Interview met zingende Thuisblijfmoeder Marie Bellet

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De kinderen hingen op de bank en keken tv, en ik surfte enigszins verveeld over het internet, op zoek naar soelaas. Na vier weken fulltime de kinderen over de vloer, kon ik mezelf wel van de vloer vegen.

En toen vond ik per ongeluk de site van Marie Bellet, met een prachtig lied over het moederschap.  Ik weet niet of er meer is tussen hemel en aarde, maar mijn vondst van Marie Bellets liedjes kwam als een geschenk uit de hemel! De teksten en melodieën van Marie Bellets helpen mij in mijn moederschap!

Daarom een interview met deze bijzondere Thuisblijfmoeder! Over haar liedjes en haar leven.

Interview met Marie Bellet

How did you start writing your songs? 

I started writing when I was pregnant with my sixth child and only girl. I had five sons, and one year old twins. I had bad veins in my legs and a husband who was always working. I didn’t have any family in town or anyone to talk to. My songs began with me imagining I was talking to a sister or a friend.

How do you write your songs? Do you go and sit behind a desk, or do they come to you during housework or taking care of the children?

I write my songs as I go about my day- usually when I am driving or working in the kitchen. When I am in the middle of a song, I often start on a project for the house like rearranging the furniture or organizing the kitchen. It helps my mind work because for me, song writing is kind of like solving a puzzle. Of course my husband and kids make fun of how often they return to a living room that is totally re-arranged. They have been instructed that the only appropriate comment is: “Boy, this is the best arrangement yet!” I think they can tell when I am in writing mode. It comes and goes and is not at all consistent. And some songs take a year to finish. Others take an afternoon.

Why do you write songs? Is there anything you hope to accomplish with your songs?

I write songs to explain things to myself. It is a huge relief to me to be able to express what is bugging me and work it all out in a song. I hope that my songs help people to see the beauty and purpose in ordinary daily life in all of its mediocrity and frustration- to see the glory of everyday love.

How, and when, do you find the time to write your songs?

I write in the midst of regular life when I am inspired with an idea that I think has something worthwhile to communicate. There is no time set aside. I do tune everyone out when I am doing it. I probably say uh huh a lot when I am secretly writing in my head.

What do your children think of them?

I’m not really sure. When I am in the middle of writing a song, I often sing what I have so far and see where it will take me. When there is a good hook, I will hear the kids singing it to themselves. Then I know I have a winner. My eldest recently informed the rest of the kids, while on leave from his first year away, that “Moms songs really aren’t that bad. Some people like them.”

What does your husband think about your songs?

He loves them. He is a therapists and I often run my lyrics by him for a reality check. I ask “Does this sound like what people say in marriage therapy, or is it just me?” He often uses my songs in his work.

What do your songs mean to you?

They are like an inner monologue- pep talks, analysis of the state of he world, reminders of why I live this life and what the supernatural meaning of it is.

Your songs touch my heart! Is there one song in particular that is most dear to you?

The songs that mean the most to me are the ones that came out of the most painful times. Secret Garden on my latest album, means a lot to me. It is about going to the Blessed Sacrament for solace in suffering.

A lot of your songs have religious components. What does religion mean to you? Has religion influenced you in your choice to stay home to raise your children?

Religion means everything to me, but I am probably home with my children because nothing is more meaningful and worthwhile than building a family and knowing these kids. My older ones are in their later teens now and I must say that each age has such delights! There is so much that is cute and sweet when they are young, but so much depth and humor as they get older. I cannot imagine missing any of this. But I was raised in a large family and have always wanted to re-create that rich experience. I really like my kids.

How did the idea to create your own cd's come about? Was it difficult? 

I was at a retreat in confession and I asked a priest if all of this writing might have simply been a distraction from what I was supposed to be doing. He said he would have to hear what I was writing, so I sent him a demo tape of my first “housewife songs.” He gave me a lot of encouragement and said that women needed to hear these. That is when I decided to do a proper recording. My producer is a man who was another parent at my kids school and finding him was an accidental/providential thing. He knew how to make the songs sound professional and how to do the whole deal. The design work on the albums has been done by local free-lancers. The manufacturing was done locally as well. Living in Nashville, TN, there are so many professionals at your fingertips!

How did you create your music video? Why did you make it?

My music video was actually done by a woman who used to do babysitting for me. She knew our family so well and worked in that industry and was always asking if we could try one of my songs. Ordinary Time seemed like an easy song to act out. We did it really just for a fun experiment.

Can you combine your music well with your family?

My music is only a sometimes thing. The only time it really cuts into my family is when I am recording an album, but even that I do in small doses when the kids are at school. But it is such an exciting time, I am definitely distracted. When I go out to perform, I try to get in and out within 24 hours and my husband watches the kids, since it is usually on a weekend. There are tons of logistics to arrange ahead of time, but it is actually a nice break to get away for one day. Everyone is so much more appealing when I get back home!

Do you have a favorite singer, someone you really like?

There are many singers I like- mostly country-Allison Krauss, Emmylou Harris, Linda Rondstadt, Joni Mitchell- some of them go way back, but then, so do I.

Is the statue of Jesus in you video 'Ordinary Times' standing in your own back yard?

The statue of Jesus is one my husband brought back from a trip to Guatemala. We brought it out to the country on a friends property for the video.

Is Elm Street Records your own company? If that's the case: how did you think of the name? Does it have a special meaning?

Yes, Elm Street Records is me in my basement. The name comes from the street I grew up on in Illinois. I wanted it to sound like ordinary life, not something sophisticated.

How do you like being a stay at home mom? What do you love about it, and what do you find hard?

I love really knowing my kids and not having to answer to anyone. I love the freedom. I do find it hard to be responsible for so many details and I am not a good cook at all. I hate planning meals. I hate going to the grocery store. I hate all of the messes in the kids rooms. I hate all of the papers that come home from school. I hate never getting quite enough sleep. I hate all of the gossip among mothers about who is doing everything right

Why did you choose to be a fulltime mother? Why didn't you choose to combine a career and children?

I worked for a few years after graduate school and for a few months into my marriage. Work is unbelievably draining to me, and not very fulfilling at all. I guess I never had a job that really meant anything to me personally. It was fun getting dressed up and having adult company, but there is so much posturing and baloney in the workplace. These people really are not all that brilliant or important, but they are constantly making as if they are. I found it very dull. I have not missed it at all.

Would you want to trade places with your husband? Would he want to trade places with you?

Never!

Do you have plans for when all the children have left 'the nest'?

I will be in the home by the time they all leave the nest. I just had a baby at 45.

Luister ook naar Nancy White! een Canadese moeder en zangeres.

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