By Lea Rittenhouse |Photos Courtesy of Matthew Hogan
Practicing logic by day and creativity by night, local accountant Miranda Day deals with tax returns during work hours, but spends her free time writing and recording music.
“On a normal day I may come home and veg-out for a little bit, but eventually I pick up my guitar and play something,” says Miranda, a graduate student at The University of Texas at Tyler. “When it’s not your day job you have to find time to do it.”
Miranda began performing her acoustic solo act about eight years ago, playing music with a folk, indie flavor.
In 2010 she became inspired after her grandmother’s death to record her first full-length album.
“After she passed away it just hit me — ‘I need to do this now. It’s not going to just happen … I’ve got to do an album, because life is so short,’” she says while remembering her thought process after losing her No. 1 fan.
Her grandmother requested a musical performance each time the two spent time together.
Previous to the sudden inspiration for the LP, Miranda released an EP in 2007, which continued to enable her to play shows around East Texas.
The album is titled “Broken and Bright” and has been released for preview online while she finishes crafting a deluxe edition to be released on iTunes.
Along with friend Matthew Hogan, Miranda engineered, mixed, mastered and recorded the tracks herself.
“I had to narrow down my bag of songs that felt like they went together,” she says. “I knew exactly what I wanted it to feel like and sound like.”
Her favorite track on the album is “Wake Me Up,” which tells the story of two particular circumstances where her words weren’t honored.
“This song is really close to my heart because I’ve had two experiences in my life where people didn’t respect my boundaries and to them no didn’t mean no,” she says. “Everything I write is something that happened to me or something that happened to someone close to me.”
Her Christian faith and difficult upbringing influence her songwriting process.
Miranda grew up in a musical family — her father being a guitar player and her mother a lover of music. When she was younger, she’s loved being on stage and performing, but piano lessons and playing flute in the school band didn’t quite quench her performance thirst.
“I was like ‘nothing so far has felt right. The music feels right but the way I’m going about it hasn’t felt right,’” she says.
At about age 13, she asked her mom to buy her a guitar and her dad taught her how to play.
A year later she met a group of guys who played in a Christian metal band.
“I would go to all their shows and hang out with them and I was like, ‘this feels right. This is where I belong,” she says.
Miranda says music is like therapy for her and if she didn’t play music, she would go crazy.
“Sometimes you write something and you’re like ‘oh that’s awful. I’m so embarrassed. I’m never going to show that to anybody.’ But you still have to let it out,” she says. “Music is such a freeing thing…you let it out and then maybe you can help somebody else.”
Her dream is to play music for a living, however, it’s also important to her that she remains in control of her sound and image.
“When I was young, I wanted to be a famous rock star and wanted to get signed and sell out arenas and as I’ve gotten older I’m like, that might not be as great as I thought it was,” she says. “I’m not saying I would be opposed to a label as long as it didn’t become more about money and image.”
After years of playing and recording music, her advice to aspiring musicians is “don’t wait.”
“…Don’t wait for someone to notice. Get out there and find shows to play. Go out there and get your music out there, because you might sit and wait your whole life for someone to find you.”