Music






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71 posts categorized "Live Shows"

10/30/2013

Back.

The summer is over. LA has a long summer.  As I am writing this, fall is finally here. It feels good. The light is changing, and although Los Angeles is not really a weather-rich kind of place, you can feel the change. Evenings are chillier. Some trees are definitely recognizing that it's time to change the color of their foliage, even though it's still warm during the day. The ocean is getting colder, too, but I still go for a daily swim.

I just spent a couple of days resting and basically doing not much of anything. I loved it. Sometimes I think maybe I don't have any 'in-between' settings. I am like a car that only has a 1st and 5th speeds. Sometimes I find myself idling - it could be because I need to rest or due to fear, but I can't stay there long. Once I start something, I go hard. Sometimes too hard, in fact, but a part of me enjoys that, as well. What is life for, if not to burn bright? 

My last entry here was early July, was it not? I think I was very raw and uncertain about a number of things. I had just come off of a trip of a lifetime - attending and performing at TED Global - but I was wrestling with a few emotional issues. I was also just at the start of making my new EP, which I had decided to produce myself. I was terrified, frankly. I wasn't sure I could do it. I was also freshly broken up with my major label. A good and friendly divorce, that. But a divorce is still a divorce, is it not? It had taken its toll.

I kept at it and kept going.

And fast forward to the last couple of weeks. We are done with my new EP. I did it - I think. This is the last week of tweaking and small changes and adjustments, and then we are mastering. And then I get to present this new music to my peers, the industry and the world.

Could it be better? Have I accomplished what I set out to do? It can ALWAYS be better. That said, this EP is most definitively me and I did my best - this time around. I know I will do better next time, as well, because I learned so, so much in the process. I loved every minute of it, even the fear and the freak-outs; the moments when I lay in bed, shaking and thinking: 'What the hell am I doing? Why do I think I can even do this?' Because you see, it's those moments of pain that frame the instants of 'Aha! It is working! Wow!' and by default, make me realize my progress.

The world will react to my music in some way, and I do hope it's as positive as it gets, but in my heart I know that I am these songs. This is my evolution. The fact is, because I produced this, every note, every chord and every moment of these songs is me, and me alone. Don't get me wrong - I delegated where I had to and I am forever grateful to some amazing people who contributed their time and talents. But this is me 100% in a way that Beatrix Runs was not, because this time I was not only the ship, I was also the Captain and the First Mate.

Some fun things happened this summer, too, like my song 'Meant' being featured on TV for the show 'Scandal', and then being used for 'So You Think You Can Dance'. Watching an amazing rhumba dance routine to 'Meant'  on prime time television was a treat in itself.

Some heartbreaking things happened, as well. The actor who was my romantic counterpart in the official video for 'Meant', Anthony De Baeck - passed away from cancer in the recent weeks. He had become a friend. He was a truly amazing, warm, beautiful human being. It hit me hard.

The owner and mastermind of my favorite L.A. listening room, The Witzend - Jeb Milne - also passed away. I grew to love and respect Jeb. I have performed many, many shows there in the past two years and loved it. Fortunately, his legacy, his venue will go on. I am glad because he had worked so, so hard to make it a reality. It was his dream. No, it was his Dream, with a capital 'D'. He made it come true, and then just as it took off, he left us to pursue other adventures on the other side of the universe. I will miss him, as will many others.

Where to now? Well, I feel strong, I am healthier than ever and I have this new music to carry me forward. One of the songs on the EP also has a Russian language version and will be my first official Russian single, as well. I am working on the full length Russian EP, as well. Also, in the making of my new EP, I encountered a wonderful new collaborator and creative soulmate. We are putting together a new project, separate from my solo music. It is a duo and the sound is quite different.

I have been writing the last bits of the Beatrix story and we intend to put it up in its entirety by the time the new release happens - better late than never.

A new stage is about to begin and I finally feel like I am ready to take it on.

I guess regardless of what will happen in the coming months, one thing that I do know deep in my heart is that I am, indeed, better than I was last year - as a singer, writer and performer. I kept evolving. Sometimes I took a step backwards, sometimes I stood still paralyzed by fear, but never for long. I kept moving forward. That is the most important thing to me. In the end, it is more important than recognition or material success. Knowing that I have improved and feeling the enthusiasm of a new beginning - those are the components of my 'aphrodisiac' towards life. Recognition is the third component, of course, but if the first two are truly present, the mixture can still be magic without external validation.

As long as I have the sense of the first two in my heart, I am the Alchemist.

 

06/19/2013

Post-TED

Ah, I am still in Europe, and TED Global 2013 is over. What a week. I am still digesting everything that happened. What an overload of information, inspiration and adrenaline. My performance went rather well - waiting to hear when the video will be posted on TED.com. The visual effects collaboration also went great and it was a wonderful addition to the performance. There are photos to follow, but for now there is a write-up of it on the official TED blog

I also fell in love with Scotland and took lots of pictures. Today is the first day I am resting without having to run somewhere, talk and socialize or get on a moving conveyance of some sort. It feels divine. Tomorrow is another such day and then it's back to Los Angeles and finishing my new music. There is much work ahead!

Tomorrow I will also spend some time writing down my TED highlights and will post some photos.

Elizaveta at TED

photo by James Duncan Davidson

Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 9.09.05 PM

06/06/2013

Traveling, TED, Strep Throat etc

I am currently in Paris.

Yesterday I had crepes for breakfast.

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Before that I was in Portugal, and I loved it. I would like to go back. I love the sound of the Portuguese language. It is soft, hard, romantic but unpretentious at the same time. It is cozy. French is beautiful, but it's difficult and twisty on the tongue. Italian - my first love - is open, honest and gorgeous like a sunlit cathedral. Of course there are many dialects of Italian, too. Portuguese is like cuddling under a blanket with a loved one, knowing that there are tasty things to eat in the kitchen and the day is stretching in front of you, lazy and welcoming.

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I performed in London at the Elgin in Notting Hill. Unfortunately, my throat was not great, and I started coughing mid-set. I was not sure I could go on. Fortunately for me, I had my magic tea with me, the crowd was supportive and kind - and I went on to do all the songs, even the 'big' ones.

Missy Washington, aka i102fly, made me a special little something to wear for this show:

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At this point, I am waiting until tomorrow to see how I feel and if I don't feel better, I'll go to a French doctor and probably end up on more antibiotics. Let's hope not. But I have rehearsing to do, and a TED performance next week - Tuesday. 

Right now I am working with a French stage visual effects wizard Cyrille Brissot. He and I are going to TED together and we're preparing something special for my show there.

 

05/14/2013

So You Think You Can Dance, Strep, Dragons, Dreamer Kids and Journeys

How is that for a blog entry title?

Anyway, just a few minutes ago I got an email that my song 'Meant' will be featured on tonight's season premiere episode of So You Think You Can Dance. Wow! I will have to watch! Very excited. Over the past year I have received so many emails from people who used 'Dreamer' as their dance song - for recitals, flag routines - you name it. I do like that show a lot. Every time I have watched it I have walked away with a firm decision to take up dancing again. Er....OK, soon.

Unfortunately no celebratory glass of wine for me tonight. I have been sick with strep throat. Let me tell you: don't get it. I don't know how I picked it up, but chances are it was at the elementary school where we did our first Dreamer to Hero Art & Music Workshop a week and a half ago.

The workshop was done as a collaboration with my designer and art partner in crime Missy Washington of i102fly - she did the art portion of the event, while I did - guess? - the musical part of it, obviously. The kids were 8-9 years old and there were about 20 of them.

Halfway through the workshop I recorded the kids singing a part for my new song HERO. Yes, the one with the choir at the end. After that, Missy led them in an arts and crafts endevour.

Let me tell you: who needs high end gadgets or materials? She brought supplies from a Re-Use outlet and we made Superhero Machines from cardboard, discarded plastic, CDs, old packaging and other bits and pieces. The idea was to show them that sometimes even though you don't have the ultimate raw material/situation/resources to work with, you can still come out on top, be creative and come up with something amazing - and that applies to everything in life, in my opinion. The kids made some really incredible things and it was really inspiring to watch them.

We had a brilliant time and I can't wait to do it again. It was also filmed (by my friend Julien Lasseur), so in the next week or so we will post the video summary of the event.

Elly+missy+dreamers
Here is myself, two young Dreamers and Missy of i102fly.

Kids and me
A good time was had by all.

 

Speaking of the Choir for HERO: a huge thank you to all who submitted their recordings and videos. We had plenty recordings and the choir is sounding great! We may still ask fans for more videos, but we may be ok, too, we'll have to cut to song and see what happens. The best part about it is that for the first time I have engaged my fans in something active and something collaborative. It generated so much positive energy - I am definitely doing to do this again.

Later that week we also shot a little video for the acoustic version of a new song called Dragonslayer. The song is in the electronica genre and one of the ones I have been producing myself recently. I am pretty proud of it. The acoustic version works really well, too.  Here is a still from the shoot:

Dragonslayer shoot1

So now there are all sorts of videos in the pipeline.

However it was that weekend that I got very sick. I tried my best to stay off the antibiotics, but it turned out that I had strep throat, and it was rather virulent. It was so bad that I felt a slight sore throat Sunday morning and by Sunday night I had no voice whatsoever.

I did all my natural remedies, as usual and they helped a lot - but after a week in bed I was still in pretty bad shape. As much as I try to avoid medication (due to a very negative experience in the past I may speak about here later sometime) I had to give in and take one because now it's less than two weeks before I leave for Europe - my London show is on the 30th - and then Paris - and then TED Global. There's lots to do and I can't just keep riding this infection out.

Fortunately the antibiotic seems to be doing its job and I am better, except for a nasty cough that comes and goes, so no singing for another few days.

And now back to work.

Here is also a photo from my photoshoot with Belathee Photography a couple of weeks ago. Those girls are so good! And so fun to be around! Can't wait to work with them again.

Screen Shot 2013-05-14 at 2.39.43 PM

 

04/23/2013

guitars.

Spent the whole day yesterday recording guitars on new tracks with Ben Cassorla. He says I am in real danger of becoming a female Phil Spector: I love to layer, and I am very specific about what I want and what I don't want. In fact, he went as far as compliment me on my "session skillz" by saying that I was 'very organized'.

I'll take it. Being organized is a big part of being disciplined. I think I am happiest when I know I am actively working on goals I set for myself, as I have been recently. I spent most of Sunday preparing for the session by coming up with various guitar lines, hooks and ideas, and then recording them in scratch form, for Ben to re-record later. Yesterday we recorded all guitars for my new song Da Da Da Da - which, incidentally, is looking to become my first Russian single, too, and also Hero.

Speaking of Hero, today I am sending out the email with instructions for my Virtual Choir participants, of which there are more than a hundred. It will be an amazing choir!

This week I am finalizing the Japanese version of Dreamer and also continuing work on the Chinese version of Odi et Amo. Yes, I know it has been a while since I promised this recording, but it's better late than never, is it not? I think so.

Producing my new music is a huge deal for me. At least even being able to take it this far and give it all I've got - it is doing wonders for my self esteem and overall mood. Last week was increasingly stressful and I had to consciously distance myself from the news, social media etc and throw myself into work. It is pretty easy for me to spin out and lose track of time, or get anxious and sad when I read about negative things happening around the world. I have realized recently that if I am going to do the work, I must make sure I limit my exposure to the outside world, Internet, Twitter and such when I am focusing on the music. There is no other way.

04/19/2013

It has been a melancholy few days, with the Boston tragedy and then Texas plant explosion taking place shortly thereafter. This morning I made a choice to stay away from the news, Facebook and Twitter for a little while because I was assaulted by second to second coverage of the manhunt.

In my humble opinion, no manhunt should be made into a spectacle. It brought back to me memories of reading 'The Running Man'.

My dear hope is that this incident does not give rise to more hate. The world can't hold any more division, than it already does. We are all different, some of us are very flawed, some are angry, some are lucky and others are starving - but the important thing is not to give in to hate. Violence always begets more violence. Hate always makes for more hate. Righteous retaliation and judgment are a slippery slope.


Today I am focusing on recording lead vocals for my potential Russian single. I call it my Russian single because the original idea for it was to be the single from my upcoming Russian EP, however I am very proud of this song, although it is a little more dance-oriented than some of my previous tunes... and so it will be part of my US release, as well.

I have been feeling, increasingly, how important it is to meditate these days. Even if is just a few minutes of silence and reconnecting to the 'Inner Map'.

Speaking of maps and things - I have just scheduled a show in London for end of May, as I'll be on my way to Edinburgh (via Paris) to perform at TED Global 2013. It is at The Elgin in Notting Hill, May 30th, which I believe to be a Thursday. Check all the details in the little window to your right. I may be doing a Paris show, too, but not sure about all the details yet...

 

04/12/2013

Woke up early, headpiece-ready

...for a very fun photo shoot with friends/fans and great photographers duo Annabel & Dorothee of Belathee Photography.

I had a brand new headpiece to model that Missy of i102fly had custom made for my Moscow show, and I felt like it needed some proper photos - I wasn't wrong, I think we have some amazing pictures now. It is actually made from coral leaves which I found while on vacation in the Caribbean. It was my first time there and I loved it, and then brought the coral back in my suitcase. (Disclaimer: no live coral was actually harmed!) As a result, my suitcase smelled strongly for fish when I opened it, and so did all my clothes. The coral pieces had to bake in the sun and air out a bit for a few days, but they still smelled a bit like fish when Missy customized them into a headpiece and I took it to Moscow for the performance, where it was a big hit.

I am a little fuzzy and tired because the last few days were quite packed, between getting ready for the show, some private lessons I am taking, meetings etc. Starting this weekend I will have a somewhat slower stretch until my departure for TED & Europe in early June. Slower not in the sense of less to do - but just less deadline-oriented. Although hmmm..... maybe not:) Well, it is ok. I am happiest when I have a goal and I am working towards it. Maybe it's a Capricorn thing - I am like a mountain goat, slowly but surely finding my footing and climbing the mountain.

The show the other night was a lot of fun, sold out and we also shot it on video, so I am looking forward to seeing/hearing it. This was my first time in a long while performing with a full band - drummer, guitarist, bassist and myself on keyboards and guitar. I also performed two brand new songs, including Hero on which I play electric guitar. It was an early night, meaning that it was at 8 PM and I had quite a few kids in the audience. I had four little girls sitting in the front row staring at me, which was a bit distracting at first! They were incredibly cute. At the end of the show as I was packing up, two of them approached me, hand in hand, and asked whether they could be in my band. Victory! 

I have an enormous amount of music work to do but it's all very exciting. The Russian songs are taking shape, too, and I think I have my first Russian single for sure.

In about a week and a half I also will go and record a children's choir with a bunch of 3rd graders to add to my Hero song - and Missy and I will hold our first ever Dreamer Workshop for kids.

04/10/2013

Hero's Journey

As I jokingly said to a friend the other day: 

"Maybe I should stop with the archetypal - and one word - song titles!"

Consider: in my Beatrix Runs album I had:

Meant

Dreamer

Nightflyers

Orion

Victory

 

And now, some of my new songs:

Hero

Spaceman

Messenger

Sorry

.....Do we detect a pattern here? What could this mean??

On another note, tonight I am performing Hero for the first time live. Butterflies.

I am also playing with the musicians who were with me at the iTunes Live Capitol Sessions last summer. They are so amazing. Here they are - well, minus string quartet this time, but the drummer and the bassist are the same - Jimmy Paxson and Michael Valerio. I love them.

Elizaveta - Armies of Your Heart - iTunes Live from Elizaveta on Vimeo.


 

 

The crowd sourcing idea I had for Hero really appealed to many people, apparently! I have over 100 emails from fans who want to be in the Virtual Choir. That is very, very cool. This is going to be an amazing choir, and can you imagine all those different energies pouring into it? I am excited. If you signed up, wait another few days to get all the information about and hows and the whens.

Also, in about 10 days I will get a chance to record a children's choir for the same thing. And we will film it, too. Wow! More on that later.

 

If you are reading this today - April 10, Wednesday, and you are not in L.A., we'll stream some of the show - badly, but one has to start somewhere:) and this link HERE, via USteam, starting 8 PM PST.

04/07/2013

Work, work, work, work - play, play, play, play.

I really must stop neglecting this blog. Here, I said it: this is my new resolution. I think, however, this happens because I post on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, as well, so sometimes I forget. It is no excuse, however, because in writing longer passages that are not mere impressions or soundbytes, I seem to find a rhythm of a kind and make sense of things that happened over time.

March was a bit of a whirlwind. I performed my first show in Moscow on March 8th, at Oldich, which is a lovely venue. It was sold out and the audience was warm and welcoming. I can't wait to go back and also release my Russian language collection of songs, which I have also been working on. Here is a little video the venue put together:

Elizaveta @ Oldich Dress & Drink from Elizaveta on Vimeo.

 

At the moment I am a bit tired after a rehearsal, so I will fulfill my writing promise tomorrow. I am performing this Wednesday and really looking forward to it. Tomorrow I get to wake up early and keep on working...

But I do have something to share with you first, and below is my Newsletter I just sent out today:

greetings my darlings - this is one packed email, so please read carefully!

                                                         ***

I. I have been hard at work on the new record, which will come to you in two EPs. I have been producing a lot of these songs, which is a brand new thing for me - both nerve-wrecking and incredibly fulfilling.

I need your help! One of the songs is called HERO. It is very special to me in this whole group of new songs and will definitely be a single, maybe even the first one. It also features a large choir at the end, of people who are all singing in unison. Since I can't really afford to record the Los Angeles Master Chorale, and I would love these to be REAL people, not software, here is my idea: why don't YOU sing on it - and be in my video?

Let's do this and make one giant choir!

So here are the details:

1) Email us at team@elizaveta.net with CHOIR in the subject line: we are already compling a list of people who are interested and in about a week will send out the email with all the information you may need.

2) FAQ: you don't have to be an amazing singer. You don't have to be in my area: you could be in Russia, Siberia or France. You DO have to record yourself with your  computer or smartphone singing the short & simple melody (that we will provide to you) and email it to us. You can sing by yourself or with your child, aunt, friends - the more the merrier! Even better: videotape yourselves singing and upload it to YouTube, send me a link, and you will get a cameo in the HERO crowdsourced video. 

3) What will happen: We will take all these recordings, mix them together and: hooray! We have a huge choir for my song:) IMPORTANT: I can't pay you for your time or effort. But I will thank you personally on camera, add your names to the album liner notes, and host a special Google + chat for the participants only + send you a handwritten card.

II. I am performing next Wednesday, April 10 here, in LA, at the Witzend.We will be filming it for my live EPK and will need your lovely faces there! I will perform HERO for the first time, have the audience join in on the song and record it, too! So in a way, if you are at my show this coming Wednesday, you are ALREADY in my choir - how amazing is that?:)

Also, I will be joined by the amazing Michael Valerio on bass, Jimmy Paxson (who featured in my Capitol Sessions) on drums/percussion and Ben Cassorla on guitar. My new Flower Alchemist guitar (made by James Trussart, in the photo above) will be making an appearance, as well.

You are advised to purchase tickets now because it will sell out, so do it HERE. It is all ages & $10 to get in. There will be some kids there, so don't hesitate to bring yours!

However: If you are elsewhere and can't attend, join us in a Google+ Hangout! Make sure you sign up/add me on Google+ HERE or show up at the link in real time. We will launch a public Google+ Hangout just before the show starts, I will say hi and then you can catch some of the music! This is the first of many Google+Hangouts to follow, so make sure you are in my Circle;)

 III. Finally: I wanted to share with you that I have parted ways with my record label Universal Republic. I am utterly and forever grateful to them for making Beatrix Runs happen and the last two years were amazing. But - I believe that the future belongs to a different model, and I am already half-way there. I have many, many songs to share with you in the coming weeks and months, and being an independent artist is the right thing for me at this time. 

Thank you for sharing this road with me. I love you.

PS: my new Flower Alchemist guitar, made by James Trussart

My awesome guitar

 

 

04/01/2013

The HERO EP is out worldwide!

 GET IT HERE: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/hero-ep/id840993534

 

Visit http://www.elizaveta.com - my official website.

Here is the iTunes direct link to purchase 'Beatrix Runs'.

To better stay in touch, please sign up for the Enthusiasts Email List on the left -  that way you get free musical things I frequently release exclusively to my fan list.

I am an indie artist - I write, produce and record my music on my own label Flower Army Records. Please remember that and purchase some of my music legally so I can continue making more of it - for you.

Love, Elly






 

About

My Photo
NYC-born, raised in Russia, spent some time in an Italian monastery, arrived in the U.S. & studied opera. The rest is history.

Album 'Beatrix Runs' out now on iTunes worldwide.

New EP 'Hero' out in the spring 2014.

Contact: elly@elizaveta.net

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