Tag Archives: music

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

 

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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.

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

33

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33 years of less Joy in the world. I hope your rest continues to be a peaceful one Ian Curtis.

“New Dawn Fades”

A change of speed,
a change of style.
A change of scene,
with no regrets,
A chance to watch,
admire the distance,
Still occupied,
though you forget.
Different colours,
different shades,
Over each mistakes were made.
I took the blame.
Directionless so plain to see,
A loaded gun won’t set you free.
So you say.
We’ll share a drink & step outside,
An angry voice & one who cried,
We’ll give you everything & more,
The strain’s too much, can’t take much more.’
I’ve walked on water, run through fire,
Can’t seem to feel it anymore.
It was me, waiting for me,
Hoping for something more,
Me, seeing me this time,
Hoping for something else

Keys in the Dirt

Despite the wanting to, it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to sit in a quiet house and play my piano like a mad woman. Though recently I’ve been feeling the notes in my fingers and I notice my fingers are playing tunes on every surface they touch. Tap, tap, tap. The steering wheel mostly – they involuntarily start campaigning against me.
 
Maybe it’s time to pull the piano back into the Garden…
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