EARTHLINGS

I saw some graffiti on a brick wall round the corner downtown, and it got me thinking. All it said was 'we are all earthlings' but it was pretty much a summary of  how I feel about the world now too. Let us all be equal earthlings, and I mean our plants, animals, ecosystems as much as our different nations and tribes of humans. This is my lyric response below:

Seen in Tyler Street, Auckland central, May 2016

Seen in Tyler Street, Auckland central, May 2016

We are all earthlings here
We are all made from stars
We are all part of this
Singles and multiples

Of the same chemistry
Somewhere our history
Caused us to separate
Like the tectonic plates

We are all innocent
And equally culpable
Magnets and gravity
Push and pull, anchor me

We are all earthlings here
Breathing this atmosphere
Hoping for cooler days
Fair play and justice reign

We are all earthlings here
Both of our hemispheres
Dreaming of northern lights
Dreaming of southern sights

All of our difference
Is part of the synchronous
System that made us
Our air and our universe

If now's the tipping point
What will we do to help
Keep this world balancing
Holding on by a string

We are all earthlings here
We are all earthlings here
We are all earthlings here

The prince has left his throne

I was beyond lucky to see Prince in concert at the Aotea centre this year in February, sadly his first and last time to ever grace these shores... When I read the news yesterday it hit me how beautiful a legacy he has left the world of music; he was larger than life and the show I witnessed was enthralling and inspiring for me as a human and a musician. An artistic statement that demonstrated commitment to the art of songwriting, as a channel to touch the universal and the divine in all of us. 

I woke up, and my heart fell, to the news just in
A star has fallen, gone with the wind
From this beautiful thing called life
I hear the music of the spheres
Just cannot compare
Oh this beautiful thing called life

I write, I sing, I hear the kids come in
They say why are you crying Mama?
I say it's just because...

A star has fallen
A prince has left his throne
For the music of the spheres
and it just cannot compare

I write, I sing, I hope, I'm all in
For this beautiful thing called life.

Thank you for the music #prince

I still believe in fairies but they hide real good in the city

I actually live on the edge of town and country to be fair, you can see a lot of fields out over Mangemangeroa Valley, which is only ten minutes walk round the corner, but this song got me when I was walking down Quay Street not long ago. Thinking of childhood, Turangi, holidays long ago.

 

COUNTRY HEART.


I dream of climbing mountains as I scale the cracks in the pavement
trying to find the heart beat below the ground
I still believe in fairies but they hide real good in the city

cos i'm just another city girl hiding my country heart
i'm just another city girl missing where I started from
everybody round here's real nice
I know I gotta nod and smile
but deep down I'm just another city girl
Hiding my country heart

It seems we're dime for a dozen
I know cos Facebook tells me so
All the other girls like me
Wishing they could turn back history

And I'm making it big in my own way
But all my friends still say
Oh you're just another one of those big city girls
Hiding your country heart
Yeah I'm just another city girl
Hiding my country heart

In my red high heels, I look like I'm so for real
I paint my eyes with gold, so I don't notice getting old...

Oh I'm just another city girl
I'm just another city  girl
Just another city girl
Hiding my country heart
I'm just another city girl missing where I started from
Everybody round here's real nice
I know I gotta nod and smile
But deep down I'm just another city girl
Hiding my country heart

I still believe in fairies but they hide real good in the city
I still believe in fairies...

And deep down I'm just another city girl hiding my country heart
I'm just another city girl missing where I started from
Everybody round here's real nice
I know I gotta nod and smile
But deep down I'm just another city girl
Hiding my country heart

What does the Fox say?

APRA was hosting one of their Songwriter Speaks events. Arthur Baysting and Peter Dasent together are a writing tour de force, and I found myself uttering the words 'cool', 'cute', 'gosh' in repetition till I had to zip my mouth, embarrassed by my little kid fandom. But it really did take me back, the whole story - they started writing together in 1978 - I was all of one year old. Contemporaries of my mum and dad, and their rock and roll mates. The music Arthur and Peter were writing is part of the soundtrack I grew up on. 

My favourite moments were when Peter would put his head to one side and remember how a song went then suddenly there it was in the room, metered out on the piano with joy. And when Arthur described going out to get songs, like they were the milk and bread from the corner store... yes please, one more.

So I listened, making mental notes of songs I suddenly needed to write, right now, inspired by their tales and stories of long ago, and just the other day. I had a light bulb moment when I realised - I could keep on doing this all my life like them, and still find unexpected awesomeness to unfold just around the next corner. For they are current writers, not only reminiscing about yesteryears songs. Me and my kids delight in their material for Justine Clarke, and I dream of jumping in and singing harmonies everytime I listen :)

One day. For now I have a date with the Fox River.

 

 

Play Kindly

I was fortunate to get the opportunity recently of composing a track and sound elements to accompany a new parenting app called "Play Kindly". This app was created by:

Tafa Dr Esther Cowley-Malcolm - Researcher/Producer/Project Manager.
Oscar Kightley - Script Writer and Voice Director
Ali Cowley- Creative Director/Animator/Game Designer

Check out their Facebook page for more details - this is one worth sharing far and wide, to spread the message that positive parenting matters.

80's child is full of grace

When I was ten my sisters and I learned every word of the Crowded House debut album that went number one around the world that year. Maybe it was the melody, maybe it was the words (I didn't really understand what they meant but loved them anyway), and maybe it was because our mum was in a covers band and we'd spent the last 5 years memorising songs (from Grace Jones and Laurie Anderson to Bananarama)  from her songbooks. 

These songs were in contrast to the family choir numbers we learned harmonies for at the farm. Amazing Grace. The Rose. Though we managed to get a Sinead O'Conner number into our sing a longs later along the way.

In that same year the Eurythmics album Sweet Dreams and Tracy Chapman's self titled debut LP also struck a chord in the memory banks. I got all inspired and imagined a very Pat Benatar kind of future. I don't know if my life has ever been so rock and roll again in fact, apart from the time when my high school band, which was managed by Martyn 'Bomber' Bradbury, performed 'I love Rock n Roll' at TGS Rockquest. I even got to wear Mum's white tassled  mini dress.