Antler Hill is the is the artistic duo of Neil "The Scarecrow" and Jessica "alittlemessi" Griffin. We are multifaceted in the realms of music and the arts while using the symbology of a Scarecrow to raise awareness of stuttering.
In certain legends, a scarecrow is a being that cannot walk or talk, but because he is planted in the earth, he knows all that goes on in the world and very wise. We use this idea to introduce the fact that those who stutter or are silent have the same intelligence and emotions as those who do not.
In other words, as we like to say, "stutter is not stupid."
Neil Lee Griffin
Born and raised in Upstate SC, growing up with a stutter wasn't easy. From the teasing in school to struggling to say my own name. As a child I was always fond of music, growing up with a piano and guitar near by, it was never out of reach. In my mid teens I decided that music was something I wanted to learn more about, so I set out to take piano lessons, and did so for a few years. Using the knowledge I gained from piano lessons I taught myself to play guitar. In that time I started learning to play by ear which I found to be incredibly fun.
In my early twenties I started to write my own material, granted it was nothing fancy but it was something I could call my own, and with all things the more you do it the better you become. I have always loved movie scores and theme songs from TV, the way you can set up a scenario or convey an emotion in a story without saying a word really resonated with me.
Wanting to do more with my music I started incorporating more score and storytelling elements in my writing. My personal music tends to lean in the direction of a darker folk style, usually accompanied by a narrative or atmosphere, but I also love writing scores for T.V. and film, which opens up opportunities that you normally wouldn't have otherwise.
Having trouble speaking most of my life, I was always searching for ways around the stutter. You don't stutter when you sing, due to the "choral effect". In singing I found myself freed from the bonds of the stutter, something I haven't really known. To me music is complete freedom.
I was born near the southern beaches of Virginia to two talented musicians. Music, crafts, and a deep artistic streak were all a huge part of my life from infancy. I moved to Columbia, SC to attend college, and moved to the upstate in 2007. Being nothing if not a multi-faceted individual, by January of 2010, I was practicing massage, starting my glorious career in accounting, and taking art classes when a classmate heard that his friend Neil needed a female singer for a project he was working on and introduced us.
I'd been in church choirs, taken chorus classes all through high school and college, and regularly belted out tunes by Imogen Heap, Linkin Park, Andrew Peterson, and Broadway staples while driving down the interstate or washing dishes at home... but I'd never been much of a solo singer or been "in a band," so I was excited about the opportunity.
Neil and I got along well right away and that one project turned into an ongoing musical relationship, which turned into a deep friendship, and finally a lifelong partnership. We were, at long last, married in 2016.
We enjoy being art vendors at local festivals and especially comic-cons, sharing our music, art, and our combined creativity with the world of peculiar folk like ourselves.