I walk in the lengthening of shadows. The sun lays on a horizontal plane, illuminating singular grasses and berries amidst the snow as though to highlight the last dreaming vestiges of summer. It is starkly beautiful, with virtues of resilience and dormancy. Thoughts drift across the field of my mind, thoughts of you. I haven't thought about you for months, I haven't missed or wanted you and yet this slight focus on the awareness of your existence feels sharp; the cutting edge of loss. It was the landscape that brought you to me, one you have never seen, but have shared in through the lens of my words, my perspective. I think to myself that you would understand the settling satisfaction of my prairie wanderings, like no-one else. This thought is a greying mood that lingers long into the evening.
As many of your know, the last 3 years for me have been largely consumed by the process of separation and divorce. It has been a journey that has been painful and conflict-ridden and yet ripe with opportunities for growth and reflection. The journey of divorce, for me, has been taxing and long, and has consumed so much energy, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. As an introvert and a feeling person, conflict is wearying and difficult for me, often leaving me drained and listless. I have tried to be good to myself over this time, not requiring more of myself than being present, being true, and approaching each challenge with kindness and strength. Today, my divorce has gone through. There is a quiet melancholy to the final ending of a relationship that shaped so many of my years and gifted me belonging, laughter, spiritual growth, and four beautiful children. I turn soft eyes to the road ahead and feel a subtle, but persistent sense of purpose and resolve; a stirring.
I am a mother to four amazing human beings, so much of my focus over the last 3 years has been on creating a new home that is stable, loving, and emotionally safe for them. The separation also has meant that I can no longer commit the time I was before to my musical career. Music is my passion, but is not a financially feasible full time option for me at this time, which has necessitated a full time job elsewhere. It has been a long journey. At first I worked two jobs, spending the week days working at a local wildlife rehabilitation center and many weekends working at a residential treatment center; all this in addition to spending time with my kids. Obviously there was very little room for music during that time. After being diagnosed with shingles one very stressful (and rashy) Christmas, I realized I was taking on too much and was going to pay with my health. Luckily, my finances had improved at this point and I chose to quit my weekend work, which also allowed me to take on gigs here and there. Over the last few years I have felt fortunate to have performed at festivals and in collaboration with other artists.
Scorpion Moon was released a month after I separated from my ex. o_O (FYI: I do not recommend this as a career move ~smile~) I did what I could to promote the album and was honoured and thrilled that this album was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award. Still, I was emotionally and financially unable to leverage that nomination into touring, performing, or recording opportunities, something that has been a source of sadness and guilt for me. In many ways I feel that I have let myself and all of you down. Still, I have continued to write and perform, just in a more contained manner. The music I have written over the last 3 years has been introspective, represents a manner of coping, and has created a safe space for my healing. One of those songs is shared below. I have more than enough strong material for another album, I am just not in a place, financially, where I can translate these new songs into a professional recording.
Sometimes you have to take a less direct route to get to your destination. Though the wildlife rehabilitation center I have worked at since 2013 has been a nourishing, flexible, and supportive environment, it cannot provide what I believe I will need in the future. As such, I have applied and been accepted into a graduate program, Masters of Counseling, through the University of Calgary. I start in September and will slowly chip away at this over the next 5 years, while still working and caring for my children. Once again, this will result in less time and energy for the creation and performance of music, a sacrifice I am willing to make to ensure a secure future for myself and my children. The decision to apply for grad school was a heavy one, especially because I knew it would mean a shift in focus away from my musical endeavors. My hope is that these studies will continue to grow my spirit and mind bringing new and unexpected perspectives to my creative work. I also hope that the financial security that will come from this change will then allow for a renewed recording vigour. I will continue to post when I can, write music when I can, and perform when I can because I know that music is my home and have felt from the very beginning that it is what I was meant to do. I am not giving up, just flowing a little differently for awhile. ~smile~ I fully intend to release another album when the time is right.
The support I have received for my music has been a sparkling light in many moments of darkness over the last 3 years. Your emails, comments, and likes have reminded me over and over that music is connective tissue; that it speaks to what holds us all together. I hope you will continue to follow my journey, hold space for me, and that you will be patient. There is music waiting, incubating in spaces between what is and what could be. I am taking those first tentative steps into an unknown, and very soon I will find my feet to run, my wings to fly, and will intersect with the me that is waiting just beyond the horizon of now.
March rides in on winter's roar. Though the sun's light is mellow against the edges of the horizon, the wind has teeth, sharpened by the unseen snow in the air. I however, am snuggled warm on my couch, with the yellow glow of vintage lamps creating my own sanctuary. I mean to write, something...anything but all my words are churned conflicting in a tempest of thought, memory and emotion. I turn 40 in a month and a half, a number that means pretty much nothing to me. I don't feel 40, but then again, what does 40 feel like? Maybe it feels like this, a soft comfort that sits behind my eyes, a heart still messy with feelings, a strength of conviction that is only somewhat more malleable with the voices of other that become more salient as I pass through the years. This is my 40. I don't know what 40 is for others. I hear of women who lament each ticking year. I don't understand this rage against the machinations of time. We are all beholden, I would rather acquiesce to the passage of time, and fight rather for the quality of time. I don't plan to celebrate my birthday, any more than I usually do. Wine to good health, and cake with those that are as family.
Still, I pause and evaluate who I am in this moment, what passages I have made to get to now. As I sift through memory and feeling, nothing feels out of place, even the sorrows that are etched on the chambers of my heart. All feels as though it is supposed to be. This is sometimes a hard feeling to resolve myself to, a strange thought for sure. This is because I want for more out of this music that haunts my dreams. I want for more, but right now I feel as though I am exactly where I am supposed to be. Not necessarily where I wanted to be. When I allow myself to follow the rigid downward spirals of self deprecating talk, I compare myself to others and always feel as though I come up short. This is a deceptive manner of thinking, for it only encompasses narrow definitions of success, negating multitudes of other positive ways that my life has been crafted.
This all comes to me as I integrate my experiences at Folk Alliance International (a music conference I attended in February) into my repertoire. I must admit, the first two days there were the loneliest days I have had in a long time. I felt keenly out of place, especially as an artist that was not selected to showcase, my experiences not at all compatible with the people I met. More than once I went to the bathroom and cried. I phoned my sister friend on the second day, sobbing, and she asked me to come home, where I was loved and cherished. I couldn't afford to change my tickets, though I desperately wanted to follow her advice, and so resolved myself to making the best of it all. And in that resolution the pain of differentness eased a bit and I went on to experience two much more enriching days, meeting other interesting and unusual souls and coming to the conclusion that it was not my time to showcase and that in actuality, the universe was taking good care of me, as it always has. Had I been chosen to showcase, I would have felt obligated to sing, through a very serious throat infection that has plagued me for 2 months. Most certainly I would not have been my best, through no fault of my own.
As I complete another decade of my life, I can see that I lead an unusual life. My experiences do not compare to others, they are unique. I have a life that is rich with beauty and love, and both have been my highest goals for as long as I can remember. Beauty. Love. I could never have foreseen as a child that I would be where I am today so though I have not achieved all that i want with my music yet I can still see that power of what I have already done; in emails that come from people around the world, asking to use my music for dance productions, asking for the use of my music in a school music performance. This is the wonder and intoxication of music; the ability for it to affect people long after its creation.
Surely as I navigate through the next 40 years of my life, I will have untold possibilities, at least as amazing and unforeseeable as those realized through the last 40 years.
A New Year tiptoes in upon cascading snow drifts leaving nothing to mark the passage but a whitewash of the year before. I have never been one to create resolutions, it always felt a bit contrived to me, but somehow this year, I feel the urge to write down goals and desires, to pull to me the life I want to be immersed in. I can sum up all my wants into a simple phrase: I want to grow beauty; in music, in writing, in space, in photography, in every interaction I have. Growth. It feels like I have nurtured the seeds long enough within.
My mind is a bit rusty, my fingers tentative as I write this. I haven't had much of a presence these last two years. At the risk of talking too much of pain and loss, I must confess that my separation and divorce has held me in stasis. I feel as though I have been in survival mode, unable to look ahead, living each day as it comes and finding myself in a creative void. Many people have been where I am, struggling with the loss of love, of dreams, of support, of time with their children. So this is not a poor me post rather an explanation of absence and perhaps a reminder to myself to not feel so guilty about not writing and connecting with the core of my being.
In my other life, I would spend a great deal of time reading, walking and thinking, which was the oxygen to my creative fires. I am required to find a new way, as I now must work to make ends meet, to pay my mortgage and feed my children. Last year I worked two jobs, which meant my days off were few and far between. After a sickness illuminated how destructive that was to my wellbeing, I cut back and indeed flowed yet into another way.
I am fortunate. I have a job at a unique and interesting place (I work at a wildlife rehabilitation centre). My job is flexible and allows me time off when I need it and to create the work hours that work for me. I can ride my bike to work in the summer and in the winter I am never stuck in traffic as it is a short 10 minute drive against traffic flow. I have a house that was filled with all the basic amenities by the generosity of friends, family and even strangers. Through every financial crisis in the last 2 years, the universe always opened a way for me, provided for me and left me intact. I overflow with gratitude for all these gifts of the basic infrastructure of life. It is time now to move beyond infrastructure. It build upon the basics of life. It is time for me to give back.
As the shock of all the severing words, of cruel actions and the crumbling of half of my support system has faded, I finally feel as though I can look past today into the rolling waves of 2015 and find the pathway to the me I want to be in my new life.
I almost wrote "the pathway back to me". Almost. There is no going back. That me is no longer. I am required to create from the ashes of all that was burnt down in the destruction of my old life. And create I will for that is who I am, that is what I do. I am finally ready to create after two years of grieving.
One of my largest goals is simply to write more, which I am starting today. I need to write, to awaken those succulent words within me again. To do this, I am going to take more photos, walk more, find my connection to nature again and let it all flow through the tumbling creekways of my mind and flow out again carrying the taste of my perceptions, my take on the world.
It's time to move forward.
Welcome 2015, I have been keenly anticipating your arrival and now that you are here, you are more sparkling and beautiful than I could have ever imagined. Welcome.
Well, it is Christmas Eve, and we are almost upon the cusp of a new year. The darkest night has come and gone, the tangible presence of a year in passage. At this time last year, my CD was in production and I was still shell shocked from being newly separated. Fast forward over a year of release, of moving, of working extra hours to make ends meet, of a collaboration with Danish artist Nicky Bendix for an art installation of Tone Aanderaa, mountain gigs, home town gigs, East gigs and a nomination for a Canadian Folk Music Award and I can say that it was a year well spent. ~smile~
There were rules, hard edges to cut my words upon. Times to love and times to cry: but what of the tears that run liquid beneath my wanton desire? What place for thoughts that bleed across the lines of timely lucidity? Lost tides, and drift wood words; conversations left parched and wanting. I never wanted to be appropriate, to swallow the streams of conscious creation as Kronos stones, held within my fate-frightened belly. I never wanted to be bound within the rigidity of normal, to tie my tongue with the saccharine noose of niceties. I didn’t want neat lines and ordered phrases carefully wiping away my overflowing dynamism.
You didn’t want my messy, but when you cleaned me up, all that was left was the lonely chasm of silence.
It is with great gratitude that I announce that I was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award in the category of Solo World Artist. It is a quiet sort of victory, being acknowledged for an album that represents a great amount of change and transition in my life. At the same time I want to incessantly blabber on excitedly about the nomination and silently absorb it within, taking a moment to myself to truly come to grips with such an honour. The best part? The awards are being held in Calgary, how serendipitous is that? Can't wait!
I was invited to showcase the weekend of the awards at the Calgary Folk Club! The performance is on November 8th and tickets can be purchased on their website
I am entranced by the trees on my street, the way every quivering leaf seems to have shed the illusions of summer only to reveal the veined light within. I had forgotten how much I love to live on a street shadowed by rows of towering trees, and my gratitude for such remembrance is a welling wave that carries me into each day with cresting happiness. Truly I am satisfied with such small gifts. Light and leaves, wind and water.
The autumnal equinox has come and gone, the equal arms of a seasonal cross that spread out to remind me of another year passing. It was almost a year ago that I was in Toronto recording my album, almost a year ago that the unraveling threads of my life were pulled tangled to lay in heaps at my feet. So to walk beneath trees I didn't dream would guard my pensive steps is a reminder of beauty, of the continuance of the heart of the universe.
The leaves bring me to thoughts of decay and renewal, such overwhelming beauty is found in the flare of autumn, in what is fundamentally a loss. It feels poignant as I sit and watch the wind dance with the trees.
The wind was less poignant yesterday as I sang at the Harvest Festival hosted by the city of Calgary at Ralph Klein Park. I was joined by Aaron Young, who is a spectacular guitarist. The sun was beaming down (so much so I came home with a ridiculously red sunburn on my back), and it seemed the perfect way to welcome autumn. Until of course the wind picked up and teased Aaron relentlessly by playing a games of keep away with his chord charts, but muffling me by blowing hair into my mouth ~laugh~, even going so far as knocking down music stands! Yes it was the kind of gig that keeps you on your toes all right, and offers some interesting variations on chords. Nothing like a little improvised music! Still, the music was sweet and clear in the warm air, and a number of listeners sat eyes closed, while sound and light washed over them. Wonderful! While I sang, a good friend and spectacular visual artist, Liba Labik was creating a beautiful whimsical work. It's not finished yet, as a 2 hour concert didn't quite allow for all the layers Liba wanted to create, but it's off to a good start as you can see below!
~happy sigh~ I love it! It should be finished within the week and will be displayed at the Calgary School of Art in SE Calgary.
I see myself as a teller of stories. The notes I sing, the words I write, these are mediums through which narratives breathe into life, a platform to examine the personal and archetypal journeys we all make. Words are not inert for me, but rather have an immense power to create meaningful connections to the world around us. As such, I do not believe that words can be held to rigid confines of strict meaning but instead are flexible frameworks for the evolution of thought and emotion. In a sense words themselves are co-creators, because although they have defined meaning, this meaning is constantly morphing, or adapting if you would, to the needs of the speaker. To the needs of the story being told at that moment. And we are all telling stories, every day to the people we meet, to the people we know and most importantly, to ourselves. We each have our own stories that serve to coalesce our experiences into a meaningful whole, to plug us into a collective understanding and, I believe, to create new worlds, new mythos. I think, at times, our search for absolute truths diminishes the importance of personal perception, of claiming our stories, accepting that we cannot ever possibly see the beginnings and endings of every thread that has woven itself in, yet still knowing that this is what is beautiful about our stories; myriads of alternate understanding.
As a songwriter, I love knowing that, in some ways, the words I have chosen will spiral out from me creating slightly different meanings, different sensory associations, and different filters of memory in every single person that hears them, and through these differences the audience itself evolves the meaning of each song. In such ways the songs are given a unique and infinite life trajectory beyond the narrow confines of my experience and definitely beyond my ability to control. I get asked all the time where my inspiration comes from, which has always seemed an odd question because the answer has to be “life”. I draw marrow from everything I see, everything I read, everything I hear, everything I touch and feel, from every experience that I am fortunate enough to be immersed in and from these I carry tiny echoed souvenirs, which become the skeletal foundations of songs. Fundamentally I see everything around me as the guardian of a unique story. Nothing is finite or static. Every intersection with a person, with an object, with anything within our personal landscapes has been forged by the narrative that led to that moment, and within any interaction, we are creating infinite living worldlines. There are story lines everywhere around us and it is the lineage of all these stories that gives meaning to our experiences and allow us to connect into a paradigm of collective understanding.
I believe that one of my roles as a music creator is to hear the stories that hover all around and give them a voice, which in turn, I hope, helps people to synchronize their own stories as well as to expand perspective. Many of my songs are seeded from myths, fables, fairy tales and archetypes, but such inspiration is only valuable to me in terms of how applicable it is to the hardship and achievements we, as people, face now. I believe that the stories I draw from persist because they allow us to see our own journeys as an arch within them. Because they offer us meaning in our personal struggles, solidarity in our triumphs and give us insight about what it means to be human. Beyond, I believe that the narratives we create to give meaning to our own experiences are what allow us to live beyond the decay of a singular moment and take our place amidst the stars.
They say good fences make good neighbors, but if the fence is the dividing line between stories, between perspectives, between the space we could inhabit together but instead command separately apart and alone, how do they make for good relationships? I don’t want to so tightly hold onto my space, my rigid remembrances, squeezed beliefs that make for neat lonely cages. I want messy, yours and mine, I want our lives to bleed together and find truth somewhere in the glorious creation of purple from my blue notes and your red proclamations. I want harmonies, even dissonant if it means that this song called life will engulf me, use me, tangle me sweet vibrating into your disheveled embrace. I don’t need my truth, or yours. I don’t need to be good or right. I want the watercolor chaos of our lives, our eyes, our sight, our irregular frames colliding together.
It is late, my laptop says 1:50 am, but that is slightly misrepresented as I am in BC and there is an extra hour to content with. Still, the night has long since entered my room, and I can feel the weight of a world sleeping, like a heavy blanket dampening the air. A second wind comes upon me, and I am restless in my wanderlust desires. In my need to connect, to find meaningful discourse within the forums of my mind. I write as though I am discovering language again, after months of parched expectancy. Tonight, there is a lushness to my fingers as they break through the rusted stagnancy that has held me captive in the months since my separation.
Divorce and all its trappings and vestments is fundamentally exhausting. Certainly not the cliched fodder for creative discovery that is promised by disillusioned artists everywhere. Slowly I am coming back from the serrated edge of constant tears and finding my way into beauty again. Into the immediacy of words pressing against the soft clay of my mind. It is as though I have come home after being displaced for far too long.
I have bought a house. It's small, it needs work, but it is mine. I take possession of it this week, a fact that feels so surreal, I can barely hold it as a consistent thought. I sat in car after receiving the call that my offer was accepted and wept. Tears of pure gratitude for a world that still held space for me.
For now though, I sit in the dark with my earphones, not creating, but refueling through the notes of others, through the soft harmonies insular and perfect in my headphones. There will be time to write when I settle again in my new house. Time again when my heart is patched enough to make sense of it all. For now I listen to the dark and marvel at the small wonders of the world.
I sit in all the quietudes of a day that offered me small pristine perfections. The snow is a morphing weave that herringbones the sky and spring is nothing more than the white of pussy willows against a down filled horizon. I love days like this, that float upon the whims of a tempestuous sky; that are defined less by our constant desire to call time to heel, and more by an unrelenting sense of falling, of relinquishing to letting the world turn me for a change.
These ghostlines leading nowhere To the static in my head Ghostlines, a fading heat sign To a heart bled away Oh I tried to become someone Who didn't need to cry Now I'm drowning in these unseen tears Shed by ghosts beneath my eyes
The sun was a perfect yolk in a deadpan sky this morning, as though offering nothing but itself to the machinations of day. No triumphal pomp of fanfare clouds, nor the confetti of sprinkled light, just the solidarity of what is routine, and what is extraordinary. There was clarity to be found in the simplicity of it all and I turn with fresh face, ready to transition between all the cycling processes that encase me these days.
i draw open the curtains to be softly assimilated by light that is not of morning but that rather speaks of transcendent veils of mystery. Veils of light, veils of impermanent place, veils of time and memory which form mysteries that cannot be solved with consuming thoughts, but that rather settle on the skin like so much stardust, invisible, but no less potent. It is that kind of morning, where I look out and see layers of grey filters upon a landscape of white, and it is as if the world is stripping itself of the illusion of colour.
Loving someone when they are happy is easy, it's standing in the darkness that is the true test of love's reach. Happy Valentine's day my lovelies. I hope you each have someone, not necessarily romantic, but someone who will stand with you in the dark.
Hiraeth, a Welsh word, has no true English equivalent. Perhaps the closest is homesickness or nostalgia. There is a saying "you can never go home" and I think perhaps that is a good approximation of Hiraeth. Home can be a memory, half buried within the landscape of the mind, a fragment of time just beyond that horizon; surely around the next infinite bend. Childhood is a place we can never go back to, it has formed the bones of who we are now, but is fundamentally inaccessible, except in brief lucid snapshots. Perhaps Hiraeth is like trying to find the lost pathways back to each soul changing moment.
These are some of my childhood memories, though to be fair, I don't actually remember each of these moments. Still, they are carried within me somewhere and as I made this video I could almost taste that childhood sun again, could almost remember the feeling of my yellow jacket on cold arms. Almost. This is Hiraeth.
It is a cold and dreary January day. The kind where the sun seems to simply slide across the horizon, not even making the effort to properly rise or dress itself in glorious rays. The winter blahs could so easily take me, so rather than give into a day in my pjs I instead am sending out a video blog to the world.
The end of a year and the beginning of a new one. The double edged sword of change; loss of the old, anticipation of the new. I have a lot of rebirths in store for me, which means I have had a lot to grieve for in 2012. The latter part of this year has presented me some terrible losses, and so I am eagerly anticipating the beginning of 2013. My CD is being released in just a couple of weeks and I have been holding it as the avatar of hope for my new beginning. With that in mind, it feels poignant to offer you this video blog describing the genesis of the song "Proof of Life", included on the new CD. It's easy to let other people determine our worth, much harder to discern it from within. My love makes me real.
It's a beautiful Monday! My dog is sitting beside me taking up MORE than his lion's seat of the chair (in fact I am barely ON my chair, and he is lazed out like a king ~laugh~), I have a bird trying to eat the CDs on my desk (mmm yummy) and I just put together a long overdue video blog with a sneak peak at the first track from my new album! SQUEE!
It's a warm Toronto day, with that languid air that seems to only happen in humid places. The sun burns a hole through the blue tissue paper sky and the trees quiver in anticipation of the inevitable fall. I am told the maples are changing further north, but that it will be weeks before the colour spreads southwards.
Vancouver has always seemed to be a laid back city to me. The way the mist lazily clings to the mountains on cool days, even the way the sun comes out on hot ones, sauntering slowly over the horizon, light brimming from all the edges.
The wind is filling my senses today, singing along the cracked edges of the windows, calling the ocean in the leaves, tidal upon the shimmering grasses. Summer arrives on a broken chariot of light and though I am glad for the easy warmth, I find myself often languid and limp in the heat. It is only when the wind trails it's cool fingers upon my skin that I feel myself restless, ready to move...to create...to become. It seems a good day to find exaltation in the shapes the wind makes upon the land.
The moon blooms, unfurling in the night sky as though it only now had realized that the clouds already gave way to it's brilliant pride. It is a kind of solitary moon, hung apart in the lightless sky, beholden to no-one in a luminous silence. I will stand in my own reverie and watch, as though witnessing a precious secret unearthing and unearthly and wear upon my cold cheeks the cloaked indifference of night.
The mist held me in rapture this week, clinging to every corner of the day. It has left me feeling dreamy and otherworldly despite having almost every second of my time scheduled, pushed into tight little nodules. Today though, all is light, and there is a sweetness to the warmth, as though in it I could taste petals yet to come.
The Light video! Finally! When I wrote "Light" it was all the words I have desperately wanted to say to all the people I knew who were hurting, to the people who felt lost and broken. So it only seemed appropriate to have a video exploring what other people think the light within them is.
Some days I think that we have forgotten our ancient pact, the blood owed to the land that has shaped us bones and breath. We stretched and strained against the notion of death and created life as a line rather than a circle. Something that starts and ends...
The ides of March have come and passed, and it is as spring in the West. This morning the fog rolled off the river in great heaving sheets and when I looked towards the city, it hovered above, as though carried on nothing more than clouds. Now the sun has burned away the misted memories of the silent river and the sky is a pale warrior, defending the light against the clouds that ravaged all week. There is a feeling of gratitude as I turn my face to the strengthening warmth, a feeling of being present in the turning of the seasons.
The forest weeps underfoot, a silent rain as though the world were turned upside down and all the easing melancholy that drips from us could be as a bed to lay on. I have oft thought of tears as a cleansing, something to clear the palette of the weary stones of grief and apologetic insensitivities. I walk and remember my solitude as a place to visit, a place to recall the alpha versions of my now.
onths pass as I fall forward in time. It feels that way, as though I am falling forward into tomorrow, rather then stepping forcefully and deliberately. I don't own time, it owns me, marking it's passage on my fingers and face.
The night sky in Toronto feels different than in Calgary. It is pulled in by the corded edges of the city, with light spilling along all the little corners. Every time I come to Toronto, the flavor of it changes slightly. City's have moods, and Toronto is staying in tonight, satisfied to gaze inward.
The night skies have been particularly heart-wrenching lately, from Sirius throwing off dazzling fuchsias, greens and reds, to the moon dripping it's light as though tears from amber eyes. There is something poignant about such light, maybe because it seems so tenuous, so measured, it feels precious to me, small beads of glass hope. So I sit tonight, with my headphones on, listening to music, music that is small in some ways, but that is as those little rips of light in the darkness...aching.
There is an impermanence to things. The way the light dissolves beyond the day. The way the waves eat the shoreline. The continents are moving beneath our feet, slowly and unfailingly, creating a new world with each passing second.
The snow is melting, a rhythmic dripping outside my drudged windows. It is as a metronome, keeping me from moving too quickly or too slowly. There are days it feels like society is such, binding us to perfect time, without the fluxing rubato of individuality. Sometime I want to bend outside the lines, rushing forward to meet destiny...fate...or even just the little drips of conjecture and times I want to pull back into a languid dream and let my thoughts be as lazy ripples on a sunbathing pool. The drip, drip, drip pulls me back until even my heart betrays me and falls into perfect time.
The sun wavers in the January sky, delicately, as though perched precariously on the thin spire of day. There is an intimacy to the sunrise in winter, it rises late, a tousled lover, and sits so companionably low on the horizon, as though facing the day beside rather than from on lofty high. No, it's not like the decadent and overachieving summer sun. This is a sun I relate to, I can tell my secrets to as we lazily start the day together.
Winter comes finally. A white cold sheet draping itself haphazardly over trees and lampposts. It is said that to freeze to death is a sort of peace, but I have yet to cross such an abyss and for now it feels more like a soft trembling, the way the flakes spiral downwards, the way that icicles vein across my eyelashes, the way my heart looks out into the lazing drifts and wonders at what ifs and what weres. I have been waiting all this time for winter, for what I know. Though the cold is an ache, still it is normalized, it is what should be. All those months, languishing in the unseasonable warmth, was like breaking up with the seasons and being left hollowed out and waiting to feel something again.
As the cold settles like a knowing dream, I sit inside with my tea and watch the world still outside my window. Even the plumes of smoke from the chimneys seems to hover in the air, frigidly held in a kind of stasis. Every year there are at least a few days that are so cold, one can barely contemplate leaving the house and every year they are in January.
Sometimes I think words are such an imperfect vehicle for expression, with their rigid boundaries that never-the-less end up being somewhat fluid in interpretation. In the end, when words are left to stand on their own, without the support of the body, they become harder, encased, in a way, and oh-so-brittle. They become our own vehicles for self-righteousness, we flog ourselves with the words we read in our emails, on our phones, ascribing all our negative thoughts about ourselves to the simple value of each vowel and consonant. As though words actually had no meaning unto themselves and were rather just a narrow binding for emotion.
The air shudders with tiny trembling tears and I with it. They say time is a snake endlessly eating itself, but all I can think of is the peeling layers, as though the sky were flaking off, in little thin strips of light.
Night rushes in to fill the space the sun has left as it tumbles off the edge of day. I feel as though I am tumbling too, expanding into the darkness, each breath, filling my thoughts out, akin to an expanding balloon. I write as if I could fill it with words, as though I could plaster the terrible renting space with all my clumsily formed presumptions of knowledge.
Humans speak a lot. We talk, mash words around, throw them from our mouths as if they were endless in supply. It's easy to forget that our voice has power...power to do good, power to do evil. That words have power. That we can change the world with words if we remember that they have their own energy, synergy, their own potency.
I am very excited about the house concert tonight at the Serenity Performing Arts Center. Catherine and I have set everything up, in the cozy and festive house. It promises to be an enchanting evening.
It really doesn't matter how often you test and try things out, there is always something that goes awry. Right now, it's that after Cindy and I tested out the chat for the Wings in Flight chat which is supposed to be happening right now, the chat was closed and I can't get it.
A man came up to me last night after my performance, and told me story, a story that filled up all the aching parts of me with beauty and light. This man, a fellow performer and audience member at the Come by the Hills Folk Festival, watched my set at the festival this summer.
Today I am recording a song that has been 3 years in the making. It has come close to being recorded twice now, but each time circumstance seemed to sidetrack the project. Today though, the circle closes and this song is given its wings.
I am so pleased to share my very first music video. With a non-existant budget and alot of very enthusistic volunteers, I think feel that it really represent the spirit of a modern Orpheus retelling...
On days when the sun is soft in the trees and the wind is a wandering song, I am so very thankful to have the time and ability to stand by my willow tree amidst the delicate contentment of butterflies and bees....
What I love most about spring is the sound of water. The ice cracking along the river, the gurlged infinity of the spring melt, a sound that tumbles through the air in a lulling rhythm. While I await the first spring crocus, it is that one sound that carries me through April.
What a deep and meaningful question "what is the spiritual significance of music?". It was a question I was asked for inclusion in a book about that exact question and one that I had to think about for awhile to come up with a suitable answer.
I was pretty stoked this morning to get up to an email saying 'Heartwood' was nominated for Best Vocal Album on the Zone Music Reporter. Very awesome! To check out all the nominees visit Zone Music Reporter.
When this one cello line was played today in the booth, I was busy bantering with the violinist, and it stopped me so completely I could do nothing but gape while my eyes filled with tears. It just was so heart breaking in it's poignancy.
I love Toronto. I love the brick buildings, the solidness of them, as if they had always been there. I love the vibrancy of it, how the city feels pulsing with energy, a living entity. Every time I come here, I feel creative, blooming inside.
It hardly seems possible that tomorrow I am flying to Toronto to mark the beginnings of a new project. This time, it's a small demo with the intent to apply for funding for a full length album, but it's a beginning of sorts, with new songs stepping off the pages of my notebooks and into their own living space.
I am sitting on my bed, laptop on lap while the sun wavers through my windows as if diffused through water. The December sun often feels resigned to me as if it tried to climb the steps to the sky and became distracted along the way, stopping to kiss the tops of the trees and the low laying clouds.
descends us into that perfect December stillness, I receive a link to this pic in my inbox from one of my friends who braved that extreme summer heat in the hoodoos of Alberta to help me with my clay photo shoot....
There is something so insular about sleeping through a storm and waking to find the world outside changed. I open dusted eyes to drifts pressed against a window though I did not hear such cold hands creeping in my dreams last night.
It's really cool that my song 'The Juniper' made it onto a CD that is included with a new children's book from Prikosnovenie called 'Lullabies and Legends from Broceliande'. The book can be found on their website http://www.prikosnovenie.com/groupes/lullabies-from-broceliande.html. What I love the most is how the book showcases the beauty of the sun, moon, the quietly turning seasons and the magic found within all such transitions. I am honored to have my song as part of such an enchanting book.
Legacy is being played on the CKUW show "Shades of Classics" tomorrow morning. The show runs from 8-10am Central time and the show will be archived as well, if you don't quite get up that early on Sunday mornings ~smile~
The night is companionable right now. The kind of night I find my windows open, so that I can catch the upward drift of shadowed breeze. The kind of night I could let go the coiled time that so easily squeezes and slide instead into a forest walk that knows not form or place.
loosens in opening sheets against the window, a grey backdrop to my dreams. It seems to haunt me after all these weeks, the sound ever so slowly sliding into my skin, a film on my notions of this place.
The sky chokes with invading smoke from forest fires in British Columbia. I stand on the edge of a lake, a mosaic of Aegean glass and find not relief, but something more primal, the swelling call of water.
It is the little moments, when that one note is punctuated by leafsong and the wind touches my cheek in shared remembrance that live in and of themselves without the need of past and future. It is the shiver of tumbling chords and the sweet shaped air that passes across my lips as tenderly as ebbed dunes of sand.
I will be singing at the Mistahiya Lodge near Wainswright on Sunday, August 15 at 2 pm. This is part of a inaugural Celtic music festival. Tickets are $30. More information can be found at the following website
A few preliminary pictures from the "clay" photo shoot. Most of these are sans clay because we decided to start out the day without the clay, you can't easily take off the clay, so start without and then add later... ~laugh~
While I don't have all the pictures from my recent sojourn into the badlands for that elusive usable photo, I DO have a few behind the scenes photos. The whole idea was to use clay, which turned out to be awfully similar in colour to my own skin! Well, you can see for yourself in the pictures below...
A couple of new reviews! yea! I've put a little sample of the reviews here in my blog, the rest can be found in my review section for Heartwood OR by clicking on the links below to see them at their source.
fills my dreams and thoughts. Cracked earth, baked day. The molding of self for others, for our own scripts. How fragile my heart, etched by water, shaped by that which I love. Strength within frailty. Elemental, raw, seared into being.
I am very excited to be teaming up with McNally Robinson in Winnipeg for a CD signing and preview performance of the Musica Speciale concert "Enchanting Summer" along with John Racaru, Alasdair Dunlop and Jeff Presslaff.
Celtic Inspiration The Celts were great story-tellers, their tales almost fairy tale like in their transformative aspects. Come celebrate story in song, magic in notes at the Winnipeg Art Gallery on Saturday night. Featuring myself, Jeff Presslaff (piano), Alasdair Dunlop (bass), Tim Butler (guitar) and John Racaru (violin).
While I can't exactly read this review, I did put it through a translator and feel very privileged to be the recipient of such beautiful words! Please check out Arctic Mist's website. An English version will be up soon :)
Sister, Sky, Singing Bird Soaring, Chirping Bird. All of these things are "Sora" and go some way to explaining this eclectic Canadian's music. Although her debut album was a collection of UK Folk, Heartwood expands into new and more personal territory.
Dusk settles in, companionably. I raise my glass to such an old friend and let the ease of silence settle in, a blanket against the spring chill. I write, not to fill the space but to shape its slow beat to my liking.
There are days I feel I am returning from a half forgotten dream. Every moment an aching to recall what so lightly brushes the footfalls of the mind. Wisp and fragments blurred through the quickly passing scenery. The heart lives only in feeling, and presses its cryptic shapes upon my waking thoughts as delicate and fleeting as winged shadows on snow. Paths melting as the mind warms its touch upon the filaments of past. It seems only stillness can capture the likeness of such unknowing remembrances, for even breath will dissolve the feathery patterns of winter's window into the shifting longing for place and meaning.
As if a fragmented dream, the winds suddenly peak between the houses, crests that buffer and scream their indignation. On such forceful lips is snow, heavy as words of passion, coating the flickering light with oblivion.
"Sora's newest CD "Heartwood" is a magical and beautiful CD that takes you on a deep earthly journey. The music is mesmerizing and reminds me of being in an old enchanted forest, enjoying the elemental world around me. Sora's voice is also angelic! There are many instrumentals used in this CD including piano, mandolin, cello, violin, drums, accordion, harp and viola. We at "The Faeries and Angels Magazine" highly recommend this enchanting and wonderful CD!"
Light leaves and the leaves remain. Quivering with some unknowable force, or maybe just tricks of eyes and air. They feel like glass, you know, these wild eyes that capture prisms of vernal desire but refuse to hold even a singular secret thought.
The air is chilled this morning, as sweet as the last harvest wine. I open the windows just to feel startled out of my complacency, to feel alive. To feel the bumps on my arms raise and the hairs stand up, to feel cold within the this bubble of warm and illusion we create. I watch the birds at my feeder, follow the movements with my eyes and desire to write notes like that, flitting between stillness and movement, between flight and descent.
It's always when I am driving or doing something else that general precludes the notion of writing when little petals of lyrics float through my mind and leave me desperately searching for a pen while the light is red ~laugh~
There are days when it is as if I am possessed by words themselves, concepts pressed into the mind as the last autumn leaf presses itself into the freshly fallen snow. I do not seek them out, rather they come upon me as a long-forgotten scent, wafting through the jumbled ma
"This Canadian singer/songwriter took the Celtic center stage in 2009 and she deserves every accolade given. Her original Celtic recording Heartwood is poignant and engaging. Her story songs and warm voice never fail to please. Sora used every trick in the book including string ensemble, background drones and soaring vocals. I liked every cut on the album. She set the bar in 2009 and more Celtic artist should take heed. Best cuts include Heartwood, Eurydice and The Birch's Lament." -R J Lannan
I have been talking with a lovely man named Gavin who hosts a show called Ambient Zone. So today he writes to me and says that he played a song today called.....you will never guess this...."Sora1"! And apparently he dedicated it to me, so go and have a listen to "Sora1" on Ambient Zone
The trees tonight are made of snow, fragile creations that look as if a single touch would collapse their form into drifting dunes. It is a dreamscape through which I float in seamless wonder. The mist rises, an apparition of the river, haunting my thoughts and clinging to the thin boundary of my skin. Yet it is the trees that hold me, a willing captive to their tenuous beauty.
Walking the silent paths of winter, I come across a dogwood, frozen into the stream, so delicately held in stasis, frosted with crystal night. I look behind and see my tracks, the lines of time that mark my passage, overlaying the silent echos of coyote and squirrel. Over the wings in flight, brushed feathers on the snow from which the ghost of flapping wind can be heard and felt. I wonder at how there are no passages that truly are unseen, they all leave their mark somewhere, somehow, a dimming sound that doesn't actually ever end, but vibrates longer and slower into the recesses of time.
and so the day begins in crystalline beauty. The light emerges slowly from the mist, silently tracking the footfalls of night. I am encapsulated, as the snowflakes cling to branches and posts, so softly, as moonlight, and I as enraptured. It is hard to do anything, when my dreams float through the waking mind, thoughts stretching themselves around the shape of such fleeting filaments of time without time and space without space.
I am so energized by last night's rehearsal for the "Fates" concert on Saturday. The acoustics are fantastic there. The first song I sang, I had this thrilling shiver that just rolled up my spine as our 3 voices blended together as if weaving a crystalline vase. Pure.joy.
After rehearsal today, I am completely stoked to be playing here. The piano has a dark sound to it, not at all like the bright Yamaha that my parents have, or the mellow Boston I have. Still, a grand piano is a grand piano and I am pretty excited...
There is something surreal about flying to a new city, about the leisurely way we take to the air with naught but a roar in our ears to mark the incredible passage. In a way, it is an insular world, where time and distance are but intellectual concepts that do little to assure our senses of the vastness of our passage over sweeping wind sculpted plains, and frozen lakes.
I am and have always been glass. A sheer veil of gossamer skin over a heart so transparent. Do you see me? Or through me? Sometimes I look at my thin veins and cannot help but wonder how such frailty withstands the constant pummeling of life. How such frailty contains life. I am glass do I hold against the battering winds with arteries etched of acid tears? Do I shatter when crushed or simply return to the sea in a thousand pieces of memory and time. There are days when beauty feels as if it is the very fiber of my bones, and I worship those days.
The world is white. White as a crystalline heart squeezing against the ice that falls from the sky. The only colour is the dogwood bleeding onto the ground. I try to warm myself against the falling night, but cannot seem to find that blush within the grey of day. My chest feels tight, constricted, wanting to breath again in the confines of a bleak January.
Each frosted tree hanging in stasis, in a quiet that descends as a apparition. From the ground, the air draws deeply to sing the beaded misty shapes into being. It is a note that sounds beyond hearing, that sustains long past the fleeting breath. Even my footsteps, cracking ice on the plains of morning echo as if they are but remembrances of a long lost dream. All is still, and the world folds into a singular space, where the lonely eyes see naught but the white of a morning caught in reverie.
What is that blue? That streaked soul of winter morn, so deeply colored I would swear someone spilled ink across the sky. I cannot get enough of it, I drink of it's richly held secrets, the liquid ether that passes through my fingers as sweetly as the water that springs from the chalice of the earth. And where the fields bleed into night and the lamplight dissolves into the shadows of twilight, the fields of sky are haunted with the ghosts of creatures from the deep, a evanescent light that hovers with such frailty. That morning light is so elusively coy, melting into day beyond my eyes. And yet, it slides back into the bookend of day, and holds the land captive within it's riveting gaze for a moment or two, until it simply dissipates into night. It is the colour of awe.
If you haven't heard the album yet (or want to hear it again ~smile~)IRFC Celtic Radiowill be playing "Heartwood" in it's entirety on Monday at 5:00 pm PST. IN IT'S ENTIRETY! AND, in the order on the CD ~smile~. How cool is that?
Night descends so quickly in the mountains, the light all but running from the looming sentinel of twilight. A last glance, blushed upon the snowy peaks before the enclosed breath chases all thoughts of day into frosted quiet.
The days feel harried lately, the sun chasing me into the afternoon, a race against it's lateral descent. The solstice presses upon me, the sun barely above the horizon, wearily raising it's head for what feels like moments before laying it down again, with naught but a sigh, within the cradle of winter again.
The video shoot was A-MAZ-ING. Two more shoot days in January and then we start post production! I uploaded a whole shwack of photos to my photo section under "Eurydice Video", if you are interested in having a look. The page has to load all the pics before you can navigate it properly, so be patient!
The photos were all done by the fabulous Julia Hornsby
There is a new review posted for Heartwood. You can check it out at the source, Zone Music Reporter, or it's under my reviews section. I am totally stoked with this review, he rated it as "excellent"!. Yea!
Snow falls and with it silence. Descending quietudes that seem pulled by their own magnitude, by some releasing breath as if autumn had held all it's color and vivaciousness so tightly until this moment. A moment that sighs into being, as easily as a bow unstrung. It is the days of darkness. Not even 4 pm and already there is a stillness to the fading air, to the bleeding light of day. It is the end of November's hush, and we pad on dampened and delicate feet into December's twilight. The snow, so welcome, falling with more vigor now while my eyes make shadows in the fading day.
Tickets for the concert on Sunday, November 29th are *this* close to being sold out. Yea! So....if you planning on coming down, please go to the Players Ensemblewebsite and buy your ticket before they are all gone.
The snow started today, falling through the sun. It was unexpected, carried in within forged anvil clouds that lay siege to the land. Somehow, snow falling while the sun makes prisms in my eyes, is all that much more magical.
The mountains are spectacular this morning, crisp pink crests beyond the hollow swirls my breath makes in November's cool well. The sky, flawless, as light bleeds into the gradients of fading twilight. The moon is a secret smile behind the veiled eyes of morning. All I can think is how transient each moment feels, when the difference between morning and night is but a heartbeat, and before my eyes the colours morph and play. Each second I think, THIS is the most perfect moment, until the next is more achingly beautiful, the tonal shades deeper, the feeling within more pristine. How beautiful it is to be alive today.
So....my friend, the lovely and talented Lea Hawkins, (who designed the covers of both 'Heartwood' and 'Light') made these pictures, photographed by another of my lovely and talented friends (Tamara Lacelle) into a mock CD cover. Wouldn't that make a cool cover for an album? Lea designs amazing CD covers...truly works of art. So I am very flattered that she would include this picture of me as part of her album mock ups portfolio.
Today...rocked! I am so very thankful for everyone who is being so generous with their time and talents. Today has been nothing but fun, the whole day seemed to whiz by in a heartbeat. The scene: Orpheus is searching in the underworld for Eurydice, marking her trail. He comes to the river Styx where Charon is waiting. Truly priceless is Charon smoking while waiting for Orpheus. The PERFECT modern touch.
It has been a non-autumn. Early snows shocked the trees to brown, and now the leaves sit, wilted vestiges of life, clinging to the branches of their past. I stand outside and though the wind runs tendrils of twilight through my fingers, the leaves rubbing against each other is a dry crackling of paper and sends shivers down my spine. I find it disconcerting, to say the least, and to stare out at the so many trees encased in husky hollows of leaves is...well, just depressing. The in-between is killing me. Feels stilted and it rattles me down to my core.
I dream of sand and water. Searing memory that obliterates in a flash of hot light. Who are these caricatures in my mind, these larger than life paradigms of people, whose lucid fingers trace their memory on my skin? How do I escape the confine of my own emotional reality within this dream called life, to know what is in the minds and hearts of others? These thoughts swirl in flaccid sleep and I come over and over to distant shores and scorching memory, to sand and water.
Did I mention that we were shooting a video? Orpheus and Eurydice, a story that I cannot seem to get over, is going to be video. YEA! What can I say, but that I am excited to the extreme that 'Eurydice' is going to be a video. I am so amazed at how many fantastic people are donating their time and energy to the project. So fun! The whole script is a modern retelling of the story in which Orpheus is a rock star and Eurydice dies of a drug overdose (how's THAT for a snake?).
The wind rushes through me, as elusive as the grains of memory that slide so easily from the ruined hands of time. The chaotic urgency charges something deeply within me, springs forth a restlessness that cannot be satiated even by standing in it's fury, my whipped weeping hair and torn eyes. It is a thread I desperately hold, and try to feel my way back through the knots and tangles towards the beginnings and ends. My thoughts puddled, all in one, none distinguished and so I feel. Stand within the cold lift and feel alive.
Saturday is the first video meeting and as I sit in bubbly fantasy I wonder if perhaps I just will never grow up already ~laugh~. I could live in this space, of music, of image and layers of meaning forever. Of creating poetry in motion, poetry in song.
I am pretty stoked about having a video for my song "Eurydice". The script is amazing, dark and full of sorrow. Of course the story is dark and full of sorrow, the true definition of Greek tragedy. Casting starts this weekend, so I figured I would send out a link the facebook group, for anyone interested in reading the script :). Venues are starting to come together and we should be shooting within a couple of months. ~hyperventilates~
And if you are in Calgary, there is a casting meeting this week. Email me if you want to come :) firstname.lastname@example.org
Children of Lir' was recently played on Celtic Roots Radio - Irish Music Podcast on Episode 10. Thanks so much Raymond! Go check it out and listen to their unique combination of Celtic, folk, folk/rock, Appalachian, Bluegrass, Scottish, Irish, Breton, Cajun, Cape Breton and Singer/songwriter.
Such thick heat today, the kind that wraps it's strong legs around, smothering. Even in my music room, where the air is usually crisp, raising little goosebumps on my arms, the air was viscous, difficult to breath, pressing on the skin, a leading hand.
The light was particularly fragile this morning, diaphanous strands that lay themselves so delicately on the towers of clouds. They dissolve before my eyes, in the heat of my hand, while the sun is a ghost in the sky, pale and bloodless. The morning feels tenuous as if I could run my fingers along the edges of its meniscus and watch it disperse into but a film of time. And I feel that gossamer light as frail as crumbling bones barely but a grazing on my cheeks, while the trees shiver barely covered by the gold of their leaves.
Every once and awhile I will read something that just speaks to the plaster that holds my heart together. I will roll the word or phrase around in my mind feeling the contours of its meaning, searching out the nooks and crannies of it's presence.
How many afternoons do I sit at my computer, working through the vestments of day, when all of a sudden I can no longer ignore the way my face feels soft in the diffuse light. I can no longer focus, when the pattern of the leaves holds me rapt and the green is so delicate, I cannot help but touch them as gently as a one would handle a piece of gauzy paper.
I planted roses this summer, a whimsy to me, for I am no gardener, despite my desperate longing to have a green thumb. Still, they grew, but only this week bloomed. To cup them in my hands, to hold their fragrance against me as soft as the tendrils of love, was perfection in a moment. It was joy, in simplicity, beauty opening to itself radiant in the sun.
I totally forgot that I won one of the genre contests on ourstage! I am so so so thrilled about it. Further to my thoughts about 2 minutes in my blog about 2 minutes ago, I really was taken by surprise that one of my songs could even win anything. So it was completely unexpected and a really nice boost to my day yesterday to read that.
The end of summer stretches out in the languid arms of sumptuous day. While the heat laid it's long body upon the land, I enjoyed letting the light waken me, gently nudging my eyes into wakefulness, the sun already already tracking the moon in the sky as the dreams swirled and formed shapes around me.
fter waiting very impatiently for what felt like forever, I finally got my copy of the review of Heartwood in Maverick Magazine (in the U.K.). Yea! It's posted under the reviews section but you may have to scroll down one as they are all reverse chronological and this one took a little bit to reach me ~smile~
a pastoral serenity that comes from watching the hovering day exhale from the sleepy hills. In the light that seems to exist within a morning mist, but is simply a thin haze that sighs upwards, held in such fragile stasis for merely moments. I want to find myself in such dewy seconds, when my feet are wet with the condensation night leaves as it's parting gift, a thousand diamonds lavished upon his sweet day.
"The Birch's Lament" is based on a children's story my spouse wrote, which I always thought should be a book. And it will be! The proof is in the works and I should have it in my eager hands very very soon. The pictures were done by a talented artist in Calgary named Tanya Lam. I am including my favorite pic from the book below
There isn't much that is better than the feeling of the silken sun running it's last golden threads over your eyes as the music settles all around like stardust and the fruit wine is savored as deeply as that last raspberry plucked off the bush of summer. What a beautiful night! How I would love to share this particular moment with someone in the flesh rather than have to do it through the screen. No words would need to be said, just the shared silver goblet and the sun in their eyes....
I like the days that ease into my consciousness without the harsh contrast of the sun jostling me to wake. I like the grey clouds that slowly slither into my dreams wrapping their nebulous arms, such that I feel as if I open my eyes into dusk, as easily as they closed into the darkening twilight hours before. Those are the days that sit in dreams to me, and I allow such billowing thoughts to carry me through the day
The summer hovers in the air, a sigh, while the sun settles into a hum of contentment on the western horizon. Time always seems to stand still on such an evening, and I am surprised when the darkness finally overtakes the day, as if I was living in that golden twilight for an eternity in a moment.
First of all, Heartwood is most definitely ON itunes which makes me a very happy singer. I was pretty stoked to find this review this morning, although the link isn't working at the moment, I don't know why. Still, here is the review....
The days seem to melt so easily into the sun, the hours quietly counting in the shadows until the wind draws in the restless night. Each night I watch the trees swaying into the droplets that dance in the arms of the summer storms. It is an uneasy balance that is scarcely seen of felt in the still of the dawn.
I left a dreary Calgary indeed last week. The flowers were but a hint on the wind and the leaves newborn. I came back to the crapapples in bloom, with their stunning pink blossoms that seem so replete, so heavy in fertile dreams, that it is a wonder how the branches support their sumptuousness.
I am so thrilled that the following radio stations have put my songs in rotation. For the most part, 'Light' is the one that is being put in rotation, but feel free to request any of my songs if you listen to these stations!
All day I have wanted to sit and find the words to synthesize my CD release last night. After such a huge event, my favorite time is actually after the last guest has left, when there is a chaos of half empty plates, strewn wine glasses and fading stage lights. When the candles are burned down to the quick and I can take off my shoes, sit back with a glass of wine and just breath in the night, as if all of it were contained in that funnel of smoke that spirals so lazily into the sky from the blown out tealight.
And now, time slips away again, and though I wish to sit here with my fingers typing the songs of the birds that trill outside my window, there is no time for dreams this week, as I move into my CD release.
I give into the snow, as it flies by my window scarce a day before May. I sit on the edge of futility, and rest my head within the drifts that fly into the sun, a contradiction that does not escape me. Yes, the afternoon sits on my shoulder in sun drenched prisms,
I practice, knowing that my fingers need to retrace the paths and chords of such familiar songs to me, but my heart is singing in weird parallels, new notes, new words while my fingers ache to map the shape of my longings.
... I was calling it "Love song" for AGES, not because I thought that was a good title. NO, I had the good sense to know it was a horrific title, but because I could not for the life of me come up with a better title.
The streets are filled with pools of light. Liquid gold phasing through the morning breath, that perfect moment between yesterday and tomorrow. I watch the seasons changing, feel each sunrise deep in the marrow of my bones, and gather my strength around me, a mantle of light.
breaks, shattering the clouds into a thousand pinpricks of light. Snow lightly touches my face, the gossamer wings of winter so effortlessly flying away. Words are spiraling through my mind, notes carried on the breath of emotion. I feel the release building as I spin in the morning light.
I have been inside way to much this last month, either busy with practicing and the million little things that always seem to need being done, or sick. I feel the absence of the living sky fiercely, I feel the memory of trees pulling me to sit within their shelter and just listen to nothing but the stretching of the branches as the sap starts to flow again within.
Slowly I come back from that tired sickness of the last few weeks. Slowly the day warms itself on my skin, and I feel as if I am expanding out of myself, deep breaths that loosen my consciousness and rattle the edges of my being.
It is days like today, when sunrise is a crest of light washing upon my shore, and the moon burns brightly in the pink haze of western clouds hanging so precariously above the snowy mountains that I feel the most myself.
I am going to be interviewed LIVE on the CKUW showShades of Classics next Sunday (January 31st). The show runs from 8am-10am Central time and I am going to be on at 9:20am. I am pretty stoked about it, so I hope you will listen in.
It was sad to leave the studio today, knowing that I will not be back (at least not for some time). I had that bizarre sense of loss, of goodbye, the kind that chokes in your throat and swells in the eyes.
The last leg of the journey, the final touches and tweaks. It is surreal to be in Toronto again. I feel as if today has been a blur, from arriving in the early afternoon, straight to the studio, to this moment now, when finally I can absorb that I am actually in Toronto. That I am here, while the humid air seeps through me, chilling to the bone and the music sings in my veins.
Usually getting up before the sun is abhorrent to me, sleep sitting behind my eyes and the morning darkness a call to climb back into my bed and fall weightfully into the dreams that so pleasantly surrounded me just moments before.
The string tracks have been laid, and in just a few days I will be in Toronto finishing this CD. I am so excited to hear the final project, but it is not without a small amount of trepidation that I complete this last leg and move forward into the pressing.
I love the red winter sun, the way it shimmers into existence from the arcane night sky. I can never find a good word to describe its color, as if the tangerine light was the beginning of any such definition. I watch it move across the walls, searching for the contours of my face and want to give myself to it completely. Just that one moment, as it crests the tenuous horizon, as if a life was born, lived and died all caught within the wavering slender light of winter's morn.
The lights are off, and the absence of it echos into the silence. Currents of words rushing, as if to fill the space the day leaves as it fades from my eyes. It is always this way, when the frenzy of daylight pulls away like the tide from the shore, I sink again into the deep sea of night, floating through the waking dream.
Feels like that first breath again, a deep pull from within
Winter sits within me this week, icy tendrils snaking through. I carry it with me, softening the day, sharp at night, while dreams fall like snow through my mind, melting away on impact. I peer through the icescapes, as if I could see my beating heart, but all seems distant, far away...unknowable. Even the music is a far away tinkling, an underwater creek, hidden beneath the slumbering drifts of thought. I find this lucid moments of clarity when words bubble up from my throat, only to die on my pen.
The morning is coated in ice, cracking open the reverie of winter. The air is sharp, each breath balanced on crystalline pins. Snow hangs in the air, softening the edges of day, a dreamy counterpoint to the icy glass hanging from trees and crunching beneath my feet. It feels as if winter has come, it stings my cheeks and sings in my blood. There has been a quietness to my being these last few days, a softening of my thoughts, and a sadness that I cannot seem to banish from my eyes.
It is remembrance day in Canada, the time to remember old wars and wounds, to remember the price of freedom. The day dawned slowly, manifesting from dreams where music layered through anxiety to create discordant chords and visions in my mind. The light easing me out, as one sloughs off tight clothing at the end of the day.
The lines of the grey morning are scored into my dreams, the light the hand that breaks it all so carefully. I am not ready to give into the sun just yet, I close my eyes and hear water lapping beneath the glass towers of day rising in my mind. Water that I long to sink beneath and hear nothing but my own heartbeat, not even the breath that with each passing pulls me from my reverie. Water, singing with the darkness of places untold, where the echoes of distant voices pulse through, leaving me vibrating to the core. And so I think, while the dreams chime within, and the night still sits on my skin, I will cradle the last of its call within water....letting the drops of night's rain cascade....
Winter has come in the indigo November night. Tonight as the darkness so quickly stole upon me, I could feel the chill moving across my body, as if I were acknowledging in some secret part of myself that winter is here.
There is a feeling that comes with the first snowfall, a deep stillness as if the world has stopped spinning for a moment. Or maybe it is instead as if I am spinning in perfect synchronicity, the moment, a shared breath, eyes locked on the core.
I have never found the words to perfectly express that feeling that exists in the chill dark morning, when the world hovers between the seasons. When the air is a cool cloth on the skin, tempering the warmth that spreads like brandy through the arteries of life. I have sat so many times as the grainy indigo evaporates into the morning, have looked up as if I could see the wind, as if the sky held the words I so longed to pour onto the paper, like liquid fire. This morning, it rests so quietly upon me, this nameless feeling, that I am loathe to give to the light. And through each movement I hear music, as if my day has synchronized itself to the secret longing of the song.
And so I sit here in a darkened room, with the haze of sleep heavy upon it, in Edmonton of all places. There is a feeling, when people sleep, a heaviness upon the space, as if time is indeed grains of sand. Time seems to sit suspended in the air, and I can feel the sleep all around me as if it were a physical substance in the air.
They fade so quickly, when the light comes, that thin line of dawn pressing itself inside my eyes, waking up my senses to the now. My fingers are like the wind on the keyboard, as the words flow from me, the dreams pouring from my mind into the edges of the fingers, evaporating into the mist of the screeen. The grey light grasps at me, pulling me out of the night, the images snapping as if they were elastic under pressure. Still the water sings beneath me, words echoing beyond my sense of self. Still the music runs through my veins, a haunting distant sound, that sits just at the edge of my hearing, coming from within the forest of my mind....
The night presses upon me, how rarely I am here at my computer writing words, and yet, as the daylight gives way to the relentless tides of night I cannot help but to hear whispers within the deep well of darkness as it cocoons around me. It has always been this way for me, as the night insulates my world, I feel my mind expanding out as it were questing for others, I feel myself expanding, as if the form of my body was but ribbons in the wind, free to flutter where the mind takes it. Tonight I sit and ponder on the inter-connections we make, how distance can be such an illusion.
The autumn rains are falling, so softly, and yet the sun shines upon my eyes, weaker already, white as it falls into the western mountains. The days, the flow so sweetly into each other, so swiftly, with naught but the flicker of light between them. I feel restless, desire for something that seems unnamed. I am longing for something that eludes me, and so I dance with day and night, feeling calm only within the twilight, in the spaces in between.
Do you ever sit and look out the window at the grey sky and just think to yourself...I don't have enough time. Time...that rhythm that seems to bring form to the day, as if it were the very fabric of reality made up of universal heartbeats. It is the space between that I am interested in, the place where all can be and yet nothing is. The place where the limitations so cooly placed, float away as if a fragment of a dream. Yet some days it is difficult to listen for that silence. For the space in between.
I was interviewed today for Stir on Shaw TV! I also performed a song from my upcoming CD, Eurydice. You can check it out on Channel 10 in Calgary running from Thursday-Sunday this week at 12:00pm, 3:00pm, 6:00pm and 9:00pm
I am thinking of a new song, one the slides down through passing chords, as water over the rocks of time. There are images pressing upon my mind, the feeling of it expanding within my body as if form were not an obstacle. I am struck by the image of Arwen, of twilight and the evening star falling, falling. As the day envelopes the lingering notes of night's reverie, that ethereal feeling, tendrils of connection, seem to snap back into the body, evaporating like morning mist. So I write, to preserve what is left, to let these shadowy forms take shape.
Do I write the songs or do they write me? Words seem to be constant companions in my head as the days pass through me. Some days I am narrating to myself, other times odd phrases will pop up, placed as though written by another's hand. Reminds me a bit of the Griffin and Sabine books at times.
All of these treacherous beats of the heart Filling those caverns that long to forget I cradle your trembling words So wild within my chest All of these secrets take refuge in my heart Shadows seeping through my futile walls Still, living is this tangled shame Still healing oh my heart is not a weapon
Do all good things have to come to an end? Or is it better to think about all endings as new beginnings? My vocals are done, unless we get more funding and then even still, I think my vocals are pretty much done. This journey I started almost 2 years ago, is wrapping up, for me anyway. That seems like a silly thing to say considering that having the actual CD is just the beginning, but the creation part is just about done, and that is the journey I have been so focused on over the last 2 years.
Hurricane...the leads are finished! I sang more than I thought I could and the sound was so different from anything I have ever done. Breathy, angry, full of angst and pain. In a way I can't believe that I did it, that I could take it even partially where it needed to go. It has weighed on my mind since the June recordings, I worried that I would just fall into my old bad singing habits and not be able to pull myself into the space I needed.
I am back in the studio today. I can't believe it! The time between the June recordings and now has flown by at an impossible rate and it feels like just yesterday that I was in Toronto. In a way I am not ready for these dates, not ready to finish the vocals for now, not ready to be done with my part of the recording.
The day dawns clear and bright, and already the heat is rising from the fecundant green hills. Each blade of grass carries the scent of memories to me, somehow the summer evokes more emotion, more deeply held visions of younger me's. Already I feel the fleeting passage of time as the days run by each other, as water over stones. Why is it that at the height of growth and lush richness, there is always the hint of decay carried in the heat of the day? Like shadows in the wall, hues of yesterday dappling through the now, promising for tomorrow. I feel the need to slow down, to lay myself within summer, drinking her sweetness.
I was played on 'Irish Ways Programme' last night, which is a radio show on Flagler College Radio WFCF 88.5 fm in St. Augustine, Florida. Keep an ear out on the show for more of my music! Thank-you William!
I know I can't for long hehe. I have been so very fortunate on this journey to meet the nicest people, with such talent. I have come a long way from my intrepid beginnings into song, walking upon that proverbial thorned path, to the now which is just blooming roses!
The day ended in the studio, in that exact booth, singing my songs. It felt, just amazing. I worked hard but it felt almost effortless, with Doug directing the sound, helping me to create the space these songs inhabit.
After that wicked late night (I wasn't in bed before 3:30 am) I slept like the dead until after 10:00 this morning. Haven't slept past 10:00 for literally years. It was so awesome. Fi and Derek and I all headed down to the shorts film showing featuring a short by one of Fi's friends. One of the shorts was "Crank Balls"...~laughing~ Hilarious title, but those cranky balls are going to give me nightmares tonight. I missed the last half and headed back to the studio, where a lovely guitarist came in to do some bedtracks. Here is the picture of us looking like we might actually be enjoying ourselves ~laugh~
15 hours in the studio yesterday...15! But, saying that, Oh.my.gods. Wow. Fergus Marsh came in first to lay down some electric bass and chapman stick. Crazy talented! Then Sharlene Wallace brought her harp, and just added this beautiful melodic aspect to the songs, and finally Ray Dillard brought an arsenal of percussive instruments and blew our minds.
Day 3! Was woken up at 9:45 this morning ~laugh~, with half an hour to get ready and out the door. Insanity! Luckily I am not a high maintenance girl, and I even got to eat breakfast in the tight timeline. Not my best look but hey, I had to have a shower, get dressed AND eat something....~laugh~
I know, I know that was SO cliche, but I just can't help myself. I have mentioned before that my life consists of a series of songs haven't I? At any given moment there is a song running in my brain, complete with real lyrics or if not, lyrics that I happen to make up at the time. I did mention that I am no poet, so these made-up lyrics tend towards the inane, but I like to give voice to the song regardless hehe.
Tomorrow I fly out! I am so full of enthusiasm and excitement, it's hard to sit still. And yet, I am writing a blog, when I have SO much to do. So much to do and...the kids are sick. GAH! Which means they are home from school. Which means I feel very very guilty about putting them into a car and driving all over the place trying to get it all done...
My EP! It's here! I am so excited about it. You can check it out on the music page, or you can buy it from the store. In other news I am getting radio play on Bishop FM. I think I am scheduled to play on June 9th in the evening, so have a listen and support indie music!
OK, I am SUPER excited about this. Pianist Frank Horvat has asked me to sing a few songs at his upcoming Calgary show. It's going to be a fabulous show! The official details are this Date: June 20, 2008 Time: 8:00 pm Location: Scarboro United Church 134 Scarboro Avenue SW Tickets: $15 and that included a copy of his CD "I'll be Good" (14 and under is free) Where to get tickets: Frank's website The big deal: Honestly, do I even need to say it? He's awesome! And you get a CD with your ticket! So go and buy one ASAP :)
I am going to be played on the Kingston Radio Program "Salt Water Music" CFRC 101.9 FM on May 19th between 10pm and 11pm EST. This show is also live streamed from their website if you don't live in the Kingston area www.cfrc.ca. Thanks so much Rob!
I stood outside the other night and watched most of the lunar eclipse. It doesn't happen that often, and to spend an evening in the relatively warm night gazing at the stars and the shadow of the earth as it crosses the moon, seemed a luxury I definitely wanted to afford...
It is cold. Colder than it has been in years, and I find myself introspective as the frost makes its patterns upon my window and the cold air is a knife within my lungs.There isn't much snow, the streets are covered, and slick with frozen tire tracks, but the ravine is spotted with snow, the tan corpses of grasses scattered about. There is a stillness in such cold even the little birds that normally lend their happy songs to the winter morning are gone. It is as if the world is sleeping, and I wonder what is sleeping within me.
Come and hear myself, Cindy O'Neil and Ashley Coe at the Nikkei Cultural Center on February 15! We are calling it a Living Room Concert...no, it's not in a living room, but it feels like a living room, with couches and beverages and art. You can even bring your own wine or beer! I am singing with a fabulous harpist named Joanne Meis, so it is going to be a great show. I only get 20 tickets....20! So if you want to come, please email me pronto email@example.com and I will arrange to get you one. Tickets are $10.