Posts on Jan 1970

Day 2 – Song Summit (Songwriting highs and lows & impt minion missions)

Stephen Schwartz – Writer of Colors of the Wind is going to review my song as part of a panel.
Good GAWD.

A little admission, Colors of the Wind was just about sparked the moment when I decided I’d have a crack at creating words to music. I remember how much I liked the imagery of that one song and how I listened to the disc till the plastic melted. (Or it could have been the high humidity in Singapore) That…and Lion King’s soundtrack….which led me on a one way ticket to a lifetime love for world music….and a teenage crush on Hans Zimmer.

There I said it, I have Disney beginnings…

So seeing the man himself and knowing he was going to listen to some creation of mine was a quiet and internally very loud moment of “ohmygodohmygodohmygod” followed by “I’mgonnadieI’mgonnadieI’mgonnadie!!!!!!” which then culminated into “Oh hey! here’s a pillar I’m going to hide behind this beautiful architecture…did I tell you how much I love architecture?!!!”

Of course, I wasn’t really forwarned that part of the listening to the music panel meant that you had to sit a metre from the man himself on stage and that you were going to have to have a very public conversation with the man himself about songwriting.

Stephen was very kind. The song up for review was one called “Disconnected” I had recently had it remastered and mostly always had a very soft spot for it. The tune was mostly liked, he liked the poetry in it, loved the verses (thank u v much) questioned some of the word choices and encouraged some thoughts about the choice of the chorus .

Some which I agreed on but will not change, some which I disagreed on,…and will not change…but it was good to hear where how it sat with his ears and how he’d actually like to hear the song again and some more. That broke my happy metre.

There were other things he brought up about the song that made me rethink some songwriting decisions but mostly, it wasn’t bad and the man was gracious and kind and probably understood that right then, I was squirming like a nematode under a microscope.

More importantly the song survived. I didn’t feel like I needed to destroy it in the end which is also an uber step forward for myself as a songwriter.

It was nice and warm and fluffy to hear that my process of songwriting was somewhat similar to his where he mentions that he first writes the titles to songs, then works out the stories then writes the songs….my newly cerebral songwriting methods salute his very cerebral songwriting methods.

My only regret was that somehow the recording got wrongly sampled by those running the panel, and Stephen got to hear an awful recording where my voice that got pitched up an octave as a result. I only wished he got to hear the better version, but heh…I did the other songwriters whose vocals got chipmunked by a wrong sample rate. No matter, I sent a ninja his way and who promptly delivered my CD into his hands. Hope he gets a listen.

Sacha Skarbek’s songwriting panel

I enjoyed the panel. Good to see the writer behind many songs I try very hard to hate…but cannot. For an idea he wrote “You’re Beautiful” with James Blunt. Though it got killed to death by overplay in then end, that’s really hardly his fault. I remember liking it before gross repetition killed the love.

Sacha came across as a little bit of a shy performer although it seemed to me that he had a bloody good voice and a rollicking sense of humour. I was enjoying his panel quite a bit…until….he announced that he was working on the soundtrack for Chuck Palahniuk’s Lullaby with Starsailor.

I am Yunyu’s broken heart
I am Yunyu’s seething green serpent of envy

If you slow motion the reading of this sentence, you could probably pin point the exact moment my heart split in two

Because lullaby is one of my favourite horror/comedy story. Read it here.

and I want to write the culling song that features in the tale.

I already hear the culling song in my head…except I promise no one dies, though the effects might be convincing..

and I believe that when it comes to death put to music, I have a little bit of an authoritah on that.

No matter. I’ll get there. I’ll finish the bloody album, get the word out, then badger screen people to use some of my dead people music.

Still it hurts…because I want to write music on Lullaby.

Meanwhile…yoohoo Sacha. Can I write a culling song with you? I’m great at death, I would have loved to speak with you, but post panel, it seems most panel speakers are harder to seek than unicorns. I’m not sure where they go, and I was looking.

So there, Sacha, if you google yourself and find this, I want to write that culling song, I also want to work with you and learn from you. Meanwhile I’m sending the word out on how to bloody hell find you…so I can write THAT culling song.

I has your website
I see your management contacts … and will write to your gate keepers or keymasters.
but I rather write to you. Artist to Artist. Songwriter to songwriter.

Minions, if you know Sacha Skarbek, send on my love, and my need to write the culling song and that I want to work with him.

Minions…you has mission. Find the man.Find Sacha. Find him with your twitter, ask your friends, ask your enemies, send for your psychic pets, post on facebook. send word. Now. Get his email, get his number.

Find Sacha Skarbek.
Find him.



Go Now.

Fly my pretties…fly.

can you tell I’m obsessed?…with the culling song?

Till Tech do us apart.

Dear Powerbook G4 (1.67gHz PowerPC G4)

It’s been 6 years.
You have been my general, my conspirator, my friend, my comrade, my backup musician, my heaven and my absolute joy, my shiny toy.

It’s been my honour to have you, fight with you and work with you…
But for the last 1 year…and only in the last year.

Youtube videos won’t play on you – and if they do everyone in it looks like they are strobbing or have parkinsons

My Tweetdeck won’t work without me shutting everything else down

My CS3 is saluting me with a permanent rainbow ball

Logic gives me the permanent finger

Safari loads funny and you can’t handle the shiny things on the new sites though my broadband can

You make scary helicopter noises when I load a DVD or CD so I never know when the secret SAS is coming for me and my ninjas or if you are still just trying to entertain me.

Your speakers have blown up and your jacks look like they have conjunctivities of the red glowing kind.


You won’t let me play plants vs Zombies.

I love you. You’ve worked hard and you will always have a place of honour in my heart. You are still fighting strong….
But the tech has come, has grown and has left you behind.

the new mac must come and it must be done today.

In the climate of exploding wallets and the empty vault that is my bank account and my heart

it must come today.

but you will always have a place in my heart. I love you very much

When the new mac comes all 80gigs of you will be wiped and then loaded with music and food recipes and yes…you can still help me blog. It’d be my honour. Till even more insane Tech renders one/both of us catatonic

Music and Food Recipes and blogs. My 3 loves. I will share them with you till our end of days.

You will live out the days in my living room and/or in my kitchen. If you’re not beaming beautiful tunes, you shall be beeping recipes when I’m pretending to be Iron chef and we shall still share a good tale. Always.

Yes for the rest of your days my old general. You will do only those things that we’ve done so well together. No more. Hopefully no less.

Rest better soon.
I love you.
Hang in there… at least till I get this newsletter out and back the crap up of you. Don’t die don’t die don’t die….

Day 2 of Song Summit – Would you bittorrent your mate?

“Feeling better?” Ready to take on the hard music industry?” Lee, my manager says as he chucks a coffee in my sleep deprived direction. It is day 2 of Song Summit and I’ve been trying to put my new site up…just in case we speak to anyone interesting.

First panel up “Would you bittorrent your mate?” Curious and curiouser, I am interested, I’m nursing a vague hope that the industry has stopped trying to police pirating efforts by now and has moved on to more constructive approaches that involve working with the technological environment and not against it.

Nope. Nooo such luck. Here goes a summary/ thought piece

“Would you bittorrent your mate?” 

Basically  they’ve got MIPI (Music Industry Piracy Investigations) talking about possible ways to deter this from happening.

Then there’s the explanation that there is misinformation that musicians are making money from gigs and hence don’t need album sales because they are rolling in it. I agree. Of course, only the top layer of the gig industry can command fees that make for comfortable living…I get that, but policing data is not the way to go. But you know…I’m still listening.

There was some mention of France’s Data Protection agency and how Australia isn’t catching up and how dissapointed we all are etc etc because the government is not protecting the musicians and France is.

Then there are complaints about lost album sales because 485000 people downloaded a certain artist and only 8000 people bought the album.
I’m sorry, but in the world of file sharing, we covet because we can, not because we want. You’ve got to know the difference. Those figures you listed mean nothing. They don’t mean 400000+ lost sales, they mean that 485000 people were curious enough to check out the album, 8000 people of the lot..valued it enough to buy it. There, end of story. Get over it.

Gosh I’m bored and dissapointed — after all these years we haven’t moved beyond these very boring and ineffective thoughts on data policing?!

I would have liked to hear more about  the following:

1) what you are going to do with Russian websites that are illegally selling mp3s for 1 cent. – namely allofmp3s and their replacement sites

 – I think it’s all well and good that MP3s are being shared for free between friends and over the net, because I do know from personal experience that when people like something enough, they’d buy it. I know my minions do. My minions also spread the word by giving my music away for free for other listeners who sometimes become fans too. Not all bad there. Sites like allofmp3s are different.
They make nothing, and when money is earned, give nothing back to the industry. The arbitrary price they set on music is not discussed with neither the label or the artist, yet they profit from it. They must be annhilated, like all other parasite industries. But no…no discussion there, no way, we’re too concerned with killing bittorrent.

2) I would have liked to hear how they might work with ISPs on possibly profiting from the bittorrent technology somehow. Maybe through clever subscription models possibly inbuilt into our monthly broadband bill, or working out a plan where they have a slice of bittorrent’s advertorial profits. Possibly, hopefully, fostering the belief that we can all make money together and paying money for lawsuits and lawyers get us nowhere. Nope…no such thing, we’re WAY too concerned with killing bittorrent.

3) I would have liked to hear what we are going to do about the ongoing trend that itunes is pretty much the monopolising platform for all digital media and if this trend is healthy for the economy in the long run because Monopoly sucks and Absolute Monopoly sucks absolutely. Nope, we’re too concerned with killing bittorrent.

This was made worse when the forum was put to the floor and some songwriter comes up to suggest that viruses be placed in songs…so that you, my dears, your iphones will blow up if you share music.

In the real world, your royal madness has no ninjas, but if she could, she’d very much like to nuke the panel for gross lack of insight and for encouraging it with a nice shiny mix of nunchucks and sais. No your Royal madness did not go up to the panel to speak her mind because…she knows a lost cause when she sees one. And these people, who are still sprouting stuff like that at THIS time…are a lost cause.

Panel Conclusion: Pirates are bad, they must be neutered, we must strive to be better internet nuns, and yes minions if you tell your friends  about my music by letting them have it for free:

1) I’m supposed to tell you that you have been bad 
2) I must spank you and educate you on the value on my music because by sharing it around for you have been naughty minions.

What absolute horseshit.

Moving along. Next up: my song review. – where I squirm in a very public / microscope and realise that being analysed isn’t going to kill me.

I, fridge mold, will speak now.

Hi all,

Her Royal Madness is demanding that I get off her chair and her mac and is screaming about me leaving spores all over her keyboards. Says she wants to do some blog about Song Summit and that I’m interrupting her neurons and what not.

I don’t have much time before she thinks to bring out her vacuum cleaner so here it is. There are some things I need to get off my chest.

I believe her Royal Madness calls you her minions. I find this very strange because her Royal Madness is really her Royal Squeamish and she screams alot…says “No!!! NOOOOO!!”  alot, then hyperventilates alot at me. So I can never understand why someone like her gets to have minions while I get to be mocked by you lot.

Allow me to introduce myself. I began life as what human beings call a Tofu, a harmless piece of beancurd that got left over as a midnight snack because her Royal Madness decided that it would be a good idea to eat that Tofu with Lemon and Bonito Flakes.

She probably decided that the tofu must taste pretty bad and she was going to recycle it for her next meal or something and anyways, the tofu got forgotten and get piled on behind a can of corn beef and some celery while she went and did alot of this thing called music.

Then…at first there was nothing…nothing but tofu. Then there was enzymes, which exploded into fur, which ate the celeries, which gave it eyeballs then…


So her royal madness zapps me to life (Devina it’s your fault and I’m onto you) and I call her “ma” which I thought was rather deserving. She, like all dysfunctional mothers, proceeds to put me up for adoption and when she fails proceeds to send me to some art exhibition at the request of one

Dom McEiben. – (You’re on my list too buster!!)

Somewhere along the way one Indie T.Peh wants to make me a musician (EUGH!!) and her Royal Madness wants me to wear black and be ninja. I hate black! It goes really bad with my luxurious green hair.

Then Karl Goodloe suggests that I be LICKED and Devina Jimenez volunteers me to be EATEN?!! How rude are you lot?

I’m on to you lot you hear me?! All of you! Do not mock my existence.

Only Jerrod seems rather nice because he said to give me a name, which I rather like the idea of. So..minions?! or whatever you are I demand you give me a name and I demand it now.

Or I shall be creating more parallel universes and dump each of you lot in it seperately. I hear it’s scary…this parallel universe thing.

Very very scary.

So there. Gimme name or I shit parallel universes at you lot.

Delayed Broadcast from Song Summit and outside of Supanova

So Song Summit. I had received questions from mates at Supanova about how it all was ranging from a smart arsed “How was Hill Song Convention?” to a more demanding/scary “Where are you?! Why are you not here at Supanova????!!!HELLOOOOO???!!!”

This is rather the first year I have missed Supanova. The fact that it’s held on the same weekend as Song Summit peeves me greatly because Supanova is my once a year all time favourite gathering place where I catch up with my all time favourite human beans.

All was not lost though, I managed a dinner catch up with the beloved Coolshite guys who essentially do a very good job hosting supanova. Great to see that everyone was well and had projects coming up

In case you don’t know in all the other times of the year the coolshite guys host a pop culture podcast that reviews all things in the film, tv, literature, comics universe. If you haven’t been there already, you should check their work out. I’ll know if you didnt. 🙂

Bruce from Coolshite, who is so very clever with wordpress, gave me a crash tutorial at a pub involving napkins and pens. Napkins….ah the very fabric of civilisation I’m telling you.

Snuck a 7.45am breakfast with the lovely and talented Marianne De Pierres about a secret project we both hope to be announcing soon. Good to see that she’s been well, her hair is now purple (it was pink last month) and that her humorous crime fighting novel “Sharp Shooter” is doing well on the Angus and Robertson charts at #1 under the non-scifi pseudoname of Marianne Delacourt. Check her work out here

Her usual hunt of science fiction novels are Dark space was a fun read for me.

So on to song summit…

Song Summit is a music industry gathering hosted by APRA | AMCOS + the NSW Government. 3 days of music commerce stuffed full of songwriters, agents, managers, publishers and labels. I thought it might be good to share this with the minions of what goes on backstage…the stories are long so I’d do it over a few posts.

The first night was was mainly celebratory with lots of speeches, claps and I find myself perking up at Peter Garrett’s speech about the visual arts Resale Royalties scheme. I thought it was a novel idea that basically says that if you were Van Gough and you sold your sunflower painting for a mere 5 bucks first round and it sells for 20 mill later. Well you get a cut if you didn’t cut your ears off and was still among the living.
Read more
That’s promising…and a reason to keep breathing Nothing to do with music on a cursary look,but if you did write your music on paper and that got traded around abit, I’m imagining that this would apply somewhat?

I had spent the night before coding CSS (or attempting to) so by 9pm my neurons had pretty much congregated into a large, throbbing purple boil just above my hippocampus and leaked out through my ears. The “no longer news” doom and gloom speeches about the music industry didn’t really help. Early home time. I need energy for the next 48 hours. Maybe that’s why they put red bull in the gift packs. Thoughtful but I have to keep that ox bile away from me. I’m already a stranger to sleep. More on the next day coming up.

Still writing and wrangling with code

Ah…the life of a muso/ DIY code monkey wannabe.

See I thought I left all that programming crap behind in Uni and I could do this piano girl thing full time.

So if you happen to be reading this from the main site, and not facebook, well, here’s an interim website quietly launched. I’m not quite done yet though, so you need to be patient with your royal madness – who is really not a very good CSS monkey.

Meanwhile…there are things a brewing. Shh…there’s a long awaited piece of paperwork that I’m waiting on before I announce the arrival of a secret, not so secret anymore project..
There’s photos from the video shoot coming up too…
Oh yes…and shows are on the way.
Apologies for all the mystery. I promise it’s not long now. Meanwhile the answer for everything else…is always and ever will be.


Back to code world amidst an attendance in Song Summit where the track “Disconnected” has been selected by a panel for review.

I wonder what happens when songs get analysed and dissected. Will 45cc of pure adrenalin stat bring tunes back to its original perkiness?

Social Media

Stay up-to-date with my latest news and blog entries via your favourite social network services.