Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

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Island Memories Continued

July 21, 2013

Here a few more entries from my trip last summer:

Friday, June 15, 2012

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The after shower sun dips in and out of the low-lying clouds. I wait at Uncle Nic’s Naturopathic office while he sees his patients. His friend AnaBela will be by soon to scoop me up and take me down to the centro comercial while he works today. She was nice enough to pick me up to meet up with him and his partner for lunch. It’s amazing how so at home I feel here. I still stumble a bit with the language but think I’m still doing better than most. The time here is really helping me recharge my battery. It’s only been two days but I’ve already immersed my way of thinking (for the most part) to the way it is here on the island. Home seems so far away and far back in time. I was able to hop online this morning to check e-mails and nothing major has happened. I’m already thinking I could get used to doing this every summer. Hmmm.

Just like back home, everyone is complaining about the economic crisis but all the bars and restaurants are still pretty full. People are reshuffling where they are putting their money, perhaps. Just wish they’d shuffle it into buying some Cd’s my way. Being here makes me wonder what life would be like to just move in another direction. What would I do? Would I get bored? Would I – or how would I re-invent myself? Hm. No one knows.

For now I’m enjoying the lazy schedule and am forcing myself to re-acquaint with the Portuguese printed word. (I’m trying to get through their version of Vogue magazine.) Perhaps it will give me some song inspiration? Inspiration. The illusive drug of my existence. So seldom. So fleeting.

NG

Monday, June 18, 2012

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Uncle Nic’s garden

These last few days have been tremendous. Uncle Nic has been taking me all over the island. I’ve been reacquainting myself with the memories of my childhood when I spent a few summers here. So much has changed but so much is still the same. I spent the evening at my grandmother’s house, (she is no longer with us) and it was a little emotional because the last time I was here, she was still alive. I was amazed to see how much of our family history Uncle Nic knows, remembers and has preserved. I was even lucky enough to have him give me a few of our family relics: my great-grandmother’s favourite bowls, I think originally made of porcelain? Not quite sure but you can see its age in the relenting crevices of its surface. Wonderful and amazing. Sometimes it makes me sad that I don’t have anyone to pass it on to but I’m hoping that a few of my cousins may want to pass on our history to their kids one day.

Aah. The weather has been lovely, as far as I’m concerned. There have been really no beach jaunts and even though most of the days so far, have been grey, I’ve been quite content with the peek-a-boo game the sun has been playing. It’s still reasonably warm with a beautiful breeze – just perfect. As we speak, I am sitting on the grass with Less, the German Shepherd, and Blacky (not sure of his name still- he’s the black lab – should really try to find out) by my side. The birds continue to sing and chant and I feel better than I have in ages. This is just what I needed.

Forty-eight hours from now, I will be on a plane back to the real world. But I’m not going to think about it! So, for now I’m going to lie back and read the book that I brought and for the next two days I am going to continue enjoying the in-between-patient lunches with Uncle Nic and the endless hours of story-telling at the day’s end. Add a splash of his fun friends and all the funny shenanigans they crack with each other and it will cap off the funnest most restful vacation ever.

NG

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

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“Blacky”

It’s late morning. Suitcase packed. Dressed and ready to go to the airport in a few hours. I just came in from enjoying a coffee while standing by the frog pond. With the reptiles conversing with song and birds chattering about, it’s tough to have to say good-bye for now. It’s been spitting rain all morning and even though it makes clothes end everything damp, I enjoyed being enchanted by mother nature. Less and Blacky are by my side and as I think how everything is perfect in the world, the sun peeks out and smiles down on me.

A beautiful end to a perfect week. And even with very little sleep I feel refreshed. Most nights were spent telling stories of the “old” days and funny anecdotes from Uncle Nic’s previous life experiences. But although refreshed, I find myself wishing I could stay just a few more days but real life is waiting for me on the other side of the ocean.

I hope I can get my songwriting juices going again I was hoping this trip would re-juice the creative flow. But even though I spent a few days on my own tinkering on Uncle Nic’s guitar, I felt nothing come to me.  I’m still not sure if I should be worried because it’s going to be almost a year since the last full song. I’ve written, “Red Light”. We’re now in the midst of mastering the recording of it.

Well, maybe once I get back to North American soil and have the chance to look back and ponder on this week in utopia, something will jump at me and give me the jolt of the inspiration I need. Guess only time will tell.

NG

Friday, June 22, 2012  –  The Return

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It’s funny how once you return to your real life, it almost feels like your time away didn’t really happen. Did I really experience all those wonderful trips and interactions? Or was it a dream? A figment of my imagination? I remember watching the city grow near as the plane continued its descent back into the city I had left behind only eight days earlier. Everything seems too flat, straight, boring. I’m a hopeless romantic and endless dreamer. Always have been. Because of that I get easily caught up in the romanticism of what’s out there. But I know once I get used to there, I will only wonder what’s back here. Human nature, I guess.

I am glad to reconnect with my amazing family of friends but I must admit, I was fighting pretty hard to hold back tears as I said good-bye to Uncle Nic. I actually think he might have been as well because he kept this hard smile on his face, always, like he was forcing himself not to get emotional. So sweet.

Once back here, I’d hope that I’d get a rush of songwriting ideas but … nothing. I’m going to try not to worry about it. We’ve gotten our EP mastered finally. Now we are onto working on the album art, which is exciting because we are slowly getting ourselves organized to do a photo shoot with some really cool ideas. We’re going for a very artistic approach. So we’ve got stuff on the go. It should keep us going until Fall when I’m hoping to have a final product to have available at shows. Perhaps in the interim of all this final “touch up” work, the creative juices will flow again and we can work towards our next recording.

Hmm…. the universe always seems to have a plan for me.

NG

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Infectious

March 9, 2013

ImageAfter a musical, magic carpet ride and two curtain calls I am still flying high from the fury known as Serena Ryder. Those that know me, know that I have a huge, HUGE girl-crush on her. Every time I walk out of one of her shows I feel like I could float out of the venue. She just keeps getting better. There’s something almost unexplainable about her. Her energy is enrapturing and it’s just so damn magical – for lack of a better word to use to describe the experience. It’s nearly impossible to sit still through her show. At times, I was surprised to notice just how much I was grooving, shaking, tapping, dancing, girating as I was locked on the vision that was Serena.

One of the two highlight of tonight’s show was during her first curtain call when she took to playing the drums. It was so powerful, the whole 800 seat theater had no choice but to get on heir feet as if pulled by a force beyond anything they were aware of to just dance, clap, sing and just be plain happy. I know it sounds like a Hippy Jamboree but she really does have that affect on people. Not only is she an incredible vocalist and invigorating guitar player but she’s also just so bloody like-able.

That brings me to the other highlight of the night which was when she called up a little girl, who was dancing in the front row, up to sing with her while she closed the show. I felt myself being transported into that little girl, Alicia from Burlington, Ontario. What an experience to be watching someone in awe and have them notice you and invite you up to join them. It was so touching and exciting. I can’t stop gushing about it. You’d think she’d asked me to go up there. (I most certainly would not have handled it as gracefully as Alicia did as I’d probably be a bumbling idiot.) But what touched me was that in that moment she may have changed the course of a child’s life right then and there. She’ll always have that memory of making that momentary connection with a star and this may just be what propels her own dream to pursue music. It always begins with one moment.

Infectious. It’s the only way to describe her that says it all. The only way from here is up for Miss Ryder, in my books. I raced home to write this entry before I forgot this elated feeling as we always seem to do in the light of day. And I’ll probably be up late tonight trying to work out some new song ideas  of my own. Inspiration via Serena, of course.

Aaaaaaah. There’s nothing like turning the knob on the door of a new room you never even knew was there. (Lady Gaga reference.)

Thank you and Good Night.

Harmoniously,

Nowhere Girl

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Journey

March 2, 2013

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As I roamed through the bookstore yesterday trying to find just the perfect notebook to hold all my spontaneous inspirations of the written word (insert a little bit of sarcasm here), I came across a very simple one with no fancy colours or drawings on the cover. But it did make me take notice of it because on the cover was written one sentence. “Inspiration is everywhere.” It really made me stand there and stare at it for a while. Why was I always looking so hard for something that was standing right in front of me most of the time? We seem to have this preconceived notion that what is art and what is inspiration is supposed to be something so grand and over the top that they will be making documentaries and feature films about it long after you are gone. But the simple truth is this. Keep it simple, stupid.

As I may have previously mentioned, I am a rock bio pic/documentary junkie. I love delving into the makings of great artists and musicians. Even if I don’t care for their work, I still have great respect for the story of where they came from and how it all started. Especially since everyone, no matter how great, had a helping hand along the way. Everyone.  Every time I hear the phrase self-made millionaire, i just about want to jump out of my skin. Who do these people think they are to care on that kind of title? How can you be a self-made anything without the support, the aid, the encouragement, the belief of the people around you? The whole human experience is about interaction – no matter what your goal is. And that is why I love being a part of a band instead of being a solo artist. Although, even solo artists have people around them that give them guidance.

The reason for this long introductory rant?

I just finished watching Dave Grohl’s SOUND CITY and I am in love with music all over again. I have re-birthed my drive and love for the art called music and everything involved in its creation – which is the basic premise of the documentary. It tells the story about the infamous Sound City recording studio in California, where some major artists and bands like Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty and Nirvana,  just to name a few, recorded between the 60’s right up until 2011 when they finally closed down. But what made me tear up a few times was the love you felt throughout this movie. The relationships that these people created when working in this studio space. And how music brought it together and sealed it with a kiss. Keeping it simple. You really should watch the film to get the full grasp. Dave Grohl is a great story teller and kept me wanting for this film to never end, really. I could listen to everyone’s stories and memories of their experiences forever. But of course, all things have to come to an end but I walk away feeling more in love with music than ever before.1682339-poster-1280-foo-fighters-front-man-dave-grohl-explains-how-sound-city

You know, as a dancer, I have always felt enveloped by music. Like it cradles you and inspires you to move accordingly. But when you are a part of creating the music, you feel inside of it. It courses through your veins and when it’s done right, it’s like the closest  feeling to God or the Universe I think one could ever feel. I’m sure anyone can say that about their passion. Their truth. Mine is sound. Musical sound. It’s why I love this journey called life. There are many out there that question what the meaning of it is and for me I think this magical experience here on earth, interacting with other human beings is what it’s all about and you see it so clearly when you watch the musicians in this film play together. They really are in a state of joy. (Paul McCartney playing with the some of the members of Nirvana.)

I believe it’s Jim Keltner that comments about the fact that today, you are able to make music completely alone. You don’t need the amount of man power it once took to create music BUT you’ll have much greater joy doing it with others. And that right there, ladies and gentlemen is when cupid shot an arrow right through my heart. He speaks the absolute truth. And it’s that truth that always brings me back to the band even after a long journey away. Home is where the band is. Keep enjoying the ride……….

Nowhere Girl

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Non Fin

December 31, 2011

I’ve been struggling over the last few days on how to begin this entry. As the year comes to a close this evening, I am slowly emerging from the darkness that has been my existence for the past few months.

I’ve made many attempts to write but have felt helpless at having absolutely nothing to offer. My obsession with inspiration has left me pretty dry this last little while. Hence the reason why there haven’t been any entries for the past few months. It’s odd, I guess. This intrigue I have with what fuels or ignites the creative. This intrigue, or some would say obsession has left me void of any of my own. Although, I’ve been told that there are other atmospheric factors that have aided in shrouding me with some of this darkness.

But! I’ve been working on getting myself back on track. It’s not over yet ’cause the fat lady ain’t sung her final aria just yet. (That’s my way of poking a little fun at myself.) Feeling lost in life is quite the experience. It’s not like being lost in a strange city because there are always resources you can rely on, like signs, other people, buildings and landmarks etc. When you feel lost in life, there are no helpful signs to guide you. There are no other people who can steer you in the exact direction you need to be going. It’s all on you to try to find your way out. It’s like trying to climb through a cloud…

So here we are on the crest of the final wave and I am feeling the light slowly flicker again. We had a show a few weeks back and it was good to get back on the stage and to feel that support from friends and a few new fans.  Fans. I’m so uncomfortable with that term. I don’t believe that we have fans. I believe that we have new-found friends, who enjoy what we are doing. It was nice.

We’ve released our EP – THIS IS NOT HERE digitally. Come hell or high water, we just couldn’t tweak it anymore to our liking so we hope that you like what’s out so far. The boys and I have started making plans for our next song set to record. We are pretty pumped and looking froward to sharing these new tunes with everyone. We’re just working out the kinks with schedules etc and hope that it won’t drag out for a year like the last one did.

All in all, I leave 2011 with a weak smile. Although there was much struggle between dark and light, I am so thankful I could experience it because this battle has taught me that I still have strength and I’ve still got the embers of passion burning on the coals, ready to explode into life again. So this is not the end.

Let a new chapter begin……

xoxox

Nowhere Girl

PS You can listen, buy or download our EP here:

Nowhere Girl – THIS IS NOT HERE

http://nowheregirl.bandcamp.com/album/nowhere-girl

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Day 296 – The Power of Music

February 8, 2011

The feeling of addiction to sound is greater than any drug I”ve ever been tempted with. I feel like it is a drug at times. It always – strangely amazes me how some songs can pull ever string of energy in your soul. Sometimes it’s the constant pound of a bass drum that drives you or the continuous drone of a solid bass line that you can feel vibrating in your chest. There’s something that makes you want to listen to it over and over again just to get lost in the chaos of a million different notes and tones. For that four minutes, you are floating through an untouchable perfection of being – of existing.

And what a high when you can be a part of creating something just like that. It reminds me that no matter how much I fail or how imperfect I may be at many aspects of this whole music game, I know that it still drives me to get up in the morning. How amazing is that? How incredibly beautiful?

Too much for words…..

Nowhere Girl

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Day 281 – The Strangest Bolt

January 24, 2011

The weirdest thing happened last night as I was falling into bed. Something made me pick up my guitar one last time before turning the lights out. So strange. I was about to really be in falling-asleep mode and then it was like something inside me told me to just tinker for five minutes before calling it a night.

Within two minutes I had a song pour out of me. It’s mostly on one chord, too! Lyrics just rushed in like they were afraid I wouldn’t remember them in another five minutes. So of course, when this happens, you do the only thing you can do. Grab a pen!

I’m kind of excited and can’t wait to show the guys at rehearsal. I can’t believe I’ve got another one so quickly! Inspiration is so funny. The best stuff hits you when you’re not even trying. Wasn’t it John Lennon who said “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans”? So damn true! And songs come to you when you’re ready to turn out the lights!

However they come upon me, I am grateful.

Thankfully,

Nowhere Girl

P.S. Hope you like it!

Bring Me Back

V1: There she stood with the one-eyed man

Talking faster than she can

run baby

Baby run

V2: Break the doors, throw them wide open

Unveil a little more, show me what’s broken

Memories are one thing that never fail

They never fail

Chorus:

Bring me back Baby

Don’t let them attack

Heal me of these wounds where I don’t bleed

Bring me back, Baby

Set me free

V3: So here we are, standing side by side

Leaning on the bar, there’s nowhere to hide

Now we’ve gone way too far

Now you’ve gone, you’ve gone way too far

repeat Chorus

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Day 106 – Inspiration. …And then what?

August 3, 2010

The other day I met a woman who’s seemed to have done it all. From running two Marathons, done the Iron Man, jumped out of planes for fun and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro! I feel like a lazy bastard! What have I done to really experience the world or contribute to it for that matter?

I know that these things all seem a bit extreme but that’s what I call taking life by the balls and living! It reinforces the fact that there is so much out there to do and be discovered. So inspiring but here’s the thing. Now what do I do with the inspiration? Do I want to climb Kilimanjaro? Not really. Do I want to jump out of a plane? Although, I briefly contemplated it a few years back, I’ve decided that I like my feet on the ground for now. So what else is there? Technically, playing music is what drives me but it really sucks that when you’re struggling for cash, it’s hard to make things really happen in that vain.

Soooooooooo. Now what? Not sure but I still think it’s really cool to meet individuals like this. Perhaps I will stumble upon my inspirational purpose if I meet a few more of these take-life-by-the-balls people.

I’d like to think it is or will be songwriting. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Aspiringly inspired,

Nowhere Girl