Editor’s Note: We’re trying this again. Getting 30 artists to answer the same question. For the month of September–one for each day–we’ll be getting 30 Lubbock-West Texas singer-songwriters to answer the following question. For the complete list of September answers, click here.
Is there a song that you’ve written that you find yourself singing with your eyes closed more often than not when performed live? Why?
“To be honest, there is no part in any song I sing live where I find myself closing my eyes. Playing live to any group of people is a strange, stressful, and wonderful experience which, if done well, emotionally moves the audience and effectively communicates the ideas in the song. I don’t find that I close my eyes at all because most of the ideas I’m trying to communicate and the emotions I’m trying to “move” are ideas and emotions born out of desperation, fear, and anxiety–feelings I don’t want to feel or recreate with my eyes closed. I view it as a live indulgence that a performing musician might take. You might close your eyes to focus on the pitch of a note or you close your eyes to convey a certain passion for the words you are singing as if their very utterance is a blinding event. I keep my eyes open to convey all the distressful things I write about–hopefully giving them more weight and giving helpful, subconscious cues to a listening and watching audience about the content of the song beyond the words and music.”
—Hollis Webb, songwriter