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70 posts categorized "wonderings"

02/24/2013

Meant on 'Scandal' and Oscars:)

Well, tonight I was just at home, in my PJ's, working on new songs and re-singing vocal harmonies over and over, when my phone went crazy, and so did my Facebook and also Twitter.

In fact, my song Meant was being used for the promo of the ABC show 'Scandal' and it aired during Oscars. I missed it! I was working and not watching the Oscars: I'll admit it.

Also, I knew about the possible use, but it was not a sure thing - these things can change any moment - and so it came as a surprise to me, too... a very good one! I have been working very hard on the follow up music recently, and this is like a beautiful gift, and a fitting place for Meant. I have heard from some new fans who say the promo has a James Bond vibe:)

Thank you ABC for picking my song. Seriously: a big, big thank you.

And for those of you who are reading this and meeting me for the first time because of this occasion:

Buy the album version of Meant (the one used for the promo) on iTunes here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/beatrix-runs/id495053308

There is a ton of cool things and videos on my official site, too.

Download a free copy of the original acoustic demo of Meant on my SoundCloud.

 

Official Meant video, directed by Julien Lasseur:

 

And if you're abroad, or on mobile or the You Tube video above is refusing to play, here is also:

 

 

Plus, the acoustic version with strings recorded and filmed live at Capitol Studios

(iTunes Live Session, also available on iTunes):

 

02/11/2013

Adventures, TED Global and new songs

January was good to me.

First, I have a new furry friend. She arrived one day and I saw her skulking around the yard - very shy and unsure. I fed her some tuna. Over the next two weeks, she kept coming back, getting closer and closer until I was able to pet her. She turned out to be a little affectionate kitty, who loves cuddling, even though she is a bit skittish. She became my personal 'hot water bottle' and we spent a number of hours just relaxing and cuddling together. I had not realized how much I missed having a cat around.

Finally, as it was very cold, she started sleeping inside the house. At that point I decided to take her to the vet, to check her out and make sure she was spayed and had all her shots. When we arrived there, he scanned her - and lo and behold: she 'beeped'. Yes, she had a chip and a previous owner.

I was very embarassed because instead of feeling relieved, I burst into tears and had to put on my sun glasses. I drove home, inconsolate, and made the phone call to the owner - who actually turned out to be out of the country!

Anyway, fast forward to a couple of weeks later. It turned out that the guy who originally adopted her found out - the hard way - that he was extremely allergic to cats. He had to give her back. In that place, there were other cats and apparently they kept beating her up. In fact, I could see that: she is a lover, more than fighter - anyway, she must have run away and found me, instead.  He was relieved that I was willing to keep her and even showed up at my place with ten pounds of cat food, her health certificate and a cat carrier. Happy ending. 

And here is Ponyo (yes, that's her new name) looking very smug, cuddling up:

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I also went to Sundance for the first time and performed there. I met a multitude of interesting and lovely people and got to drive around Utah. I almost hit a deer. I got lost a couple of times. I did see a couple of films, but mostly spent time exploring. I would like to come back next year. I watched a Korean film called Jiseul  which tells the story of 1948 Jeju Massacre in Korea and some 120 villagers who hid in a cave for 60 days from soldiers who were under shoot-to-kill orders. It was a beautiful film, but I had to walk out after the first 30 minutes when rapes and killings started. I am a softy.

Ok, to change the subject: I have been invited to perform at the TED Global Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, in June. It is a huge honor. I am incredibly intimidated. But seriously, I performed at TED here, in Long Beach last year, but it was a late night unofficial performance. This is going to be part of the official line-up, alongside with the speakers, and I will get a chance to collaborate with other artists who have been invited. Can't wait to get the list and more details. And I LOVE Scotland. 

I am also performing in Moscow, March 8th! At a beautiful venue called Oldich. Believe it or not, this is my first official concert in Moscow. It is timely, because I have been putting together my Russian EP, too - yes, five original songs in Russian. 

If you have friends in Moscow, let them know about this performance. I am excited!

Elizaveta@Olditch

And - I just came back from somewhere completely different. Anguilla... place where pirates hid their treasure years ago and noone has found it yet.

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I have also been playing guitar quite a bit - both acoustic and electric.

GUIT1

 

 OK, back to work on new songs. They are shaping up just fine, but there is still quite a bit of work to be done.

12/20/2012

Tis the season...

Well what a year it has been. So much done, learned, experienced. A lot of inner storms weathered - some more easily than others.

At the end of this year I am not at all where I thought I would be when I imagined it a year ago.

But I am certainly not the person I was a year ago, either. 

I have performed, traveled, made videos, tested personal limits of all kinds, acquired new friends and fans, cried, laughed till my stomach hurt, sang till my throat could take no more, doubted myself, felt invincible, written new songs and then had to rewrite everything, including my life.

I have learned that there are no gurantees except personal inner strength and faith in what you can do. The only constants in life are your habits: good and bad. People will change, life will change, your body may decide it has had it and needs rest, but if you're alive on the inside and trust yourself, you can take any risk - with any outcome - and still come out on top, just because you took the plunge.

Fear may keep you safe for a while, but it won't save you from your own 'what ifs'.

I think I wrote a while back how sometimes it appears that different people are made of different materials. Wood, steel. Plaster. Stone. Put wood in the fire and it will burn. Put steel in the fire and it will get stronger.

But there is more to that. I believe now that we all 'transmute' over time. We change - sometimes back and forth - and you could have started out as steel, but when hurt or tired, you may become glass for a while, feeling like anything could shatter you. You hide and bide your time, but eventually you feel stronger and now you are not thin and brittle like the surface of a wineglass, ready to break at any given moment, but a sturdy glass door. You are ready to leave your safe cupboard and face the world. Maybe not go out into it just yet, but make yourself visible and vulnerable to a degree.

I often felt very brittle and rather fragile over this past year. I would rise up to challenges, but on the inside, my self doubt kept alive by finding ways to deny me the pleasure of achievement. I would tell myself: 'yes, I did it, but... I could have prepared more. I should have done better. I didn't do my best'.

Strangely enough, as many things fell away towards the end of this year, I feel the strongest I have in a very long time. I don't feel diminished by my perceived "failures", like I would have in the past. I feel - well, for the first time in a long, long time, I feel like I could be a sword. Steel. Or a rapier of a kind. Fine steel, bendable, but strong and sharp.

I am also the hand that wields it.

You see, life is dangerous. Living life as it should be lived, in my opinion, is dangerous. When you plan, hope, strive, you open yourself up to a giddy sense of freedom and possibility, but also to a chance that you will fail miserably. You could be broken. Shattered. Discouraged. But if you stay safe and never push your limits, you will never know what you might have been otherwise.

Today Los Angeles is cold and it started out being around 40 degrees farenheit this morning. Not common for Southern California, but I love it. It's crisp and I can smell wood burning somewhere. The sun is warming everything up. It does feel like the end of the year.

We are about to put my new Store page up on my website, and in the next few weeks you can expect a lot of Beatrix Map updates. The story goes on... 2013 feels like it will be an amazing year.

And as we passed through Utah a couple of weeks ago, we shot a very silly, but happy video to my Christmas cover of 'Marshmallow World':

 

 

10/19/2012

moving on...

Today I am feeling content because last night's performance made me realize that the recent opera and guitar practice are definitely paying off. Maybe it's the Capricorn in me, but there is really nothing I like better than the feeling of well-earned progress.

I also premiered five new songs and the reactions of the audience were very satisfying. I would say I am well on my way to a new body of material - and songs - that are on par with Beatrix Runs album. I am worlds away from where I was professionally even a year ago. And I have big plans.

Next week's show is going to be all about my looping station and some other gadgets I will incorporate into the live performance, whereas the last two were more on the acoustic live side. I am transitioning to electric guitar, as well.

This past week or so I made it a routine to start my mornings with a bike ride to the ocean and a swim. The water is not very warm, but it's not bad at all, and it's invigorating. It's a great routine. I am going to keep this up, so that even in December I'll be out there, swimming. It clears my brain and jumpstarts the body. Maybe occasionally I'll do some surfing, but if you are surfing, you have to wear the wetsuit. I do so love the feeling of salt cold water on my skin..

10/15/2012

Heroes

I have often been asked who my heroes are - the non-family ones.

There are obvious ones - like Joseph Campbell - for his intelligence, charisma and ability to draw patterns that connect various points of reality in a way that makes sense to me on a very intimate level.

Musical ones - like Freddie Mercury - who I still consider the best singer of the last two generations.

Peter Gabriel - whose 'So' concert I saw a week ago and walked away feeling like I had just had the best sex of my life, for three hours straight. Doesn't matter how old he is, he's got it. And that show was arguably the best I had ever seen.

Sting - for his life lived gracefully, and an ability to keep evolving - from a rockstar and Roxanne - to an album of songs performed on lute - a lifestyle of yoga .

My producer Greg Wells became, through working together, somewhat of a musical hero of mine - he is a multi-instrumentalist, among other things, and able to play piano like a god without ever practicing. He says he does it in his sleep. I believe him. He can also do that with drums and guitar. Uncanny, but there you have it.

Then, there are people like Tina Turner - whose life and career are testament to strength, talent and perseverance - in a woman. If you never saw the film 'What's Love Got To Do With It', do it. Angela Bassett is fantastic in it, but moreover, her story is inspiring because it demonstrates that it is possible to overcome some of the direst circumstances, including straight-out abuse, and achieve your dreams. Even if you have to start over more than half-way through.

It is logical that we often admire those who possess qualities we, ourselves, feel we lack. Strength, charisma, talent or an effortless ability to be themselves without need for validation. In relationships, we often end up being attracted to these people and sometimes it works and sometimes it backfires. If you do not work on those qualities within yourself, and your partner possesses one or more of them in abundance, chances are that it is those same things that drew you to them in the first place, that will end up repelling you. Still, we need those becons that remind us that there is another way to be: freer, louder, stronger, brighter burning, effortlessly creative - you name it.

But there is a different kind of admiration and another type of hero - for me.

I go to the gym, here in the area, and it is a branch of YMCA. Every day I go, I see old women getting together for fitness classes and also frequenting the swimming pool. There are a few who are really quite old. A couple of them have to use walkers in order to move around. I watched one of them make it to the pool the other day and it took her a very long time until she was able to actually *be* in the pool, where she tread water back and forth for an hour - again, very slowly. I then saw her again - in the locker room - and she was all smiles. She could hardly walk and needed her walker for every step she took, but she told me how wonderful she felt after her workout. I asked her how often she came - she said it was 3-4 times a week. She came by herself because she wanted to stay independent, she said, and also took another fitness class with her friends. Then she laughed again and wished me a wonderful day.

That, to me, is being a hero. So many people, in her shoes, would not have a smile to spare, besides making a gigantic effort four times a week; the self discipline required to overcome her physical limitations must be enormous. And yet, there was no bitterness or self pity in this lady. I said to her: 'You are my hero'. And I meant it that day.

I find myself so often focusing not on what I have, but on what is missing. Perhaps for some people the glass is always half full by default, but I am not one of those people. However, it is also possible that it is an all-too-human trait to be aware of what we are missing and what we want. Maybe that is how progress is made - you find a vacuum and you fill it. But all too often I spin out of balance because all I see are potential pitfalls or limitations - and ways in which I am not, or do not have, or I can't or won't be able to, because... the list goes on.

That is why I find it so important to have heroes who are larger than life, but then also supplement that pantheon with regular people I meet along the way who achieve incredible feats with very little, save will power, discipline and intention.

Because it is really those people, like that lady at the gym, who make me feel grateful for all the bountiful things that are present in my life; for the progress made - even if sometimes it's at a crawling pace - for the tools I am given. For myself, even if I carry multiple bits of baggage and often feel rather imperfect. For being here, in this world, at this time, even if sometimes it can feel somewhat overwhelming.

My ability to stay present and grateful for what is may not be inbuilt, but I trust that through daily practice it will evolve, as all things do. And then I can sometimes be my own hero.

Old lady

09/29/2012

Yes.

I won't even begin to talk about my August and September. Saying that I am in transition is an understatement. September was marginally better than my August, but it also brought its storms and droughts.

That said, the music is flowing and I am leaving the summer of 2012 behind with all it had to teach me. I have also been journaling, rather faithfully, and writing down my dreams - most of them nightmares for the past two weeks, but still. There have been some interesting and less jarring ones, too.

My new site was delayed, but thanks to lovely accomplices, it is poised to launch now, as is the Beatrix story with its map.

One of the things I learned - again - is how important it is to be able to bend, flow, laugh and persevere. A perseverance of a kind that is not inflexible and can be shattered like a slab of stone, but more like water, which keeps on trickling and eventually wears away the hardest surfaces.

Today I am leaving for a couple of days, to spend some time looking at the vines, grasses and a lake under a full Harvest Moon and contemplating October, where I will do another local performance residency at the Witzend and keep on building.

And here is a song I dedicate to October. It is not spring and it is not March, but its lyrics speak to me now, so why not? I hope to keep its spirit throughout the month.

 

 

Waters of March

A stick, a stone, it's the end of the road
It's the rest of a stump, it's a little alone

It's a sliver of glass, it is life, it's the sun
It is night, it is death, it's a trap, it's a gun

The oak when it blooms, a fox in the brush
The knot in the wood, the song of a thrush

The wood of the wind, a cliff, a fall
A scratch, a lump, it is nothing at all

It's the wind blowing free, it's the end of the slope
It's a beam, it's a void, it's a hunch, it's a hope

And the river bank talks of the waters of March
It's the end of the strain, It's the joy in your heart

The foot, the ground, the flesh and the bone
The beat of the road, a slingshot's stone

A truckload of bricks in the soft morning light
A shot of a gun in the dead of the night

A mile, a must, a thrust, a bump,
It's a girl, it's a rhyme, it's a cold, it's the mumps
.
The plan of the house, the body in bed
And the car that got stuck, it's the mud, it's the mud

A float, a drift, a flight, a wing
A hawk, a quail, oh, the promise of spring

And the river bank talks of the waters of March
It's the promise of life, it's the joy in your heart (repeat)

A point, a grain, a bee, a bite
A blink, a buzzard, a sudden stroke of night

A pin, a needle, a sting, a pain
A snail, a riddle, a wasp, a stain

A snake, a stick, it is John, it is Joe
A fish, a flash, a silvery glow

The bed of the well, the end of the line
The dismay on the face, it's a loss, it's a find

A spear, a spike, a point, a nail
A drip, drip, drip, drop, the end of the day

And the river bank talks of the waters of March
It's the promise of life in your heart, in your heart (repeat)

,the end of the road,a little alone

A sliver of glass, a life, the sun
A knife, a death, the end of the run

And the river bank talks of the waters of March
It's the promise of life, it's the joy in your heart

And the river bank talks of the waters of March
It's the promise of life, it's the joy in your heart

The waters of March,

And the river bank talks of the waters of March
It's the promise of life, it's the joy in your heart


Read more: http://artists.letssingit.com/basia-lyrics-waters-of-march-px4dctn#ixzz27mwDLkxe 
LetsSingIt - Your favorite Music Community 

09/04/2012

Anti-Lamentation

 
Regret nothing. Not the cruel novels you read
to the end just to find out who killed the cook.
Not the insipid movies that made you cry in the dark,
in spite of your intelligence, your sophistication.
Not the lover you left quivering in a hotel parking lot,
the one you beat to the punchline, the door, or the one
who left you in your red dress and shoes, the ones
that crimped your toes, don't regret those.
Not the nights you called god names and cursed
your mother, sunk like a dog in the livingroom couch,
chewing your nails and crushed by loneliness.
You were meant to inhale those smoky nights
over a bottle of flat beer, to sweep stuck onion rings
across the dirty restaurant floor, to wear the frayed
coat with its loose buttons, its pockets full of struck matches.
You've walked those streets a thousand times and still
you end up here. Regret none of it, not one
of the wasted days you wanted to know nothing,
when the lights from the carnival rides
were the only stars you believed in, loving them
for their uselessness, not wanting to be saved.
You've traveled this far on the back of every mistake,
ridden in dark-eyed and morose but calm as a house
after the TV set has been pitched out the upstairs
window. Harmless as a broken ax. Emptied
of expectation. Relax. Don't bother remembering
any of it. Let's stop here, under the lit sign
on the corner, and watch all the people walk by.

Dorianne Laux

 

Cliff jump

 

 

07/24/2012

Rolling Stone - New Song, Video & Lyrics

So here it is:

 

Full interview version for when it premiered on Glamour.com can be read HERE.

 

Looked me in the eye

Made me feel so small

But you're the only one

who can see me at all

Is it who we are?

what am I to you?

Have we gone too far -

am I passing through?

 

I'm a rolling, rolling, rolling, rolling stone

Always moving, traveling, running all alone

I'm a rolling, rolling, rolling, rolling stone

 

Maybe I was born with a gypsy's soul

but I am not your girl, oh no

I don't play that role

I'm no mother, I'm no sister, I'm no lover

I am not your friend

I have built a home

but it's made of sand

 

I'm a rolling, rolling, rolling, rolling stone

Always moving, traveling, running all alone

I'm a rolling, rolling, rolling, rolling stone

 

Looked me in the eye

Made me feel so small

But you're the only one

who can see me at all...

Dress-forest-girl-light-pink-running-Favim.com-87804

07/19/2012

NYC II

The City can't decide whether it wants it to rain or not. After the deluge of yesterday, it is still pondering, so I did get rained on a couple of times throughout the day, but it was very minor. All in all, I do prefer this weather to the stifling heat of yesterday.

Obviously it's all about me, so theretofore I brought the rain to NYC, didn't I? Anecdotal evidence: when I was in Austin, performing, we arrived to heat and three-month draught. Within 12 hours of my arrival, a thunderstorm came to pass (short, but effective), and the day was saved. 

Maybe not all my doing, but a girl can feel important: why not?

After getting rained on and finding refuge in a French bar:

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I found shoes! Fortunately for me, it's sales season. Gloves, shoes, flower dress and NYC is my oyster...err... apple. Right??

Screen shot 2012-07-19 at 5.30.38 PM

Tomorrow is my performance and I am in the mood. Let's do this. Tonight I'll read some poetry and try to imagine what it is going to be like when I come and stay in NYC for a whole month, doing a residency - it's in the plans - being here certainly makes me want to dress up and strut a lot more than Los Angeles ever has. It could be dangerous! But life is short. Why not?

 

The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.
(Michelangelo)


05/21/2012

New Times Roll

I have been busy - finally on a roll and spending most of my time working on music, instead of moping or thinking of 'what ifs?' or 'if I had only' etc.

I pulled out some older songs and now I am adding bits and pieces to them - mostly vocal arrangements - but there will be others, like my first ever remixes and such.

I decided to do it in a semi-public kind of manner - my fans seem to appreciate being able to see the process. Perhaps some things need to only see light of day when they are exactly the way they should be - some songs are like that - but now that my actual record is out, I feel like *that* is the measure by which I may get judged - and so sharing things that are NOT quite perfect and are in progress is not only easier for me, but somewhat rewarding - working on music by yourself can get to be a lonely process.

Plus - I have so much music, so many songs, and so much material begging to see the light of day in one form or another. The old trick of announcing something so you create an expectation and a deadline for yourself does work. This way, when a song makes it out there and I announce that it is being worked on, in fact, now I *have* to do something about it. It is a good thing because it makes me finish things, rather than flit on to the next attraction.

Also, I am a perfectionist at heart. That means that oftentimes it is so easy for me to see/hear flaws in something I have made that just one more reason - and it will never see the light of day - or I will keep it back because something BETTER is on the way - or - well you know what I mean.

At this point in my life I am starting to see that some intelligent editing and holding back is certainly necessary - but I *have* reached a certain level of skill and quality. My songs, my music, my singing and other skills will always keep getting better with practice, time and persistent application. So holding material back because some day it will get so much BETTER - well, it was a valid reason five years ago, but not quite so much anymore.

Yesterday was a solar eclipse. A friend of mine who is a professional astrologer tells me it's a harbinger of New Times: letting of of the things that are no longer necessary or working in your life; situations that are holding you back, fears, even people who may no longer be your match.

I don't quite know what to make of it, but if it is true in any way I would like to welcome this new era with open arms. This time, instead of crying over my edition of Rilke's 'Letters To a Young Poet', I will be submerged in all things musical - whether at the piano, my computer, figuring out bits of new software for recording/arranging - playing guitar - mastering the looping machine (FINALLY!!!) - or wrestling down the Puccini aria I want to sing soon.

And I did a brand new cover! This one is a very subdued version of a Tears For Fears B side: Laid So Low (Tears Roll Down). I think I managed to imbue it with all the angst of the last few weeks. Perhaps it's best it stays there now...

This weekend I got to wear my Flower Boots. Yes. Perhaps I am going to make them a big part of this new era. Wouldn't you?

Flower boots

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.

Album 'Beatrix Runs' out now on iTunes worldwide.

New EP 'Hero' out in the spring 2014.

Contact: elly@elizaveta.net

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