In recent years, Dane Waters could typically be found during the day serving as director of education for the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, sharing her love of art and music with patrons and fellow workers. By night, it wouldn’t have been unusual to find Waters on stage somewhere in Louisville, sharing that same artistic devotion while performing with various musical groups.
Things changed in March 2013 with the birth of Waters’ daughter, Solveig. “Before she was born, it was 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at KMAC, then 5 p.m. to whenever, it was music,” says Waters. “Now, with [Solveig] in the equation, things are a little bit different. It’s been a big learning curve, and that’s okay.”
But even though the well-known Louisville artist has a new, significant responsibility in her life, the local art and music scene has hardly suffered a loss.
Fellow musicians look to Waters when they need adaptive vocals, be it lilting and smooth, operatic or even robotic. Before Solveig was three months old, Waters began laying vocal tracks for an album by Another 7 Astronauts, one of four bands to which she belongs. Waters also started recording a solo album and released a single with Sapat, a local band she helped develop with friend Kris Abplanalp.
Abplanalp says he has seen other people settle down once they have children, but admits the concept never crossed his mind when it came to Waters. “I think becoming a mother will change your identity, but I think it will add to hers,” Abplanalp says. “It will bring about more focus. What will be created will be more substantial and it’ll just enhance the outcome of whatever she’s creating, whether it’s art or music.”
Another 7 Astronauts founder JC Denison describes Waters as one of the hardest working and most focused musicians he’s ever worked with, calling her “creative as hell” and not afraid of challenges.
“A7A covered Laurie Anderson’s ‘Oh Superman,’ and Dane instantly figured out how to modify her voice so that she could simulate the robotic tone of Anderson’s voice for the recording,” Denison says. “She just knows how to attack obstacles in creative and beautiful ways."
Denison has no fear that Waters will step back from the music scene. In fact, he says her new role as mother can only help. “It was a wonder to watch as the little one [Solveig] mostly kept still and observed and absorbed the music and held on as her mother did what she does best,” Denison says. “I’m sure her new little darling daughter will have an impact on her, whether it’s on her lyrics – which can very often get into some tantalizing supernatural territory – or work schedule, or zest for creating art and music in a world in which she now can watch her daughter grow up.”