Sunday, 3 July 2016

Petals Volume 2

From my Diary:
2016 06 29 10h54
Petals Vol. 2 Stopping Over (or something) or this is in fact Illumination.
I came back to this composition now and could suddenly understand all about my perceptions during July 2014 at Ibla, Sicilia. All the music that was around from morning till night created a new awareness. I felt home but not quite “at home”. (Some of the ‘people factor’ that pisses me off)

Music was one with me in a way I couldn’t fathom at the time. I heard music when it played and I heard music when it was not playing. It was as if something ancient inside me was stirred. I could ‘see’ things as if it was some time warp into the past.

It was tough to look for the sounds I heard from long ago and I remember so well the sound of water flowing underneath this old town. Sweet water from the dolomite banks, similar to what I remembered from Otavi, Namibia. I always stopped at this town when I passed, to fill up my containers with Otavi’s water; it was my favourite to brew my java.

I remember the urge I had to record footage of the water from the ferry boat trip once I was back at Norway from Scicilia. The first part of “Illumination” came on 18 July 2014 and the second part six days later while I was at Ibla. Somehow it had some relation with the water but I could not understand it much.

This past month of June with all the water talks, Ocean Month and next month’s input to cleaning the rivers in South Africa, found me at times in a feverish hurry to know more how people see water and feel about it. Water is the greatest music to my ears and always calmed me for as long as I remember. The greater part of my childhood days I lived next to water…..

It was aggravating, annoying and terribly frustrating to see how few people really care about the most beautiful natural liquid crystal. But I am also happy that there are groups, organizations and individuals who do care and make it their business to promote the wellbeing of water.

All rivers, lakes and seas are the widest and greatest path to anywhere, passengers on and in the waterways include human beings and is the oldest path on our planet.

On the 23rd “Finding” came to me. Somehow a lot of arguments exploded in this composition. I was a bit pissed off by being ordered around by others who don’t seem to be organizing well enough. But what I learned was that ‘speaking’ in music, I would get calm very soon. I didn’t need to run water over my hands or go for a swim. Music also does it for me.

When I now analyzed the tracks during this period, I got back to “Prayers with Santa Maria Maddalena”. I see the big picture now. As it was in the “Revelations” sequence of “Peyals: The Journey” (Symphony No. 2) the same revered sounds are contained, though not with the exact same melody.

This very old little Chiesa of Santa Maria Maddalena at Ibla kept drawing me and one day when I could not get around to some silent music I heard somewhere, I went to pray there. Of course, I needed that solitude - I forget to open my heart to Great Maestro and leave the matter to HIM. And now, nearly two years later I get the answers. I would have had it sooner if I took solitude straight away instead of trying to find answers on my own. When I listened to HIS voice during the time my second symphony happened, HE revealed a lot to me and the clarity was spectacular. That is the only reason why I could compose 11 movements within such a short time.

Seven days after “Finding”, the truth about FACTS in some very difficult choice I had to make, came to me, confronting me with the child’s life (“Spirit of the Child” Symph 2) which I thought was just a random song that came in-between but it is not. A lot of this round of Petals ARE in fact based on earlier experiences and “Mama, you chose, not I” which happened on 31 July 2014 in a flash.

Then during September and in a timespan of four days “Weeping Willow”, “Outside Me” and “An Autumn Leaf Blew Past” happened. It was with “Outside Me” that the puzzle came back very recently. This track somehow called me back. Something was triggered and I became terribly edgy and anxious, not realizing what is happening to me. And now, listening to “Illumination” the whole picture falls together like an avalanche.

“Weeping Willow” and “Outside Me” are very old poems, a music that existed for many years before I could even imagine how to express it. During the revelations of my second Symphony, “Old Tree also celebrates Spring” I experienced a joyous occasion of seeing all the magnificent life that popped from the tears of the child, which had its origin from the poem “Weeping Willow” which was a sad one to get back to. But I didn’t get the connection at the time and with “Outside Me” which followed, it rather became something to pack away. Too sad.

Yet, that same day after finishing “Outside Me” on 11 September 2014, “An Autumn Leaf Blew Past” just popped right in, which was how I felt. A useless dried out old leaf BUT as I composed that song, I realized also the life I served and still shall serve, and it became meaningful.

Phew. What a journey and then the illumination. But I feel much better now that I pen this down and its quite an eye opener to see how and where these pieces all happened.

I’ll give it a few days’ rest and see if there was more. This took a chomp out me so suddenly, my anxiety level shot right through the ceiling the past 30 minutes……

Back at 15:24
Shortly after writing the above, it struck me that I ‘disguised’ the actual instruments that act my story by using totally different ones. I was most probably hiding something from myself; I recall telling myself that it was my experience by seeing how performers play music instruments, that pushed me to use different instruments than what I originally used composing these pieces about my real life journey in music.

I must be honest with myself, that it was not the case. I learn some things like the gizmos & stuff on the internet and in any case apply that which I learn - many times as I compose I research what an instrument can do and what not. But then I would in any case not worry too much about it, and still continue creating the way it sounds okay for me. I just need to know what ‘signs’ to give the little people in my digital orchestra.

So then, I caught myself with my hand in the cookie jar and lied to myself about which cookies I picked. I enjoy all of them.

I was only avoiding piano because of the sad side of having been denied to continue having piano lessons when I was 13. But I enjoyed that one year – and it came a bit through in “Illumination” and I made peace with piano, and shortly after I became totally inspired by someone whom I’ve never met and “pax deinde venit” was born as a remembrance of the end of WWII. (Contained elsewhere at my blog)

Although “pax” has a totally different rhythm, which I thought to take a shot at when I noticed a competition based on the Morse code “irini” (which means peace) and I remembered all the tales papa and others told me about that terrible war, it is in fact part of the illumination that I experienced. I should actually include it as a bonus track should I get so far as to release and album of my third Symphony.

At first I simply called the piece “peace” but as it flowed, I realized it was from the moment the first peace messages were sent out and suddenly my spirit ended up at a time and places during a dark night almost seventy years ago, continued flying further, experiencing the folks…. This was a most romantic composition which I enjoyed and I really gave gas with the digital piano with the digital player happy to abide.

“pax deinde venit” came to me at 20:01 the evening of 11 August 2014. Afterwards I made a bigger orchestra to play with the little digital piano player.

Other pieces that flowed since July 2014:
My first “Sonatina” “Moods of a Composer” in five movements.  I was totally pissed off at a remark that I must decide when my music has to stop which is bullshit. One cannot tell just half a story….
This left me: 01 – Spooked; 02 – Chargrined; 03 – Reduced; 04 – Prepared; 05 – Fugued (with the latter adapted word, rather admitting that if I’m considered as being ‘fucked up’ so be it – I couldn’t care a shoot because I do how and what I do to speak my music stories)

After this session I felt fantastic! I went on to produce a little comic strip for more satisfaction, using a photograph of the person but then redid it to rather hide anything recognizable in case a new fight would begin. End of a chapter is end of a chapter. I composed five of them, terribly short.
In a way I can now also understand “Three Frogs in a Pond of Wine” – this began on 19 September 2014 and I had no clue what it was until I did playback. There I saw the stages of chaps getting drunk, and their stories and eventual aggressive arguments until the ‘wine’ is finished. I still recalled a scene from way back during the 1980’s of a drunk man attacking me. His previous attack landed me in hospital but this time I was ready. I immobilized him and didn’t care to look back. I had to get his small son out of that house for he would have taken it all out on the little boy. He had his drunk pal with him at least. But he was fine and very friendly the next day.

And it all began with the sweet waters from the Ibleian mountains of Scicilia which I could hear under the soil and pavements of Ibla. Right there already under the shadow of the “Mountain of the Fireflies”.

I did say that water calms me, I recreate ‘water’ in my music and save these precious liquid crystals. I have a raging fire at times when I compose, and the little “Sonatina” taught me how much music brings me back to the good old me when I throw a tantrum in music.

(I actually went to pour myself a sherry now at 16:00 of this day, celebrating being able to ‘see’ myself. A new self.)
(Now I hope to get all the pieces properly together – got it figured out so far and then adapt them when I have time as they ought to be)

3 July 2016
Here I am, ‘stole’ some time back at music and listened measure by measure to the ‘truth’ into which I began adapting the toughest song: “You Chose, Mama, Not I”. Time signature of course changes to that of “Petals”, meaning adapting from 4/4 which is like a very neat brick house, very calculated, to 9/8 which is my true story.

I lied to myself. I didn’t want any passion in these 4/4 compo’s.  And I hate neat brick houses. I’d rather live under a bush or in a tree…..

This is the difference.....old and new/lies and TRUTH

Hope I’d have more time soon again for music, it’s becoming very intense, it chases me like nothing ever before.

LORD GOD I cry! Hear me, I need solitude with You my Maestro. Everything that is happening with Your Creation which I love so much is just falling apart. I cry for the birds, the fish. I see so much and it is painful.

The little sparrow… YOU know what I saw. I pray that others may see this, know this, feel this, care about it all.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Outside Me

2016 06 15: When the poem came to me almost halftime ago of my life where I am now in 2016, it was the present time then.

In that present moment of time, I had a reflection of my childhood and the control I knew I had to enforce. I managed and it developed. It became a hidden lifestyle. Eventually, it was so hidden that I forgot about it. I was always smiling while something was crying.

But in that present time then, the reflection was just a good story, a bit sad and that’s it.

I lived ‘happily ever after’, contented with what I had, and what I had and still have is and shall be the greatest blessing of my life.

BUT it was not all that I had. A forgotten something remained and somehow it was nourished all the time – probably from my happiness about everything. I am always thankful for every good coming my way.

13 June 2016 some very strange magnetism came, drawing me deep down under, back to this old poem and the track I composed sometime during 2014. I listened to the music again, wondering, and left it. The wondering sat on my neck, my head, my shoulders, followed my steps, cooked with me, had java with me, shopped with me, and since I don’t hate it, I gave it some attention again. It wanted me to listen….

And then I heard. I heard a forgotten part of myself and suddenly I could understand the reflection.

My gut was ripped out of me these past 12 hours when I had to face my own music. I do love it, don’t make a mistake. But it was the message in it that knocked me out. I couldn’t understand the poem so well, I somehow composed it and left it.

Past, present and future. This is my future and I learned that I have been confronted at the ‘present’ time of then. Now I could understand everything.

I had been in control and happy with my life but control buried many other jewels. I got back on the composition yesterday and especially early this morning and used some of the sparkles to express my story. A story which I hardly gave any recognition, even with the track I composed two years ago.

I need to live my life in full. This ‘other me’ is in fact the missing part of me which I controlled since I was child. Then I needed to for it was hated by evil. As time went by, it surfaced here and there and at the slightest whiff of evil, it would dive back. It was disciplined. Controlled by me. “My hand is master, a key to lock.”

When the feeble voice came again, it was no weight, but it was persevering since Monday. Today is Wednesday. I listened. I understood. I let it out. I cried. But I won’t let the hidden part dive back again.

Too much control makes one forget things….
Part of the Poem in music

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Rare Breeds

The piece became a bit of a Kwaito (in a Classical way), the way we feel sometimes about a situation, arguing in our own minds, forming dialogue in a way that makes us feel better.

I started it off with Harpsichord, because I felt so terribly 'old and long ago' and, gradually during the ‘prelude’ I kind of woke up to what I’m actually doing.

Most of this music came from the past months. Whatever I saw, heard and lived would at times also remind me of another ‘rare breed’ (mostly of the present time) whom I only know by music. Thus, the main influence is based on my own perception at a very moment when I’d experience something and would think of the other who also ‘runs free’.

Aaargh, I didn’t realize this when I began composing, the sound was sparked off when I heard an old ‘rare breed’ again who disappeared for a while and suddenly popped up again.

Later, as I did some analysis of “Rare Breeds”, I couldn’t help to smile and giggle at times, seeing even how a walking duck and a Maltese Poodle chasing geese, reminded me of a character behind music.

The Kwaito stepped in hard as I would be listening to India Mynahs performing at late afternoons for the best branch to roost for the night. They are not indigenous to South Africa and became a bit of a threat to the original bird species, but the weavers are a strong bunch and won’t give an inch.

And so the story went on and on once I was caught up into it. I lacked time and facility to work on it, and would spend my earliest morning java time over several days to ‘speak my mind’. It sure was a piece that had me fast up and going each morning, and even faster if I slept a bit late since then I’d not even have quarter of an hour to work on it. I was okay when I would have around 45 minutes on such mornings, then I could take my time tasting my coffee and music.

(maybe I should now mention that I can wake even earlier than 3am regardless of time zone, totally awake and ready to kick off a long day of duties which could stretch even up to 19 hours)

I recognize others like me who live in music, with music, using it as the best way to communicate and I realize more and more that this is a natural thing, nobody can teach you that. It is just the way you ‘speak’, even if you are pressed for time. I do not know how I do it, some educated folks told me that they don’t know how I do it. But I am crazy about doing it. I love it!

Fair enough, I cannot speak in words about music as most do for I didn’t study these ‘translations’ as they did, but I learn on the run with each composition I work at. I won’t speak with them though, for my tongue ties up and I have very little idea how to pronounce most of those fancy words. So I stick to the p the pp, ppp and pppp instead of even trying to utter it. I can say it in music already and that is enough for me. I'd rather pp than p-whatever by not getting the p's and s's at their correct place. Know what I mean?

It is to know music as a form of communication that gives one the ear to understand, not what one learns from books (or the www or wikipedia as I 'consult' for knowledge)… I did this for as long as I can remember after hearing the first human interpretations of this beautiful language.

“Rare Breeds” are people like myself, even if they are highly educated - because such folks in any case don’t follow the books, they follow their feelings, passions and interpret it all in their own unique ways. They understand what I ‘say’ in music.

A scarce breed, but oh so nice to hear them ‘speak’ from the bottom of the heart, whether a creator of interpreter (performing artist), we belong to a very rare group.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

See with music

See with music. I cannot really think of another term.

Maybe it is because I have so little music tuition that I see music so intensely. I am not within the ‘educated’ borders and rules to know where and what and when and quite frankly, I think it must be pretty boring to have such borders.

I am a free spirit, I want to see the big picture, not the one made by a set of rules. Rules rather belong in Law making, not creativity.

Remarks and comments people make (with specific reference now the creative arts) give me a good idea of their perceptions and personalities and it is amazing how many if not most, actually use the same boring rules over and over again, trying to qualify another’s style to be the rule. No originality, they are just slaves. I could imagine that if society would apply this conservative approach to their Laws, the world would have been at peace.

Rather weird, I’d say. I follow the Laws that count to be a better person to society and use my own style in creativity.

In a way I am then also happy that it took me so many years to the point of letting go of loving my lover music – I learned a lot about life and people in a non-music way through my life. Hardly ever listened to music for many years, once in a while to some old songs I like and maybe a new one that has the sounds I like.

This brings me then to a new phase of understanding myself now, I want to see the pictures a musician/performing artist creates. The more I listen to some, the more I realize how bad most are.

Whether a solo performer or a large Philharmonic Orchestra, it can be a matter of the amount of steel marbles I’d put into a container and shake it according to the perfect rhythm…..

It is a hollow music without song…..

So many want to act their part, doing it so perfect according to a sheet of paper instead of telling the story with passion, making it a music, a song.

Recently I heard the greatest piano playing ever and made the remark that now it’s as if other pianists have butter fingers, this one has butterfly fingers. I have heard so much heart and soul and total understanding of the music and full control with piano. I was fascinated by what I heard, it painted a world of pictures.

As composer I know that what I see also brings a music to me and I write that into my work. Not many performing artists can actually ‘read’ such pictures ‘between the lines’ and paint them with their instruments. (even including the voice)

I am happy enough to only now encounter this beautiful playing for even a year ago I would have known it is very beautiful but without knowing those that man thinks is perfection. The only other piano work I could respectfully enjoy were old recordings of Rachmaninoff playing his own work and Stravinsky conducting his “Firebird”.

It does make me wonder with some bitterness that if I was allowed to continue playing and learning piano after my only music year of 1970, what I might have created eventually. But I am thankful for that music did come back to me, even if it came so very late in my life. I won’t have time to learn piano again now that it does not hurt anymore, but oh boy, I compose up a storm when it hits me and thank goodness for modern technology for when it pours down heavily, I can do it fast…..

So, I am happy to have heard so many before which I thought were really good, and suddenly discover this jewel of sound. I feel like an orphan that suddenly found her family. (Now note, I had my ears blocked, closed for piano for the greatest part of my life because of sad memories)

I have been listening to orchestral works mostly, had my tapes and would unwind after stressful work with a good red wine and candle light. But even this became scarce eventually.

And I thought those were good, for they were indeed the ones most talked about, that is why I bought them. But oh, thanks to social websites, I came to know more in the later half of 2014 and I was surprised. I didn’t know a whole Philharmonic Orchestra. With nearly 100 performers could take me on such a wonderful trip, painting the pictures, the whole story with intensity and passion….. and I’ll probably find more during time to come. But this one was enough to learn from, learn a lot from.

I am extremely happy I don’t know the music rules to apply them. I rather remain a toddler looking at a picture book in colour than listening to someone telling a story in a boring voice.