Chris Carmack and the musical project with his wife Erin!

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In addition to being an amazing actor on Grey’s Anatomy, Chris Carmack created a musical project with his wife Erin Slaver, called “Life on Eris”. The two told PEOPLE how working on new music helped and kept them busy during the pandemic.

Chris Carmack and wife Erin Slaver

As a pandemic continues to roar outside their California window, Life on Eris‘ bandmates Chris Carmack and Erin Slaver have spent the past year doing their best to infuse beauty into this world, through their music. But as the parents of 4-year-old daughter Kai, the pain of the pandemic still finds a way periodically to permeate their souls, especially when they least expect it.

It’s not only a feeling that parents around the world have experienced in the cruel year of 2020, but it’s also this example of the dichotomy of the emotions that the year has brought everyone. Just as the couple reflect on all they cannot give to their daughter, they witness a moment where they remember all that their little girl has given them.

“There is a world that I had imagined giving to my 4-year-old … and I’m not able to give that world to my 4-year-old,” says Carmack during the exclusive interview. “I hope we will be able to soon. I miss giving her the playdates, the trips to Disneyland, afternoons at the museum and the nights where we go out to watch live music performances. For me, that’s been the hardest part of all of this. I’m very sad not to be able to give her those things.”

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“She’s 4 years old, so she’s resilient,” Slaver explains. “She is so eager to explore anything new. Everything is exciting to them. To see the world through a 4-year old’s eyes is incredible.”

To see the world through different eyes is an ability that Slaver and Carmack seem to have been able to do personally, and professionally as the duo Life on Eris. The couple’s debut EP Stonewall, released back in October, touches on everything from the complexities of marriage to the beauty of reconciliation.

But just like every creative soul, the pandemic has certainly affected their creativity. Something rings true throughout their new song “Lovely, Dark and Deep,”. It pulls lines and inspiration from Robert Frost’s poignant poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.”

“It’s always been one of my favorite poems,” says Slaver, who began classical violin training at the age of 3. “I actually think I memorized it in the fifth grade! Obviously, I didn’t grasp the depth of the poetry until I was much older. There is so much symbolism behind his words.”

“Erin came to me with the idea and the more we looked at it, the more we realized how lyrical [Frost’s] writing really was,” adds Carmack, who first met Slaver while filming the TV drama Nashville. “We ended up using his words for the verses, but then we took a few liberties and rewrote a chorus to make it a little less dark.”

This pendulum between dark and light, happiness and sadness, fear and courage, it’s something that the couple have long done their best to balance both during the pandemic and the subsequent quarantine, and throughout the entirety of their marriage.

Life of Eris’ new single

Grey’s Anatomy 17 returns with new episodes on March 4 on ABC!

Chiara

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