Sometimes words aren’t enough to explain the way things are….but they can get pretty darn close…..

April 3rd, 2013 by Ash

An amazing quote from Phillip Roth’s book American Pastoral.

I keep re reading it and thinking about this. It’s not really tragic, although it almost feels that way….

“You fight your superficiality, your shallowness, so as to try to come at people without unreal expectations, without an overload of bias or hope or arrogance, as untanklike as you can be, sans cannon and machine guns and steel plating half a foot thick; you come at them unmenacingly on your own ten toes instead of tearing up the turf with your caterpillar treads, take them on with an open mind, as equals, man to man, as we used to say, and yet you never fail to get them wrong. You might as well have the “brain” of a tank. You get them wrong before you meet them, while you’re anticipating meeting them; you get them wrong while you’re with them; and then you go home to tell somebody else about the meeting and you get them all wrong again. Since the same generally goes for them with you, the whole thing is really a dazzling illusion empty of all perception, an astonishing farce of misperception. And yet what are we to do about this terribly significant business of “other people,” which gets bled of the significance we think it has and takes on instead a significance that is ludicrous, so ill-equipped are we all to envision one another’s interior workings and invisible aims? Is everyone to go off and lock the door and sit secluded like the lonely writers do, in a soundproof cell, summoning people out of words and then proposing that these word people are closer to the real thing than the real people that we mangle with our ignorance every day? The fact remains that getting people right is not what living is all about anyway. It’s getting them wrong that is living, getting them wrong and wrong and wrong and then, on careful reconsideration, getting them wrong again. That’s how we know we’re alive: we’re wrong. Maybe the best thing would be to forget being right or wrong about people and just go along for the ride. But if you can do that–well, lucky you.”

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New music video

January 30th, 2013 by Ash

So I saw this video recently while following the links on youtube, a sometimes dangerous past time.

It’s this thing called sideshow alley. This sideshow alley thing is an interesting concept. I really like the idea. There’s something I really love about performers on the street, no magic lightening, no sound guy, un mic’d just playing and singing.

I’ve seen it a few times. There’s a French out fit that do it. Beruit do a really cool outdoor video as well as Andrew Bird:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R781LDKOVJE

So I found the Melbourne version and came across a video they did with the Australian Ballet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfO0GOmzXsc

This got me thinking of doing something very similar except using my track prelude #1. I asked a dancer/choreographer friend of mine and it’s all happening. Scheduled to shoot something mid February and I will post it up here as soon as it’s finished.

Here’s part of the track that I will be using:
http://ashleighsoutham.bandcamp.com/track/prelude-1

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3rd Draft of the novel: Chapter 18

July 31st, 2012 by Ash

So after collecting some feedback from my nearest and dearest literary critics, I\’ve just started the 3rd draft of my novel. This will be the final draft, which is rather exciting. Getting through it quickly too!….

Anyway, I wanted to share the closing paragraph of chapter 18:

\”The noise of his bones inhale with him. These are ancient battles. The sieges from within. The Trojan horse of desire and sex and love inside the high walls of the soul, waiting to bring it down from inside. He shakes his head and exhales. There is a knock at the door. He does not move.\”

More to follow for sure…….

Ash

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Escape like trains live

July 21st, 2012 by Ash

So I\’ve been rather busy lately. Just finished a nice wee holiday in the USA. What an amazing country. Such diversity. Before that I was in my first stage show, a production of \”Cosi\” with Eagles Nest theatre group.

So I finally got around to uploading some footage of a live gig last year at Red Wheelbarrow books. Was a great night and there\’s a few more to come. So here\’s the first of them, the track is \”Escape like trains\”.

Escape like trains live at Red Wheelbarrow books

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The Fish Poem take # 3

November 18th, 2011 by Ash

So someone spammed my blog in a comment to an old post, but it was a good thing because it made me look at an old poem.

I\’ve edited again (take #3) and here it is. With this version I\’ve tried to cull some of the wordiness (originally I was trying to be to clever) and make it clearer and more concise. Hopefully giving it more impact. If you\’re interested there are two earlier versions, click on the links below.

1st attempt

2nd attempt

The latest attempt:

The Fish

The fish jumps onto the beach and begins to draw in the sand.
the Crow says,
“I do not sing, so you do not paint”.
The moon hums “The tide is not low. I am wounded, that is all”.
The Bee nods.
“See” says the Crow
Absorbed, the Fish keeps drawing.
The Spider: “ Enough! You have the Ocean, we the have the Tress.
There is an order
of dust and bones and pain and stars.
Do not continue!”
The ant looks up, the scratching like static in his ears
The Wolf says
“If you stay, I promise the wilderness will fall on you,
including my claws”
The Fish continues
The Adder alone in the grass admires and praises him
silently to himself
The Mouse says “We have allowed this tourism, now go back!”
The Bear
exhales “This will end badly”
The Fish begins to run out of air but keeps drawing in the sand
The Beetle: “Look! He\’s running out of life!”
The Dolphin radars a plea to return.
“He\’s finished the drawing!”
“I don\’t understand, why is he smiling?”
The Fish lies down in the sand.

“I warned him”
“Silly dead Fish”
“So it goes”
“How strange?”
“Good, I am restored”
\”I kind of like it\”
“I don\’t understand?”

He was a sensitive fish, holding the flower in his palm.

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Recital in a Bookstore

November 10th, 2011 by Ash

So I\’ve decided that I need to perform before the year has finished. Having recently completed a folio as part of an application to do an honours year at Melbourne Uni in composition, I thought it would be awesome to hear some of the pieces live.

I\’ve also had this idea to perform it in the local bookstore, Red Wheelbarrow Books on Lygon st. (Based on the poem perhaps?)

It will be an intimate evening with wine and friends in a beautiful acoustic environment of wall to wall books, including performances by a string quartet, a brass quartet and myself. It\’s on the 9th of December, starting 8pm.

Would love to see you there!
Ash

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Prelude # 1

April 27th, 2011 by Ash

\"Prelude
So at the gig the other night I had a friend of mine record some of the tracks. Mostly because I hadn\’t had a chance to listen to the newly composed prelude.

Just wanted to share it. This piece will be part of a larger work:

http://ashleighsoutham.bandcamp.com/track/prelude-1

Hope you enjoy

Ash

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Recording and Indie label part #1 Composing & Arranging

December 12th, 2010 by Ash

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So, I just had this idea.
I\’m going to post the warts and all experience of recording my latest album. There are a lot of myths and questions about recording an album and the music industry in general. I\’d like to shed some light about my experience of it to the people I know and any others that stumble on my blog. I\’m going to write about my experience as a truely independant artist (no label, not even a small one, I\’m my own label). Where possible I want to include every detail, particularly, the costs and time that it takes to make a cheap indie label in these modern times.

My album is called \”Pilgrim\”. It is currently in the Manufacturering stage, so this post, and some others, will be retro active!

COMPOSING:

This is a fairly constant thing for me. I\’m always composing. All it really takes for me is time. Some quiet time spent on my instrument and things start to come out. Then, a sort stream of consciousness approach to lyrics and melody. Then, more time. After the intial spark, there\’s a lot of effort that goes into organising the sections and also finishing melodies and finding lyrics. Every song is different. One song on the album took me about 2 hours, start to finish and it was done. That\’s pretty rare though. The songs on this album date back to about 2008 when I first moved to Melbourne and I had lots of spare time after making muesli and reading at the library.

ARRANGING:

My idea was to use a variety of talented people I knew and some I didn\’t. I also wanted to include a orchestral instruments. I also didn\’t want a typical band album and I wanted to arrange the songs in such as way, as the instruments played an integral role rather than a supportive one.

I love writing for strings. So I knew I wanted a string quartet. I also saw it possible to write for a brass/wind quartet as well. So the line up for a lot of the songs is; String quartet, Brass/wind Quartet, Drums, Bass, Guitar/Keys.

Arranging 10 songs for that many instruments and getting it just right (perfectionist) took me a good part of about 8 months, which was longer than I originally thought. There were also last minute changes happening on the morning of some of the recording days. But I really did love every second of working on the scores.

So to recap. Composing of the original songs, happened from 2008 right up until the moment where I was changing lyrics in the vocal booth in Nov 2010. So give or take, 2 years. Arranging the material into just the right perfect symbiotic harmonious glory between all instruments, about 8 months. Cost, well….composing is just time really so no costs there. Arranging, cracked version of Sibelius was free, or about $200….no prises for guessing which one I went with.

Tune in next time for \”Decision Time!\”

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Albums I\’m listening to while re-reading my my 1st draft of novel (should take about 12 hours)

June 29th, 2010 by Ash

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Jonny Cash – American IV The man comes around
Joan as Policewoman – Real Life
The Mars Volta – Deloused in the comatorium
Coldplay – A Rush of Blood to the Head
Ryan Adams – Gold
The Grand Central Band
Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
The Doors – Morrison Hotel & LA Woman
Muse – Origins of symmetry
John Lennon – Wonsaponatime
Rufus Wainright – Want two


Now the coffees ready…..back to it!!

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Anne Carson

April 13th, 2010 by Ash

So I\’ve recently been reading Anne Carson\’s book of poetry and prose \’Plain Water\’ and I think she\’s amazing……so I wanted to post a poem of hers

\”On Youth at Night\”

the youth at night would have himself drawn
around the scream. It lay in the middle of the
city gazing back at him with its heat and
rose pool of flesh. Terrific lava shone
on his soul. He would ride and stare

I definately reccommend her….with some practice I hope to be as original…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Carson

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