My Dreams, My Pain and My Music

Kara Jane Spencer in a pink top. She wears glasses and has an oxygen nasal cannula

With my album close to completion, find out more about what inspires my music

What my album means to me 

The album means an incredible amount to me.  It represents my journey so far: it’s about love, loss, anger and pain.  It has been my way of processing all that I’ve been through with severe illness. 

It’s also my legacy to leave to the world long after I am gone.  It is my achievement and means that my life was not a waste.  If it can then keep doing good with every sale, that is what makes me smile.  It’s what I will live for each day.

My interest in music began young

I come from a very musical family.  My grandma had an incredible voice and used to sing on the club circuit with Marti Caine.

My real passion for music began when my dad introduced me to great music that also had political undertones.  This taught me about music as a political medium, which made a profound impression on me. 

Apart from the rare workshops and warm-ups that were part of my drama degree, I’ve never had any vocal coaching. 

I’ve been singing since childhood

Music I love

I love Bears Den, Bon Iver, Daughter, London Grammar, Florence and the Machine.  I have a soft spot for Hozier.  I also like Agnes Obel, and Angus & Julia Stone.  Three Laws are also excellent.

How singing makes me feel

Physically, singing hurts because of my condition.  I am very sensitive to sound, which can trigger profound head pain, as well as a flare up of all my symptoms.  If I over-exert myself or am exposed to high levels of sound, I can experience seizures and even periodic paralysis.  

As a result, I’m unable to sing more than a line or two at a time on good days.  All the vocals for my album have been recorded from my bed. I really miss the freedom I used to get from singing.  Emotionally, however, singing and writing songs still gives me an extraordinary release.  The creative process is an outlet for me, and I don’t quite think I’d be sane without it! 

Any kind of exertion, including singing, can cause a serious worsening of my condition

My hope for the album 

Firstly, I hope it will achieve a post-mortem research programme for people who die with or from ME. I hope that will lead to breakthroughs in medical science.

Secondly, I hope it will achieve wider awareness of the severity of ME, and of the fact it can be life-threatening at its most severe.

Thirdly, I hope that others will be able to relate to my story through the songs and the narrative of the album.

More details on my album will be shared within the coming weeks, so do sign up below and follow me on social media to receive updates. I can’t wait for you to hear the album!

Image credits: Beach by 30daysreplay (PR & Marketing) on Unsplash; Record by Lee Campbell on Unsplash

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