Once Bitten...

*** I have resumed re-writing & posting those updates which Google had lost some months back. Once I'm finished with my April "butterflies" project I will unveil my new blog over at Wordpress. *** Much love to all, bobby 2011-09-14

Inspiration, joy, beauty, Oneness, the spark of recognition...

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Day83 - Re-strung

If there's one thing that melts me, it's a freshly strung acoustic guitar. Each individual cable rings like a set of churchbells - when a chord is struck, time dissolves for a moment as space bends around the notes, like a field of wheat in the wind.

I was reluctant in re-stringing, but it had to be done. The last set were the longest lasting I'd ever had, as if they were coated with something not of this earth.

After 6 hours of intensive guitar & vocals today, we can now safely say the recording is in the bag. I'm happy that we can now focus on new songs, the 2nd EP and rehearsals while we wait for the final mixing, production & mastering to be completed.

Not 100% happy with our original guitar sounds, we've been re-recording most parts from scratch along with adding vocals to fill out the soundscapes upon each update & review of the master recordings.

Today was my turn to record. I'm happy to say I knocked all my parts out in record time, helped by a very patient & understanding engineer who just so happens to understand perfectionism when it comes to recorded performance.

The guitars really do sound beautiful, not just because of the strings, but mostly due to the method we're micing them. The quality of current home studio recording equipment is amazing - I would have loved this technology to have been available 20 years ago.

There are so many factors to consider in audio production & engineering: size of and positioning in the room; angle of the pick against strings; ambient noise (breathing, cables, jewellery); mix levels between in-ear monitors and the playback; software delay compensation; the list really does go on much longer than I care to type for, suffice it to say that recording acoustic instruments brings a whole new level of respect to those who work to pull it off.

Though exhausted now, today was creatively fulfilling. We squeezed everything out of it that we could.

A day well lived.

Day82 - Ignored

Know that feeling when you get when someone replies to an email ignoring half of the things you've said in it? I've had a bit of that lately, both personally & professionally.

In a professional setting I copy & paste the question back to the respondent until it's answered. Privately, I may rephrase or point out that it wasn't responded to in case it was an oversight, but after repeated instances I'll take the hint & stop broaching such topics with that person.

I've met people over the years who do similar in person and while it's difficult for them to ignore entire questions, some are most adept at hearing without listening. Fortunately I have some say in who I work with, so this is less of an issue from day to day. If clients don't listen, it just ends up generating more money for me so I don't mind too much.

I'm reminding myself how much I don't like discussing work outside of work. I feel so dirty. So on a positive note...

My friends are all excellent listeners in person. I wouldn't have it any other way. Those that aren't are quickly filtered out.

Taken to the next degree, I've met a select few who are just pure joy to talk with, comforting, understanding & knowing.

These are the types of people that songs are written about.


I awoke this morning dreaming of my eldest sister, with this song as the soundtrack. I hadn't heard it in months. Nor have I spoken with her for months. Both have been rectified.

Fleetwood Mac - Rhiannon


Friday, July 30, 2010

loose change

(a blogthis entry)

I couldn't think of 3 quirks, but there's one that I've long thought rather odd.

Some people have a spare change jar. I have an empty 9-piece Ferrero Rocher container that I use to store my loose change. But it's not just a receptacle; it's a bona fide filing system.

At the end of each day I empty my change pocket and place each piece according to denomination into the corresponding space where otherwise a delicious, creamy, mouth-watering chocolate would reside.

My cash pocket typically contains $300-500 cash - enough to cover most spur-of-the-moment encounters - but still I insist on sorting insignificant coins into rank.

I have a compulsion to do so.

$2 coins are grouped into 20's, $1 into 10's, 20's & 50's into single dollars.

I'd been doing this for a few months before I thought about how it might not be that normal, but it's oh so calming & relaxing to do so. Like painting miniatures or sweeping a zen garden.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day81 - Entourage

I finished season 6 today. Love that show. I don't watch many serials as they air, preferring to wait until I can view without interruption or waiting between episodes.

It was a nice end to an odd day.

I'm keen to hit the sheets - gym tomorrow's got me excited. I'm all carbed up & ready to hit some personal bests.

Big stretches & double yawns incoming. The flames are high today.


Song to match the picture above:

Days of the New - Giving In

"Open the door, the snake's made it in
Make love to the snake, its skin keeps you warm


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day80 - Shameless

I needed a shower. The painter was in the middle of brushing the bathroom window frames & asked me if he should stop. I said it was his call, plugged my phone into the bathroom speakers & jumped in the shower.

Note to self: if I ever end up going senile, my shamelessness might pose a danger to society.

Another recording session tonight. We'll complete the last of the recordings this week, send the final (final, final) mixes off to our production guys in Belgrade on Sunday, then sit back & wait (and rehearse).

Up since 0330, I'm wiped. Time to relax with the soothing tones of Frank Muller. I could listen to him all day.


Days of the New - Take Me Back Then

Yes, that's Nicole Scherzinger (Pussycat Dolls) singing backups. What a voice, even back in 1999.


Dualist McFly

(a blogthis entry)

I'd love to be a fly on the wall in my own bedroom during one of my sleeptalking episodes. Watching oneself sleep would be interesting in itself and achieved easily enough with a video camera, but to be there at the very moment of the pinnacle of utter verbal nonsense would be fascinating.

Of course, I've only ever received second-hand reports of such ridiculousness - one time that springs to mind was a few years back while juxtaposed on a sofa with a friend late at night, uncontrollably nodding off but trying to keep myself awake by talking. Without realizing, I'd half slipped out of consciousness for a moment before being queried, with an unseen but audibly furrowed brow: "penguin truck?". I'm still curious as to how the joining of those two words made even the slightest sense, even in that state. A soporific idiom if ever there was one.

Voyeur of the somniloquent*.

I would hope the dualism of being both external viewer and dream experiencer would give a unique insight into the sleeping mind. I love to dream and this might be one way to bridge the gap between Nod & the waking world.

Speaking of which, it's 0430 - time to see if the penguin truck's making the rounds.

*I just make these words up.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day79 - Naked Yoga

We began the affair in November. Often upon waking my first thoughts would be of her smooth white curves, soft lines, hushed tones. I didn't know what to make of her at first but she was there for me day after day.

Wii Fit is easily one of the best investments I've ever made & the balance board is now a trusted companion. My routine's pretty simple: flop out of bed straight onto the board, weigh in, start:

Deep Breathing
Sun Salutation
Palm Tree
Downward-Facing Dog
Grounded V (Masochism 101)
Parallel Stretch (Advanced Masochism)

Then onto the swiss ball (t-shirt required in winter, brrrr), mat and medicine ball:

Back Extensions
Upper Ab Crunches
TVA Twists
Lower Ab Leg-raises
various lower body stretches

If it's not a gym day & I'm feeling extra self-flagelistic, I might do the Push-Up or Parallel Stretch Challenges on the Wii. Or both.

All up it's only around 15-30mins, 5-6 times a week, but those few minutes a day have changed me both physically & emotionally. My vitality & energy has increased, along with an alertness to an acute degree that I'd never experienced before. Now that I've maintained this regime for over 6 months I feel confident in recommending the beautiful white plank to anyone who'll listen.

Every home should have one.


Blind Melon - Dear Ol' Dad

"Come now listen babe
I gotta reason why I behave
Like a child with a light in his eyes
Runnin' naked on a cold winter night
Like a pigeon that's spreading its wings to fly away to better things
Like a hammer that has made a dent in every single cent you've spent"


Monday, July 26, 2010

Day78 - Zills

I had a blast tonight in my home studio, for the first time recording zills (finger cymbals) and a djembe (hand drum). A creative learning experience; tickling both sides of my brain.

It's a rough cut of the new song "Forbidden". In the world of 64-, 128-, and n-track studios, I ended up using just 8. I didn't have time to lay down the bass, as the gym calls tomorrow... but a song's never really finished anyway.

No doubt I'll awake in the morning with the rhythm of the drums echoing in my head.


Beautiful background sounds in this song; birds, crickets, thunder. This is a journey in 6 minutes... you can almost smell the moisture hanging in the air:

Days of the New - Cling (Part 2)


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day77 - Sundays

I love the sound of distant construction - as with hearing the neighbour's lawnmower on a Sunday while lazing in bed, with all of my own work out of the way - the knowledge that someone else is working while I'm not fills me with the urge to stretch & yawn. It's a small taste in memory of the comfort of the womb.

That's how my Sunday started, followed by a story. After lazing a bit longer I spent a few hours on the phone/internet with my daughter. The rest was spent just as leisurely, catching up on a bit of writing, music, and reading, all the while listening to the sluice of cars through the rain up & down the street.


"No time frame, for what I need to do today"

Blind Melon - Sleepyhouse

"See the mistakes that I've made, no they don't seem to bother me
& I sure as hell don't feel like I've missed any kind of train"

I've always loved these lyrics.


Day76 - 8 Hours

Today was spent recording guitar parts ...8 hours worth!

Admittedly, none of the parts were mine, so I split most of the time between sneaking strips of chicken breast & sugar-free V, "consulting" between takes and writing new material in another room while my 2 cohorts handled the engineering & performance. I also worked on some concept art that my brain decided it would imagine while listening to beautiful guitar licks being playing over & over (and over). Much as I try, when it gets all creative I just can't argue with my brain.

While not back-breaking labour, recording days require much sustained mental focus, and if performing, some physical stamina. The net result being similar to working a 6th day at a dayjob, and I'm not cut out to work 6 days (hell, I'm not cut out to work 5), so I ended what was left of the day by unwinding in a safely debaucherous style: laying in bed munching iceblocks while alternating between movies and books.

A long day, yet most fulfilling. One step closer to the end product.

(Sat 20100724)


I had this song on repeat for about an hour this morning while preparing the recording space:

Supertramp - Give A Little Bit


Day75 - Glitch

I found a song today that I'd been looking for for over a decade.

Late one night around 1999 - back when I used to watch TV - I awoke on the couch at some small hour with a music channel on and at the tail end of one of the most amazing live performances I'd seen. It was instant love - exactly the kind of music that speaks to me: acoustic guitars, amazing vocals, inspiring & soothing sounds.

The problem was, I had no idea who the band was - in the 20-30 seconds that I had my eyes half open I didn't recognise any of the participants. I'd hoped to hear from them again being as they were so good, but it was not to be. This has stayed with me ever since; wondering when I'd again get to hear what could potentially be my favourite band of all time.

Today while watching the video below, I recognised the concert I'd seen a snippet of all those years ago. It turned out to be one of my favourite bands all along, only singing a song I'd never heard. Since their amazing vocalist died in 1995 (at the age of 28), it's no surprise that Blind Melon's music was heard with decreasing frequency.

I'm glad in a way that I can close the case on this particular mystery, but also a bit bummed that the mystery band didn't turn out to be a new addition to my musical encyclopaedia.

I often wonder who & when the next band I fall in love with will be.

(Fri 20100723)


I wrote a new song today "Forbidden", very much in the vein of "Glitch". Quite a departure from our usual sound, but so much fun to just lose yourself within.

But first, something a bit more accessible:

Blind Melon - Change

Blind Melon - Glitch


Day74 - Catcher

"Relax, noone's making cracks about your goddamn religion."

...so I picked up Catcher in the Rye again. Some of the statements Holden comes out with had me in stitches.

Reminded to in part by a recent South Park episode, I had a girlfriend in high school who was reading it at the time. I started but never finished. Easily distracted I guess, but I quite enjoyed it this time around - serious undertones aside, the book had me chuckling.

"Take a girl when she gets really passionate, she hasn't any brains."

True of men as well, but Holden's delivery is just Pure Awesome. His midnight contemplations of joining a monastery cracked me up. I recall having similar thoughts as a teenager; exploring the mindset of a monk or priest, just to see how far I could take it - even if only in imagination - before relegating the idea to one of the far flung corners of the mind.

I related to Holden's state of mind, possibly from being a boy of a similar age once upon a time, though I dare say a fair bit less whiny. I'm not quite sure what the former says about me.

My favourite idea was that of "disappearing every time you cross the road". I've felt this. It's at the same time empty, full, sad and beautiful. Another state of Oneness. Love it.

(Thu 20100722)


Blind Melon - Car Seat (God's Presents)

Another dark but pretty song about murder, complete with reference to Maxwell's Silver Hammer.

Then there's the Axl Rose song:

Guns N' Roses - Catcher In The Rye


Day73 - Kindred

I was en route to Brazil, in transit in the States. The call came over the intercom, designating a new waiting point for the connecting flight - the tone of the announcer provided me with some degree of trepidation in that they sounded like they unsure as to what was going on with the flight, and the meeting point was not at a designated gate. Had there been a mixup? There was noone immediately available at the desk to answer, so I collected my carry-ons & started off as directed.

It was as I was leaving that I saw a little girl. We had been on the same flight and she was travelling by herself to the same destination. Standing there, she had a very lost expression on her face. It would not have surprised me if the same airline had forgotten to send an escort for her. I let her know that she needed to go to the new spot to wait before being called for processing at the gate. She asked if she could come with me, so I agreed.

We arrived at an empty part of the airport near a baggage claim carousel with one lonely, long-forgotten bag making perpetual laps. I knew what that bag felt like. We talked a lot - very similar people her and I - and waited & waited for the call that never came. Eventually I decided to head to the original gate as I was becoming anxious. I'm usually very relaxed, but the prospect of missing an international flight will summon the anxiety. Sure enough, this was the correct gate all along. Worse than making a mistake: the airline had made a mistake when there was no mistake to be made. At least the outcome was in our favour. We boarded the flight & she sat next to me. We'd each found a new friend for the day.

When we arrived in Brazil it was obvious that the airline had completely forgotten her and she had no relatives there to meet her, so I took it upon myself to help my little friend make her way to meet her parents which was at a hotel on the coast.

We arrived, and again we waited, this time on deckchairs in the sun, near an olympic swimming pool that overlooked the ocean, so it wasn't all bad. Her parents were staying at the hotel, but when they failed to show up at the designated time, I inquired with the concierge who informed me that they had not been back to their rooms for some time. I left the girl in the custody of the hotel staff, and went to search for her mother. In the process I found her father, but upon returning to the hotel, girl to be missing.

Even though she was no relation of mine, I cared a lot for new friend, and though still a child, we each felt the recognition of kindred spirits; that nod without nodding; that wink without winking; that conversation without speaking.

And so I vowed to find her.

(Wed 20100721 - From an 0600 dream)


"See everything on the inside out."

Blind Melon - Mouthful of Cavities

"I write a letter to a friend of mine
I tell him how much I used to love to watch him smile
See I haven't seen him smile in a little while"
But, I know you're laughing from the inside out."


Day72 - Processing

The museum was beautiful, full of natural light from above, with a spiral stairway encircling the atrium, reminiscent of the library featured in City of Angels. Normally a place which one would spend a while admiring, soaking up the atmosphere, on this particular day we were in the middle of an evacuation.

It was like the tail end of a film; I'd been on a crazy car ride to get to the museum, dangerously swerving everywhere, in the company of people who were on the run from the law but all the while I remained serene, knowing that this was necessary in order to get to where I was going.

I usually take as much notice of skin colour as I do hairstyles (ie rarely), but it seemed particularly significant that a black-skinned security guard was assisting us. I'm not sure why. She was calm as was I, she knew her job well, and though this was not a drill she managed to maintain her charming smart-alec tone, treating the situation as if almost a joke and in the process putting the evacuees at ease.

The group was being directed to the brass structure stretching from the floor to the top level - a twin helix spiral which we were expected to slide down.

There was trepidation from some, in that they may have found themselves in trouble if any one of us so much as touched the exhibit, but the importance of choosing a side and sliding down was imparted to us emphatically, as the purpose was not to just "get everyone out" in any way possible, but to do it methodically, according to a very specific process.

We were to slide down in pairs. I recognised my partner; a dear friend. I was Evercalm, as though I'd experienced this before, but I had the strongest feeling that it was important for me to get her to go though this, whether by action or inaction on my part, guiding fate where possible. The group also consisted of other friends & lovers from my past - some of which had experienced this already already, and those that had were helping the rest, as if they held a knowledge, or more accurately, a "knowing", from the benefit of experience.

I held out my hand to touch the brass - it glowed, sparking with an almost electric energy. I looked over the side of the atrium wall & down, saying matter-of-factly to the security guard, "you know I'm just going to fall off the slide right?". She looked back at me indifferently, replying that I'd be fine. I didn't care about that particular inevitability, and the emerging smirk on my face displayed some cheek in pointing it out, but I knew full well that I was fated to do this, and I had every intention of seeing it through.

It was without relief - as there was no doubt - that my friend made it to the bottom. She was there relaxed, with a calm temperament to match mine, almost as if she was waiting for me; or maybe oblivious; or maybe just waiting for the inevitable to happen, which of course it did.

(Tue 20100720 From a 0047 dream)


Blind Melon - Walk

"And under a sun that's seen it all before
My feet are so cold
And I can't believe that I had to bang my head against this wall again
But the blows they have just a little more space in-between them
Gonna take a take a breath & try again"


Day71 - Eyes

If there's one thing that's universally beautiful about humans, it's the eyes. I've never seen a set that didn't hold at least some visual pleasure. Though I do have my favourites, they're not based on colour as much as intensity. Those which radiate, pierce with soft barbs, and draw the viewer in, like a black hole pulling all to it's infinite centre. Drawing nearer, you can distinguish the cornucopia of colours - even in what may appear to be the most monochromatic eyes. All it takes is the time to notice, and the awareness of such things.

Sometimes I'll lose myself in the eyes of others while talking to them. I'm greedy like that - wanting to investigate every fleck & capture each inspirational moment that is sparked upon discovery - knowing that there is an excellent chance that these eyes have never been explored so fully, each set sitting there, overtly waiting like an uncharted universe. When these moments inspire song, I feel the Oneness. I've written more songs in 2010 than in previous years, and eyes have played a large part in this.

I gazed into a beautiful pair today. There was something very comforting behind them, yet they held their mystery. Some eyes divulge all secrets. Some eyes throw an aethereal lasoo around the veiwer, ensnaring, binding. Some hold the spark of recognition, knowing. Some will melt you into submission, until you are lost in them for a split second of eternity. Some do all of the above.

If ever struggling to find visual beauty in a person, in one's self, at the very least the eyes should be proof enough.

(Mon 20100719)


Blind Melon - St. Andrew's Fall

"I can't tell you how many ways that I've sat
and viewed my life today, but I can tell you
I don't think that I can find an easier way
So if I see you walking hand in hand in hand
with a three armed man, you know I'll understand
But you should've been in my shoes yesterday"


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day70 - Lost

I finally made it through to the end, completely satisfied with the wonderful finale. Who would've thought after the excellent first series that it would develop into what boiled down to several interwoven stories of love & destiny, transcending space & time. Fantastic stuff, right up my alley.

Easily in my top 10 series of all time & a recommended watch for anyone who enjoys a nice mix of science-fiction, suspense, fantasy, humour, action - even period costumes - but most importantly, expressions of love through selflessness - at it's core, this is what Lost is about.

At some 120 episodes x 40mins a pop, it felt like effort at some points - specifically the sloooooow season 2 - but gladly paid off, and more than adequately at that.

Without spoiling, here is one of my favourite conversations, between 2 men caught between divergences:

Daniel Faraday: "It happened to you too, didn't it? You felt it."
Desmond Hume: "I don't know. I don't know what I felt."
Daniel Faraday: "Yes, you do. You felt love."
Desmond Hume: "That's impossible, because I don't know anything about this woman. I don't know where she is. I don't even know if she exists. She's an idea."

This spoke to me. Coincidence, fate and fated coincidence, all play massive parts in this series, and although I'm happy with the way it ended, I'll miss the anticipation.

Fortunately and with excellent timing, I've picked up a novel series I read many years ago Piers Anthony - Incarnations of Immortality, which explores similar themes of destiny. Each novel focuses on the "occupation" of the immortals: Death, Fate, War, Nature, Time, with many scenes overlapping, but told from different viewpoints. I'm currently on Book 2: Bearing An Hourglass, wherein the protagonist assumes the job of being the incarnation of "Time", living his life in reverse. Head-spinning stuff.

*squeeze* *squeeze* *squeeze* (for those who've read).

(Sun 20100718)


Blind Melon - Time

"I laugh and slip into another state of mind
To let you know that I am real
And all the worries you build up inside your soul
The ones that make your world stand still
Means you can feel, that it's time to go"


Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Easily my favourite number. Maybe not the most mathematically beautiful, but visually the opposed symmetry of 6 & 9 appeals to me.

I never write "9" with a straight back.

(Sat 20100717)


Love the relaxed attitude behind this song...

The Jimi Hendrix Experience - If 6 Was 9


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day68 - Flight

I was eavesdropping on a 10 or 11 year old girl on the bus today - part of a bunch of happy, giggling girls heading to a birthday party by way of the city. She was on the phone talking to her daddy. This choked me up to the point where I wished I had my sunglasses on, so I just stared out the window and focused on the Opera House as we passed by. It's always a beautiful sight.

I'm missing my little girl a lot. It takes a lot to go through each day putting the "missing" part out of my mind while still keeping thoughts of her there, but I'm somewhat practiced at it.

I know bottling isn't the healthiest of methods for dealing with this sort of struggle, and I do talk about it with select friends & family, but there is a limit to their understanding regarding this. I used to have someone close to me that I could open up to, who knew me so well that I could say absolutely anything to & know I'd be understood, and with a genuine interest in what I had to say and compassion that simply made this sort of situation that much easier. With that level of knowing comes a price, paid in full. No regrets, but I do miss this, as I miss my daughter.

So I jumped online & booked my next trip to see her, wishing I could book a second flight to see my friend.

(Fri 20100716)


Blind Melon - Galaxie

"verbal pocket play"


Day67 - Shedding Skin

Encouragement for those whose bodies are a work in progress...

After some 8 years of resistance training, steady weight loss, knee injuries, and learning to truly listen & respond to my body, I finally saw the emergence of 4 well-defined abdominals - something I never thought I would achieve primarily due to my perceived body type, but also due to a lack of real desire. As my body responded to recent dietary & exercise changes I was surprized to see them take shape and figured I'd see how far I could push myself.

8 years ago I peaked at close to 120Kg. Sure I was strong and being tall (195cm) I stretched it out, but there was much excess to be trimmed. I'm currently holding a steady 81Kg, with the current target weight of 77Kg - slightly lower than the ideal BMI weight of around 82Kg, but still within a healthy range. The final 3-4 Kg is the most difficult to shed, but I'm having the most fun with it, and acutely aware of how the body is reacting to every meal, managing to maintain - and in some instances increase - my strength levels, not to forget the endorphin bonus that's helped me through some rough times lately.

In this respect, yoga has been a saving grace. I've been at it since November 2009, and there is no doubt that it's been a large contributor to 2010 being the best year of my life.

Yoga can be blamed for a lot: improved well-being, health, additional confidence, a light or aura that emanates from within. Spinal stretches alone start my day with such stimulation that I'd not known before. Close friends have commented on how it has changed me - not that I was negative before, but there is now an overt positivity & perceived attractiveness that was possibly supressed (maybe hidden under a couple of inches of excess fat!). At it's essence, I'm so much more in tune with my body - a form I've long known would have to be achieved in my 30's in order to maintain for life, and to enjoy this beautiful ride for as long as possible.

I perform my yoga routine 5-6 days a week, in additional to stretches, abdominal & lower back exercises on swiss ball & mat with medicine ball. Gym punishment is dished out 1-2 times a week, depending mostly on time and the age-old dilemma of "warm fluffy bed vs. skin-tightening cold". I've recently added horizontal stretches - aka "the plank" - which has made a marked difference on my core strength, discovering muscles in places never before pondered. It's pure, delicious masochism.

Motivation breeds motivation. I can talk for hours on health, fitness & techniques for maintaining & achieving goals - I love to listen & love to discuss, and more importantly, encourage. I inspire friends, and they reciprocate in kind. It's one of many forms of inspiration that drives me. And while it's enough to be aware of the progress I've made myself, it's lovely when someone else acknowledges my effort. I was called "svelte" today. What more motivation does one need?

(Thu 20100715)


2 shots from the beautiful voice of Shannon Hoon. Though diametrically opposed both lyrically & musically, I can't listen to one without the other following directly behind:

Blind Melon - Skinned
Blind Melon - Toes Across the Floor

"So now I'll take a little glue
I'll put together a new glittered room for view
So I can start sitting so pretty
Instead of sitting here not seein' clear
Just sitting here not fittin' here
No things ain't fittin' here "


Day66 - Sculptors of Sound

We had one of our thrice-weekly band meeting/recording sessions today, wherein we listened to the 4 songs that comprise our EP & proceeded to pick them apart in detail from a technical & production point of view, and list out any final changes required. For a promotional collection, it's shaping up to be excellent quality, however there are still sections that require tweaking/re-recording.

Although we've each had varying degrees of recording experience, this is the first time any of us has recorded acoustic instruments with serious intent, so the learning curve is apparent. This is also the first time I've had the input of an official producer - let alone one located in Europe ...who I've never met! Fortunately I'm extremely happy with the results.

The concept of the music producer is interesting in that it adds a new dynamic to the project - they often become the unofficial transient member of the band. I'm hoping we retain "Z" at least for the remaining 9 songs that will eventually make up the 3-part album, if for nothing else, the consistancy of sound. With around 85% of the material completed, we have a good idea of how the end product will sound. I say product, but chances are we will give most of it away, if not all.

Contained within the project there are already some truly beautiful moments, some of which I've been a fortunate witness to, and some I've been integral in creating.

This means more to me than most things in life.

I'm glad, because otherwise, today was filled with an ache born of the void.

(Wed 20100714)


We'll probably end up sounding nothing like this, but here is the benchmark. If we sound only half as amazing, I'll be happy.

Days of the New - Seasons Change


Thursday, July 15, 2010


Every evening as she sat on the grass under her tree in the centre of town, while the sun still held itself in a position of warmth, she would review her sketches from the previous day, in part to reaffirm the memory, fixing it in place, but mostly to remind herself that this wasn't just the tail end of a dream that would cruelly awaken her at any second.

As she breathed in the scenery, the people, the moment - the knowingly transitory experience of actually living and working as a performer for the lunchtime crowds that patronized the cafes and market stalls surrounding the village quad - she would begin to sketch.

Her hands grasped the charcoal, as the canvas crowded with a thousand strokes, her thoughts would invariably drift to the anticipation of conversations held in the dead of night, resting against a pillow and the headboard of her apartment's single bed, the backlit screen & keyboard illuminating her face with an aethereal glow, that without seeing, she could feel gave her a look of mystery, which matched the man with whom she would hold court until all hours. They knew each other intimately on some levels, but on others to only a limited degree: for instance, she roughly knew what his appearance was like - he was tall, lean, moustached and of shaven head; but personal details such as names were limited to their online persona nicknames, which he had told her was his actual surname, and happened to be one which she'd long had an affinity with: Darcy.

Neither would volunteer a "goodnight", but instead waited for sleep to force itself upon one or the other. The connection between them was almost tangible, like nothing she had experienced before.

They had met through a creative arts forum, of writers, composers & artists of all description, and had been talking on & off for a couple of weeks now. Thirteen days in fact - she knew exactly - the last seven of which had been without break. Their nightly meetings now seemed to be mutually assumed. As an unspoken rule, they focused on art, music, and all things inspirational, leaving details and trivialities such as income & circumstance to the other side of life; that of daylight within which they'd never spoken, only almost: as they reluctantly tightened the tap on the words which still flowed while the sun threatened to rise each morning.

As a consequence, her performances had found new inspiration. The standards which were sung in French, English & Spanish were always well-received by regulars and tourists alike, but they had taken on new meaning for her, as if the words were speaking directly to, through and about her - but her favourite song each day was her signature piece, of her own composition: the Coda. Each day to her surprise, this would be extended by a verse or chorus, as she drew on the well at the core of her being where inspiration refused to lay dormant. It would often be met with an ovation, with which came significant donations, but she didn't pause to consider the additional financial rewards, as every performance left her filled with life's energy; a sweet smile on her lips, the corners of which telling another story for those who hold such recognition; her eyes glowing.

It was after these performances that she would buy herself a glass of mulled wine, fresh bread, brie, olives, and settle into the small territory she had claimed as her own - her favourite spot in all the world - and sketch as the world went about its business nearby, the occasional leaf floating to the ground in front of her.

She would draw the nearby trees, acorns & leaves, buildings, people, and sometimes her own imaginings, but today she found herself sketching piano keys, and wisps of air coming from the attending hands. The misty trails sang to her, as if she could almost hear the music coming from the textured page. No. It wasn't almost - she could hear it.

There were faint trails of beautiful piano drifting over the air from the direction of the hotel across the other side of the village square. In fact, she now realized that this music had always been there at this time of day, as afternoon rolled into evening - for at least as long as she had been coming to this spot - but it had blended so well with the overwhelming colour of the local environment, set against the noisy bustling of the market stalls, and had resided only in her sub-conscious, escaping her awareness until now.

She collected her belongings & headed over to investigate.

Set next to the street amongst the hotel's garden bar, under a glass awning that spread rainbows in several directions beneath, was a small stage on which was positioned a black grand, old but well-tuned. With his back turned towards her she could not make out his face, but could see the lengthy, strong hands attached to lean wrists, dancing warmly over the keys.

She found a position nearby, under a new tree, feeling immediately relaxed, she sat and listened, enraptured. The sound was so much more distinct from here - she almost cursed herself for not having noticed it earlier. As she sat there, knees to chin, eyes closed, inviting the pulses of sound to wash over her in melodic waves, she realized that she did indeed recognize these melodies. Her sub-conscious was more attentive than she'd realized: as one tune ended, she knew the next to follow.

And so she found herself after an indeterminate length of time, lost. Only that which awakened her was the final song, that seemed to welcomingly go on forever, but it was somehow different; changed, as if she recognized - albeit sub-consciously - that it had been extended, added to. In this she felt an immediate and deep connection - a common thread between two like-minded individuals, without having ever spoken, without having seen his face, without having met, she could feel the bond that only kindred spirits know.

Pensive when the piece ended, yet spent & fulfilled, she applauded enthusiastically from her spot, only to be drowned out by the polite clapping of hands from the first wave of evening diners.

As he stood up to leave his post, she realized that she knew his face. He would regularly drink coffee at one of the cafes near where she performed, while writing in his journal. In fact, unbeknownst to her he had been sitting at the same spot every day, arriving early to be sure of reserving his seat, just to listen to her sing.

She watched him as he collected his coat and exited the building, starting towards the green. As he crossed the distance between them, he glanced over and saw her, giving her a kind smile. She shuddered, before he was called back to the hotel entrance by the concierge, waving a small item in his hand, "Monsieur Darcy, your phone".

It was at that moment that life came together.

(from a 2AM dream)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Day65 - Biting

I'm an expert at biting my tongue.

Since separating from my daughter's mother for the 3rd & final time some 4 years ago, I've mastered the art. Fortunately, we have a rather amicable relationship now & there are few times when I have to employ such skilled restraint.

This is unusual for me, as I am a great believer in open and honest dialogue wherever possible. Communication - or lack thereof - has tripped up so many relationships that I've either been witness to or a part of, along with a lack in understanding - usually on one side, sometimes on both - which is in part due to communication, but moreso due to the level of recognition.

When I say "recognition", I mean that which you find with another like-minded soul. Not just someone you have some things in common with, or someone you find appealing on a few levels, or someone you like to be around because they show an interest in you, but someone who is all-encompassing & just "gets" you and you them, as with kindred spirits: "the spark of recognition".

With this, there is no need for the disciplined biting of tongues, no holding back, no fear of reprisal, or worse indifference.

Lately I've been re-schooling myself in this discipline in other aspects of my life. When all I want to do is shout out from the rooftops, yell at the sky, the sun, the moon, the trees, the Air - anything that will listen - and profess my wants, mind, desire, knowledge, love, frustration.

But I bite down firmly.

The irony is, I only have positive things to say.


"And when my stitches come undone
I lose the stuff that fills me
I hold you and suddenly I'm better for it
You make my hard life easy"

Satellite Party - Hard Life Easy

Day64 - 3 Doses

20100712 Mon

3 Doses of Randomness.

While wandering the city earlier I witnessed a collision between pedestrian & cyclist. The pedestrian walked out onto the street on a red light & the cyclist sped around the corner, riding the wrong way up the street. Fortunately they were both alright, it gave me a moment to chuckle - not at them specifically - but at my own imaginings of their thoughts: both of them put others at risk, I wondered if they felt as though they were in the right or not. It was amusing to see the 2 come together in such a way: like a match made in a head trauma unit.

Neither apologized.


mmm... I just had a nice deja vu while writing the above - not of the event, but rather of the blog entry. Sometimes I can remember the place or time I first imagined the repeated experience - this one felt almost a year old. It was rather tasty as far as DV's go. They tend to tickle the furthest reaches of my brain.


Today I read how a friend has given up on a dream. It brought about a sinking sadness in me.

Maybe in another life.

This is for you.

Satellite Party - Milky Avenue

"All the things we dream that never get to happen do here"

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Subspace was apparent today. I felt it from sunrise to set, taking an unusual twist inbetween.

Still feeling the effects of the Sunday Morning Aether, I slipped into the day, not quite fully touching the ground at any point.

My daughter was spending the weekend at Grandma's and so we chatted on the phone for several hours, telling jokes and playing Toontown - great fun (and safe) for parents & kids alike. We finished up when she had to go home, where the conversation is rarely quite as candid. Not long after, I received a call from her mother saying that my girl was missing me. Even though we live countries apart - her with her mother, half-brother, and mother's partner - we still talk most days; sometimes briefly to just say goodnight & send I Love You's; sometimes long enough to help with her homework, read a story, play wordgames; or just listen to her day - but hearing that she was missing me after already spending so many hours talking earlier in the day was very touching.

Just before my Sunday Siesta, I re-read a beautiful half-chapter in a friend's unfinished story. We'd written parts of this story together before, so - still awaiting the second half of today's update - I was almost tempted to write it myself.

Instead I daydreamed it.

Later on, I received a communique from the author - a short missive of missing. We don't talk as much as we used to, so it was nice to know that we were thinking of each other.

I'm honored to be missed by 2 such amazing women, and so intensely by each on the same day. Maybe there's a connection there. Maybe it's just coincidence. Maybe it's Subspace in effect. No matter which, much love goes out to both.


Satellite Party - Awesome

Both have an association with this song, one of them singing it to me earlier today.

They are some of the simplest lyrics I've encountered, but condensed to the very essence of meaning.

"Oh, they say the world is always turning, in suspended animation"


20100710 Saturday

Excellent yoga & gym session this morning: I matched my historic personal bests on most restistance sets, only this time I'm 15Kg lighter than I was at my last strength peak 6 months ago. After years of work, I'm at the stage where I'm having a lot of fun trying out various toning methods & molding my form; a sculptor of living tissue.

Band meeting in the evening: we finally got all 3 of us in the same room for a couple of hours to finalize our game plan. Part of this was confronting one of our number about poor attendance and giving him an ultimatum; decide whether this project is a hobby or whether he wants to take it to the next level. It was productive in a sense, but so very draining. Time will tell.


I tried out my new in-earphones at the gym today, however they refused to stay embedded so as a result I listened to the in-house gym soundsystem for a change. The last time I heard this song was in the wee hours of a Saturday morning a few weeks back. Such a beautiful chorus melody:

Usher - OMG (Ft. Will.I.Am)


20100709 Friday

I consider myself a pretty relaxed person - there's not much I take exception to - but requests to have my bag searched at stores is a big one. Today I was stopped at JB Hi-Fi after completing a purchase. I pointed out the item and receipt in my hand & was then informed that the check is a condition of entry to the store.

I felt a bit sorry for the security guy; it's a braindead job and he would only ever get grief from customers, but at the same time it's a bogus policy, based on scare-tactics & ignorance, so I politely told him, "no, you may not check my bag" and walked out.

I'm glad I don't shop at such stores very often and I'll happily be banned & spend elsewhere, although I've never heard of this being enforced. If there is cause for suspicion such as the alarm going off, then fair enough, but treating everyone like a criminal does not make for a pleasant shopping experience, in fact it bugs me enough to need to write it off my chest.


Interesting song this one - written at the request of Johnny Cash, when approached by the producers of The Hangover to use it at the start of the film they went with the composer's own version:

Danzig - Thirteen

Day60 - Within Scorpius

It's a wonderful gift to give someone space, to not crowd them, to let them work their way through difficult times without your presence confusing the situation, if you happen to a part of it.

The wonder comes in how difficult it can be to do so, when every reach of your being pulls you in the opposite direction.

There is consolation in having spoken your mind beforehand; being understood. This is paramount to me - to have been listened to - because there will only be positivity born of such sentiments.

So long as the open invitation to communicate is known, where there is space, there is subspace.

(20100708 Thursday)


I don't know the names of many stars by heart, but this one is called Antares.

I've only once ever wished upon a star. I was 33.

Satellite Party - Wish Upon A Dog Star

Sunday Morning Aether

I awoke this morning as if emerging from a warm ocean; the surrounding dark matter was tangible, like a breathable, all-encompassing gelatinous massless mass. My skin alive, body sparking with every pulse.

I love mornings like this, the feeling of Oneness, connected to everything, where everything makes sense. As if the clarity of the subconscious experienced during sleep is brought to into the woken world. It's a nice reminder of the overall picture, when the intricacies of life seem to conspire as they drill down until there's nothing left to mine but the core.

I let myself slip into dreams, eyes rolled back, embracing immersion. Aether suits me just fine today.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Day59 - Jane Avril

Today I discovered Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Jane Avril (1899) in a Gloria Jeans cafe of all places. Wednesdays are the meeting days for myself & a group of friends, a couple of them also being fellow bandmates. I'd seen the picture before but never thought much of it, possibly because of the distraction of company, conversation & curves, but today I was first to arrive & quite accidentally positioned myself directly in line of sight. I glanced a few more times before noticing the snake - that's when I connected.

I could talk about how my band's game plan has been set in motion for the next 2 months; I could talk about how my delayed onset muscle soreness kicked in 24 hours earlier than the usual 48; I could talk about how I intentionally walked in the rain for 15 minutes; I could talk about the chat I started up with a lovely elderly lady on the bus; but right now I'd rather just contemplate this painting.

The 50 Wonderful Things To Do Together List

or Rêves Cinquante (a blogthis entry)

Picnic in a park in Hungary during Autumn
Read to each other
Make love in the middle of a field during a thunderstorm
Enter a competition together
Bring each other flowers
Go on safari
Sing a duet
Drive over 2 hours just to see each other
Play games until all hours of the night
Escape to the Blue Mountains for the day
Spend a weekend in bed together
Witness a total solar eclipse
Siesta side by side, in a spanish villa on a hot summers day
Drop everything we're doing just to see each other
Eat escargot at a Swiss mountain-top restaurant
Bathe together
Explore the wonders of Egypt
Shop for clothes together
Go camping in Yosemite, listen out for bears
Breathe the air that comes off the ocean at Land's End
Explore the ruins of South America
Sit in a rainbow
Go skydiving
Cry together
Watch the coastal sunrise
Co-author a book
Immerse ourselves in a non-English speaking country for a fortnight
Drink cocktails at a poolside bar
Take a cruise together
Swim amongst non-stinging jellyfish
Get lost in the bush and "find" each other
Lie on deckchairs together, on a golden sand beach, with no timeframe
Give each other a full bodied oil massage
Spend a weekend in a cabin in the mountains
Meditate, while holding each other's hands
Write a song together
Sleep in hammocks deep in the Amazon
Watch a French language film together
Exchange love letters
Take turns singing each other to sleep
Explore the Waitomo glow-worm caves in New Zealand
Trek across Europe
Sketch each other
Show each other our spiritual homes
Share sleeping bags under the the aurora borealis
Cook for each other
Drink mulled wine in the biting cold of a Belgian winter
Give each other the flu
Sing to each other while making love
Create life together



Awake at 0530 yesterday, I felt that the day would be one with intense energy & I embraced it wholly. After the usual double weetbix, yoga & abs, I hit the gym for one of the best sessions I've had in ages, discovering that I'm almost back to my 2009 pre-weight loss strength, currently down by around 5% across all exercises.

Fire continued to burn through my veins all day, there was nothing I could do to shake it, as if an endless well was being drawn on: universal energy. Mentally, I was pushing myself to keep up & by mid-afternoon I was exhausted. That evening I was all set to push myself further & work on music, when I considered the fluffy alternative that is my bed. The draw was magnetic.

I crashed very early. Subsequently 0200 came early, with a dream that awoke me before midnight.


My friend was on her computer, trying to create a VPN to keep in contact. For non-techies, this is a secure connection directly into a network from an external location. She said that she wanted to connect with her daughter (my Bubble). The reference to her "daughter" surprised me & confuses me still.

I was remotely connected to her computer, watching her as she worked & assisting where I could. She was continuously creating "New Folder" within "New Folder" within "New Folder", etc. but this didn't strike as being odd.

The first 90 seconds of Danzig - On A Wicked Night repeated throughout.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

3 Dreams: Freedom, Distance, Planned


Last night as I was sinking into my bed I dreamt that we were flying. The day was sunny, together we weaved through the air, free, natural & naked, coming together to be close, meet & hold hands, then swerving in & out of each other's flight paths, as if fueled by pure joy, our vapor trails forming a double helix in our wake.

Looking into you, I mouthed the words.

You felt the full force of them.

This is freedom.


I had a plan: to take you to a beach on the north shore, share a salt & pepper squid basket, freshly cooked & tongue-burning hot. I wanted to play a new song that I had written for you, but you were nowhere to be seen. The place set for you at the restaurant table confusingly empty. The physical distance between us tangible.

Although you were not present, I felt that you were still interested. I was a bit lost, looking for a way to get this message to you, and wanting you to know of my plan to give you this experience, but I didn't know how to do so within the bounds that had been set between us.

I don't know when in time this dream was set, but questions plagued me: are you ready to be friends yet? Is it too soon? Are you happier without my presence in your life?

I know where the experience would've taken us: to watch the moon on a warmish midnight beach, through to 0200, enveloped by blankets as we fall asleep, our combined temperatures dropping, awakened just before dawn to watch the sunrise, another item checked off our endless list.

All the while the refrain looped in the background:

"stranded starfish have no place to hide,
Still waiting for the swollen Easter tide".



I dreamt that I awoke at 0447, compelled by subspace to check my mailbox.

I could clearly read the email you had sent: 2 files attached, both sets of lyrics, the body of the message reading only:

"you are one of my planned songs".

The dream was so real. In the half-awake state directly after waking I felt only half sure of the reality, immediately checking my mailbox... Reality was not kind to me, but the beauty of that one sentence held its warmth still.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Morning spent overlooking the harbor from the 32nd floor. An amazing grey day. For lunch I traveled through the mist & over the water, my imagination running away with the scenery.

When it comes to weather, there is no such thing as a bad day. I often hear "it's so miserable out", but what is miserable about fresh clouds, moisture, drenched earth? I understand somewhat, as my mood used to be governed to a degree by the weather, so I guess it's all perspective. Still, I'm glad I no longer see things that way.

Coming back across the water, a girl on the train with earphones on, eyes closed & such a happy smile. I wanted to talk to her, to share in it, but slightly moreso, I did not want to disturb her moment.

I wonder what she was listening to.


"When illusion spin her net
I'm never where I want to be
And liberty she pirouette
When I think that I am free"

Peter Gabriel - Solsbury Hill

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Very much a struggle of a week in many ways, but all caught up on posts now.

I squeezed alot out of this weekend, and now I feel as though I need a day to myself. Maybe next weekend if I'm lucky, but chances are there will be few free days until we complete the EP.

We had a (2/3rds) band meeting today & drew up the tasklist. It was most productive - we're 80% of the way there.

We also worked on a new track which consists solely of piano, bass & vox - officially ending our 2 month hiatus. Fortunately, I have the rest of this coming week to work on Stained House tracks before really knuckling down with the AD work.

At the very least I'm mostly distracted during the waking hours =/



Surprize birthday BBQ for a friend today. Located on the central coast, the diamond sea was in full effect as we sat, chatted and enjoyed. I caught a ride with a new friend who recently moved just down the street from me. It was a nice ride up, we're a good match for travel conversation.

After a few drinks I was about ready for a nap, but BBQ#2 was calling, from out near Manly. This was fun: a catchup with a whole other circle of friends, amazing food, beautiful view, and even a very serious DJ, who was nice enough to let me play 2 of my new Another Day tracks for a bit of random population sample feedback.

The response was largely positive. I silently took onboard the reactions during the various parts of the songs that I thought might provoke emotion. One of the tracks ("Flow") features my vocals as the main - some positive comments were made before they realized it was me, so that was very encouraging. I was already very happy with the outcome of that particular track, but that sort of feedback is invaluable.

Tomorrow the band meets to discuss the finishing touches to the 4 track EP.

Very exciting.



Less sleepless. No less caring.


I've not been myself today: angry.

Angry at nothing & noone in particular, just random things. Fortunately, I know better than to take it out on others.

I know where the anger stems from: frustration. Making decisions & doing things that don't sit right with me.

I remind myself that you can't undo certain knowledge. If it's meant to be, it will happen. All I can do is continue my search...

I don't do regrets, partly because I don't enter into situations that might cause them, but also every step in life is a lesson. I wouldn't change any of my actions of the past 6 months.


I still have a list of questions unanswered, but it's so exhausting even pondering them, with the knowledge that I can't just pick up the phone and find the answers.

We're both intelligent people. We saw this outcome as a possibility - and being as we're both caring people - an inevitability almost. Maybe it wasn't something to think about.

We licked the flame, and the flames licked back.


Ramones - I Wanna Be Sedated



I broke today.

Another sleepless night trying to deal with the reduction to occasional friend from something much more, but my subconscious just wasn't having it.

2 emails went out just after 0400: the first an attempt at conveying my thoughts & feelings, the second a love letter, containing a list of things I realize and that she might too one day. The love letter was also somewhat of a farewell - it ended on a note that was very tough for me to write, stating that I could no longer continue with the current communication level, which had become every few days, and even then very closed off in nature. I tried over the previous week to adapt. I tried to instigate meaningful - or at least inspirational - conversation, but it was not reciprocated openly, and that is difficult to deal with, especially since one of the things I enjoyed most was the open conversation.

The failing of email communication was proven yet again, as the second missive was misinterpreted as an ultimatum. It was not a choice forced upon another, but rather a pure hope on my part, and a choice made with much sadness. I like being open with her. I'm still not sure if she understands, but I did my best to convey what a phone call or in-person chat would've taken care of with a great deal more ease.

These emails were some of the most difficult to write. I didn't want to write them at all.


0800 A very unpleasant dream wherein you received my emails & pretended not to care. It was completely unlike you. I awoke feeling like I'd snapped my neck or slept upside-down.




Trying my best not to care, but 0200 has me awake, skin crawling. Communication is weighing heavily on my mind again. I want to be available, in touch, but the frequency and level of communication is currently lacking to the point where it's difficult to deal with, especially having had such an open dialogue before.

0420 awoken by a dream wherein I am Head Vampire. I'm hiding from a vampire hunter in the storage room of a university AV suite. The students come in & play movies while I hide, waiting. The significance - if any - is not immediately clear to me. Something to ponder.

I worked on 6 Stained House tracks today, each at various stages of completion. Tomorrow will be a fun day for me: reviewing the changes & confirming whether the desired effect has been achieved or not. I get much fulfilment out of this process, and the occasional moment of joy: when my own music does to me what that of countless others has done, sparking that amazing, almost indescribable glow within my being.


Peter Gabriel is helping so much right now. He is one of those artists with a voice of an angel. Up there with Roy Orbison and Shannon Hoon.

Peter Gabriel - Solsbury Hill

Thursday, July 1, 2010


I like to bring new meanings to old words, and on occasion invent words all of my own. "Subspace" is the former, existing primarily in the Star Trek universe as a communication method, I've taken the science out of it. This is how I explain the connection I experienced with a very dear friend & lover over the past few years. I've had similar connections with others before (one such connection is still in effect, termed "the Link" which we jokingly "Abuse" from time to time), but none has been so acute, so frequent, so tangible. That I can no longer discuss Subspace with this friend has me thinking about the concept and all that is bundled with it.

So what is Subspace?

Subspace is the connection you have with another being which transcends the physical, irrespective of distance or time. It is more than just the passing thought of that person, more than a result of familiarity or their ever-presence in your daily life. When subspace is in effect you can feel each other. You share thoughts, have unspoken conversations. There is a unique bond established, perpetual, with its own signature that only the 2 of you know. Subspace is more than coincidence. Maybe I'm a dreamer in this instance - and I am a romantic idealist at times - but if I've learned one thing this year, it's that this type of "magic" or unexplained/unexplainable science, does indeed exist.

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