Friday, October 15, 2004
Friday October 15, 2004 - Los Angeles, CA The East Coast was a blast. I was so overly jet lagged from the Aussie trip that I would go to bed at 4am every night… and still get up at 9am for meetings and to-dos. Hanging out with Patti from Smartwomen Radio, and her new bub Grace, was great. Got me a little clucky. Woah there. The Bitter End gig was an interesting one. Not as big a turn out than I was expecting. Last year it was packed. This year, the 8pm slot seemed too early. By 9pm, the place was full again. The piano, although historic and grand, is in the wrong spot to see the whole audience. No matter what direction you place it, I can't see the audience and we couldn't place it centre stage, only at the end of the stage, because of other bands setting up. That made me feel a little less appreciated and it kind of showed in my performance. I was unsettled by the sound, by the lack of audience (even my own friends who promised to be there did some no-shows), and by the very fact that most people were witnessing butt crack at the back of my jeans rather than my pearly white teeth and smile. I was constantly swinging my head backwards for people to see my face and my sense of humor even wore on me after a while ;) ANYway, afterwards we all (the fab de Fontenay brothers and friends and more…) crossed over to Gonzalez y Gonzales where Sounni once again gave us carte blanche on the food and margaritas. Oh.. My .. God. Fabo! Next day I could barely get out of bed to drink Eric's fab Café au Lait before heading to La Guardia for the day travel back to Los Angeles. So it's not surprising that by the time I got back to l.a I was absolutely pooped. And… no clean clothes and a bedroom that looked like a bomb had hit it. I had literally been out of the city for 6 weeks. But no rest for the wicked, I'm back into studio mode again recording my album and others. This is what I wrote on my enews the other day: "gilli moon has just flown in from 6 weeks abroad (Australia and the East Coast.) She launched the new Boston Songsalive! Chapter and made headway for the new NY chapter, plus spoke at the Nemo conference, and performed at NY's favorite Bitter End (piano has been twinkled by fab artists including Billy Joel and Elton John). Phew... Now, back in Los Angeles, she's majorly immersing herself in studio sessions for the next few months, recording her upcoming 05 release "extraOrdinary Life", plus producing debut Cds for the delightful Dina Gathe (L.A) and Hilde Sevens (Belgium). Meanwhile, catch her shows in the next few weeks where she will make some discreet appearances. Don't miss the Egg Festival with full band, a trip to Santa Barbara. Soon to come, a weekly residency at Fitzgeralds. Fabo! Gigs below and more to be announced on her website. go tours and buzz for more" Always the self-promoter, I actually decided to jump into a whole series of live gigs to keep me toasty in los angeles. I'm not doing an aussie xmas this year so I thought I'd make the most of the l.a lifestyle and create a social life by performing. L.a is not a city like ny where you can walk outside and be thrown into "lifestyle". You gotta make your own here. I have ONCE AGAIN been nominated for Best Solo Artist at L.A's Rock City Music Awards (Rockies). It's an interesting awards ceremony. I've missed the last 2 years even though I won, but apparently if you're not dressed for punk, rock, death metal, black , nose rings and tattoos, you look very much out of place. So.. Until next time...
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
Tuesday October 4, 2004 - Boston MA to New York, NY I'm on the Fung Wah bus to New York. It's a 4 hour ride, budget style. It's costs $15 to catch the Fung Wah bus. For that price, I was half expecting a slow, bumpy ride full of Asians and lots of chickens in cages heading to the markets in China Town Manhattan. If I wanted that kind of humour only seen on those stupid TV movies, I was sorely disappointed. This bus rides in style. The seats are plush and they even lean back so you can sleep a bit. We even have TV. I'm impressed! Last time I came to Boston from NY, I spent $100 on the train. This is way cooler, and way cheaper ;) Boston in the Fall is really nice. If you make sure you walk on the sunny side of the street, you can keep warm. My favorite past time in Boston is "stooping". It's the thing to do on the weekends. You go and get a coffee to go from somewhere, preferably Starbucks in South End, where all the yuppies and those of any sex persuasion live, and you sit, with leashed and manicured miniature poodle fluff on parade with you, on the stoop of the nearby brownstones. That's right, have dog will be noticed. Brownstones are the oldest terrace-style units in Boston and South End, where I was staying with Chris Marston, our Boston Songsalive! chapter coordinator, has the best Brownstone in the city of its size, location and price. He has a 2 storey mini-mansion, that starts below ground with kitchen, music studio (or second bedroom), mini-wine cellar (he's collected some beautiful wines we happened to taste every night around midnight), a back garden with fountain, a garage for car and even a deck above the garage for outdoor dining or nudist bathing... whichever tickles your fancy. Second storey is main bedroom, dining room, and living room including piano of course. This is a well furnished house and I was impressed with his style. So "stooping" refers to sitting on the front stoop ( the stairs) leading up to the main door of a Brownstone. Chris and I spent time soaking in the sun drinking double whipped 5 shot caramel or vanilla lattes, admiring dogs and their owners reading the Boston Phoenix.. the best music street mag in Boston. Apart from stooping, I did a lot of other "ing" things, like speaking, singing, performing, shopping and walking. I had much to do in Boston. Mission accomplished. The Nemo Music Conference was on the weekend and Songsalive! was a media partner so I needed to attend, and spoke on a panel about the changes in the music industry. I find these music conferences pretty much the same across the country though. Nothing unique about this one, except that some of the artists were fabulous and it even got me out both weekend nights to hit the town and check out the showcases. We first went to Club Passim which is a great songwriters venue in Cambridge. I think we'll end up doing Songsalive! showcases there because the room is congenial to acoustic music, where the audience is there to actually listen. I am always shocked to see most clubs who profess to book and support live music, also have the footy on the big wide screen television blaring out. I'm going to start boycotting sports bars. I hate watching tv while I perform! But Club Passim was built around music and also had some great vegie food. I give it two thumbs up. I caught Keane's performance too. They are really good and very refreshing for a rock band. Out of the U.K they don't have any guitars on stage (what a concept), and the songs are centred around the piano and the drummer. Three guys on stage, hair everywhere, ready to rock, the lead guy sang love songs, showed his sensitive mushy side about being dumped, and had his piano player and drummer (only) back his beautiful voice. The bass and some guitar seemed to come through the speakers though, so they must have been performing to track. It was great though. Girls were screaming in the audience and the room was packed. All in all, the Nemo conference was well worth it, catching up with Madalyn from Go Girls Music, Kelly Z from L.A (who got sloshed and we took lots of funny pics of her that we are going to spread all over the internet as blackmail ;), touring artists, industry reps and more. Being in Boston was very nostalgic because this time last year I was here with the Eric Idle tour. We all started from Boston and bussed it to Rutland Vermont, then returned for a show at the Orpheum. We stayed in the Hyatt, where Nemo was held. Gosh time flies. It's already a year later. Wow! We also kicked off the inaugural Songsalive! Boston showcases this weekend. Chris and I worked well together. He scored the venues and is a really enthusiastic chapter coordinator. Plus, him on sound, and me hosting and cracking stupid jokes, introducing each artist both showcase nights was a blast. We had 14 artists the first night at the Asgard Cambridge, and 8 artists the next night at Dick's Last Resort. The Asgard is an Irish restaurant and pub in the famous university town, just down the road from Harvard and Berklee school of music. Whilst I wasn't fussed on the food, the Boddingtons beer was delicious (I can never find that beer but it's my favourite) and he area where we set up the stage was like a little cul-de-sac so that those who wanted to dine and talk could do so further away, and those who wanted to fervently watch the show and listen quietly could too. Dick's Last Resort, on the other hand, is an all american seafood joint in Boston where the waiters' job is to make fun of you. So we and the general patrons were constantly berated, picked on and laughed at. Kind of a sick theme for a venue, but we managed through it with a sense of humour. After all our performers finished singing original tunes, we got a bunch of yahoos from the audience to come up and sing Sweet Caroline, which got the whole place jumping. I was so impressed with the calibre of musicianship from our songwriters here, plus the amount of keen writers who want to see Songsalive! grow in the area. We hosted some touring artists, like Kat Parsons and Kristin Sweetland, and discovered a few locals, such as Freddy Hall, a 19 year old from Berklee who will be big. Mark my words! Some hot artists to watch are Kristi Martel, Susan Levine, Sarah Woolf, Arielle Silver, Bill Downes and Patty Keough. Plus Chris Marston writes beautiful romantic songs that are real hits! I think it was a good idea getting the Boston chapter going. It's much needed in this town. Songwriting can be such a lonely process, and the reason why I started Songsalive! was to create a community, a "home" for songwriters to gather, share, find support and network. I found, after this weekend's experience, that it really is important I visit the chapters and the new cities, to kick off their programs and events. This past weekend was a true example of how successful it can be. So I'm on the bus off to New York. Manhattan here I come. Saturday night I have a show at the Bitter End in the Village. I love the Bitter End. I played it last year. The best piano players of all time have played their honky tonk piano. It's only honky tonk now because it's so old. Billy Joel, Elton John and more have played here. I'll be sure to write the names later. So a few days milling about in NYC with friends, take in a few shows, pop into the Australian Institute of Dramatic Arts for an acting class, and hey I might even vote our prime minister out at the Aussie consulate. Our elections are coming up. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Wednesday October 5, 2004 - New York, NY First night in Manhattan and I already feel like a native. Well, as long as I have my trusty subway map with me I'm fine. (They come free by the way, from the subway peeps.) I had tea with Francie Alston, a dear dear friend of our family. Then I ran across 39th street to 7th to AIDA for a free Acting class with Paul Parker. I'd only met Paul in social scenarios in L.A but his Australian Institute of Dramatic Art has gotten some hot attention in l.a. Now he has set up a NY chapter and I think it's great. I'm not sure what the means by the "aussie technique" in acting, but i gave it a shot and got chakrad, breathed, emoted and worked on for 2 hours last night, and I seriously think I'll join the l.a school. Their website is www.aidaacting.com. Go check it out. Off to Bleeker street to meet Eric De Fontenay, who I was staying with. Eric and Sounni are probably the most famous brothers in the indie music biz, and I am their house guest this week. Sounni runs a Mexican restaurant called Gonzalez y Gonzalez on Broadway and Bleeker and he treated me like royalty with one margarita after the other and delicious tasters from the kitchen. Eric and I talked till 2 in the morning on politics, music business, creativity and anything else that came to our minds. We talked in the restaurant, we talked walking to the subway, on the subway and back at the pad. He's got a great mind and I was thrilled. I don't know what the homeless guy thought! Slept like a log and am off to vote, have lunch with Francie, and record some songs with a label for some dance releases. Only in NY! -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thursday October 6, 2004 - Montclair NJ Three states in 3 days. World traveller! I'm staying with SmartWomen.Org founder Patti Wolf, in Montclair NJ, once home to La Toya Jackson apparently. I was here last year when on my first East Coast Tour. Yesterday I met up with Lilla and Eddie from Kult Records and we cut a new song called Crave, to be released through their new compilation coming up. It's quite exciting to cross musical boundaries into dance. They have some mean beats. Eric and I have been chatting to the wee hours of the morning about the upcoming election and also about rock music, which sometimes is part of the same topic really, and so i had to escape to Patti's place to rest up and sleep for da bigga show at the Bitter End on Sat night. Should be a hoot.
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Thursday, September 02, 2004 - Monterosa, near Wollombi, NSW Australia aussie bush sounds i sneaked in to australia on friday night to visit my folks and take a spell from recording. it's been an intense but glorious 6 weeks of recording songs for Extraordinary Life. Being home, on the mountain, surrounded by gum trees and wildlife, is invigorating and also peaceful. i'm running at least 5 miles a day and getting warrior fit. i'm taking time in going over the tracks from the studio, reflecting, planning, enjoying, smiling. I'm reading and listening to Toltec magic stories. It's nice to be home. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Tuesday, September 07, 2004 a certain sense of calm before the storm i find it interesting being back in australia and it's cold, wet and sleeting... but it's spring. this is certainly an odd time to be at home. i managed so well to balance my year with summer summer all year round, but coming home in Sept has offset that!!! Anyway, it's really nice being here and i'm getting on with lots of projects including listening to my half finished album project, and filming my first short film for the Wollombi Short Film Festival. I'm definitely making a funny short film, that will be just plain and outright silly. Can't be too serious in 5 minutes. I'm also thinking of chopping all my hair off. It's half way down my back, but it just gets in my way. I'm thinking of something short and punky. Might be an interesting look for extraOrdinary promotions. The album is now going to be called "extraOrdinary Life" with the hyphen being significantly important to deliniate between extra and ordinary, both interesting words in themselves and when put together creating the perfect double entendre, no? Back to creating and thinking. Lots of thinking. And reading. An writing. And doing. And doing nothing too. ;) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Tuesday September 14, 2004 I've had a really bad bout of the blues which lasted until yesterday. it's amazing how silly boys can affect your heart. phewy. but now... i'm learning to laugh again. i just finished my first short film which i wrote, performed in, filmed and edited. It's a 4 minute spoof called "Funky Talk" starring Fleur Flem (me) interviewing Mr. John "How's Your Father" Snortbottom (my chin, with eyes drawn on it and funny glasses), about the subject of politics. I'm entering it into the Wollombi Short Film Festival which will be live on Friday 24th Sept, 2 days before I depart. Funny silly things to do on the mountain ;) It goes something like this... Funky Talk, with Fleur Flem Fleur Flem: Good evening. Today we have the pleasure to interview a very special guest live from Tweedleslurp Wetdung County, a consummate and celebrated antipathist turned politician, Mr. John, “How’s Your Father” Snortbottom. John Snortbottom: Good evening. FF: Thank you for being with us tonight. J: I think it’s my pleasure. FF: It has been suggested, Mr Snortbottom, that you might be running for the government. Is that correct? FF: Well that’s a definite possibility. I: I see, and could you please define what you mean by ‘definite possibility’? FF: Simply said, it’s definite that I might run the Senate. Yes. I: Well then. So let me get this correct for our viewers, you say - ‘definite possibility’ meaning you say it’s possible… but surely it’s not definite at all? FF: No, I am saying that it’s a definite possibility because there’s a possibility that it will be definite. FF: Right. Um… But isn’t that just contradicting yourself? J: Quite possibly not at all. FF: Well, by saying that something is definite and then adding that it’s possible, wouldn’t that be only creating an oxymoron? J: Noooo. Of Course I may say ‘definite possibility’ as being completely and certifiably possible. Look, If I just said it’s definite then there would be no question it would happen, but you see in this case I can’t be sure it will happen… and by saying it’s just possible would be too ambiguous and vague, so by combining ‘definite’ and ‘possible’ I’m letting you know that it’s possibly definite. (pause) FF: Ahhhh…., but if you say it’s a definite possibility then you’re neither giving me the definite nor the possible. It’s like you’re null and voiding both because it doesn’t make sense. How can you be definite and possible at the same time? J: (pause) How can what be definite and possible at the same time? FF: How, how can … what we were talking about be definite and possible at the same time? , how can … what we were talking about be definite and possible at the same time? , how can … what we were talking about be definite and possible at the same time? , how can … what we were talking about be definite and possible at the same time? J: What were we talking about? FF: (confused) Ah…. (getting situated) Well I’m sorry to cut this interview short but we seem to have run out of time. That was “Mr. John, “How’s Your Father” Snortbottom on the subject of….um… politics… Next week we will be talking to the great African Swahili Opera Diva, Dame Wajia Tickleyourfatasswithafeather, on the subject of Touring on a Low Carb Diet. Until then, Goodnight.
Friday, August 20, 2004
matt thorne and i have been working on loops for the album and i'm really having a ball. i've recorded tim davies' drums for most songs, but sometimes it's fun squashing them up in a box and adding weird sounds. i'm enjoying reversing symbols, and distorting sounds just to carry the rebellious theme along. on another tangent, i've been reading alot of books on the Toltec warrior lately. I've got links on my warriorgirl page. The Four agreements are particularly interesting: 1. be impeccable with your word 2. don't take things personally 3. don't make assumptions 4. always do your best The silent warrior is in all of us. it's not about war, nor fighting and definitely not about struggle. it's about an inner peace and a whole lot of courage to face all fears in un-chartered waters, finding the path least travelled and at the same time, finding the path of least resistance. I take responsibility to my self. I follow a preserved set of personal freedoms. I am not without flaw, and in tolerating that i see and use my strengths. The warrior, the artist, the professional, can only be effective when free to make decisions on their own. The biggest secret is to do what you love most. Take on the Zen spirit! I am a warrior girl and I encourage everyone to tap into their warrior within. nice reading ;) g MORE
Wednesday, July 07, 2004
. I can't be sure when I started to go "inward" but i do believe it happened during my 3 month tour with Eric Idle. Being on the road, performing and working in a fashion that was completely different to my normal mode of operandi, allowed me to get out of the "gold fish bowl" and really seek to understand my journey in an objective sense. I remember long bus rides through snow country up near the Canadian border, watching endless white plains and listening to Sting, and trying to hear the real silence going on within. By the time I got to Australia for the December summer, I was exhausted from touring, from performing, from delivering everything outward, which was an accumulation of years of self-projection. I knew I needed a big long rest. Aussie beaches, familiar faces, and sitting on top of my mountain created solace and inner peace, but the weariness persisted. I returned to Los Angeles in the U.S Spring and jumped right back into the mouse wheel. I never questioned my innate creative habits and had the ability to turn everything I touched to gold. Or so I thought. I planned my next album production, threw myself into writing songs, collecting songs, gathering information. My schedule became heavy again with live performances, talk appearances, conferences, website promotions, meetings and travel. I even attracted a love interest which allowed me to plan even further into the long distance future. Wow, what a concept... my whole life mapped out for me in a millisecond. But just when you least expect it, I began singing "...and the walls came tumbling down.. and the walls, came tumbling, tumbling..." Studio schedules conflicted and then canceled, producers backed out, touring plans went on hold and "the one" became an intangible and conditionally wrong use of my awkward and idealistic vocabulary. Just when I thought I had planned my life, I now ended up not even knowing how to plan today. I have had to go completely still... and listen to the silence. Inward journeys like these are lifelong, and it's not the first time I've succumbed to the gray, but I know this time it's timely and very important, in order for me to grow as an artist and human being. Everything I've ever dreamed of I am now questioning. I want to demystify the illusions we sometimes depend on to live. Love. "the one". Fame. Success. Art. I want to demystify the need for approval and acceptance from others in order to live a fulfilled life as an artist and human being. I can only imagine that by going inward, and knowing who we really are, and love who we really are, that there is no need to seek approval or acceptance, .... from fans, from the industry... from our loved ones. I know that if we push, we get blocked. If we want, we go without. But if we yield, life becomes magic. Push, shove, I try to fight it Mighty warrior girl Lean and strong I can resist anything Create anything. Master of my destiny The will, the force, the energy. Surely nature succumbs to me. .... and yet not. I have no control this time. It comes, a mighty wind. A crunch, a hard crack. Bang. I resist. I succumb To the power beyond my control. Beyond foreseen voyeurs. I am a victim of circumstance. It hits my heart like a train and throttles me in five directions. Crack, whip. My eyes close. I protect... yet nothing. What if I were 2 paces back? I would have missed the missile, the blow. Or if behind in danger My life would be over. And so I am lucky. Life is like that. One never knows where IT will flow from or break through or END you. Go with the flow Enjoy the moment as moments are so few. I want to deconstruct ego. Ego is healthy. But I want to deconstruct it nevertheless and really, truly see what it is, when it comes to performance. The opening segue for my new album will be called Deconstruction. Here are the words: Deconstruction I hold my breath I catch myself It oozes from my pores I resist I put up walls ‘Cause I fear to fall But what is this fear I feel An inability to stand tall Never lose my sense of self Rigid in my id You come to me open arms and I deconstruct all ego Deconstruct the self Surrender to swimming Underwater upside down Deconstruct the fear Dip into the well Clean out the cobwebs Decompose addiction Surrender deconstruction. Let it come. Who am I but no one special Perfection doesn’t make me. I float and be the bag Wherever wind takes me. Be mine, my sweet wine, As I disassemble the priority line I’m facing a highway and feeling Tender in my convictions. Am I alone in this dualism of creation? We’re born alone, we live alone we die alone. That’s what the angel sang to me but I resist I want more than this. I deconstruct the symbols and the signs And find metaphors to guide me to unity Clarity Together, another, love beyond the borders Of my own heart. Can there be two hearts that beat like one? Many paths I’ve travelled, many roads have led me here. I cry I laugh I shout I retreat Circumstances created fear. I’ve lived a thousand years and spoken with devils and angels I run the mile, the lonely mile Path least travelled through the ages. And in my rhetoric Of this moment being mine Past present future It’s one delicious glass of wine Solitude is comforting But it’s not where I want to be I’m blindfolded ready Into the abyss you guide me Goddess, mother, warrior, man, Lover, mermaid, phoenix, wife Husband, father, sister, brother, Jump into my extraordinary life As we are tested we fund the power to avert blockage and defeat. But I am not defeated. On the contrary, my heart beats strong and wild, and even in my sleep my imagination and creativity pour through me like liquid gold. But I am here to tell you that I am dealing with loss of illusion. All my life I've wanted something and when I find out what that something truly is - I'm not sure if that's what I want or is right for me. Perhaps until now I've looked at life through rose colored glasses. It's time to shatter conditional goals.. that create this illusion. The glass has shattered and I am finding clarity. Between the black and the white I find clarity Between the darkness and light You resurrect me I am a vision in white Serenity Come inside my extraordinary life I can only say that the process for making this album is a wonderful one. Already I've had delays, people in and out of my life, my heart has exploded and deploded, music is created, and then put aside, then re-touched.. and I haven't even gone into the studio yet. I have had to run the gamut of emotions in order for me to truly embark on such an opus, because it really is about living an extraordinary life, and that doesn't mean always fun and amazing. Well, amazing yes. But I've had to touch the dark side too, like the temperamental one in that other album. I've had to feel love, pain, loss, tears, joy, heart, skin, water, earth. And this is my life. But i've had to remember it all in a bubble called 2004 which is only half way. Last sunday I experienced an amazing heart explosion. I sat under the 4th July fireworks at the Rose Bowl and allowed my body to reach into the sky and explode with the fireworks. I was fortunate enough to be with the pyrotechnics team and laid on the grass... right... under ... where they lit the fireworks. It was like I was IN the fireworks and they cracked inside of me. What kaleidoscope of color, line and perspective. I knew I was alive in that moment, living and breathing and feeling, really feeling. At one point i was crying. It.. was... amazing. I always want to feel things Big. That's probably why I have a crazy notion on love, on dreams, on living and attaing the ideal. I am a poet, a philosopher, and I see the potential of an ideal world. Am I the only one? It's such a lonely path to believe in life so much, in dreams, in the possibilities. the white the pedestal you place me on the art you glorify the picture you create of me the image you identify. the black the bubble which you wish to burst the ego of you i reflect the expectations you deflate the negatives you project all of which are neither me, none, not truly it's in between you'll find the truth, it's where you'll find me. what you see that is "out" there may be something you identify or deny but the inner is what you may never know and if i don't touch it i may never be able to show So right now, it's time to direct my energies inward. I've been so OUTWARD for years. Everyone has bought into the illusion, even me. So let's shatter that for a moment, deconstruct what is (or isn't) and go in, way in, to a still place call id, to the child, back to me. For if I lose sight of that inner life, and instead only focus on the aspect of my life that is outward, then I will lose sight of the greatest source of strength and competence I could possible have
Saturday, May 01, 2004
Nashville TN - U.S.A Wednesday March 10, 2004 - i've been touched by an angel I have had the most amazing week in Nashville TN. Of all places on earth, lightning has hit me. I've been touched by an angel. I have felt like the walking dead for a while, as I've been in retreat, silence mode, licking my wounds, and evaluating my path. Time in Australia taught me to step back and relinquish the control on everything I do. It was easy to turn my back for a while and think, not do, not plan, not create even. Just be. I returned to the U.S with still a need for rejuvenation, like my holiday was cut short. What I'm beginning to realize is that it's not a vacation I'm looking for, but a life change. I am changing my way of approaching things, as we speak. It's important for an artist to always know that they are always at the beginning of the road, and to see life like a child. I am ready for my next metamorphosis, to bedazzle in a new chameleon state. I have found, in a few days, through a catalyst that not even the catalyst knows how powerful it was for me, a profound awakening in me. I have been touched, and zapped alive, and I am hungry now for more. "More please...." I have been the only one making things happen for me. I know, I practice it, I preach it, I write about it. Artist empowerment, doing it yourself, don't wait for others, blah blah blah. Most of you know me as the feisty, strong, energetic warrior girl who ceases to amaze with her tireless energy and multi-tasking. I jump leaps and bounds and can pull rabbits from hats and leap small buildings with a single... no. no. no this is not really me. But I have certainly been boundless to say the least. Somewhere along the line, the road can get weary. Wouldn't it be nice if you didn't have to do all this alone? That for once you had a leg up, an angel who could say, "I'll take care of you..." Well I got taken care of in Nashville and it allowed me to want to give so much more in return and this has re-energized me. Ok, so how did it all unravel in Nashville? It began all quite innocently as a neat, paid, vocal session job on a music project. A few days in Nashville, maybe make some calls, get around, do a talk at the Songwriters Guild to some songwriters, enjoy the hotel and HBO/cable, yadayadayada and get out of there back to L.A. Back to my safe nest of what and who I know. But instead of wanting a quiet escape, I couldn't leave. I didn't want to leave Nashville and the moment i was living that became eternal. Firstly, the song I performed enraptured me. I fell in love with the song, the music, the passion, the story behind the song, the production. I had heard this song over and over before but once i owned it vocally, I embraced it like a mother. I didn't write this song. But I want to nurture it. It became me. I was treated like a vocal queen in the studio and allowed to be 100% creatively unencumbered. I was treated with respect and above all, amazing compassion. Because of this, I wanted to see the song's process every step of the way, from recording, comping, mixing and mastering. I can't wait to see where it will go, and how it will come alive, as it has brought new life to me. Secondly, then came the gracious welcome from Nashville. Mr Doak Turner, the hub of the city, the only person you need to know there! Thank you Doak. A great seminar at SGA where songwriters were hungry for my thought and prayed i will return to give more, to share more, and undoubtedly start a Songsalive! chapter. 5 songwriters shot up there hand in enthusiasm to start a community there, a place i thought we weren't needed. I see now that our community is indeed needed. A grass roots, volunteer, community driven group that will support everyone as it gets supported. I witnessed a zest and enthusiasm for music and the business of music I have not seen in a long, long time, here in Nashville. Songwriters, of all ages, are loving what they do. They are working, getting an income, pitching, getting cuts. They are professional working songwriters, showing such amazing joy. Everyone had a smile on their face and I have missed it. I want more of it around me, rather than the jaded, poor, sad, frustrated songwriter I see so much in L.A and Australia. But above all and most importantly, there was the underlying plan for my week here, that surprised me, hit me over the head gently, that crept up to me and said, .."it is time for you gilli to reach out and touch and be touched..." something I never planned on, that swept me so far up into the heavens only God and I can understand together and muse over. For the first time in years I not only was able to listen, truly listen to someone else, but also share my inner self to someone else. I have run a silent solitary course for so long. I felt invigorated. We, this new person and me, spent days and nights without sleeping much in deep intellectual conversation, in spiritual connection, in emotional comfort, in innocent physical comfort, exploring the meaning of life, the passion for music, the art of film, the love of food, the notions of humanity, ... of global harmony, ... of one-ness, ... of relationship, of ... self, and health, .... of relinquishing, ... of surrendering... of giving because it's needed...of trust. I return to L.A with a new incite. Perhaps a reminder of who I know I'm supposed to be. A new way of being and seeing. No push. No stress. No rush. No thousands of things to do on my agenda. Perhaps, no agenda. It's time to just create, to love music again, to enjoy relationship, to enjoy the days and the moment, the seconds by seconds, to live the path of the warrior. I am free. Los Angeles CA - U.S.A Saturday May 1, 2004 - awards, studio and hilarious notions of surrender Wild couple of months since leaving Australia and that beautiful Nashville week. I had an interview with Willow from www.integralnaked.com (it will go live very soon, hold on to your pants) and she picked up on the beautiful vibe of my Nashville experience. Life changing, let me tell you! L.A life has been kind. It's hard to get settled back into one place having been living out of a suitcase for 7 months and tripping across the nation. I feel like a vagabond, a gypsy, held hostage in a camp (fly be free!), but at least my camp here is safe, creative and nurturing. I've been very productive lately. It's time for the making of the new album and right now we are going through song choices. some songs are from my past, and it's hilarious listening to old 4 track analog demos of these songs. ironically the lyric content is quite relevant to today. it's like i live in a "no time continuum"... past present future merge into one moment of now. plus i've written heaps of new songs. did an interview with buzz communications and i found an old one with paul cashmere in australia which i think is awesome as it truly reflects my musical upbringing. there's been a few other cool things happening. jeff young and i are teaming up musically (so much to tell, so little space here) and he's written up about his trip here in march and our performing together on his website www.jeffyoung.ws. he used to play guitar for Megadeth ("it was the best acting experience of my life") and now he's jumped into gypsy (i found another gypsy!) and flamenco rhythms. you will certainly hear more from this collaboration as we move forth as i've just absconded him as co-producer on the new album. talking of which, don't expect to see some normal boring jewel case 1 cd type release for Extraordinary Life. How can a release be extraordinary if it isn't released extraordinarily?! So expect much much more. For starters, a great, laid back, chill album that even I want to put on my stereo. Then, a DVD interview/video/audio thingy that will allow you to come into my world. Plus, I'm re-packaging my last 3 albums, "Girl In The Moon" (never released before), "temperamental angel" and "Woman" all together as 1 cool eco-pack called eVOLUTION. I can't wait to put it out. It will hopefully have "temperamental angel" remixed out of it's current garage mix feel that doesn't do my voice justice, and eVOLUTION will be at a great price to get the whole shebang. Then, fans can buy the new cd "Extraordinary Life" as its own gem, for your collection. I'm currently choosing songs, working out arrangements and picking studios. Keep close the diary for the ongoing recording process, that i hope to share with you here. So... some really cool live performance info... I had a wonderful, wonderful show on Thursday night as part of the Los Angeles Music Awards. It was at Monsoon Cafe and they have a brilliant sound system and nice grand piano (i want one for christmas). The room was full and my band were switched ON. Kenny on bass was smooth as silk, Tim never took his eyes off me, which is what all good drummers should do, and Gordie turned his acoustic guitar amp to get some distortion which was trippy but appropriate. We had rehearsed the show as a laid back acoustic chill set, but once in the room, we were buzzing, the audience was buzzing, and the energy forced us to bring it up a notch so to speak. very important to listen to the room ;) Moses Avalon even paid to get in (he's never bought a ticket in 10 years), Brent Harvey, man in charge, and Al Bowman, other man in charge, were all smiles and I believe I've just been nominated for Best Female Singer/Songwriter which is a cool award and only 3 gals get nominated for this. I came home so happy because I knew that i too was switched on, I could feel the energy and I felt that the 6 years in l.a was finally paying off. Ultimately, it's all about the music, and feeling that music, and i did that night. If there's anything I can share with other artists from this experience it is to be in this business because of your passion for your art... nothing else, because it's the passion alone that will get you through and set you free. Signing off. Welcome to a brave new world. gilli
Monday, March 01, 2004
Friday December 26, - Monterosa, NSW I don't remember the last time the Cicadas were so loud. They're almost screaming in my ears. I think it's been around 10 years. We've had a drought and they don't like to be around us in the drought. This year we've had good rain, so it's Cicada time again. Did you know they actually pee on you? When I was a kid i made up a song, singing "Cicada pee germ, cicada pee germ..." over and over again, as I ran through the fields under the trees getting peed on in the summer. It wasn't that bad (I see your faces grimace.) We'd just jump into the river after. No biggie. It's really, really nice to be home. I'm exhausted. I've travelled the United States 3 times in 2003 alone, and seen every state except Oklahoma and Kentucky and probably a couple more. But I've seen and travelled a lot. It's time for reflection, family, health, sunshine, and nature. The house looks fantastic. I love Monterosa. There are so many trees and cute animals (we have possums and little wren birds that come into the house.), and the weather, although hot, is magic. The isolation of where we live is welcoming at this time in my life. I need breathing space. On Christmas morning I got up early and went for a run. I love running in the bush. I hear the birds, the black cockatoos, and the kookaburras (laughing like monkeys), and the rustling of the bushes as animals hide. It's crisp. The air is clean. The water is fresh. I feel rejuvenated already. By lunch time my mum, dad and i were really getting into silly season mood. mum bought a box of wigs and some theatre costumes at a garage sale, so we all got silly and dressed up! Xmas with my folks is the best gift a girl could ask for. We opened gifts and I showed the Eric Idle tour video (the behind the scenes one which is a total blast to watch.) Without unpacking totally, we drove down to Club Tac, our other house on the river and lake near Wyong, to spend the holiday season by the water. Way to hot to be out in the bush. They bought a new car, a little 4WD Ferosa that the roof comes off. It rocks. I drove it down. I hadn't driven in 3 months! And this time on the left hand side of the road. I talked to myself the whole drive, "left side is good... left side is good... left side is good." Tacoma is cool, and a summer heaven. We have a new loft above the garage with a superb view of the river, and it is perfect for my time here, to relax and get back in balance. The cicadas are still loud and I have two pet frogs outside who ribbet at night. A girl and a boy. How cute. I'm truly at peace. Saturday December 27, 2003 - Club Tac, N.S.W, Australia When I was considerably younger, I was inspired by our neighbour Bill, who seemed to consummately be creative all day long, every day, all year. He would design his days methodically, compartmentalizing his creativity in time segments. For example, mornings were music, some piano, maybe flute, then some art, by lunch he's writing his book, afternoon building parts of the house, back to some printing, more music, and it's dinner, and so forth. I always wanted to be like Bill. To be constantly creative. To be busy in my artistry from dawn to dusk. I would feel a sense of accomplishment if i could be like that. Living overseas in Los Angeles has been the perfect conduit for my creativity, to expand my compartmentalization on a bigger scale and be constantly creative, constantly busy. With my goals intact, I have successfully designed my life to be one perpetual busy creative life, with my home office buzzing with inventory and stock for CDs, books, flyers, posters, other artists' products and Warrior Girl Music and Songsalive! affairs. 2 sometimes 3 computers going at the same time, phone calls in and out and touring and promotional work on a constant basis. My paintings hang the walls, and I can create music daily if I want to. I am project driven, and have many going simultaneously. Just back from a 3 month tour, and 2 tours before that just this past year, I've seen the country, built my company, shared my artistry and have a new album in the pipeline. I could say that I succeeded in what I always saw and wanted in my neighbour Bill. Perpetually being creative. I remember people asking me, "Gilli, what is your ambition? What do you want?" And I remember responding, "I want to be constantly creative." Well, here I am. Constantly creative. I have learnt that creativity is innate. That, in fact, we are all constantly creative. So where does that put me? If i was already constantly creative, what I have created for my life now? Busy-ness? A pretence of successful creativity that requires immense fortitude and the ability to answer 300 emails a day and deal with the business more so than artistry. Being an entrepreneur is an interesting beast, but it doesn't give you solitude. I run an organization, albeit with a strong team too, that requires daily attention. Currently it's tax issues, to be able to operate on a non-profit level. Mostly it's dealing with artists and songwriters constantly seeking advice, counsel, opportunities, gigs, ... their ambitions fulfilled. And what about my ambitions? Do any of these artists truly care about what I want? Or how much time in the day I have for myself? Do they even ask these questions in their own circle of life around themselves? I search for peace. To get off this "constant" spin. I yearn for wide open beaches, surf and sunshine, because that calms me. I don't want life to be hectic. I am now no longer wanting a compartmentalized day filled with busy-ness. I search for simplicity. Less. Notwithstanding, with all intentions of goals attained, passions fulfilled and ambitions realized, I am still on my spiritual and creative journey. And I'm proud of what I've established, on far off soils. The challenges I've faced have made me stronger and taught me so much. But surely there's an easier way, no? Am I to constantly be moving? Perpetually chasing, jumping, pole-vaulting? How much of this business of creativity to I have to constantly control and battle in order to just be creative? I wrote a book about this question, and yet, here I am considering my options. Serious decisions. Weighing up my best course of action. Wondering if there is another way. There must be. For I am exhausted. The warrior girl has been to battle and come home very weary this time. Being back home, going back to my roots, is very important. I hope that many do that on a constant basis. It's important to go back to one's roots, to find the answers, to remember who we are and where we came from. I know that my personality craves creativity, and projects. I'm a project driven person. So stopping is just not in my psyche. Even as i sit here, in the loft at Club Tac (the affectionate name for our place on the river at South Tacoma ~ who needs Club Med when you have Club Tac ;) - I am still doing things. I'm tying up end of year loose ends in paperwork and emailing people. I don't think I can ever stop. But my spirit requires definite stillness. I am doing this. The candle is lit, the incense on, the quartz and amethyst close by. Books by Newman and Berkowitz "How to Be Awake and Alive" and Fortgang's "Living Your Best Life" sit next to me, quelling my anxieties and constant desires to move. These books will still me. Reading is one of God's best medicines. Writing is too. I remember in November 1999, when i was awaiting to go into hospital for major surgery on my ovaries (i had a football sized dermoid cyst on my right ovary and it was removed), I had gone through such spiritual stillness then too. I began to write my book "I AM A Professional Artist" then, and during recovery. This book has propelled me into experiences and journeys I never imagined for myself. I've travelled the country talking at seminars and music conferences, inspired hundreds of artists in my writings and beliefs, beliefs we all know but need to be reminded about. I've really enjoyed this new path as an author. My aunt asked me at Xmas lunch yesterday, "Gilli, what does your tag line under your emails mean?" "Revolution never happens suddenly on a global scale. Revolution happens on the streets. It's time to unleash the warrior within" I think she thinks I'm a communist or something. Or that I like war. I like neither. I don't agree with war, nor organized politics, nor organized religion. I'm a spiritual student, a renaissance believer, a one woman thinker and idealist in a world of peace and harmony, without organizations controlling us. We, as artists, are nomads, dictating our own philosophies, religion and way of life. It's my belief that because we are such free spirits, that no organization should control us or our art. So, for the music industry, it can only burn and die if controlled by non-artists who only want to make money off the art, who just want control over copyright and tangible objects. But art is not tangible. It's a philosophy, expressed through 2D and 3D matter, but it only lives through it an beyond. Art, its message, does not remain only on that object as finite. It continues through and onto the next artwork, the artist breathing his or her way of seeing constantly through everything they touch, infinitely. I keep seeing ideologies and perceptions about my view of life through my art. In college, from 1988 - 1991, I was obsessed with the ideology of the mask, as were Carl Jung, and Rembrandt. The dark, the light on the face, the personalities we exude through the various masks we wear. I designed a huge, 10 x 10foot camera box one looks in to, and exhibited self-portrait photos in various guises, 2 mirrors and and 2 tv screens playing my first music video called Shadows. All about expression, the mask, the personalities we express. A thesis 300 pages long. I was 2nd in the year in art school that year. My name, gillimoon was all about choosing a mask. The moon is a mask. It represents personality, it controls women's cycles. It became meaningful to me. Then along came "temperamental angel". My sophomore album that launched my artistry in the States. It's all about masks. Personality. Communication. I've learnt a lot about communication with my tour with Eric Idle. Handling crew and living with a troupe of 11 for 3 months has been challenging. I've had to hold my tongue, use my tongue wisely, listen and learn. Creativity, always, has been my guiding light, and at times, my darkest nemesis, constantly begging me for attention, for it's quiet insistence to pursue, do, excel. I sometimes feel like i am a slave to my creativity. Other times, i seek it for counsel, for understanding. Even my website has been an amazing outlet for creativity. I think it feeds me more than it feeds others. I am able to unleash my thoughts through my diary and my philosophies through my writing/prose page. My artwork can be exhibited. I even brainstorm my albums and music simply by adding them to my site. My projectz page already has the seed for my next creation, and i haven't even started. It's as if by merely writing it down, and promoting it on my website, that i can begin new projects. It fuels me, guides me, whips me to go forth, to carry out the idea, and realize it. I have created my own mentor: my website becomes a mask of me, my teacher, pushing me forth into uncommon grounds. Being home is solace. I've taken that ghastly watch off that i had to wear for the Tour, and i'm writing a lot. Not all here mind you. Some things aren't meant to be broadcast, if you know what i mean. I have demons to purge in my head and writing it down helps. I'm reading too. Thoughts, books, ideas. I'm designing my extraordinary life, piece by piece. I know this month will be important for anything that i may do, or be in the future. Monday December 29, 2003 - Club Tac I feel very much at peace in the loft at South Tacoma. For one thing I enjoy the breeze and the view it has of the water, plus the jungle feeling around it. For another, it's clean and is not smoky. My parents smoke and although I've never had a problem with it, it's nice to have a little bit of fresh air now and then, especially right now as i still have my cold i got in las vegas. My parents have built the most magnificent loft above the garage, and I'm fortunate enough to be able to stay in it while I'm here. I have my candles out, incense, and my music books. The task for January is to select the songs for the album, work on them, and start sending them back for production in San Jose which will be one spot I'll be doing the songs. The cicadas are in full force and I'm waiting for the sun to full shine. It's been a bit overcast here, but that has been nice too. Here is our website for South Tacoma. It has some great pics of the house and the river. We rent it out as a holiday rental. Anyone interested? I worked on Deborah Bishop's website yesterday. She is an artist semi-signed to Warrior Girl Music and we will be launching her album "just my alibi" in the new year. It's an interesting journey of mine to become a consultant in artist development. Whilst I'm still developing as an artist myself, i've taken on various artists under my wings, and beside me walking the path together, (for we learn as much as we teach). I enjoy being able to inspire artists and give them opportunities and advice that they may need. I created Songsalive! for that very reason... to give back to artists and the industry. It must all go around in cycles, giving, taking, sharing, learning. I'm blessed to be part of this cycle. But right now, as I listen to the birds sing for their morning supper, and the sun tries to fight through the clouds, I must relax. It's time to be still, to listen to my heart, and remedy my weary bones with salt water and sunshine. As much as I have done so much, I also need to stop for a moment and truly listen to what my heart is telling me, otherwise I will wear out, and no one wants the warrior girl to do that. So, I bid my readers adieu just for today, and I'm going off to be me, just Gillian Aliotti, and get back to my roots where my dreams were first planted a long time ago. gilli moon will surface again soon Meanwhile, check out some new performance pics, latest buzz, some cool articles, and our wonderful shoppe. Happy new year everyone! Thursday January 29, 2004 - somewhere by the river in Australia As i sit alone, after midnight, this is where my lyrics from my song Evolution work really well.. "I'm a riot.. in my own living room and i'm not so good at communication better silent as my own golden rule i just don't fit in to evolution" Mind you, I sing it with a lot of humor and laughter. I'm sitting in the loft at 2am having spent a month so far in australia being rather silent for a warrior girl and immensely enjoying my time out. i'm noticing being home in aus that i have to force myself to take a break, to sit back by the water. i feel guilty in my pleasures. or sometimes my head yearns to busy itself with constant projects. i dunno. but what i do know is that rest is a great remedy and with my rest i also get energy to jump right back in it. so that's great. 2004 starts slow for me with some gigs down-under but nothing demanding. then i head to nashville for a great recording session 5 march to sing on Jeff Young and Badi Assad's "Liquid Voices" song for Jeff's new album. Such a pleasure to be flown to Nashville to record. After that it will be time to settle into L.A for a bit and record the new album. Monday March 1, 2004 - life in the bush The river is still. And so is my heart. I'm at peace. I have 2 more days down-under before I begin my year. Yes, you have all started. But i took my time, this time. I have been around Sydney, up to Byron Bay, in land to Wollombi, and still,... by the river... at South Tacoma. I've had time to write songs, collect my thoughts, compose my new album, prepare for a year of FFLCE. If you're curious about this, email me and I might let you in on my new year's resolution. By Friday I will be in Nashville, recording for Jeff Young and his new album of eclectic gypsy/flamenco/brazilian and contemporary rhythms. www.jeffyoung.ws. I will also talk at the Songwriters Guild next week in Nashville, then back to Los Angeles to settle in for a few months of recording, performing, songwriting and living an extraordinary life. See you there!