By Jaya Rao-Herel
In the newest iteration of “Sunrise,” I explore an acoustic arrangement featuring myself on keyboard and vocals. The song reflects on a small moment in time, bringing the listener into a meditative state of mind. Its descriptive language of a day coming to an end sets up and complements the underlying musical framework of the song. Listen and experience this through the media player of your choice and keep on repeat.
This song started with a sense of nostalgia that I wanted to capture through a poem. I set these words to a series of chords that fit their mood. After editing and practicing the song, I was able to move into the recording phase. We planned to record at the New-York Historical Society’s Tech Commons, however, they were closed the day we planned to visit. My mentor, Amanda, works at the New School and has access to equipment like keyboards, microphones, and interfaces, providing the perfect solution to our problem. We did multiple takes of the song, editing the volume and balance of the piece, which helped me grow my knowledge of audio engineering and editing.
Meet the Pair
MENTEE JAYA RAO-HEREL & MENTOR AMANDA EKERY
Jaya’s Anecdote: Before this year, I had never had a mentor in the formal sense. I always learned from those around me, and yet the label “mentor” seemed foreign. I was unsure of what to expect, but curious about how my time at Girls Write Now would help me define the term. Over the past year, Amanda has taught me that a mentor is someone you learn from, but also someone you laugh, reflect, explore, and smile with. I have learned a lot, and am so thankful that Amanda was the one to share it with me.
Amanda’s Anecdote: Jaya has a sense of self. She has great appreciation for her family and her ideas, and it’s apparent in her writing and music. I deeply relate to her work, and often leave our sessions thinking about my own sense of self and identity, and wonder how I would put my thoughts into words as clearly and with conviction as Jaya has. She is a quiet force and I’m grateful to have her as a mentee who inspires and teaches.
Jaya Rao-Herel, from Brooklyn NY, is a senior in high school. She is a writer and musician, blending her love of storytelling and music through songwriting and composition. Her work is driven by her biracial heritage, observations of nature and daily life and her pieces are poetic reflections on the world around her.