Category Archives: Song & Symphony

7

“All 7 & we’ll watch them fall
They stand in the way of love
& we will smoke them all
With an intellect & a savoir-faire
No one in the whole universe
Will ever compare
I am yours now & u are mine
& together we’ll love through
All space & time, so don’t cry
One day all 7 will die”
– Prince

2016 04 Apr 23.04.16 11.21PM Snapchat-4492316920341982313_a

© Violet Ashes 2016

Advertisements

Back In The Tori Forest

I have had 4 days with the new Tori Amos album: Unrepentant Geraldines & although I have only heard it all the way through, oh, about 30 times I feel I can safely say this is an unrepentant masterpiece.

It is Tori back to where we all want her deep down – at the piano with a soft drum & guitar hum, suitably, in the background. Her voice floats over a range of tracks that explore stories of unapologetic & unrepentant women through art & from various points of view. A shapely yet delicate web of experience, memory & desire have made up this album & I could not help but feel it must have taken significant time to compose. I have since read that Tori wrote these songs “in secret”*. Through this solitude Tori has produced some of her most melodious & distinctive sounding songs to date.

There are epic tales in these odes (‘Wedding Day’, ‘Wild Way’), beautiful, haunting lyrics that whisper & curl around you as lullabies do (‘Weatherman’, ‘Invisible Boy’, Maids of Elfen-mare), fun & bizarre tunes (‘Giant’s Rolling Pin’ & ‘Rose Dover’), a duet with her daughter, Tash (‘Promise’) that would touch the heart of any mum & then there are those special few that will be your favourites (‘Trouble’s Lament’, ‘Oysters’).

I was lucky enough to get hold of the deluxe edition of ‘Unrepentant Geraldines’ which has one extra track & for me it was everything I felt was missing from the album & this track remains my favourite: ‘Forest of Glass’. I found the darkness & depth of the track completed an incredible album. An unrepentant album. And as ever, I remain, an unrepentant Tori Amos fan.

Forest Of Glass – Tori Amos

Steal me away
Steal me away
From where I stand
Although I’m kneeling down
On the ground
Steal me away
Steal me away
From where I stand
Although I’m kneeling down
On the ground
The owl hoots & the moon beams through
A doubt awakes a voice dares to ask
Will you follow
If you love him you will follow
Will you follow
If you love him you will follow
If you love him you will follow him even ’til
His forest of glass
Forest of glass
His
Robbing the muse
Is, Is that what I’ve done
They turn & laugh
Back you do cannot do
We are the robin’s muse
& we will sing for you
Lift up your head
Lift up your heart
Lift up your head
Lift up your heart
The owl hoots & the moon beams through
A doubt awakes a voice dares to ask
Will you follow
If you love him you will follow
Will you follow
If you love him you will follow
If you love him you will follow him even ’til
His forest of glass
Forest of glass
His
Steal me away
Steal me away
From where I stand
Although I’m kneeling down
On the ground
Lift up your head
Lift up your heart
Lift up your head
Lift up your heart
Lift up your head
Lift up your heart
In his forest of glass
Forest of glass

Mirror Sculptures by Rob Mulholland

Mirror Sculptures by Rob Mulholland

*Tori Amos on ‘secret songs’ and SA“. IOL. 26 March 2014

Violet Dirge

 

PianoDeath.jpg

Not long ago I was asked which songs I want played at my funeral. I have always thought this a private request & although it is written in my will & there are a few close to me that know what needs to be played, I began to think more about this & about why I feel so protective about these songs.
 
Had I chosen the songs for me? For my family? For my husband? Would there be any mourners to hear the songs? Would they cry…? Do I want them to cry…?
 
I started to look across the web at other blogs & found that a lot of people are talking about this subject. I started to ask my friends & family about this. Almost all of them had a clear idea of what they wanted to be played at their funeral. Even though they will not be there to hear the songs or see the reaction it seemed intensely important to them.
 
Music has been a huge part of my life so I found it a difficult decision to pick just one song, so I settled on three & the version of the song is just as important as the song itself. It was a private experience, I am protective of these songs, they have been on every compilation I have ever made – they have been everywhere with me. These songs are like children to me. I will love them forever & I never grow tired of them. The lyrics speak to me, they remind me of events & emotions. I think about them constantly. They have been constant companions throughout every stage of my life.
 
To settle the question, yes, they were chosen for me. Not my family, my husband, or anyone else. And come the day that they are played the mourners may all look around the room & wonder why they are being subjected to these songs but (I hope) there will be a few in the room who will hear me in the songs & know why I chose them. If not, then they will be left with the puzzle to ponder – perhaps they can listen to them on a journey somewhere & think of me in a new light.
 
In The Air Tonight (Live Version) Phil Collins
 
A Forest (Acoustic Version)The Cure
 
Precious Things (Album Version) Tori Amos
 
There is one more song which I keep just for Corsmor, my Husband, it is not to be played at my funeral unless he chooses. It says so much about us & how we love each other – something I’ve described in the past as “nice weird”.
 
Deep In The Woods (Album Version) The Birthday Party (Nick Cave/Mick Harvey)

I have uploaded them to my YouTube video channel, you can view them by clicking on the name of the songs above.

Tadpoles

I have known Violet for a very, very long time. Some might say, I have always known her. She will always be a part of my life, whether I ever physically meet her, or not.
 
There are times, like now, when the house is quiet & there is nothing to do that I can almost hear her, calling me from the backyard pond, covered in mud, ankle-deep in tadpoles with a daisy chain in her hair… “Mum…!”

Please Please Please

Velvet Plantation

I met her when I was 7. We were friends. We were in love. She went away.

I thought about her every day for the longest time. Until we met again. 7 years later.

She showed me what love is. She came out of nowhere, even now, I am certain she did not walk, but floated. We were inseparable, we spent days, end upon end, with each other. She showed me how to kiss, how to love, how to want & how to need.

We floated on clouds & whispered with cotton ball mouths. We slipped open our veins & fed velvet lust to each other. I hear her voice in my head even now & I want to walk off a cliff for her.
 
There is a place I go – it used to be just us. I would see her there, lying in the grass staring up at the stormy sky – I would walk through a freezing stream, through fog, afraid & there she would be waiting. I would lie next to her, shivering, & with my eyes closed I would slip my hand in hers & wish the dark away. She would whisper my name through the haze – she would find the calm in me & pull it out. In all my darkest moments I have been in that forest with her, my calm brought back to me by her whisper.

For two decades it has just been us but now there is another – he stands tall like a terrible soldier – I freeze in my tracks & the girl that I was holding disappears. It is just me & I run. I run towards him, not away. I look behind me & there is no one there. I run alone, I run fast, I run right through him.

The faster I run through the forest the closer he gets to me until I cannot run anymore. This happens over & over until I cannot run anymore. The faster I run the harder he holds me when I finally find his heart against my heart, the beats blaring in my ears – he whispers so close to my ear that I feel his breath flow through me, warming me – he whispers my name & I whisper his.

Dreaming of the forest is something that haunts me, now daily. Everyday adds another beat, another breath, but it is the same fog, the same stream, the same grass, my girl & my soldier. Standing tall. Whispering my name.

Sometimes I wonder if they will ever meet. If he could bring her home.

She went away. We were in love. We were friends. I met her when I was 7.

watch: http://youtu.be/uYzkioskF6A


Forest

Clair de Lune (Moonlight)

I awoke screaming this morning with a man standing over the top of me. In those few seconds I was submerged in decades of memories & my heart pounded out of control. As my eyes focussed & my ears warmed up I heard Corsmor whisper,
    “Hey it’s only me… are you okay?”
I closed my eyes again, slowly. My eyelids visible to me as they shut out the light. Confusion & then relief. As I rubbed my sore neck & shoulders it was then I realised my skin was clammy with sweat & I was shaking uncontrollably.

I got myself up & shook the horror somewhere deep down while I showered & washed off the nightmares that I could not remember. The water was hot enough to burn my skin right to the bone; boil me alive. I stayed that way for an hour or more.

When finally I did get out of the shower, I saw myself in the foggy mirror, my naked body looking small & overwhelmed with red & stinging scars. As I dried my hair I remembered moonlight from my dreams. I wrapped a towel around myself & walked barefoot to my piano where I sat down. The notes from ‘Clair de Lune’ filled my mind. My fingers shook on the keys & I stroked them like a long-lost pet,
“can I remember how to play… this?” I whispered
Then, like the rusty magic of a teenage boy my fingers floated & pressed on the keys, I knew the tune & it knew me. Then came calm, unimaginable.

This tune is part of the soundtrack of my life – first heard as a girl. I dreamed of one day seeing Paris, of walking streets unknown, unseen. Lying somewhere on the grass staring up at a new night sky – stars I have never seen – in a place of beauty rivalled only by the music it makes in my mind.

(visit YouTube to hear – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LXl4y6D-QI)

Moonlight in Paris

1 Month

Online today I was doing some pregnancy & conception research. I went with the specific questions about ovulation & to check the app I had been using on my phone was calculating it correctly.

After watching some videos & reading the stories of women that conceived in various ways & timelines I moved my attention to searching for ‘conception after miscarriage’. I read a couple of articles but after 10 minutes I started to feel sad & uncomfortable. Anxiety took over my body & I had to close the sites down. I sat in my office for a few minutes staring at my wedding ring. Feeling the tightness in my chest & the spinning in my head begin to subside. I breathed slowly & evenly. It passed. Today marks 6 months since we lost our baby at 8 weeks & still I feel anxious at the thought of conceiving again.

Today our baby would be 1 month from being born & due on our wedding anniversary. For the last few weeks I have felt okay about this, positive that we would conceive again. Today, however, all I feel is sadness. I am trying to pick myself up with some positive music & to put it, somewhat, out of my mind. Distractions do not really work. I have to accept this because I have no choice, it happened to me, to us. It is just that some days I struggle desperately to let it go. To feel moved on. Like there is something holding me back. Memories…

I read back in this blog to earlier this year. The monumentally long blog about the day we lost the baby stings in my eyes as I read it. I have to stop. 
(Go HERE if you’d like to read it)
There are no platitudes here that make this better. No clichés. No quotes… And I am alone. Well, & truly, alone.

And I’m not gonna live my life on one side of an ampersand
And even if I went with you I’m not the girl you think I am
And I’m not gonna match you
Cause I’ll lose my voice completely yeah
I’m just gonna watch you
Cause I’m not the one that’s crazy
Yeah…

I have wasted years of my life
Agonizing about the fires
I started when I thought that to be strong, you must be flame retardant
And now to dress the wounds goes into question
How authentic they are
There is always someone criticizing me
She just likes playing hospital

Lying in my bed
I remember what you said
There’s no such thing as accidents

But you’ve got the headstone all ready
All carved up and pretty
Your sick satisfaction
Those his and hers matching
The daisies all push up’n
Pairs to the horizons
Your eyes full of ketchup
It’s nice that you’re trying
The headstone’s all ready
All carved up and pretty
Your sick satisfaction
Those his and hers matching
The daises all push up’n
Pairs to the horizons
Your eyes full of ketchup
It’s nice that you’re trying

And I’m not gonna live my life on one side of an ampersand
And even if I went with you, I’m not the girl you think I am

Amanda Palmer.  “Ampersand.” Who Killed Amanda Palmer. Roadrunner Records, 2008