse


 

Bryce’s fans can learn more about the progress of his upcoming CD, including tour plans, by joining his email list on his official website, and by liking his Facebook page.

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To join Bryce Ernest Taylor’s mailing list, visit his official website at

https://www.brycetaylormusic.com/.


 

LINKS

 

Bryce Ernest Taylor Official Website: https://www.brycetaylormusic.com/

Bryce Ernest Taylor Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/brycetaymusic/

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/c/BryceTaylorMusic

Facebook (@brycetaymusic): https://www.facebook.com/brycetaymusic/

Twitter (@brycetaymusic): https://twitter.com/brycetaymusic

Instagram (@brycetaymusic): https://www.instagram.com/brycetaymusic/

Spotify:  https://open.spotify.com/artist/0VTOw4cAYy9whME8pa42ly

Reverbnation: https://www.reverbnation.com/bryceernesttaylor

Bio/performance video, INtune Behind-The-Music Profile: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bR8FBLUufEg

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