Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Little Yo Yo Ma.

I had my first gig just over a week ago. I've done a zillion gigs before, but I think this was my real first. I write these silly little songs, and play these simple little guitar bits. The silly little songs now belong to me and my band, Yo Yo Ma. The gentleman of Yo Yo Ma take these songs, and turn them into something wonderful. Their creativity and ability amazes me all the time, and I feel so honored to make music with them.

The week before the gig was spent in concentrated Yo Yo Ma concentration, and I think that's when everything really came together. We shared food and drinks and talked ridiculousness, between hours of music making and ideas. When it was finally gig night, on the tiny stage in the tiny room, the little songs became big ones. We had made something that was completely our own, and we were sharing it with all of these listening people. To have made something that you love absolutely, and for that something to be appreciated by a room full of attentive people, is a wonderful thing.

This was the first gig of Yo Yo Ma, and there will be more. The next room is not so tiny. There will be more ears and eyes, and we will have to try harder to fill it. We are bigger now, but we are still little giants.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dad and Wine.

I love this picture of my dad. Drinkin wine (that thing he's holding camouflaged in his beard is in fact, a wine glass) at my grandparents place, with some of Mum's English relatives a long long long long time ago. I was just a little tyke, annoyingly running around taking pictures of everyone while they were trying to chat about important things and drink their red coloured poison. I had such a weird perspective of those get togethers, like every one of them (they were rather regular) was such a big event! I obviously didn't get out much when I was 11.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Fresh Air.

I love the weather at the moment. Perfectly fresh aired and blue skyed. I love how it makes tap water colder and bed so warm. Tea is more enjoyable, and stockings, scarves, jackets and hats can be worn. It makes me think of driving holidays, freezing night adventures and pretty mornings.

This is a picture I took on my first trip to Sydney in 2000.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011



Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bush Walk Bench.

I've been doing this thing for quite some time now called "Kieran on Benches", where I take pictures of my bro Kieran on various benches around the place, on road trips and the like. This one is my favourite of him- I love the colours and everything about it. Also, the side of the mountain behind him looks like it should be the ground, which is pretty awesome!


Thursday, April 14, 2011


I have a collection of favourite pictures I've taken of (or witnessed the taking of) my lovely friends and family. So I shall share them with you one at a time sometimes with a little story. Although my stories are rarely little..

To me, this picture is the perfect representation of Jess and Susie. They don't take things to seriously when it's not necessary, and have the skill of making fun out of otherwise mundane situations!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Always Ready for Tea Time.

I realised that the majority of pictures in my 'wish list' folder are related to tea time. Tea time is my favourite time!


Unpopularity, Lack of Money and Frustration.

I'm reading this fantastically thought provoking book at the moment, brought for me by the wonderfully read Nicole Williams, "The Consolations of Philosophy". I'm in the midst of the third chapter, "Consolation for Frustration", after reading "Consolation for Unpopularity" and "Consolation for Not Having Enough Money". Obviously, this book was written for someone just like me to read :)

I shall share some of the wisdom of the book with y'all now:

"Though the terrain of frustration may be vast- from a stubbed toe to an untimely death- at the heart of every frustration lies a basic structure: the collision of a wish with an unyielding reality."

"Consolation for Not Having Enough Money" is definitely my favourite chapter so far. It explores connections between money and happiness. Yeah, it turns out there aren't too many connections. So my future isn't so bleak after all! It's so obviously true though, I was a happy child while my dad was studying- living on the basics ain't a curse. Happyness is in freedom, relationships and thought.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Take Away Show.

I love these "take away shows"!! The sound and ambiance they capture is just perfect. As if Iron and Wine needed to be any more hauntingly beautiful:

And I had no idea The Shins were so much fun! Now I understand a little better why their music is at the level of awesome that it's at:

A new perspective of Vampire Weekend:


Monday, March 7, 2011

No Enlightenment on the Topic of Enlightenment.

This semester at uni, I'm taking a class on World Music, studying music's relationship to different cultures through religion. It's pretty sweet. Today the lecture was on Buddhism. I know a little about Buddhism, as I based my year 12 artworks on it a couple of years ago, and I found it absolutely fascinating. So much so, that I did a fair bit of unnecessary research on it, before deciding to work with a media that I had absolutely no experience in and making a pretty mundane project. But that's another story.

So yes, the lecture. We were going over The Eightfold Path, and the idea behind 'Right Mindfulness' got me thinking. My (wandering) thoughts tied it into something we were discussing earlier, about music fusing time and space to reflect eternity and freeze the flow of time.. it's a very confusing concept, and I brushed it off as mumbo jumbo when it was first brought up. The basic idea behind 'Right Mindfulness', is living in the present, and really experiencing your sensations and thoughts. It's a beautiful idea in theory, but practically impossible to stick to!

Music is used in some religions to go outside of the boundaries of the mind. Outside of 'rational' thinking and pure logic. It 'fuses time and space' by bringing the past and present together, forming one whole thing. A piece of music is the reflection of someones mind state in the past (when it was written), while also reflecting their mind state in the present (when it is performed); neither being of more importance. So as the writer and performer of a piece, you're in a kind of limbo! As a listener, however, you're in a different place again: your present is the result of someone elses fused past and present.

The concept of 'Right Mindfulness' in relation to this is quite interesting. As a writer, you can go back to the past and essentially reembody it. While I'm playing music I've written, I feel as though I am in the present more so than usual, as I'm experiencing my senses to an extreme level, and am focused on my feelings and thoughts of that exact moment. But does this reembodied past count as present? Does it change when I'm playing something I haven't written?

As a listener, it can be the two extremes. I've been to concerts where I can't bring myself to pay attention. I try to listen, but get distracted by contemplative thoughts of completely unrelated things. On the other hand, there have been concerts where my attention doesn't leave the music it's entirety. The first symphony I ever witnessed went for 2 hours, and I heard every single bar of it.

Unlike Buddha, I have not reached any level of enlightenment on the subject of music and time. However, it continues to fascinate me, so I shall continue to ramble about it to anyone who will listen. If you actually read to the end of this without losing interesting or having your brain explode with confusion, come and collect your prize.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Now or Never.

"A painting, a book, a piece of music. They serve not just to depict but to capture- capture a time that will soon be absent."

- John Connell

This sums it up perfectly, doesn't it? It explains so well why I always have to finish making things straight away once I've started them- before the time that I'm depicting/capturing passes.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Oh, The Quirk.

This young lady, Juno Temple, has such a quirky, inspiring look.

She also has fantastic acting skills! Double whammy. See her in Atonement, St Trinians, Mr Nobody, Year One and many others of which I haven't yet had the pleasure of seeing.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Epic Collaboration.

Basement Birds are a pretty epic collaboration. The artistic talents of Kevin Mitchell, Steve Parkin, Josh Pyke and Kav Temperley come together to create a unique sound of brilliance. Their song Bus Stop is even more collaboration-full, with the addition of Julia Stone's greatness. It seems the more collaborationy it is, the more beautiful the outcome.


Joint Thinking.

"While the Western belief in individualism romanticises this perception of the solitary creative process, the reality is that scientific and artistic forms emerge from the joint thinking, passionate conversations, emotional connections and shared struggles common in meaningful relationships."

- Vera John-Steiner, Creative Collaboration


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

We're all alright!

We're not really though. People's houses are destroyed along with all of their belongings, people are dieing, missing, loosing power, phone lines are down, roads are invisible, public transport is down- it's a bit of a mess here in Brisbane. I'm a lucky duck, thankfully, all nice and dry so far!

The most ridiculous things are happening. Today at work, we sold 300 and something loaves of white bread, as opposed to the usual 40ish. It's so weird to hear about all of the floods and destruction, when I barley saw a drop of water all day! Being up on high ground in the sun makes it seem like the news is a movie or something. But if I were to go on a 5 minute drive or so, I could see the full effects of it all (spending the day at work, I could only see pictures that other people had taken of this insane mass of water). I also saw a picture of South Bank which indicated that my university is now part aquarium.. so that should be interesting. I worry for the organ down stairs! Do organs work after they've been under water?

I hope everyone's doing alright, and that we can function normally in the near future. Come and visit me to stock up on bread and milk (like everyone else seems to be doing) tomorrow, as most places were breadless today. Do not fear, your bakery is here.


Friday, January 7, 2011


The Beards. They have beards. They sing only about beards. Their album covers feature divine beard sketches.

They are all about the beard, and they do it well. I think they may start some kind of beard revolution.

But seriously, how do they think up so much beard related material? It must be becoming difficult to write about beards by now.. they've released two albums! And they sold ridiculously well at Woodford!! I raise my glass to them, they've really got something going on here.


It really is summertime.

So I've recently(ish) returned from Woodford, and there are so so so so so many music related posts in my head that I am bursting to post. I have no idea where to start, so I'm just gonna postpone the starting thing to the near future. In the mean time, feel your soul explode with a bit of this.

Go Janis, go.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Go without, til the need seeps in.

The other night, while listening to The Shins, I took note of the above lyrics from the song 'Sleeping Lessons'. I've always liked this line, but this time it stirred much thought in my thought hungry brain.

Did you know that over 50% of the human population make a new years resolution? Yep, that's right. Over 50%. That statistic is so ridiculous it makes me wince, but somebody (on the news may I add) felt the need to share it. Anyway, last year I made a new years resolution that I had much difficulty defining. The first time I told somebody, they told me it sounded selfish, and although it kind of was, I didn't think I had worded it quite properly (an ongoing battle I have between my brain and my mouth). Since that first time, I attempted to explain it many ways, each explanation receiving an odd facial expression and head nod from the question asker/s of the conversation. I should have just gone with something simple and usual.

So, as I think I've almost hit the nail on the head when it comes to explaining it, my new years resolution of 2010 was to do things more for the reason that they felt right to me, as opposed to doing them because I felt I had to from society's ideas of me or other peoples opinion. The reason I made this resolution was because it seemed to me like my unhappiness was a direct result of the decisions I had been, or had been avoiding to, make. I figured out this was because I was making these decisions for the wrong reasons, and it was time to fix this. For an over thinker, I wasn't putting enough valuable thought into the things I was deciding to do, and it really wasn't working for me. Surprisingly.

When I made this new years resolution, I really didn't know what I was getting myself into. I don't think I realised that I was about to attempt to change the way I made every single, little and big, decision. I was hunting happiness, in a way. First, this new way of thinking made me question the way I thought in general. Why I liked the things I liked, and if I actually really did like the things I liked. For instance, do I actually like cake, or do I just like it because it's accepted that cake is a nice thing? It turns out that I do really like cake.

But it also made me reconsider and change a lot of significant things, such as decisions I had made in 2009, and wa la, I was happier. It made me reconsider and change the way that I allowed people to treat me, and wa la, I was happier. It made me really think about how I deal with men, and wa la, that gave me a frick load to think about.

For I, as all have done, had made some very silly decisions when it comes to how I deal with the opposite sex. I was tip-toeing around when I should have been stomping on feet, and doing the opposite. It was getting me nowhere.

This change of thinking when it came to men, unfortunately, resulted in a very, very, very long stream of nothingness. I could sustain interest in one person for a week, tops. I'd meet somebody and think they were the best thing since sliced bread (and I am a very big fan of sliced bread), and then a short time later, I'd completely loose interest. But it was better I kept looking past these small infatuations, then get myself into another situation that wasn't going to bring me happiness or satisfaction. I was waiting for that effortless attraction. That's why the lyrics stood out to me, "Go without, til the need seeps in". That's what I was doing, in a sense; waiting for the need. And eventually, it did actually get me somewhere! I ended the year with somebody who's keep my interest for well over a week, and makes me so unbelievably happy. Wa la! Definitely worth it.

So not only did I manage to keep a new years resolution (I wonder how many out of the very significant statistic, 50% of the population, actually do that), but it actually made a massive impact on the way that I make decisions, and has resulted in notably high happiness levels. Even though I had much success with my new years resolution last year, I've decided not to make one this year. I'm happy with how things are going right now, so why change it? Instead I shall continue with last years decision of decision making and see if it continues working.