Previews of the tracks for the upcoming album Mixtures Poetica album are now posted on SoundCloud with more to come in the following weeks.
Mixtures Poetica is the follow up album to the previously released EP Poetic Mixtures which was an exploration of audio techniques combining poetic elements with soundscapes for mood and setting, and can be found on many platforms.
One of the things I love about Puddle of Words (written first on this very blog here) is that it really captures the essence for me of how books can pull you right into them, and the invitation to read together. Those favorite books are the ones we want our people to read and share in the story, the experience, the characters!
With Eternal Constellation, I really struggled to capture the feel and texture and delivery that I wanted for it. I woke up one morning with the idea for a stronger speaking element, and the resulting track has an irony about it that emphasizes how a step towards self-centeredness (being true to self and one’s intuition) combats people pleasing conformity, but there has to be balance so that becoming self-centered (in the selfish sense) is avoided.
I had a lot of fun making these, and enjoy listening to them. I hope you enjoy them too!
Leaving Being Uncomfortable Meeting Angels Turning it around
10 Cent Angel is about leaving – not the nostalgic adventure, but the one where staying would mean the death of spirit, destruction. This is the song for those who walked, or ran away, and who maybe looked back once or twice and kept going.
This is for those who want to go, who need to go, or who have considered it. If you understood the fuel behind the leaving, you might understand how it wouldn’t be as true if it had been done differently.
This song is also for those met along the path, who shared a part of the journey. Good company. Angels taking care of angels. Shelters in the storm. Those kind words, and unexpected generosity. Thank you.
And this is for the gossips left behind – the petty speculation and mean-spirited focus are part of the whole problem with humanity. Turn your mind to helping yourself and others.
And lastly this song for those who take advantage of others’ youth, innocence, and naivete – you never win, nor will you ever win.
Blue Night came from a small snippet of poetry that I had jotted down or maybe posted on Twitter and then printed out as possible lyrics. Rosalie said it sounded like a lullaby, which I initially rejected (that’s just a knee-jerk reaction for me), but then later thought, well, why not? It does sound a little like a lullaby. We had discussed it several times, and then I fleshed out the words some. We recorded the background for this song at my apartment with Rosalie at the keyboards, and me in front of my desk with my guitar. One of the things I love about this song is the synergy and the improvisation. We played around with a couple of different piano settings before Rosalie settled on the more organ-like sound, and I had found an interesting riff to explore, and then we just played with no heed to what the melody might be, or how much time we needed.
During this kind of improvisation, I sink into the music and stop hearing it so much as seeing it due to the fact that I have a form of synesthesia which makes reading music (visual) extremely challenging for me. When I improvise, I can see the shapes of music, and the movement, and I can see how what I’m doing fits into it geometrically, but there’s no easy translation for what I see with what is written as typical musical notations. So we played and when we got to the end, I say, “Okay,” which I left in the track. That was the take.
I worked on the vocals a few days later, struggling to find the sound that would go with the background, working by ear, and growing increasingly frustrated until, with a slight adjustment in how I was seeing my vocals, I tuned into where and how I wanted the melody to go into the shape of the music Rosalie and I had created together. The background vocals took more redoing, and fussing with the mixing and whatnot, but the main body of this song was put together swiftly.
Emotionally, this song is a testament to how even close, soulmate relationships don’t completely expunge the feelings of sadness and isolation people can experience. Sometimes all we can do is sit with someone through those times in a comfortable companionship that you wish would always be there, even if it includes the ever-present Blues.”
“Can’t Sing My Song Blues”, evolved from a music improvisation class I took. The story song is laid out as to how I felt when another singer borrowed a song I’d brought for a music ensemble class. Even though it is a standard ballad, the song felt like my song as a band leader in a group I’d been singing in presented it to me as a good fit for my voice and delivery. Thus a bluesy feeling seemed appropriate for this number.
“If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” Is a saying which means that merely thinking about something doesn’t get the job accomplished, and was used as a sort of rebuke to the poor, but that’s doesn’t have to be the whole story.
I thought about how dreams are motivation to attempt the extraordinary. With opportunity and self-discipline, people can change their lives, accomplish amazing goals, and reach their dreams. Wishes are hopes defined, and dreams make life worth living.
I wanted this song to celebrate the creative process, the risk taking, and the determination it takes to get new ventures off the ground, or to solve particularly tricky problems. I wanted the feeling of it to be relaxed, and dreamy as solutions and vision come to us when we are in a receptive state of mind. And I wrote it further along in the story, with the beggars on the way to the goal, doing the impossible in a more equitable world for everyone.
“‘It Don’t Matter To Me’ was originally written as a poem, yet the music behind it stayed lodged in my head for years. I believe the words in this song were the first song lyrics I put to music. However, composing the piano accompaniment didn’t happen until recently when we recorded for the album “Patchwork Blue”. Oddly, when I retrieved this poem from an old notebook, I found other poems that also spoke song and will use these poems to create new songs.
The theme, obviously love won/lost, is universal and would appeal to that mindset. It is a song tribute to how we lose love, then find it, then lose it again, and find it again…a love song, a blues song, a heart breaker, a plea breaker. We can deny it doesn’t matter one way or another, but it does.”