Halie Loren is awash in a sea of emotion on her new single and video Noah — premiering exclusively on Tinnitist.
“Noah was sparked into being after the death of someone I knew, and it was associated specifically with that person’s memory for me at first,” says the Alaska-born jazz artist of the song. “But as the song became more fleshed out, I started to see it as containing a more universal story involving the literal and metaphorical washing away of a world, which is something that everyone experiences in some way.”
Especially now, she suggests.
“It wasn’t lost on me that the song happened to come into being just as the news cycle was reporting on a deluge of natural disasters (including record flooding), wars, and destabilizing events around the world forcing mass numbers people to flee their homelands in search of safety. The visibility of these world events clarified what the song ultimately symbolizes for me, which is that even the most solid feeling reality, the best-laid plans, can crumble in an instant, and one has to both allow themselves the space grieve and to move forward in order to survive it, but these two things are almost impossible to manage simultaneously.
“This song, for me, is an effort to comfort someone — or the self — in a place of that kind of struggle, paralyzed by disbelief and despair in the face of loss or change while feeling pulled by a world that continues to moves along at the same pace as ever. However, this song isn’t entirely an exercise in addressing grief — for me, it also contains a bittersweet sense of gratitude, humility, and wonder towards our own existence. Letting go is an unavoidable part of living, and will shape each of us in meaningful ways we can’t fully understand until we’re on the other side of the shift. The best we can do, for ourselves and each other, is to go through these experiences with as much courage, grace and compassion as we can muster.
“When I think of the lyric ‘We’re just stowaways on a ship the size of the world’, what comes to mind is that even though it’s sometimes scary to realize we are at the mercy of the elements and the ravages of time in our fragile vessel, we are never alone… even though no one knows exactly where we are headed, we are all fellow travelers on this journey, helping each other to find meaning.”
On her own journey to find the visual meaning of the song, Loren was helped by filmmaker Thang Ho and dancer Kaylee Millis. “Thang and I had a number of conversations about what the song meant to me, and the imagery it evoked … He took our conversations and crafted a script that included these elements in metaphorical ways, and worked hard to find a setting that felt reflective of the crumbling world the song depicts. (And) I was really excited to collaborate with Kaylee Millis, as I knew she’d bring a physical interpretation to the story of this song that would be compelling. Seeing her in action, it was extremely clear to see why she was a top finalist in So You Think You Can Dance … she’s an inspired and inspiring dancer, full of creativity, grace, and moxie to spare.”