Rebekah Novinger hopes her listeners speak truth to their friends and family.
“Love, in its loosest form, comes from a place of honesty,” she said. “That’s what I would love for people to ponder.”
Novinger, a Racine native and former RCTC student, is currently based in Boston, where she studies at Berklee College of Music.
“14 Hours 15 Minutes,” her latest full-length album, is about a “big adventure” Novinger took “with someone I really cared about.” She wrote a song for each hour, and one for the last 15 minutes.
“We just walked around the city for a very, very long time, until dawn,” she said. “I hadn’t explored Boston much, so it was a very fun, impactful amount of time I spent with someone. … I do draw a lot from what I’ve lived and what I’ve experienced with people.”
The album plays with genres.
“It's not just jazz, or just bluegrass, or just pop or funk — it’s a lot of mixes,” she said.
The music was recorded two summers ago, but wasn’t released until March 2021. “14 Hours 15 Minutes” heavily involved Novinger’s brother Josiah, a local audio engineer, as well as a few Minnesota musicians, like saxophonist Zachary Logdahl and clarinet player Olivia O’Neil.
Since both siblings were in school, the production process took far longer than anticipated. March felt “timely and appropriate” to Novinger, as it marked two years from her Boston adventure.
She hopes the songs will inspire listeners to have difficult conversations with their friends and family. Writing about real-life events dredged up “a lot of honesty, a lot of blunt things that eventually came forward.”
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“It was really important to me, that as you listen to it, if it hits you, that’s beautiful,” she said. “My hope is that in the end, people really say what they think … and what you feel. To really be authentic with people, because it really makes a difference down the road.”
Novinger’s next projects will be on the composition side. She’s double majoring in classical chamber music composition, and scoring for commercials, social media and television.
She’s moved away from performing live, and is focusing on commissions for student films and concert hall works in Boston as she enters her senior year of college.