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73 posts categorized "wonderings"

04/11/2013

zzzzzzz.... late night hellos

 

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

 

 

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:

537129_10151431346253210_1244301535_n

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.

538056_10151486730613210_1584704185_n

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

 

 

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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