Ten years after the rest of the world, I finally have a smart phone! It really is like a personal assistant! It is almost worth falling to the back end of technology for as long as you can stand, just for the incredible experience of leaping straight to the front with a new phone. I tried out the video with a song and here it is - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVbX6RDOIWs&t=43s
A year ago I went for a walk, wondering what 2016 would hold. I saw a huge tree and suddenly realized I wanted to be more like that - deep roots, and huge branches rising above everything that may happen, but also bending with it all. To be stronger and more anchored - 2016 was going to be the year of the tree! I tried to be more tree like. Sometimes I succeeded, sometimes not. But I'm sure it was meant to be - there was so much upheaval this past year it's still hard to believe. Not only personally, but for almost everyone I know, even politically (Trump? really???) . I had some depression, couldn't face socializing, stayed off social networking, worked a lot, walked a lot, wrote a lot of songs. It was a tough year but in a strange way it was right. A couple of months ago I started feeling better, a spark again. So many people are going through their own upheavals. 2017 is a new beginning. The energy does feel different. If last year was the year of the tree, this is the year of the P - to be positive, proactive, productive. I wish you a most inspired and peaceful 2017!
It is a tricky balance to find, that between making music and promoting it, which is what The Bridge is about. We make our music to be shared and heard by others, yet my favourite music is made only for the pure joy and privilege of making it. I always have to be careful not to forget that because when I do, I can fall into depression. We live in a world run by social networking and a million distractions on the internet. I long always to get back to the real things. These past few months I've been playing a game where I say to myself 'If I HAD to write a song about THAT right there in front of me now - eg that hotel, or customer, this situation, my old third grade music teacher - what would it be'. This game is making me very happy. It always sounds lofty somehow but it really is true, happiness is in the doing.
my journal.. 10/6/16
There are others, like me, for whom music is so much more than just a soundtrack for some sexy video that's everywhere for three weeks.
Music was my drug growing up - it's heartening to find others who want to listen or even make music this other way - actually it saves my sanity. I feel like an alien most of the time. But it's heartening to know we are still here and all the noise, scrolling and celebrity gossip (I like celebrity gossip but you know what I mean) can't stop us finding each other, one by one. - Elizabeth
It's been such a huge first half of the year. It was so hard to come back home after three months in the USA.. so many highlights, but one of the most wonderful was driving all the way down to New Orleans to attend the Zone Music Reporter Awards. We treated it purely as an adventure, a giant road trip, and had no idea that IMAGININGS (the album Paul Adams made from our improvisations in our downtime while we were recording mine) would win Best Contemporary Instrumental Album of The Year. Paul didn't even have his shoes on let alone any kind of speech prepared. What a huge surprise that was. So much else Id love to share, but I'll do it with photos and add them to the gallery here. A huge thank you if you have reviewed The Bridge at Amazon, CdBaby, or shared my music with your friends. Your support is SO appreciated!!
Elizabeth related as music had some years ago stopped supporting her. She was cooking once a week to save money, eating the same meal each night and buying nothing. Socializing became too awkward. The only job available was in the meat department of a supermarket.. she's a vegetarian. A swallowing of pride.
She and I felt a deep connection with this man. I felt as if I had known him forever. I spoke to him of a conversation I once had with the great singer Minnie Riperton's dad, and what spirit he had despite difficulty. The guy's eyes burst open the size of silver dollars with a smile a mile long and asks, "you knew my dad?!!??" I was wacked. I asked, "Daniel Riperton was your dad?" He said "yeah, that was my daddy." This was Minnie's brother Ray. Small world. We shared stories. I told him about crowd funding, and he said he is so out of touch he doesn't have email. We exchanged info and I hope he gets an email address through the library or friend. All three of us felt a very deep connection. It felt like a moment that was meant to be." - Paul
So much has happened since I last wrote in my website journal. It is such a relief and a wonderful feeling to finally have this album out that we have worked on for so long. I am now back in America visiting and so grateful to see airplay starting to pop up in all sorts of places, and hear that some people are really enjoying the new songs. If you are listening, please do share the music with your friends, and a huge THANK you!
Over the past few years things changed for me- I left my gigs and home, went to Adelaide, worked in a supermarket and music had to kind of take a back seat. The great part was being able to spend time with family. Apart from working on this album with Paul from opposite sides of the globe, music though, felt like another lifetime. I am enjoying simple things right now that I am going to try never to take for granted again, like having time again to listen to the music of others. It is very good..
Are you familiar with Pandora? Because I have just one teeny favour to ask you.. I promise this is free and very quick to do. You don't have to be signed in. But I do really need your help. We need to get my new album The Bridge onto Pandora.. could you go to this link http://www.pandora.com/elizabeth-geyer and click 'create station' ? Take a listen too if you like - Pandora place my music with so many interesting new artists - it's an excellent way to find new music that is the exact kind that you like. And again thank you. Your help in this one tiny way, I most appreciate!
I love new years, especially the idea of leaving behind habits or heaviness and moving forward in a lighter way, hopefully having learned something good too.. everyone experiences life differently, and for me, to learn from the past and realizing new things is always exciting - I hope to be less rocked by what is outside my control, more grateful and at peace. I can at least say I feel this happening more now than when I was younger.
The last couple of years for me have been full of change, as I had to face an ever widening gap between my music and the financial expectations of life. Last year I got my first ever 'real' job, in a supermarket, which has been equally terrifying and exciting and probably the biggest learning curve of my life so far. I scrub floors and shelves, get up at 4am to pack bread, crush boxes, serve customers, stack shelves, unload and sort pallets, learned to use a cash register and other machines.. which is not complex but for me, who only ever knew life through music, it's been huge.. I knew I would miss the gigs and I still do sometimes but this has helped me grow and given me a whole new experience of people and the world.
I don't know why life puts us where it does, but some things are inexplicably right. I don't know what lies ahead. I have an album coming out early this year. Whatever inspires you to jump out of bed and whatever you are passionate about, I wish you a 2016 rich in THAT !
Lyrics are such an enormous part of a song to me. As we are putting the last finishing touches on my new album at the moment, one of the things I've been looking forward to, is sharing all the new lyrics on a page here. Some people have been asking me about lyrics, until now they've only ever been in the cd artwork .. so here goes ! I'm going to do all the albums while I'm here, so I start today with this one, Beautiful Spiders.
written by Elizabeth Geyer / all copyrights reserved
From their webs the beautiful spiders wait and watch
As Cupid walks out between bride and blush
and wife and lot
They can't see the web from their dreary lives
And they can't go alone
Beautiful spiders by their sides
And there's nothing so true as a spider in love
Que Sera Sera, they're taking them out as they run with their hearts
Tagging their prey in a moment of lust
Remember me when spiders' desires turn to dust
Spiders forever clean the slates
They lick up the icing and leave all the cake
From one who swore they had their last spidery chance
well I'm under their spell from the very first dance
Beautiful spiders on the run
the last few tweaks to truth's final draft and they're done!
The picture is big so mark my words
We spiders taste sweet
Just ask the birds.
We all know that awards and charts etc don't matter a scrap - only music does. Yet the irony is, in order to get heard, those other things help to make it possible. It's a balance that will probably always make me squirm along with countless other musicians.
So, in trying to find some of that balance, it was a buzz to be part of this lovely album that Paul Adams has made (also with Pravin Godkhindi and David Hoffman - the video below is a taster and explains how I got involved ) Imaginings is now No 3 on the Zone chart and while I don't know too much about this other process yet, it's in the GrammyⓇ 58 ballott under New Age. I wish Paul the very best on this amazing journey whatever it is meant to be. It's been a trip to be able to work with him on two totally different albums, both my own forthcoming and this one of his.
I'm really happy to be a little part of this beautiful new album by Paul Adams. It came about as a side project that we just played for fun while we were recording my own album ( out soon) There are videos for each of the guests who played on it and this is mine. Thanks Paul! I hope you guys enjoy this music as much as I enjoyed being able to participate in it. http://youtu.be/Peql4eml_Dc
Wishing you a great sunday wherever you are. It's been a long dreary winter here but the sun is finally out!
A tiny bit of music news.. one of the biggest surprises of these past two years for me has been this album. I never imagined when Paul and I were playing flute and piano for fun in between my own takes that he heard an idea, ran with it, added Pravin and David and turned it all into something as interesting and beautiful as this. Then again it doesn't surprise me at all with Paul. It's been a real kick to be involved. (Very much looking forward to sharing my own with you too soon.) This is a video - a 'taster'. And yeah, the levitating is a joke! But it was fun to pretend.. https://youtu.be/qrtfLxzogwA
I have new appreciation for the old gospel songs.. especially the lyrics, which weren't intellectual or clever but full of simple wisdom and comfort. They were more spiritual at their core and if you really think about it, 'goin down to the river to pray', laying your burden down, with the great lines sung over and over, 'ain't gonna study war no more', those songs have all the answers for the human race.. if only we could all live by them all the time.. I guess that's why we're human!
There are some good things about being technologically way behind. Life is simpler, not having to keep up with the latest of anything. There is less noise. I don't know or care about apps (yet) because my phone can only do calls and texts. It has one game called CITY BLOXX. The trouble is, every ten years or so I think you have to catch right back up or you literally fall out of the human race, which I am on the verge of right now. There is something revolting about getting excited about anything that is obsolete after six months. But I am kind of looking forward to getting a smart phone with a good camera and VIDEO. Life will be a wee bit easier. Are they still even called smart phones? Maybe that is a bit last week..
Does anyone remember that tv show Touched By An Angel?
I am not a religious person. I do like the idea of a church though, based on some of the core Christian messages of love, peace, forgiveness but one that doesn't judge or try to convert others. Instead it would embrace them as equal, born in their own skin, gender, faith and sexuality so long as they aren't hurting anyone based on 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you.'
A church that doesn't concern itself with whether anyone is 'Christian' or 'non Christian' or going to 'Heaven' or 'Hell' but instead went back to the basic loving core values of Jesus and others ( but back to the actual values themselves) who live by them.
A church that is not a giant business empire, interested in your money.
A church that doesn't take every word in the bible so literally or get so legalistic.
I have yet to come across such a church myself but Touched By An Angel celebrated all I am talking about and I know there are others who feel the same. Music to me IS a form of worship, prayer and gratitude to God. It's just not a religious God!
It was a kick to hear a few final mixes from Paul Adams' forthcoming album Imaginings today. The last time I heard it, it was only a seed - us playing flute and piano for fun in our downtime while we were making my album. Paul has since taken it to a whole other place and been joined along the way by David Hoffman and India's Pravin Godkhindi.
I'm reminded again why Paul's musical instincts pulled me in in the first place and it felt plain right to fly to Peoria to record. His Imaginings is new age but so much more - rich, delicious, earthy, unique. Like good cake. It's taken years but it's nice to finally have not only my album in the wings but this other now too that I am so proud to be a wee part of. The next step, release and promotion still totally overwhelms most musicians including me. But right now I do have faith it will sort itself out one step at a time like all things seem to. 'One thing a day' right? And music first. It will be so nice to finally be able to share it all with you guys.
ok, this is a pretty bad photo I know. But see that dark blob in the middle of the tree? That's the first koala I have ever seen in the wild. I saw ten today. It's slightly embarrassing that I've lived in Australia my whole life and never seen this before, and all along it's been a two hour walk from here. The koala was all I hoped too - big round fuzzy ears, looking around sleepily. Very cute. A very good day!
I am very sad to hear that Bruce Lundvall just passed away. I never met him in person. But two years ago, my music partner Paul Adams saw Bruce being interviewed on a TV show about Eva Cassidy, After watching the show Paul tracked down an email for Bruce and wrote to him about my music and how much of an inspiration Eva Cassidy had been to me. To our amazement Bruce not only got the email but phoned Paul the next day and asked if he could send him some of my music. After he received the album Bruce called again. He seemed to be genuinely excited about what he had heard and wanted another album. Over the next year, as we started recording my new album, Bruce became a kind of 'champion' to me , a human angel if that makes sense. Sometimes he would leave a phone message with Paul just to say he was still listening. When I went to America I was finally able to meet Bruce myself over the phone and we had a couple of very long conversations. I was so nervous, knowing this man signed some of the biggest music names in the world including Norah Jones, Herbie Hancock, Willie Nelson and countless others. Even my trumpet hero Freddie Hubbard!
But my nerves faded. We talked about not just my music but his life and everything including what a tough time he was having with Parkinson's disease. He was already losing some of his independence. Still he continued to try to help, playing my music on his radio show and said he would try to get me signed. He also thankfully loved the three new tracks we sent him. We planned to get to New York to meet in person, but unfortunately ran out of time due to recording. Sadly my album was not yet finished and Bruce's health was deteriorating badly by then. Even his speech was difficult. Contact became limited this past year, we could only send him cards as he had moved into assisted care.
It's still magical to me that someone like Bruce reached out to us as genuinely and often as he did. I didn't know Bruce for long, or arguably even very well. But from our conversations it was clear he lived for music and somehow hadn't become hardened in his heart by a whole lifetime at the top of the music BUSINESS. I'm only one, but he has been a light on my own musical path. But all of his phenomenal musical achievements aside, more than anything, Bruce struck me as a good guy - humble and genuine. Who deeply loved music.
There is a new song in me, I have a strong feeling, that is busting to get out, and today I actually get to do that. Life is simpler than it has been for as long as I can remember, and if I had to define 'luxury', it's not money but time. Sure maybe money can buy time but it just as often seems to end up buying more things and a complicated life. Luxury I think is time - to write songs and in my journal and to listen - to music, God and others when they are talking, to read, walk, be present. It's incredible to have a new album almost ready to go, to be able to think about future albums. The internet, which I curse when I see the whole world on their phones instead of talking to each other, on the flip side also means I can share this new music soon with others. I'm so grateful for this time.
Sometimes we have to follow instinct and take a risk, purely because something feels 'right'. It doesn't mean it will be easy or quick, in fact it could be anything but. I did that when I went to record an album in Peoria Illinois with my friend Paul back in 2013. It was a leap of faith, I booked to stay three months. We didn't know how or if we could work together - it was just a strong hunch. It has been a rich experience, and it hasn't been easy or quick. Today Paul sent me the pretty much finished mixes to hear for the first time in many months. I was able to step back and glimpse the whole picture. It's not perfect, but nothing is. But it's 'right'. Something feels right, or it doesn't. And while I hope, but don't know, if others will like it, that's not a make or break. I'm just happy because it is the album I had always dreamed about for these songs. I'm so glad I listened to my heart, that we took that crazy risk, and to be able to stand by and share it with you soon.
I am excited. Why? I don't know. The future is unknown yet again. I am excited about the unknown, what is possible, change, travel, new music. I am missing the gigs, but I've never felt closer to who I always wanted to be, making the music that is most exciting and romantic to me.
I wish you a happy Easter wherever you are. It's starting to feel like winter here and I am happy to be spending today just singing and working on new songs. I was thinking about how some people are much more social than others. All of us long to be connected or to contribute to others in some way. But every person also seems to be wired differently. I have always loved solitude. I spent decades trying to please others, even those I love, and loved, ironically often failing, and socializing often because others wanted me to. Eventually something had to change. I am so grateful to finally be giving myself more permission to do what I dreamed about deep down which was a quiet life making music as more of an observer, following inspiration. I do treasure my few close relationships and family. Life is very low key. Others say sometimes that I'm too reclusive and maybe I am. But every person's path is different and I'm doing the very best I can given the path I've been on.Whatever you are up to today and with whomever you're spending it with, in a traditional way or not, have a beautiful Easter.
Life has gone full circle. Ideas that once made me feel only hemmed in, eg life in the suburbs (I grew up in the suburbs) now fascinate me. I spent time in the big cities I always dreamed about and I do want to go back. But I also don't mind wherever I am anymore. Everywhere has its own 'magic'.
At the same time it also all blurs together sometimes. The sun goes up, the sun comes down and people turn out to be pretty much the same everywhere we go?
I like this song I found by Paul Voudouris 'Wherever you go, there you are' http://t.co/EogOYlxXfH . The real constant that counts in the end is ourselves, who we are.
I met this dog.
It is easy to see the value in others, in staying true to themselves and that being worth more than anything the outside world might give them . But it is not so easy to see in myself. I have found it so HARD to stay true.
I would love to want the normal things that normal people want, to be happy in a secure and sensible job, to want nice things that money can buy, or at least to be happy to make music that is aimed at a market or the mainstream - that would be smart. But I don't want those things enough, as much as I wish I did and even though I'm envious sometimes of those who do.
There is this FIRE that has been there my whole life, maybe even before. I can't stamp it out no matter how often I desperately prayed for it during countless rock bottoms. Then again, without it I would be dead. The fire is this crazy desire to make the music that is asking to be made - to let the music lead. It's the reason I waited seven years to record again, for the opportunity that felt instinctively RIGHT, and why it's taken another two and a half years to make (though my last two albums also took forever, and thankfully this one is just about there now).
It's also why I can't seem to settle anywhere, I don't want to be tied down in case the music wants me to go somewhere.
Writing this reminds me again that I can only be who I am. There is some weird comfort in there being absolutely no choice - may as well own it. There is no guarantees this will 'work', all I know is that nothing else would ever work.
Life is a mixed bag and perspective isn't always easy. When I think of all I've given up (most recently, all my regular gigs including those I loved, to go work at a meat department in a supermarket) and all I've lost (a marriage, my heart once broke to pieces, friendships I thought would last but didn't) and how different life IS from how I thought it might be and it sometimes it all doesn't even make sense to me, let alone anyone else.
But we make our choices and I never wanted what was sensible or comfortable! All I ever wanted to do is turn life into the best music I possibly could and find a way to record and share it.
So as someone who is a vegetarian by default and happens to work in a meat department for the moment, all I can know is that in some bizarre way things are unfolding as they are supposed to. I realized a couple of days ago that to this point all my best growth has still really only happened on the inside. But then again I've always been drawn to late bloomers!