Two quotes

If you can’t think of anything nice to say, you’re not thinking hard enough

sounds much better than

If you can’t think of anything nice to say, say nothing at all

T E Morris – The Long Distance Runner EP

T E Morris – This ever busy man , will release a new EP called ‘The Long Distance Runner’ soon. I had the privilege, to have been sent a link to it from the man himself and I am at once grateful and surprised by this fact. On his blog, Tom (T E) describes, why he releases so many EPs. He says, “it is therapeutic and I need to.” That’s good enough for me. I am quite touched, by T E Morris’s openness, his music and his lyrics and I don’t seem to be the only one, seeing that most of his EPs are sold out.

“The Long Distance Runner” EP counts 7 songs and is approximately 30 minutes long. 7 very different songs and still, they have one thing in common, the passion, the authenticity and the vocal range, Tom brings to his songs.

The EP starts with the title song “The Long Distance Runner“. In a recent livestream, Tom talked about, how this song is already 11 years old. Sometimes, music and lyrics need the right state of mind of the singer/songwriter, to be finally released for good. It can also be heard on “Kinship – a full circle” from the band Her Name Is Calla, where Tom is the lead singer. It’s differently orchestrated and I have to say, that I prefer Tom’s solo performance of the song. It’s a simple song, that doesn’t need the orchestration of the band. It’s not bad, but different from this version. The song is also featured on Tom’s second full length album “And You Were The Hunter” released earlier this year. The soft fragile tone of Tom’s voice carries this song and guides it towards a more atmospheric part, where violins and percussion are added to the orchestrations. An acoustic guitar solo leads to a pleading “hope leads us on” or is it a question for reassurance? A very strong song, beautifully arranged and ending calmly, gently with a soft “don’t blame yourself”.

“The Long Distance Runner” is followed by “A Year In The Wilderness”. The piano and the vocals sung in harmony lead this calm song. A tune, I could easily see as the soundtrack to a movie. Also very beautiful and somewhat surprising, because it’s not the instrument that I hear often in the music I listen to, is the organ. It gives this song an elegant, eminent flair. A stunning song, one of those that keeps you listening intently and forgetting about the here and now. When I first heard it, snow was falling outside of my window. The snowflakes dancing in the wind where like the perfect visual for “A Year In The Wilderness”. Admittedly, my favorite song of this EP.

Third song is “If You Need Me, I’ll Be At Palomar”. It’s a song, that show’s T E Morris full range of voice, from deep, almost spoken, to falsetto. It also demonstrates his skills at beating up his guitar. If you’ll hear the song, you’ll understand what I mean, but I like it. I was a bit surprised, when the heavy effect on the guitar set in, but somehow it fits perfectly fine with the rest of the song. Sometimes, I think that singers/songwriters should be more daring in their approach, something Tom definitely is. And the courage to experiment, is something that I like about his music. It’s nothing dull that you have heard a million times, it’s fresh, surprising without sounding fake. It’s still him. It’s still Tom and it sounds authentic. And that brings me to the fourth song “I Won’t Ever Go To Sleep Again”. A sweet ballad, carried by T E Morris unique voice and his range. Funnily enough, when he sing “I won’t ever go to sleep again”, I believe him. Again it sounds authentic. Personally, I like that this song is played on electric guitar rather than on acoustic like most songs are. For me, it underlines the fragility of the song all the better. The next song is something completely different yet again. A song called “I met a man who wasn’t there”. Prominent feature of this song is the banjo accompanying Tom. For me, this song is not Tom. Sorry. It sounds a lot like his Her Name Is Calla bandmate Weike. Even the way it is sung sounds more like Weikie and it’s the only song, (maybe the first ever?) that doesn’t touch any emotions inside of me. Though the lyrics are really good. The (I presume) banjo that sounds intentionally out of tune, doesn’t reach me at all. Also at the end, I think a laughter is missing… It just sounds like a place, where one would laugh and it gets cut in editing.

“A River Of Ghosts” is a “typical” (is there ever such a thing?) T E Morris song. The voice and the lyrics is what carries this song. Again a song, that lets us hear a wide range of vocals, while harmonies are sung. I really like it. The last and 7th song is called “Idea 4_6Aug2012” I guess, the right name for the song was still missing and there’s no harm going with the suggestion of your Mac/PC. “Thought I lived ’till I was old…” and the lyrics in general to this song, sound like the thoughts I had, when I turned 30 and had trouble accepting, that I was not in at a point in my life, where I had seen myself prior. We all have these goals and once in a while we look back, reflecting on ourselves and aren’t were we thought we would be. The sound of the synthesizer as a filler is beautiful and again, it reminds me of a movie soundtrack. Mister Morris is able to write beautiful, haunting melodies. This is a brilliant song, that builds and builds. Mostly the second half of this song is awesome, when different voices and different instruments set in. No elaborated lyrics needed here. A worthy song, to close a stunning EP. To be honest, the tune and the “ahahs” follow me ever since I first heard this EP.

This is of course a very subjective review. You don’t have to like, what I do. Though, I’m am convinced that this man is very worthy of your attention. T E Morris can be found on bandcamp: here. (For everywhere else he can be found (Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/ Soundcloud) browse temorris.co.uk )

Once again, everything was done right (imho).

 

I see you at your next livestream, Mister Morris

 

❤ Cathy

 

and this is just for me, because I love that song so much 😉 (by the way, the first chords, isn’t that ‘All Along The Watchtower’ from Jimi Hendrix?)

Hurts

Hurts - 11/22/13 Rockhal Lux

OMG… Hurts were epic… awesome… amazing…

It was one of those concerts, where I had that silly grin on my face the whole time. Theo (the singer) has more charisma in his little finger, than Dan from Bastille in his entire being. You could feel the energy and the fun he had. He didn’t have to do much, he was simply there. His voice is amazing, Better than on CD… much better. I am really elated. It was ‘wonderful, fantastic’ (to quote Theo) even Adam, who doesn’t move a lot had so much presence on stage and it didn’t matter if he played the guitar or the piano. By the way, live this band is much harder, heavier than on CD. I liked it a whole lot. Theo danced and jumped, it was fun to watch him. He waved and smiled at the audience or he simply stood, with his hands behind his back and sang in his most vulnerable voice. I was not disappointed, if anything, my expectations were exceeded! 🙂 Yay… happy dance!

and then, there was this song:

It was way better than this version (less effects on the voice) here and I have to admit, I had a tear in my eyes and that was an absolute first for me at a concert.

I had a wonderful night.

 

and tomorrow… Sigur Rós…

and since we are talking music… go here: https://martynjackson.bandcamp.com/album/home and buy the album. Artists like Martyn Jackson, TE Morris, Weikie, Our Ceasing Voice, Red Room Cinema… young struggling musicians need our support, to live their dream. It’s not the easy road they take, but what they do, they do it passionately. and we should support them and that in any way we can!

Modern day concerts

Modern day concerts

So, I was at a concert last night and something strange happened.
Mostly, I see bands who are rather unknown or not very mainstream, last night though, I saw Bastille. (UK based band) and the show was sold out.
What struck me most, was not the music, albeit it was really impressive and good, but the need for the many people to film the event. Who on earth will look at those shaky unfocused things again? And people taking pictures, blinded by the light, with the band members being ant-sized.
I really don’t understand people watching a show rather through a screen (phone or even tablet) than seeing it with their own eyes.
This was the first time, I took a photo at a concert. And it wasn’t even of the band. I had no intention to photograph the band. I wanted to capture how today’s audience at concerts look like

modern society is slowly getting too weird for me to understand, or maybe I am just getting old.

faiths, believes and religions…

I had a (for me) quite intense and interesting discussion yesterday with someone via twitter. This man posts a lot of quotes and most of them are really good and I agree, but some of them are… I don’t even know which word to use… not for me?!

I don’t automatically like a quote because it is attributed to Buddha, but many people seem to do.

He said, that he is a big enthusiast of the eastern philosophy and Buddhism and I agree, that it’s a very interesting take on life and spirituality. I don’t live under a rock and even though I don’t like talking about religious beliefs, it’s a topic that makes me think a lot.

I grew up in a catholic house. We went to church every Sunday and every Holiday. I was an acolyte (is that the right word? The only equivalent I found in my dictionary is altar boy and I am clearly not a boy!) for a very long time and sang in the church choir as a child and teenager. I went to a catholic private school for girls (in America, that school would be called a highschool), where we had nuns and priests (not many and still) who held classes. A nun was our headmaster. We didn’t have uniforms, but we had rules. No short skirts, no sleeveless tops and no cleavage. It was of course a time, where I was confronted with Christianity, the bible, God…

The moment, I started to realize, that Catholicism and Christianity is not for me, I turned to the opposite – Satanism.

I see people with eyes big as saucers now looking at their screens, but please, read on…

What I found in LaVey’s bible (the Satanic Bible) was something the catholic bible never allowed me. Power over myself. Being proud about who I am. Standing up for my beliefs. Not being pulled down by negativity. And it worked. I was a withdrawn teenager, feared by many girls in my school (as I learned later. I still makes me grin.) but I was strong within myself. I had a lot of crap at home, when I grew up. I mentioned my mom having MS and how we lived with my grand-ma, who basically blamed me for my mother’s illness. Our father, who took the easy way out and left… My mother couldn’t and my grand-ma wouldn’t love me and I was in so much need of love. I still am. I am in a constant search for love and I know, that in my constant search, I tend to oversee those who are near and love me… but that is an other issue.

Satanism helped me escape that and build walls to not let it through. I learned to compartmentalize, if you want to name it. With these people I am like that, at home I act like this and so on and so forth. I learned to wear masks.

Let me just quickly tell you, that I am not someone who roams cemeteries at night. Never did. I think cemeteries are a place of respect. You should respect the dead and their legacy. I never killed (or hurt) an animal or took part in a ‘black Mass’. I never drank blood or what other horror stories you hear. I was never part of a sect. I did it for myself.

But it also wasn’t enough. I let go of it and allowed myself to look for an other belief, an other faith.

A lot of people believe a lot of things that are said in religions (any religions) blindly. And that is the hard part for me. I question everything. Think about it and digest it and sometimes, I simply don’t agree.

Buddhism seems to be the belief that is the closest to my mentality and still… I can’t consume it blindly. If and when I offer myself to a faith or a belief, I think I should be able to voice my disagreement.

I am not sitting in the dark anymore. I am not crouching behind a wall anymore, to hide away my thoughts from the outside world. I don’t want to play dumb anymore. Satanism says: be superior to every other being you meet. That’s not it either. It’s not right! We should be equal. Who has the right to judge you and say you are a lesser person? No one. Not even you yourself.

I asked the person I had that discussion with, if he prays and he answered with ‘yes’. It came across as a strong and decisive ‘yes’ and he asked me in return, if I pray. I took a moment to answer, because praying, as it is ingrained in my mind, is about kneeling down, folding your hands and asking for forgiveness for your sins from Jesus. But I realized, that once I let go of that thought, that yes, I do pray. I ask for guidance and advice, (for signs if you want) from a higher power. I am not sure, if someone hears it though. I also share my thoughts with whoever or whatever guides us on our ways.

But I don’t want to follow something blindly, unquestioningly.

What I can say is, I am not an atheist. I believe… the question is, in what… in who… I believe in nature, I believe in cosmic signs, I believe in fate, I believe in humanity (even if it is very hard some times), I believe, that I am exactly where I am supposed to be at this time in my life, I believe in dreams, I believe in soulmates…

I thought a lot about that brief conversation. He says, his purpose is to spread happiness and show the beauty of this world and that’s what he does.

But what is my purpose?! Is my purpose solely raising my kids and those of other people (since I am a kindergarten teacher)? Is that my ‘calling’. It’s true that I knew from an early age on, that I want to do that. What about the music? Isn’t that my calling? Spreading the music to the world, pestering people with music I think is powerful, who others think it’s crap? What about my writing? Is it the waste of time, my family wants to tell me it is? Or is that my calling?

Am I over-thinking?!

Is it really that bad, if I create my own believes, picking the facts that suit me the most from different faiths? Instead of following the strict path of one religion?

In the end, the only certainty I have, is that I believe in me, in my worth, in my talent and I follow my gut-feeling. Maybe that is just the way I am supposed to live?!