Fire up the sound booth just for tonight there’s room for two/anything you want I’ll make it work; the melody is yours; my harmony is burnt/so give it up down low for the man at the show/his thirst is like a challenge begging me/to find balance in it all
Finding balance is something that seems to come easy to University of Louisville graduate student Abigail Day, whose stage name is Violet Moon.
That’s the chorus from a new single, “For the Man at the Show,” which the 26-year-old wrote and has released on Spotify. She did it while working on research for her master’s degree in exercise physiology.
“I am proud of her,” said Daniela Terson de Paleville, her professor of health and sport sciences. “She recorded it in the midst of data collection and training for her thesis.”
Moon, a tennis player who has lived most of her life in Louisville and earned her undergraduate degree at Bellarmine University, took time out from studying, researching, writing and performing to answer a few questions for UofLNews.com.
UofLNews: How did you find your way to UofL?
Moon: I went to Bellarmine University for undergrad on a partial academic, partial athletic (tennis) scholarship and developed relationships in the tennis world at UofL. So when I decided to pursue a master’s degree in exercise physiology, UofL was one of my first thoughts. I was mostly drawn to the diversity statement of the College of Education and Human Development and the idea that I could be involved in a social justice approach to exercise and I hope to make that practice in our department more relevant with my time here.
UofLNews: Have you always been a musician?
Moon: I started as a poet, not a lyricist, but I have been singing for as long as I could make noise. I was involved in youth chorus and church bands growing up, but was never part of a serious music project until I decided to start my own in May 2016. I taught myself to play guitar about six months before I wrote my first song and rode the wave until I got where I am today.
My intent was to begin writing as a form of expressive therapy and a way to sort through my past experiences and emotions in a way that would keep me from harboring unhealthy emotion. As my songs developed, I found myself sharing my music and having meaningful conversations with people as a result. It was addicting and I decided to start a music career, using my platform to create a community of people who are unashamed to express genuine emotion and find a safe space in music to be themselves. One of the coolest things about music for me is that two people can have completely different journeys and experiences, but find unity in the same lyrics.
UofLNews: Is this your first single?
Moon: ‘For the Man at the Show’ is my first single! (Listen here) It has been an unbelievable experience so far and I can’t wait to start recording and sharing more. I’ve gained local support, and been able to reach people internationally. I think what I’ve been most thrilled about so far (other than having the opportunity to perform live) is having my song added to the rotation on WFPK. I had a real ‘That Thing You Do’ reaction the first time I heard my song on the radio and I freaked out and started screaming and called my parents. It was a beautiful moment.
UofLNews: Do you plan to release more music?
Moon: My next step is to start recording an EP, for which I’ve created a gofundme. The EP will include 5 new songs, with ‘For the Man at the Show’ being as sixth bonus track. At this point, I’ve raised enough funding to record the first song for the EP titled, ‘Flaws of a Feather,’ which will be studio-ready by the end of this month. It is super humbling to have people in support of my creations and I’m thankful for the donations so far, but I definitely still have a long way to go. My current live set list includes those two original songs along with 10 others which I plan on expanding this fall and choosing from for the EP.
UofLNews: How do you use your music in your studies? How might you use it in your career in exercise physiology?
Moon: Both my studies and my music are an extension of who I am and help represent me as a person, but are not necessarily interconnected. Instead there is more of a circular relationship. Music is still expressive therapy for me, and also helps fuel my passion for people. That passion for people and social justice bleeds into my desire to reach people through exercise physiology, where I focus on finding ways to help people (particularly from underserved populations) find their place and safety in time and space.
My favorite part of being a musician so far is being able to perform live. The best way I can describe how I felt about my first headlining performance is to say it was as if I was transported to another energy field. If I can use that experience to help support the UofL community at events or to help raise awareness for exercise physiology related topics, I’d be honored to be a part of that.
UofLNews: How did you decide on your stage name?
Moon: A lot of my inspiration for my music comes from difficult personal circumstances, and my music is a place for the emotions related to those circumstances where I can reflect on what happened, but not dwell. So I wanted to come up with a name that wasn’t my own, as to not identify myself as those difficult circumstances, but that also represented what my music represents for me. So I chose the first name of ‘Violet’ because it was my grandmother’s name growing up. She has since changed her name because for her it was a reminder of the abuse and neglect she faced as a child. With her blessing, I used that same name in hopes of redeeming it to represent healing. I chose the last name of ‘Moon’ because of the honesty in my lyrics. I make sure each time I create a song it is a real depiction of how I feel or felt, no holding back or shame for feeling. The light from the moon is reflective of the sun, and reflections don’t shame, they only allow what is real to be seen on a different platform.
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