Posted 1 year ago

ch-ch-ch-ch-changes…

I have a confession to make.  Those of you who have been to one of our gigs in the last few weeks may have already picked up on this but here it is…

I am in love.

It’s true! And before you start rolling your eyes or raising your eyebrows, let me just be clear – it’s not with any person.  No.  Something very beautiful has come into my life, winging its way to me from Hawaii via Palo Alto, California. It is a 6 string tenor ukulele, handmade from solid Koa by one of the oldest ukulele companies in Hawaii, Kamaka.

It’s voice is more harp-like than my old uke, resonant and warm and with a sustain that gives Mark’s guitar a run for its money.  It is quite simply – gorgeous.

I go through every minute of every day wanting to play it, to create with it, to listen to its sweet tones cascading like a waterfall… I am besotted with it!  So much so, that I feel the need to name it – something I have only done once before…but then how could I not name the 60yr old banjolele that came to me? That weight of decades had given it such depth and character – it demanded recognition of its substance, and so it became “The Glen”.

But this new joy – in its infancy and already so very rich in its sound, it will grow and mature, and I, I will hopefully grow with it – as a musician and a performer, my passion for the ukulele reborn in this instrument…and so, a name…

Samsara.

I hope I get to share Samsara’s voice with you soon! J

Posted 1 year ago

Project 24 - Episode 8 - thewhiskeyarchive

It’s here!  Episode 8 of Project24 by Blueroom Productions features…us!  If you haven’t made it to one of our gigs yet you probably haven’t heard this one yet - Penelope’s Call.

Enjoy! :)

Posted 1 year ago

A dream imagined lives…

I do not have any tattoos, no ink markings of birds, beasts or hieroglyphs anchored to my flesh.  There are plenty of tattoos I admire, true art works that will still have a beauty and meaning when the youth has seeped from the skin that holds them.  A delicate wren perches on a twig that springs from my friend’s shoulder, a woman clothed in rich blues and greens glimpsed peeking out from the opening of a collared business shirt, lines of poetry resting lightly on the inside of a wrist…

But I admire from a distance.  None has called to me with enough strength to overcome my distaste for all things - needle-like. 

I was once told that the sensation of tattooing was much like having a red-hot razor blade drawn extremely slowly over your skin. I’ve watched people getting tattoos - full back tattoos - and the swearing that accompanied it was, well, highly educational…but not very reassuring. You would have to want that image, word or symbol to be a part of you.  More, you would have to want the reminder/reassurance of that connection to be a physical presence in your life, for the rest of your life.

It’s strange, because I think my tolerance for physical pain is actually pretty normal but still I have no wish to invite it.

Like many, it’s not something that I can do lightly.  Unlike some, it’s not something that I can do impulsively. Perhaps, there’s just not enough binge drinking in my life to take that path…or just too much careful control.  It’s not very rock’n’roll of me, is it?

Still, I feel myself more and more drawn to the idea.  Drawn to the notion of marking the change that has transformed much of my life in recent years.  And when I think of what that ink could be, would be if I ever overcome my horror of needles, it comes back to words of course…a concept, a creation, a collaboration that has centred and consolidated my connection to music and songwriting…and my perception of what that creation is…

thewhiskeyarchive
a dream imagined lives… 

Not today, not yet, but maybe one day…

Jane :)

Posted 1 year ago

whoosh…

…and it went by.  Yep, that was 2012 (almost) and what an amazing year it’s been! 

Recording and launching our debut EP, playing with lots of lovely peeps (new friends and old - we love them all!) in some of our favourite Brizzy venues (yes, we’re looking at you Old Museum, The Zoo, Ric’s Bar, Black Bear Lodge, Dowse Bar, The End, Room 60 and more) and doing our first tour outside Brisbane to sample the fine hospitality of Toowoomba’s legendary Spotted Cow! 

We’ve worked with some fantastic sound engineers over the year but special mention has to go to our good friend Matt Taylor who tracked, mixed and co-produced thewhiskeyarchive EP.  And in the visual arena, we cannot say enough about the wonderful work done for us this year by photographers  Dan Cole, Laura Seeds and Tim Roberts and the very talented artists/designers Rob Harris and Ezra La Vin.

Big thanks also to 4ZZZ for the airplay they have given us - particularly Andrew Bartlett and Robyn Clare (if you haven’t checked out their programs yet, do it! You won’t regret it).

But the thing that has really made the whole thing worthwhile has been you, yes, you!  The friends, family and fans that have come to our gigs throughout the year, listened to our music (even bought the CDs!) and supported us in this crazy, mad endeavour that is live original music.  We love you - not just for what you have done for us but for what you represent - that wonderful part of community that fosters and values creativity, that believes in the artist, the musician, the performer and what they contribute to the world.

To all of you, thankyou! We wish you the very best for Christmas and the New Year - have fun, laugh, sing, dance, swim, listen, do whatever it is that makes you happy to be alive!  We hope to see you soon in 2013…

…and just a hint, you may want to keep afternoon of the 17th February clear in your diary ;) 

Posted 1 year ago

So…we made it into TimeOff…guess this is actually happening tonight! ;)

Posted 1 year ago

What is worth saying…

I’m sitting in an auditorium listening, listening, listening…or at least trying to listen to discussions about branding, design, shaping messages,media, linking images to music, etc, etc. I know there is important stuff here that I need to know, or at least I should care about knowing if I want to get our music out to more people but there is that part of me that cringes back from it. That whimpers, feeling the creative impulse wincing at the hard edge of business, of marketing, of knowing your demographic that knifes through that wonderful warm glow of just creating music.

But…

There is good info here, relevant info…create meaningful content around your music one speaker says…and I get that, I do. I know what I like to see from bands I follow - real discussion of their ideas, values, struggles…or just that opening of the curtain to see the truth of their experience of a time, a place, an event - a conference, even…

So I open Tumblr, realising how long it’s been since I recorded my thoughts in this particular way, shared with the great anonymous land of the internet, and I start to write…one word, two words, more…

…but is this meaningful? Is this just a knee jerk reaction to a random sound byte? What is it that I want to say?

Ultimately, I remain conflicted. I want to speak, to share, to show…but really what I want more is to create…

…and hope that somewhere out there, someone listens, someone connects, someone finds their own personal value in this creation…sometime.

Posted 1 year ago

always reaching…

We are reaching for…

Sometimes it seems that is what life is, a constant reaching for something, something other than ourselves.  Reaching for another person, reaching for an object, reaching for a place or reaching for a time when we were different – younger, older, wiser, more innocent…happier.  Reaching away from sorrow, pain, anger, frustration and yes, away from happiness too sometimes.

Today I heard that a friend who had lost his partner to cancer had taken his own life in turn.

My first thought was that he had stopped reaching but then I realised that wasn’t true.  He was reaching for peace, reaching away from pain.  And there were so many people trying to reach to him, to connect and comfort, to hold and heal.  But sometimes, in our darkest moments…perhaps that is not what we seek.  At least from my perspective, it doesn’t seem to be what he was reaching for.

So if life is not reaching, what is it? I think it must be simply being, being in the moment, opening our eyes and seeing the colour of a pebble by our feet at this point in time, and then the next, and then the next.  Life is rich with beauty and ugliness, the sublime and the mundane…and all the myriad possibilities that exist between the extremes.  What we reach for in life should flavour our being, but it shouldn’t consume it, drown it to the point where we lose those moments that make up our lives…if it does, what have we gained? How have we lived?

This song is unlikely to ever be a whiskeyarchive song…but it is my song to my friend, Zayn, written in moments of sorrow and loss that I would not wish for, but I will not reach away from…

I heard the news today
Your love was taken away
Eaten up by a demon inside
He could not bide

I heard the news today
Your heart never mended they say
The hands held out to wipe your eyes
Disappeared in your sighs

And I remember you
Cigarette in hand
Laughter in your voice
A vibrant young man
And I don’t want to hear this news today
I don’t want to hear this news today

I heard the news today
That black dog took you away
In the darkest dregs of the wine
You saw no time

I heard the news today
You fled to your love, they will say
And the anger puddles useless at my feet
for the dog’s wretched greed

And I remember you
Cigarette in hand
Laughter in your voice
A vibrant smiling man
And I don’t want to hear this news today
I don’t want to hear this news today

I just wish that you had stayed.

Posted 1 year ago

i wonder…

there are moments when suddenly you feel like you’re in a film…you know the ones, when the light is so bright and diffused that everything outside of your immediate surroundings seems a blur of motion but at the same time everything in the bubble surrounding you is in ultra-sharp focus…time seems to run at different speeds – slowing to a crawl to let you marvel at the roar of sound, racing so fast you think there is no way you can physically keep up with what you are supposed to be doing… 

you see a familiar face but before you can move or speak or even smile there are suddenly other faces/voices/smiles in between and you lose yourself in the mad swirl of colour and sound, your attention fragmented, scattered to seemingly a hundred different corners of this room.  All the while the light glows…not the actual light of the room, it’s the light of warmth/affirmation/friendship/kinship – even pleasant surprise!  It infects and infuses every atom of your being, and the glow gives everything a rich, golden aura that you just want to luxuriate in, wrapping it about you like the softest, lightest cashmere…it’s intoxicating, exhilarating and incomprehensibly perfect…

at the same time it is frustrating – teasing and laughing at all your best laid plans, undermining that attention to detail that you swore you would have for this event…and you forget things, important things…you are tossed through this space like a leaf on the breeze, stray gusts bouncing you off course, unexpected eddies leaving space for different opportunities…a random particle in space and time…and there is never enough time to say what you wanted to say, to speak to old friends and greet new friends…

so here I will say some of what I wished I had said at the launch…

thank you to the wonderful musicians who have supported and worked with us – the mouldy lovers, elbury, jen horn, kathryn mckee, roger gonzalez…

thank you to the fantastic champions of performance and live music that have given us opportunities and encouragement to perform and grow in their venues – clare dyson, joc curran, dominic miller…

thank you to the amazing matt taylor who went above and beyond the call in recording, mixing and co-producing thewhiskeyarchive ep and mixing the live at the zoo ep…

thank you to alannah at the old museum for welcoming us into her lovely venue and creating such a beautiful space for our launch…

thank you to all the  family, friends and fans who have come out to support us time and again…despite our propensity to draw monsoonal rain…

undoubtedly there will be other people that I should be thanking, my memory is sieve-like at the best of times, so…thank you.

Now, let’s take a deep breath…

I wonder what will happen next…

Posted 1 year ago

Eleven sleeps to go…

Eleven sleeps to go…

…not that I’m counting, right? I mean, it’s not as if the last twelve months has all been building to this night or anything, right? Um, well, maybe…

But honestly, if you had asked me twelve months ago if this was what was going to happen I would have thought you had spent either too much time in the sun or with the bottle, possibly both.  Even six months ago, it was just a pie-in-the-sky idea, wishful thinking, a crazy far-fetched dream.

And yet…

How magical is the human mind, that despite all logic and, some would say, common sense it still has the capacity to imagine a different path, strive for an alternate reality and develop a place and a space where it can create itself anew…infuse itself in a brighter vision…

And it is brighter, so very much brighter, textured and more alive than it was…filled with creation…and the act of creating, of making is so deeply satisfying.  It feeds the soul in a profound way, lifting your spirits and sending them bobbing happily on a journey into the unknown…and, yes, there is fear but that is far outweighed by the excitement, the enjoyment, the pure thrill of revelling in this experience.

In the last couple of months a phrase has sprung to mind…

A dream imagined lives…

…this for me is thewhiskeyarchive.

So after eleven sleeps, I will stand on the stage, uke in hand…I know I will look at Mark and see the same excitement brimming over…and we will get to share with you, with the friends and family who have marked our journey on this path, this creation…this joy…this dream…

…and see it alive in your eyes.

Posted 2 years ago

adrift in the cello sea…

it’s 2am…and yes, i’m awake again…i don’t want to be, believe me, but there is so much to do, to think about, to organise and to listen to…

because i am listening, incessantly, to the mix of our ep and watching the ticking over of files as the songs are transferred to the mastering engineer, rick o’neill.  why do i keep listening? well, in part because i still can’t quite believe it, listening to this ep has assumed a dream-like quality for me because i keep running headlong into that incredulous inner voice whispering in surprise - ‘did i really write that? is that really me singing? playing ukulele? how is any of this possible??’ and then there’s the other aspect, the pure, unadulterated pleasure of listening to the wonderful musicians who played with us - jen with her accordion and glockenspiel, roger on percussion and kathryn, the lovely cellist who created a sea of cello that sweeps through and carries off your soul in its warm, textured embrace…

yes, i do love the cello…

and here, in this over-tired, red-eyed, semi-comatose state, i revel in how ridiculously lucky i am…lucky to have found the ukulele, lucky to have found my singing voice, lucky to be surrounded by such creative and inspiring friends and family who have supported and encouraged me in exploring this music…and most incredibly lucky to have found Mark who has really made all of this possible - his songwriting, his music and his generosity - the ease with which we can write and play songs together…I don’t say it often enough - thank you Mark!

…you see what I mean…the cello sweeps you up, opens you to the world and makes you breathe joy to the point where you just can’t help but overflow with it…it’s like sonic ecstasy!

i’m going to have to listen to it again…