Hi everyone. So it has now been quite a few years since I have been on the music scene. There was a time (about seven years ago) where my voice began degrading in quality, to the point where I could no longer create the sounds that I could before. Even talking for any length quickly sent me into hoarseness.
We went to several doctors in several cities, but the American healthcare system is very expensive and we could only do this so many times. The different diagnoses I was given were possible acid reflux, possible allergies, possible thyroid disorder, and possible autoimmune disorder. I also received many emails from concerned listeners with their own thoughts as to what might cure my condition, vacillating from diet changes and physical/mental exercises to changes in religious and political affiliation.
I value my voice enough to have explored many, many avenues from the practical to the bizarre, bought many sorts of pills, changed my diet (and kept them for adequate months) many times, and tossed a few prayers in some interesting directions.
As for the clinical route, I was on prescription anti-acid pills and a low acid diet for around two years (not great for other parts of my heath, I will add) and my voice did not return to normal. It is safe to say it is NOT acid reflux as I had previously thought. My thyroid levels showed normal, though it is hard to say what is low or high for a particular individual. Perhaps normal for one person is out of balance for me.
But placing that aside, autoimmune issues DO run heavy in my family, and I have many other symptoms of it, from joints that suddenly hurt and swell for no reason, to the morphea that suddenly decided to appear and make a scar on my back, to various other ghostly things that come and go at their leisure. When I sing nowadays, while I did not get my chest voice back, I can do my head voice/classical and it sounds almost okay. But any sort of steady practice, no matter how careful or correct, will bring the inflammation back for a few weeks, just as deciding to take up a good walking regimen will bring a bout of sciatica to my back or swelling to my knees. There is no cure for an autoimmune disorder, only steroids that can suppress your own body’s defense mechanisms for a time, and this is not good long term.
It is something that will have to be lived with/ worked around as possible.
I am singing occasionally, but definitely not enough to bring my vocal muscles back to where they were. I do plan on making music again, putting voice to all those songs I have written in the meantime. When I start, my voice will not sound as good as it did before, but I am working up my courage for that. (and the rotten tomatoes)
My life is more private than it was in the past. I admit I have dealt with a form of PTSD regarding my social media, with it bringing back all the myriad anxieties surrounding the loss of my singing voice, blows to my identity and self worth and the career I might have had. And it was never easy seeing/hearing reminders of how my voice used to be. It still isn't. But I am feeling better from keeping a bit of a distance, and have built a happy, busy life filled with many activities I love. That said, I know I've missed much kindness and good times with many wonderful people, and that is a deep regret of mine, but I've had to listen to what my mind and body were telling me in order to get through this very difficult time. I hope you will forgive me.
Hope to see you all soon!
- Kate Covington / Erutan
My mother was a private Classical violin teacher and taught lessons in our home. There was never a moment where I wasn't listening to the music of her students or vinyl records of classical, ancient/medieval, world, and many other types of music on our old turntable.
I was presented with and started playing my first violin at age one and a half. It was a 1/32 size, which is the smallest practical size of violin available. I broke it within the day, ha, but that was to be expected. What was not expected was my taking to the instrument for real, and learning very fast. I mimicked my mother's students and learned the pieces that they played while still in diapers. We have a few precious videos of this, which I will have to bring out one day to share.
Though my childhood and teen years I practiced a lot ---often 5 or 6 hours daily. This sounds excessive, but in the world of competitive classical violin, it is absolutely necessary. I went on to win several competitions, played solos in front of several orchestras, and gave many performances.
Between practice sessions, I loved everything about being outside. The plants, the dirt, and the animals. Even though we lived in a small apartment in the city, I was still able to find small pockets of nature to explore and experience. Even though there are no forests near my home, and most of the fields have been developed, I still try to indulge my love of the natural world by growing pot herbs and keeping the local birds fed.
When I was 15 I started playing Celtic and medieval music with a small group called the Donnybrook Legacy/Sonus. I joined them when they were winding down from major label recording and were doing more laid back local performances. I learned so so much from these 4 amazing musicians.. The music I was exposed to during the four years I worked with them created a love for celtic and ancient music that you can plainly see in my own music style today. From there, I started to pick up many new instruments to learn.
Around the same time I joined them, I began composing music, being very inspired by the beautiful soundtracks of rpg video games like Final Fantasy and Chrono Cross/Trigger. I wrote hundreds of little melodies during this time, with the chief intention of someday becoming a composer of video game scores. I also started writing lyrics, and with the support and urging of those around me, I began to sing.
My goal in songwriting is to help listeners get in touch with their own love the natural world.
Many heartfelt thanks to everyone who has supported me on youtube and beyond, and has given me the strength to keep working!