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36 posts categorized "Poetry"

05/17/2012

the world is not enough - or is it enough?

I am overdue on a number of things, one of which is calling my mom, who is in Russia. I miss her.

It has been a difficult time, emotionally. Perhaps it is time to turn to some literary friends I have acquired over the years. And so I do... to one man who is always with me, because of his words - well you guessed who it is:

..Love your solitude and try to sing out with the pain it causes you. For those who are near you are far away, you write, and this shows that the space around you is beginning to grow vast.

And if what is near you is far away, then your vastness is already among the stars and is very great; be happy about your growth, in which of course you can't take anyone with you, and be gentle with those who stay behind; be confident and calm in front of them and don't torment them with your doubts and don't frighten them with your faith or joy, which they wouldn't be able to comprehend.

Seek out some simple and true feeling of what you have in common with them, which doesn't necessarily have to alter when you yourself change again and again; when you see them, love life in a form that is not your own and be indulgent toward those who are growing old, who are afraid of the aloneness that you trust.

Avoid providing material for the drama, that is always stretched tight between parent and children; it uses up much of the children's strength and wastes the love of the elders, which acts and warms even if it doesn't comprehend.

Don't ask for any advice from them and don't expect any understanding; but believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.

(rainer maria rilke, Letters to a Young Poet)

I am learning a lot these days - about myself, my limits, desires and true needs.

The good thing is that the music is flowing freely - I have a full album's material's worth on my iPhone - and that's just my iPhone.

I feel like a phase is ending and another beginning, but I am still in between. It's not the most comfortable place to be, because I like certainty. But perhaps that's just it: learning to be in that place, with patience - that is the lesson.

It appears to me that many of the people I know are having a similar experience. Or perhaps, once again, I am just seeing the world through my own little private lens, that just so happens to be a bit foggy these days.

 

I am doing, however, some good work. There are some interesting covers in progress, as well as originals. I am also wrangling with software and cables. Eck! I hate cables. But, alas, they are necessary in sound engineering of any kind.

Here is a bit of a cover I am putting together. It is a French song I have loved for a while now. I think I'll do another version with English lyrics... well, I'll have to WRITE them first, but it will be a pleasure. And then I'll have to remix it for sure, it's too gorgeous of a melody, it has to go over beats, too.

 

 

It seems to me that almost all our sadnesses are moments of tension, which we feel as paralysis because we no longer hear our astonished emotions living.

Because we are alone with the unfamiliar presence that has entered us; because everything we trust and are used to is for a moment taken away from us; because we stand in the midst of a transition where we cannot remain standing.

That is why the sadness passes: the new presence inside us, the presence that has been added, has entered our heart, has gone into its innermost chamber and is no longer even there, is already in our bloodstream. And we don't know what it was.

We could easily be made to believe that nothing happened, and yet we have changed, as a house that a guest has entered changes. We can't say who has come, perhaps we will never know, but many signs indicate that the future enters us in this way in order to be transformed in us, long before it happens.

And that is why it is so important to be solitary and attentive when one is sad: because the seemingly uneventful and motionless moment when our future steps into us is so much closer to life than that other loud and accidental point of time when it happens to us as if from outside.

The quieter we are, the more patient and open we are in our sadnesses, the more deeply and serenely the new presence can enter us, and the more we can make it our own, the more it becomes our fate; and later on, when it "happens" (that is, steps forth out of us to other people), we will feel related and close to it in our innermost being.

And that is necessary. It is necessary - and toward this point our development will move, little by little - that nothing alien happen to us, but only what has long been our own. People have already had to rethink so many concepts of motion; and they will also gradually come to realize that what we call fate does not come into us from the outside, but emerges from us.

It is only because so many people have not absorbed and transformed their fates while they were living in them that they have not realized what was emerging from them; it was so alien to them that, in their confusion and fear, they thought it must have entered them at the very moment they became aware of it, for they swore they had never before found anything like that inside them.

Just as people for a long time had a wrong idea about the sun's motion, they are even now wrong about the motion of what is to come. The future stands still, dear Mr. Kappus, but we move in infinite space.

Yes, that is definitely me today.

All_Alone_In_Space___n___Time_by_Artillusion

 

Mission for the rest of 2012 is to learn to walk a careful line between smugness and a sort of magnanimous noblesse oblige. And own it.

05/05/2012

Stormy Ether

There must have been something going on recently in the collective unconscious of the world - the ether - or maybe the planets fighting each other for their respective astrological supremacy. Hard to say. But it was a harsh week.

Today is Saturday and a full moon - it feels better, though. I feel better. I didn't wake up anxious, as I had been doing for over a week, straining to understand why the invisible sounds of life's behind-the-scenes machinery were filling me with dread.

It is not raining. It is only raining in my poem below. But in fact, for the first time in days it is also a morning of generous sunshine without the sprinkling of the rain or marine layer rolling in at first light.

I found this old poem I wrote a while back.

I have not changed since then. Or have I? That is the question.

When I start going mad, I always turn to one man who will never leave my heart - Rainer Maria Rilke.

 

Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day".

 

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I thought of you today.

The morning was covered by the blanket of rain

It was so sweet to lie there, half-asleep

and wonder, hazily, at the irony of life.

 

All my days, I am torn between

the safe haven, shining like a beacon

and the Grand Adventure.

But I am unable to give myself up

not for long anyway.

 

Who do you see, when you stare at me so?

A kind of saintly ghostly glow about me, perhaps

or maybe I represent a part of you

lost long ago; stillborn to this world.

 

The water on the roof was the Morse Code

I felt like I was close to knowing the answer.

There comes a time when all that matters

is being your own self, through and through.

 

And if I was with you, I know I would become

a better version of the girl I've only come to know.

No, not the girl: the woman.

I am no longer made of clay. I have been weathered,

beaten, burned and now I do not yield.

 

Your love is like the wind: it tugs; it beckons and embraces

I do not want the wind: I'd rather be with trees.

They stand there, waiting, until I come to them myself

and do not ever judge me.

(EIK, 2011)

04/22/2012

getting there... and back to poetry

I am feeling a lot better today, but it is still a day of rest.

I just watched Love The Earth, which is a crowd-sourced short film, scored by Imogen Heap - and then her performance with special cyborg gloves, which produce sound wirelessly, and the movement defines the tone/sound.

She is beyond amazing: I adore her.

Tomorrow I hook up all my equipment, pick up the guitar and start playing with music again. I want to do some special things for the tour that starts mid May. More on that soon..

I also intend to write more poetry, make some serious inroads in the Beatrix story, listen to hours of new music, dance and be wildly inspired and creative. I have been *doing* a lot since the beginning of the year - performing, planning, stressing, traveling, wondering, organizing.

And now all my heart wants is playtime with my Muse.

Last night I went ahead and re-read some of 'The Little Prince' by Saint-Exupery. I recently met someone who made me think of the book and its character - not the grown-up, but the Little Prince himself. This is one of those books that forever speak to me: almost as if it is written in code, and the code translates into whatever daily life I am living; regardless of whether it is now, tomorrow or five years ago.

'The Alchemist' is another one of those books.

 

“It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” 
― Paulo CoelhoAlchemist

Dreaming

A poem I wrote a while back:

 

I am not afraid
Ok, maybe a little bit
but even if I am
it's just a temporary place.

But this much I do know:
The straight lines and corners;
illusions that we make
and clothes we wear
to separate ourselves:
they are not us.

Now and then I get this
aching desire to let go
of everything I have ever learned
about who I am
where I am going
and what I truly want.

There is something here
I keep seeing out the corner of my eye.
Perhaps, if I move sideways
instead of forward, or backwards
or even standing still
I will know what it is.

Now and then
I get weak at the knees
from the love I feel
for this world
and tonight they're within me:
the knowing, the fear, the pleasure
of being human:
so alive and imperfect.


04/13/2012

back again... for a minute

I am back and spending some time with my guitar.. as it is raining outside. Southern California really needed rain, apparently. I am not at all sorry it came back with me from Northern California. We drove across the state together, seemingly.

The video for Meant is almost finished, another tour has been scheduled for May, and the iTunes acoustic session release is coming up soon. 

A brand new website is in the works - and we will soon start unveiling the story of Beatrix: which is the story behind the record. It will be premiered online in different formats throughout the rest of this year.

I performed at the El Rey theater last night, together with Michael Valerio on acoustic bass, who is my occasional MD and one of my favorite people and musicians all in one. I had not played at the El Rey Theater for almost a year, so it was a welcome return to home turf, so to speak, and an opportunity to observe my own progress. Yes, there has definitely been progress.

It was also very rewarding to see some of the new fans. There was one boy who was 14. There was a mother with her daughter who was 10. There were some older people, and a whole group of feisty and lovely women in their late 30's.

We drove all day from San Francisco. This tour has been all about driving around in a van - not the most comfortable or luxurious endeavor you can imagine, but strangely satisfying, as well - I get to catch up on all my reading, some language stuff (Chinese, hello??!!) and also meditation.

Furthermore, I think there is something in the movement that appeals to my restless nature and keeps the inner critic calm. After all, we are going somewhere, therefore we are not idle; therefore there is hope for a new development, other routes, something exciting around the corner.

Perhaps that is that, then. I would make a lousy housewife or librarian, most likely, because when I am still in one place for too long, I get anxious. When I get anxious, I am starting to inhabit my own head a bit too much, and that, in turn, makes me more anxious. Maybe I was a sailor in a past life. Or a mercenary. Or maybe a traveling potion maker or juggler, who sang.

Or maybe I am just young:)

However, it is not a coincidence that the story of Beatrix Runs - the story of time-traveling adventure behind the album - is very much a mirror of my own story up until now.

It is a story of struggle, searching for one's identity, adventure and, above all, coming to realize that life is an alchemical process.

01/16/2012

Lyrics for Orion, from 'Beatrix Runs' -out 1/24/12

Your silence is a question

to what I couldn't say

I see it in your tension

I let it slip away.

I know I never told you

I should have done it then

I could have tried to hold you

instead I turned and ran.

 

Did you know that I was dying

did you know that I was waiting for my ride?

the constellation of Orion

so bright that night

Did you know that I was fading

maybe I was hanging on to find

you'd be there to save me

if I ever fell behind

 

I know it doesn't matter

cause I'll be leaving soon

I'll try and send you letters

and postcards from the moon

I'll hear it if you call me

you have to know it's true

It gets a little lonely

I hope you miss me too.

 

But did you know that I was dying

did you know that I was waiting for my ride?

the constellation of Orion

so bright that night

Did you know that I was fading

maybe I was hanging on to find

you'd be there to save me

if I ever fell behind

 

When the shooting stars hit the city lights

I could tell that we would live forever,

you and I,

standing outside, gazing at the sky;

feeling so alive

alive...

 

If you knew that I was dying

if you knew that I was waiting for my ride

still waiting, hoping

for you tonight

I'm getting tired of trying

my destination's  glittering up high

The constellation of Orion

is where I'm going to fly.

So if you ever miss me

just look up -

look up to the sky.

 

Girl-night

01/10/2012

of what material art thou made?

I am not going to lie: I am very, very stressed.

 I am not going to enumerate all the reasons why. Suffice it to be said: it feels like every weak link in my life is being tested to the max. Which brings me to think, sometimes - could I be the weak link?

I did an interview with the Bullet magazine back in New York this past December. The interviewer looked at me and said: 'You are so positive - in your music and in your writing. It is so refreshing. How can you be that way?'. I was speechless for a moment because I never think of myself as a, well positive person. Not in that Californian way we have come to associate with the word. Sure, it has rubbed off on me, in a wishful thinking sort of way.

And on a good day, yes, I can be very positive.

But that is not my default setting. It is not even my acquired setting. It is more of a goal, than reality, at best of times.

As I posted my lyrics for the title track from the upcoming record, someone on Facebook wrote: 'Wow, pretty heavy stuff' - or something to that effect.

But once you'll hear the song, you'll understand. The song itself sounds like one of the happiest songs I have ever written. For sure, I looked over the lyrics again, and realized that without the music to highlight the contrast, the lyrics are, indeed, not on the cheerful side. But this is a song about freedom. And faith.

And therein lies the paradox. Because although I am prone to mood swings and tend to fall quite frequently into the depressive cracks in the pavement of the Street I generally inhabit, I still look up. I am an optimist. I am a short term pessimist and a knee jerk scaredy-cat. But long term, I am an optimist.

This brings me to the point of this blog entry. Perhaps we are all made of different materials. Quite like in the Chinese folk paradigm, where you are assigned, at birth, an element - Water, Fire, Wood or Metal.

I am Wood. And I have to say it fits me quite well, as far as the description goes.

But what I am trying to say is this: perhaps when we suffer - when we are in pain - sometimes needlessly so, but it doesn't lessen the sting - some of us will emerge finer, sharper and stronger. Maybe not so shiny anymore, but certainly more capable to withstand the extreme temperatures, whatever they may be.

Others of us will be broken, dulled and cowed by life. You do know what I am speaking of. Some of us never recover. They walk through life and they speak of their scars at all times, whenever they can - as if speaking of them at length will make them fade. You often hear them say: 'This will never work, because...' They say 'Are you sure you want to try this, because you know... They also say 'You know I love you/believe in you, but...' 

Sometimes we say this to ourselves, too.

So right now - this year - I am guessing I will find out what I am really made of. Will I emerge stronger and better? Or - if am really made of Wood, will I burn away to a crisp?

In which case, I choose it to be a bonfire for all to remember.

Forge


01/06/2012

poems as maps.

Face it, everything always takes a lot longer than you expect.

Especially when it comes to building something. Act of creation may be spontaneous, but even God, according to holy texts, had to take a rest after a few days. While something can be destroyed in a blink of an eye - a life, a forest, a career, a dream - a relationship - it can take aeons to build either one of those.

It also applies to days. You can plan out your day or work, but some tasks will take a lot longer than others - and you can beat your head against the wall all you want, but there is no use.

It is already one week into 2012, and I still feel like NYE was yesterday. Does it progressively get even more so as one gets older? I hope I can find creative ways to slow my perception of time down. It feels like universe is playing a game of poker with me and bluffing, when time goes by this fast. I have to call its bluff or else.

I also feel like I should start writing poetry again. Poetry crystallizes the moment and is a meditative experience. It's not unlike taking a walk inside your emotional world: it is a snapshot of your internal landscape through a lens of words. I think poetry is more useful, over time, than paying a psychotherapist. The wild or wounded creature inside you may take a while to emerge, when faced with a rational, albeit sympathetic stranger. But given an opportunity to express her or himself via a few random words, committed only to paper - or screen (for the smartphone poets out there) the emotional self will take the bait and give you a hint as to your real feelings and the why's of them.

I have practiced this time and time again. Some would argue  it's not poetry, but 'free associative writing' because it doesn't have to rhyme. Ah, but 'Poetry' sounds so much better. Put some words to paper from your heart, and you are a Poet. I like being a Poet a lot better than just plain ol' me who is doing something called 'Free Associative Writing'.

Just make sure these are not poems you post on Facebook or take to your significant other and say, uncertainly: 'Oh, it's this poem I wrote...uh...mmm...want to hear?'

These are poems to be kept hidden and private. They are maps of your internal continent and some of the traced routes may lead to treasure or great peril. Make sure you share them only with someone who already loves and accepts you for what you are, and does not need for you 'to complete' them. Or vice versa - if you are a people pleaser and need to validated, don't go there. 

Keep your poetry to yourself.

 

A cup of tea
not much longer
until you see
the wake of stars
with plumes of light
the moon is pale
open the window
let uncertainty in
and revel in chaos
of being human
(eik, 8-21-09)

Pirate_map

11/10/2011

11/11/11

Your Waltz by elizaveta  

So I have just been writing a looong entry, with photos and recaps of the past month, which has been quite something, and the coming month, and all that jazz.

But I got tired because I have been writing and recording non-stop for the last three days. So I gave up. The post will go up tomorrow.

Tonight is a full moon. And it's 11/11/11. What is your wish?

I wrote a song - just now. And methinks I am off to bed, because I am exhausted. Maybe I need to exhaust myself working, so I don't get anxious or grumpy. It is entirely possible.

The song just happened. I wrote it in 20 minutes. It felt like... breathing. And now I will sleep the sleep of the blessed workaholics of the world under a full moon. Goodnight.

 

Your Waltz

 

I have waited a long time

For someone like you

You are all that I asked for

But I never knew

That like so many gifts

You’re not quite what you seem

You’re a mystery’s child

You’re a beautiful dream

 

Do you know where you’ve come from

And where you are bound

Are you tired and thinking of settling down

Or like so many boys

It’s adventure you crave

An unbroken horizon

A road unpaved

 

  There is something about you

That can’t be described

It’s as if all the colors

Are strangely alive

And the painter’s brush

Is a magical tool

But you cannot be captured

You’re nobody’s fool

 

Do you know where you’re going

I want to come too

I could be your companion

And I would be true

We could sing many songs

We would travel all night

We would sleep in the woods

And  stars would be bright

 

When you get what you wish for

You don’t always know

If you’ll keep it forever

Or learn to let go

For the lesson is clear

But it hurts nonetheless

So you ask for forgiveness

And wish to confess

 

But the damage is done

And I hope for the best

When I kiss you goodnight

As I put you to rest

I have waited a long time

And I’ve been redeemed

By a mystery’s child

By a beautiful dream.

Girl-moon-eyes2-w

Waitingalonelonelyrainroadtravel-c2f707191b625b79d60e892f4b5d0fe2_h

09/27/2011

NYC

I am here...and so tired.

But happy.

And look whose music has been released!?

I think I am in good company.

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I am still under the weather a bit and fighting off a sore throat, which doesn't make singing easy as pie. But it hasn't rained in NYC, and it's sunny, although humid. I just had the best Greek food I have had in ages.

Tonight, one more show - with strings - and then I get to rest a bit. This morning I did an interview and a performance already.

But maybe it's time for a little poem, so I get a little perspective on things. I wrote this a year and a half ago. I am in a very different place now, in so many ways, although still some things ring true, when I read it. But reading it today brings me calm, somehow. Three more months until my birthday, of course - yes, I am a child of December. But it is ok to re-visit. The huge city outside is breathing fumes, crowds and buildings crowd the sky. I am a little anxious, because -well- the music I have made is now officially out there: no more hiding, waiting or theorizing. I am living it.

So I am reading the poem slowly, remembering a frozen December in Hudson, NY, and the quiet, and a church with piano, where I did some recording - and wrote this.

 

December Child

 

Words escape me.
It's only the night 
and the frost in the air.
Morning soon; but for now
We'll paint the air 
with our breath and laughter.
This winter chill 
tastes like cinnamon candy;
it burns my throat
through a borrowed scarf
but the sweetness lingers.
Lights glitter in the trees
and cigarette smoke twirls
like a reminder
of another night long ago
in a foreign city
and a soft-spoken stranger
by my side 
at the witching hour.
I have given all this time
to the land of sunshine
only to find myself craving the cold.
This is an end of a cycle
and a little death
but a new life is in the making.
I am afraid, but fear is for the living
and so is pain of loss;
as long as I am breathing
I will choose to run free,
searching and questing,
wearing my heart on my tattered sleeve,
taking chances.
Because I hope that somewhere
a fireplace has been lit for me
and so I follow the trail of bread crumbs
down a winding, twisty path
towards another's heart
and a new beginning,
half-wishing I was stronger and better;
half-knowing there is no destination.

I am a child of winter
tonight I feel it in my bones
and the crunch of ice under my feet
is an exclamation point to a story
I started writing a long time ago.
I am used to the ache of departures
and I am friends with empty spaces.
And just like then,
I am at the crossroads again.
Except now I am older
and a little kinder.
The page turns
and now it's snowing..

07/01/2011

poem of the day

I woke up at 5 am, but then fell back asleep. I had strange dreams, and the last one was about two girls singing. They were both teenagers, and they were both very good, but had different voices: one was higher and more operatic, while the other had a husky, beautiful timbre. Maybe they were both parts of me? That feels about right. And they were singing together, which somehow tells me that they were getting along. So perhaps I am coming now to a place of my life where I am not fighting myself as hard as I used to. Don't we all, though?

Reading poetry in the morning should be something everyone does. Just one poem. It creates a frequency you can carry with you throughout the day, like a candle that doesn't burn out. Here is the one that caught my eye this morning:

 

There are those who give little of the much which they have - and they give it for recognition and their hidden desire makes their gifts unwholesome.

And there are those who have little and give it all. 

These are the believers in life and the bounty of life, and their coffer is never empty. 

There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward. 

And there are those who give with pain, and that pain is their baptism. 

And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue; 

They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space.

Though the hands of such as these God speaks, and from behind their eyes He smiles upon the earth. 

It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding; 

And to the open-handed the search for one who shall receive is joy greater than giving 

And is there aught you would withhold? 

All you have shall some day be given; 

Therefore give now, that the season of giving may be yours and not your inheritors'. 

You often say, 'I would give, but only to the deserving.' 

The trees in your orchard say not so, nor the flocks in your pasture. 

They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish. 

Surely he who is worthy to receive his days and his nights is worthy of all else from you. 

And he who has deserved to drink from the ocean of life deserves to fill his cup from your little stream. 

And what desert greater shall there be than that which lies in the courage and the confidence, nay the charity, of receiving? 

And who are you that men should rend their bosom and unveil their pride, that you may see their worth naked and their pride unabashed? 

See first that you yourself deserve to be a giver, and an instrument of giving. 

For in truth it is life that gives unto life - while you, who deem yourself a giver, are but a witness. 

And you receivers - and you are all receivers - assume no weight of gratitude, lest you lay a yoke upon yourself and upon him who gives. 

Rather rise together with the giver on his gifts as on wings; 

For to be overmindful of your debt, is to doubt his generosity who has the free-hearted earth for mother, and God for father.        


Kahlil Gibran

Purple Flowers

 

About

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

'Beatrix Runs' & 'Hero EP' out worldwide.

As heard on The Affair, Scandal, Pretty Little Liars & 'Призрак' (2015)

New album 'Messenger' out in June 2015! Contact: elly@elizaveta.net

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