The Blackbird’s Ghost

2012/09/27

Drifting home, three-quarters asleep,
I am welcomed by the sound of Humboldthain
in those chilled crystalline nights of early Spring,
but it’s broken by the cars and one suspicious dog;
the shards stick in my neck and once again,
this ghost-town street becomes a tourniquet.

But the sound comes back – three blackbirds
and their one perfect love song, taking me back
to drifting home, three-quarters asleep,
gliding with eyes as heavy as my bones
until the song that echoes from the shadows
of awakening branches and buried scars
throws starlight in my face,
awakens feathers in my heart.

It takes me back, as it took me back,
as I must go back, but not this time:
this time, I fall through a door
so bored it knocks itself, and listen
to the fridge as it tries to sing along.


For Inspiration & kreative Gesellschaft

2012/08/30

The last five years in my life were five of the best. That stemmed primarily from the wonderful, warm, creative people I met while living in Berlin. From them came a sense of community, of shared endeavour, and a constant buzz of inspiration.

It was those things that led to the formation of the artist collective, A Headful of Bees, and next week, my delightful and fabulously talented colleages are running Do It Together workshops as part of Berlin Music Week. So if you’re in town, why not go along and pick up a dose of that fantastic momentum that I got from these people? The underlying concept is learning how we as artists can be our own music industry. We’ve seen it work for the shining beacons of DIY/DIT like Amanda Palmer; find out it if can work for you!

5€ gets you into as many sessions as you want on the day (Friday the 7th for the Bees’ workshops), and to be sure you don’t miss out, you can pre-book your tickets here.

And then, to feed your inspiration further, why not check out a splendid assembly of Berlin’s finest singer-songwriters at Lovelite?

 

And if that’s not enough, there are special Berlin Music Week Sofa Salon living room concerts on the 5th and 7th! So much shiny in such a short time! Be sure to have some surgical-grade duct tape on hand, in case your heart explodes with delight!


To the Edge Chapbook at QPF2012

2012/08/08

To the Edge Chapbook at QPF2012

Toasty-warm off the press, my first chapbook is ready to make its way out into the world! I am more than a little excited! It features a handful of my best poems, with delightful illustrations by Steven Wilson (and cover art by Rod Wilson and me).

Brisbanefolk can pick up a copy for just $7 at the Queensland Poetry Festival, 24-26 August at the Judith Wright Centre, Fortitude Valley. I’ll be performing on the Saturday evening, and delivering a full set, complete with music and video, on the Sunday afternoon at 3:15. All Saturday and Sunday sessions are free, but you can happily show your support via the bookshop 🙂

The book is a Headful of Bees publication.


Homesickness and Perspective

2012/02/12

Yesterday was the first real punch-in-the-heart homesickness. It’s a real relief to have these electric internets to keep the channels open, though. And to have friends to remind me that it really isn’t that far away, and that no problem is really all that huge. This is like a friendly version of the Total Perspective Vortex.


Debut Album for Wasp Summer

2011/12/07

Ladies and gentlemen, it delights me to announce that my dear friend and multi-talented superhero, Wasp Summer, is about to release her debut solo album, and you can help make it happen. The music is already recorded and her excitement about it is positively radiant. She has launched an IndieGoGo campaign to raise the money for the final stages: mixing, mastering and manufacturing. As well as snaring you a copy of the album, there is a cracking selection of bonuses for contributors, so please pop by and have a look. Splendid music and superb value!

Her music is alt.country/folk and her voice is like both a warm hug and roller-coaster for your heart. Have a listen on ReverbNation, SoundCloud or BandCamp. Also dear to my heart, she was also a member of Melbourne band, The Mime Set, who did such mind-blowing work with poet, Sean M. Whelan.

Close as a Slow Dance will be the first A Headful of Bees release for 2012. Please help make it real!


Finding our bearings

2011/11/21

I am very excited to be aboard the maiden voyage of the good ship, Berlin Compass. Over four evenings, Berlinators will be presented with a dazzling array of words, music, movement and imagery, as we set sail for each of the four points of the compass. My Headful of Bees colleague, Wasp Summer, and I will be taking you northward on Friday evening.

Important: the times given are not “Berlin time”; there’ll be no more boarding after we set sail at 20:45!

Berlin COMPASS

West, North, East, South: which directional points are yours?

Launch into an ongoing international exploration in music, word, laughter, performance, image and dance: four evenings of intuitive, fated and chosen bearings.

Hosted by singing poet Sandra Sarala (who’s taking on four different musical-poetic-performance personas across the series), and thematically curated around the cardinal points, each multi-disciplinary evening will formally commence with the communal breaking of a circular loaf of homemade bread, uniting all present. Every show has been designed to showcase individual performers, to offer complementary contrasts and interconnections, and will close with collaborative improvisation.

Choose your resonant points and bring your good self /selves along.

Thursday 24th WEST

‘West, Seeking Balance, and the Balancing East’

Wordy offerings from balancing story-telling time-traveller Skiz-um Hequ, and the poetic Eastern tongues of MC Jabber and Moon (Stephen Mooney), while Sandra Sarala explores the maze and dark mystery of Western life, alongside wildcard Wests, singer of sweetness Cera Impala, musician/video artist Peter Newman, and concert pianist Kim Hye Jin, taking us to her West with Rachmaninov.

Friday 25th NORTH

‘North and a Balancing South’

Touch your philosophy with spoken word from mr oCean and Anja Zeilinger, some storytelling and a touch of song from Kerri Mullen, music and candlelight from Wasp Summer, bridge Lieder and the avant-garde with Alexis Baker, and be danced towards love, joy and melancholy by (India-born) Southerner Manish Pathak. Sandra Sarala takes up alter-ego Loki as host.

Saturday 26th EAST

‘East with a Rogue West’

Well-considered words from several stalwarts of Berlin’s literati – spoken word mega-presence Gaby Bila-Gunter aka Lady Gaby, and poets Alistair Noon, and Frank Alkämper, the latter in confluence upon ‘Ausgerechnet Armenien’ (‘Ironically, Armenia) with musicians Michael Gross and Leonid Soybelman (rogue West in the East!). Sandra Sarala heads for the archaic folksong hills, someone lets Volcanick, the hairiest oriental belly-dancer in town, into the house, and special rules come into play this evening for special guest, intuitive singer AlinK.Sarit, bussing over from Poland… which may have a little something to do with film from Marta Jurkowska.

Sunday 27th SOUTH

‘South with a Deliberately Contrary North’

Verbal dexterity in the shining poetry-stories of Claudia Emmingham, dexterous lunacy from singer, songwriter and comedian David Cassel, and electro-art-pop duo Trike (Xania Keane and Stephen Paul Taylor), some measure of Northern contrariness from performance artist Daniela Gast, and a sprinkling on the ivories from composer and pianist Phil Cooksey, also in collaboration upon the southern seas with lyric poetry from Sandra Sarala.

Berlin COMPASS: Thursday 24 – Sunday 27 November, 2011, Club der polnischen Versager, Ackerstraße 168 (next to Schokoladen), 10115 Berlin, (U8 Rosenthaler Platz)

Doors open and music from 20:15, Doors close and bread-breaking 20:45

Entry: 8 €, and an extra special collection on Saturday night

http://berlincompass.blogspot.com/


Stories from the corner of your eye

2011/03/13

I’m delighted to announce the first performance for a new collaboration between lina paul and me. We met at The Sofa Salon last year, and seemed to both get a sense that we could cook something up; here’s what we have on the stove:

Stories from the corner of your eye

Gelegenheiten, Weserstrasse 50, 12045 Berlin Neukölln. (U-Bhf Rathaus Neukölln)

Friday, 18 March at 20:00.

the dreams of the insomniac, the echoes of voices in abandoned places, personal faultlines in reality… lina paul and mr oCean seek out the stories that flit unnoticed at the edge of our vision or dance in shadows, and with music, song, spoken word and odd noises, bring them out into the light to feed your curiosity.

lina paul’s minimalistic music and soundscapes are like spider-webs – delicate, yet disproportionately strong – and the songs and tales they catch are never ordinary. mr oCean’s words sketch views from old windows and distorted mirrors and his music is drawn to cold shorelines and broken buildings.

It’s been exciting to not only hear our words and music coming together in new ways, but also to have this extra push to get pieces finished, which had been lurking at the edge of my mind for too many years. And this is your chance to hear shining new pieces we’ve put together specifically for the show. We’re massively looking forward to the gig, and also to further developments!