After a couple of performances last week at Blue Star, singer-songwriter Trina Brunk will perform one more time in San Antonio on Wednesday, May 9. The show starts at 9:45 p.m. at the G.I.G. ($5, 2803 N St. Mary's).
Brunk answered the Current's questions via email.
You call your music "spirit folk," as if trying to distance yourself from other "Christian" artists. Why is that?
I don't consider myself a "Christian" artist. I feel very resonant with the Christ but I feel appalled with a lot of what calls itself Christian. I think the Christ is the evolutionary principle that's contained within all of us, and it's very actively informing my work.
When Jesus came around, the impact he had on our collective consciousness was to radically expand our concept of who we are — love your neighbor as yourself, love your enemies, forgive, take care of people who can't take care of themselves... I think what he did was set an example that we get to follow, and that particular dynamic, the Christ dynamic, is in all of us. We have the opportunity to tap into that and allow that to take us to the next threshold on the planet, what's happening with humanity. It’s an essential part of what's happening with all of us, whether we resonate with the word Christ, and call ourselves Christian or not. But truthfully a lot of this is subtext. I don't come out and talk about this and write about this in my music, but it’s an underlying dynamic that sets the context for what I do.
I notice in your music you don’t actually mention Jesus but you do sing about God, as in “Always looking through God’s eyes.” What does God mean to you?
I think what's important is reclaiming the individual connection with the Divine and letting go of having other people define what that means for us. I'm working the edge of that because I'm singing about God but not really wanting to be anyone's leader. Actually, these days I'm moving away from singing about God. Increasingly, my work is going to be implying that rather than directly talking about God. I am really interested in the universal nature of love. I think love is the universal language. My music is for uniting, it's for healing, it's for supporting people in making major life transitions. I hope that my music is of service. That's what I hope. That's my intent.
Talk about your new album, The Giving Prayer.
The Giving Prayer is an album that is really celebrating the sacred cycle of giving and receiving. I think it's especially relevant during these times of economic recession. When things are going badly financially, our tendency is to tighten up, to contract when what we really need is to enhance the flow. For me, what I see is people who are reconnecting with what's really important to them in terms of what their gift is, what they want to give. I see that as people's greatest need that keeps coming up. People need to give the gift they came here to give, to do what they love, because very often that's our gift to the planet. I really think that's when the planet starts to transform in a positive way — when we hit a critical mass of people who are giving their particular gift
Who is your audience?
My music is for people who have been through a major transition; I think of them as initiates, people who have been initiated by a death, by a trauma, the breakup of a relationship... Usually something really hard has happened that turns us around and gets us asking really hard questions, like how do I live through this? People who have been through this and are on the other side, or people who are going through something like this now.
Maybe it's a wellness challenge; maybe they've been diagnosed with cancer; maybe they're suddenly responsible for taking care of their elderly parents and they don't know how, or maybe they have a dysfunctional relationship with their parents and now they have to care for them and they don't know how. People come up to me afterwards and tell me what they’re going through and what the music means to them. Recently I sang for some people whose son had just been murdered, and I didn’t know; I sang for a man who was considering suicide and he told me afterwards what it meant to him. The music goes really deep — deeper than I know — and I get to find out later what it does for people. People tell me time and time again how much the music means to them, and I feel it's my dialogue with God, with my force. When I hit the hard times or I'm with someone who's going through hard times, I bring the question forward and the grace that comes forward in that dialog is the gift. — Enrique Lopetegui