The prefix Xen- means foreigner or stranger, and the suffix -Ne means ‘not.’ We are all strangers to our own essence until we delve into the mirror.
Erica Xenne began writing songs and diaries as a young child, and moved on to novels, compositions and a professional music career in her early teens. She spent ample time in the woods, singing to tape recorders or writing in diaries, and collected gemstones, beginning with one she was gifted by her first piano teacher at age four. Between her favorite authors, Hermann Hesse and Carlos Castaneda, and her most beloved Les Misérables and Phantom of the Opera, she was drawn to themes that mirrored her own emotional turmoil, inner darkness, and potential transformations. The music that wrote itself through her was her earliest experience of catharsis.
Battles between creation and destruction, loss and rebirth, desire and innocence, wove their way through Erica’s lyrics, and also, her life. At sixteen, she lost her voice to an illness and was left speaking in a whisper permanently, which forced her to reconcile two burning questions: what was the purpose of her life, if all of her striving was for naught, and who was she, now that she was stripped of her greatest passion?
Erica devolved into isolated musings about past lives, dreams, the collective unconscious, and where our energy goes when we die. As she lost sight of humanity and purpose, she was consumed by insatiable hunger, like a vampire feeding on life by enacting death. By ripping herself down to the animal within, she also embodied the primal energy from which life and creation is born.
This lifestyle fueled a volcanic fury that erupted suddenly at age 21. As Erica rode in the car with a friend, both holding a crystal orb, an entire trilogy unfolded in her mind. It was a story of death and resurrection, love and war, self-exploration and transformation. After delving deep into themselves to discover their connections with nature, the characters join with the elements to determine the course of the world.
Though Erica had completed novels before, she was never a talented writer; but the story felt more real than her life. She resolved to gain the skills and insight to give birth to this vision, and began her long journey toward nurturing it into written form. Exciting though they were, her early drafts revealed she could not nourish her protagonist’s voice until she rescued her own. Every path lead to the graveyard of her music and her innocence buried beneath it.
When Erica sang through her whisper, resurrecting the ghost of her voice, she embodied transformation and rebirth. “My powerful voice was reduced to a whisper, but I am still a vessel through which passion emerges,” said she. “As my songs come to life, I beat the odds senseless, and the strength it gives me is more valuable than a perfect performance. Take my voice, my hair, my mobility, my memory… but if you want my passion, you will have to kill me.”
True to her word, when Erica resumed her opus, she infused it with beauty and love. She learned that her passion is to explore the depths of passion itself; and her purpose is to be a vessel through which it emerges. By practicing discipline and skills, she strives to be an unobstructed mirror for the forces that drive all living beings, so that through her work, others may see their own reflection.