Music and literary arts

Life as a journal

Architect turned author and musician, Heather Hoeksema is on the road in her Airstream

By Tamra Testerman
tempo@taosnews.com
Posted 2/1/19

Heather Hoeksema, architect turned author and musician, is on the road in her Airstream and will be visiting Taos this weekend for a music event Saturday (Feb. 2), 7-9 p.m., at …

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Music and literary arts

Life as a journal

Architect turned author and musician, Heather Hoeksema is on the road in her Airstream

Posted

Heather Hoeksema, architect turned author and musician, is on the road in her Airstream and will be visiting Taos this weekend for a music event Saturday (Feb. 2), 7-9 p.m., at Ennui Gallery, 134 Bent Street, and for a reading from 2-3:30 p.m. Sunday (Feb. 3) at Op. Cit. Books, 124 Bent Street.

Hoeksema said she is planning on reading from her book “Flash Light: 9 Girls’ Stories for Grown Ups” which, she says, “I launched during the week of Sundance [Film Festival] last year [while] playing singer-songwriter soul from my album ‘Rode Show’ recently produced in Nashville.”

Tempo spoke with the artist – here are the highlights:

Tempo: Who are your literary and musical influences?

Heather Hoeksema: The ancient Sumerian high priestess Enheduanna, the first noted author of the world. Evidence of her authorship, her initials embedded in an alabaster disk ... exist preserved in Britain proving the first author of the world was a woman. She was the daughter of King Sargon. She was cast out into the country, likely because she facilitated a peaceful culture.

My favorite influence of current times is Joni Mitchell. I mean, she’s a genius. I’ve never heard someone so soft and fearless. I would give away my leather boots to be able to sing half as beautifully as Joni.

Tempo: What was the impetus to sell your home and buy an Airstream?

Hoeksema: I felt trapped in LA. I realized most of Hollywood was an infomercial and women were commodities. The only reason I moved there in the first place was because I thought being a female architect in California sustained more opportunity than anywhere else in the country. I was wrong. And I realized that. So I left for the mountains, to reignite my instincts. I continue to align my physiology with natural circadian rhythms, day-to-day experience. My life has become a journal.

Life on the road is good and bad. I can leave a place whenever I want if someone is aggressive toward me. That also ingrains a psychology of escapism. So, I try to balance my sense of empowerment harnessed from my mobility. Yet in my research, nomadic existence empowered the female. She could utilize her inherent instinct and sense of survival to facilitate the evolution of the human species with nomadic living. And I feel I experience that in some way. I’m not tamed, and being tamed by patriarchal civilization is, even though we pretend otherwise, enslavement. Maybe that’s how ‘Christine’ felt ... ha ha.

Tempo: Please tell us more about your quote, “Every good story begins with the hook, that lingering moment sound embodies our singular architecture.”

Hoeksema: It’s a play on words. I was in Nashville producing my album, when I reminisced about that quote, and kept hearing all these armchair theories about what makes a song ‘a hit.’ People kept talking about the ‘hook.’ The hook of a song ‘catches’ people, in the vibe of the sounds of lyrical notes. Physically, I had mapped a path to that point in Music City, unconsciously as a ‘hook.’ I traveled from Sun Valley down through the Rockies to Santa Fe. Then down through Texas to New Orleans for Jazz Fest … then instead of heading up the East Coast I chose to go to Nashville. I mapped a hook. Then returned to New Mexico for a time being. I considered this my ‘prelude’ to my tour… my ‘hook’. So, I said, ‘Every good story begins with a hook.’ But it also related to my experience, calibrating my cellular field while absorbing my experiences, within which my cellular fields were calibrated by way of mapping my way physically, in a navigational map, while balancing my perceptual experience and consequently my own personal physiology by how I translated my interactions with people and culture. This continued to happen in the way I move throughout the country and physiologically interpret my physiologic ally response to my surroundings. It’s a beautiful thing.

Tempo: What can our readers expect from your concert?

Hoeksema: I produced the demos for the nine songs of my ‘Rode Show’ album during the same period I wrote the nine stories that composed ‘Flash Light.’ I realized later that the stories and songs shaped archetypes, feminine archetypes. Whereas in the past, literary heroes defined archetypes by way of masculine thinking, I accidentally had defined those generated from my female viewpoint. There are nine situational archetypes; one in each of the nine stories which also present themselves similarly in the nine songs.

I realized how meaningful that was because I didn’t realize when or where it had been curated in the past … when herstory had been enforced vehemently. And I had done this accidentally, by my mere nature of trying to free myself as a woman.

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