Singing in the dark
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!
This is part of my systematic effort to reduce performance anxiety, and share original music. I’ve played this song only for a handful of people prior to recording.
There are other new posts up on my YouTube Channel, some of which are mildly amusing, sporadically informative, randomly entertaining, and insightful as to why something that might take 15 minutes will digress into singing, extemporaneous playing, and exploring the nature of sound.
This video stays on track though (miraculously).
I have been recording my practice sessions (mostly for my own review), and posting them to YouTube (to reduce my use of perfectionism as a barrier to exposure and thus of accomplishment) and during this one I may have had an epiphany resulting in a rant, and here are the stages – some of you may know these faces quite well – of me in full blown dismantling the BS mode.
I grabbed these stills from the video, because here are the many faces of me in all of my glory (in case you missed seeing these nuances).
During the pandemic lockdown, I made a little black and white silent film. I love these kind of movies – the short sentences flashing in between the exaggerated action, the music, the humor, and the way they are sensitive and sweet even as they make you laugh. My attempt at recreating the feel of this is small, and this was before I had gotten my video editing software so it’s not well cropped, but if you want to watch it, you can find it here:
My silent film. Sorry about my foot.
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There are flowers out her window
The birds, they come to play
The swingers and the bluejays
Come for a bite, but never stay
There’s something to remember
But the thoughts begin to slip away
There are anchors getting lighter
Which hold the world in place
There’s something to remember
Getting fewer every day
At first she doesn’t know me
Uncertain and confused
Then a spark begins to flicker
In her eyes
“You’re the girl who plays guitar”
We pluck the strings
I try to sing
Her face begins to shine
Stories that she tells
Of a long and busy life
And it’s fitting that there’s people
Who come to care for her
After everything she’s done
For those she loves
Each time I think she’s fallen
Into a deeper sleep
I stop playing for a moment
And she stirs
And she tells me not to sneak away
Play another song for me
My audience of one
She might forget the songs I’ve sung
And that’s all right with me
For just some moments she is shining
Like a flower in the sun
Every song is new
Every song is new
I moved out and away
I am moving still
There’s an upcoming appointment with home
There’s a house
Teeny tiny it’s true
Where I will make a bed and
Have a little room
A place for a garden
A spot in the shade
It’s all underway
But there’s paths to cross until I get there
A hop and jump before then
A brief moment of time
A few things to accomplish
So this strange disarray of living and moving
Suitcase is packed
I might be here and there
Checking in briefly
Unpacking just prior
To repacking and shifting
I contract and expand
Like a heart beating surely
Like a heart beating truely
One more step or two
One after the next
To a small little place of my own
Ain’t life grand
I’m talking about creativity, vulnerability, and living a fully realized creative life on this episode of Wendy Says Things!
Give it a listen, hit that like button, and share far and wide.
Thank you so much for supporting me, and for being patient while I’ve been settling into a new life after moving!
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.
~ Wendy Kheiry
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.Rosalie Robison
Spotify and Apple links here.
Lyrics can be found here.
“First of all, I want to say Patchwork Blue is dynamite. It’s really exciting that you and Wendy have created such an interesting, highly listenable, unique work and sound!
I love every track and have to continually remind myself that I KNOW one of these people! The differences between you and Wendy strongly compliment and expand everything. The only thing that bothers me—though maybe it doesn’t bother you or Wendy—is the ancient conundrum of getting it (not necessarily ‘widely’ but ‘widely enough’) heard…which in no way reflects on how enormously pleasing the CD is. With the internet, of course, anything is possible.
There are wonderful threads of so many things that recall or lead and engage. It isn’t ‘light music’ but it is light. Which makes it very easy to take in. Do you have the lyrics accessible somewhere? I can hear you pretty clearly but Wendy’s can be a challenge to make out which, in her case, adds to the mystery and appeal. “~ a fan
Lyrics can be found here.
I wrote a little bit about the varying responses to the album both from others and myself here.