CUPBOARD DOORS

once I kept it all together
wore my smile in every weather
“i’m just fine” was my only line
the same material once used to shame me
now i show you freely~
beautiful, broken & redeemed

i’m sorry i couldn’t see
was blinded by my disease
i’m sorry i couldn’t hear
pride was clogging my ears
convincing me
i had something to hide

i leave cupboard doors wide open
can’t remember where i parked at grocery stores
malls or museums
raise my voice in conversations
cut you off with interruptions
when i feel less than or misunderstood

i’m sorry i couldn’t see
was blinded by my disease
i’m sorry i couldn’t hear
pride was clogging my ears
convincing me
i had something to hide

i say this to you now-
i’m imperfect
i have failed
got my weaknesses and flaws
yet i’ve got nothing left to hide
my savior reigns, he reigns inside!!!!

more indi

as i mentioned, i’ll be continually submitting works to indi to build my body of music and hopefully further qualify for the end of the year selected “recording artist of the year.”  they changed their system so “buzz points” are the new “votes.”  Just go and listen and click buttons and all will add up🙂  i have now won “judges pick” in 3 challenges.  let’s make this my fourth win!!! i’m really excited just to have an outlet of expression and more reason to keep putting stuff out there.

http://indi.com/64E98179

indi contest

UPDATE- I WON “JUDGES PICK” FOR THIS CONTEST!!! i am continually submitting works to indi.com to qualify for the annual “artist of the year” award.   you can help me achieve this endeavor by voting for the videos i submit regularly!🙂

i submitted this original song “what if” into this indi contest to win an opportunity to record with a producer i’ve wanted to collaborate with for a decade, john shanks!  join me in my pursuit by voting!  thank you!!!

indi.com/259FE284

hope hazy artist academy

i’ve been wanting to do this for a long time and you know, it was actually under the category “in the next 5 years” in my new year’s goals this year.  but sometimes, the year is now.  in this case, it is.  couldn’t be more excited about the growth of this company and the honor of working with people who are embracing their identity as artists.

check it out:   http://www.hopehazyartistacademy.com

hope hazy artist academy ad with spacing

palindrome

when i was 15 and i heard a “they might be giants” song called “i palindrome i,” i was forever inspired to write a REAL, PURE palindrome.  i loved this song, but it lacked conceptual integrity. almost 15 years later, i encountered a producer who was in the brainstorm stages of making a palindromic film and he asked me if i would be able to write a PURE palindrome.  to be clear, a PURE palindrome means every single letter of every word and every note that was played by any instrument or sung by any voice (both lead and background) would portray a line perfectly the same both forward and backward from beginning to end and end to beginning.  i was SO EXCITED to have been reminded of this life long goal and with incentive, purpose and direction. 

i began my own brainstorming process and eventually created this song.  i now want to explain what it means to me.  of course, being that every letter of the entire song had to be perfectly the same forward and backward, my word choices were limited.  but i am still telling a story and i want to take this opportunity to communicate it without those concept limitations. 

here are some of this composition’s palindromic facts:
368 letters. 120 words. 158 notes. 330 beats. 110 measures. 6 instrumental parts. 111 seconds. all perfectly the same forward and backward, backward and forward.

one technical thing i discovered about palindromes is that there are two types. i distinguished these types by calling one category of palindromes “peak palindromes” and the other “mirror palindromes.”  i will use well known examples to transmit the understanding i gained.  an example of a “peak palindrome” would be “racEcar” (racecar).  the peak is the E. it is not a repeated letter. it is the middle-ground letter between the palindromic forces from either direction.  the second category, which i call “mirror palindromes” can be understood through words like “haNNah”  (hannah).  this palindrome meets with two “n”s. there is no singular letter that conjoins the two mirrored sides. the sides are joined at a union of “n”s.  both of these descriptions are possibilities within longer phrases also. while many palindromic words and phrases happen within my overall song, at large, this “palindrome” is a “mirror palindrome.” hence, 110 measures. hence, 368 letters. two even numbers. any “peak palindrome” would be evident with odd numbers by description. the middle measure is 55, which in and of itself is a numerical palindrome. when we recorded, it was important to me that the length be exactly 1:51 (one minute, fifty one seconds), or when divided in seconds, 111 seconds. both of which are palindromic increments of time.

this song goes in and out of English and French so i will also explain the translation. i use grammar in the actual lyrics below to hopefully offer a little bit more clarity with the logic behind why and how these words have their place in this story. so, first, read the pure palindrome lyrics, and then, i will express more elaborately the meaning.  during writing stages, i used the title “palindromemordnilap,” (palindrome, with the mirror reflection on the backside to create a palindrome within the title) which i have since done away with for simplicity sake. also, please dismiss the grammar and spaces for palindromic analysis as they are an aid for understanding. in the video, i leave out spaces and grammar because when singing the phrases, words differ from one direction to the next. this also allows the demonstration of the palindromic purity.

devil is as selfless as i lived
evil did i part, trap i did live

life, je fil.  life, je fil

don’t i prefer pit? nod, i did, i won’t.
i level it now.
won’t i level it, now?
i did, i don’t. i prefer pit. nod.

mmhmm, hmm, mmhmm, hmm

i saw i was i, elu par cette crapule.
elu par cette crapule. i saw i was i.

mmhmm, hmm, mmhmm, hmm

don’t i prefer pit? nod, i did, i won’t.
i level it now.
won’t i level it, now?
i did, i don’t. i prefer pit. nod.

life, je fil.  life, je fil

evil did i part, trap i did live
devil is as selfless as i lived

and now for a slight intro to the meaning of the song.  this “palindrome” is a multi-faceted cyclical yet ironic dichotomy. i believe we are all spiritual beings, fighting a spiritual battle and working out our faith on a daily basis. i believe we are bodies inhabited by spirits, and that the physical/spiritual union is what we call the soul.  the soul animates the body.  as humans, we grapple with the opposing forces of the nature of animalistic tendencies and the eternal calling of our souls that happens as a by-product of this spirit/body union.  just as the multiple facets of our being can be juxtaposed in a paradoxical form, so is this song.  this song juxtaposes a sterile, uniform and mechanical musical delivery with a lyrical story of the aching soul.  science vs. spirituality.  mathematics vs. heart. however, the delivery of every instrument has to be mathematical to stay true to the compositional concept.  the words are sung without feeling.  the irony is in the fact that the story content carries the groaning message of the human soul, but the musical lifelessness communicates the numbing power of the battle.  the apathy is a result of the cyclical impulses stemmed from our indifferent hearts and sinful ways.  this musical delivery choice also allowed the song to stay true to the integrity of the pure palindrome.  and it was important to me to achieve that concept while maintaining substance in my art.

below is an elaborated lyric explanation:

devil is as selfless as i lived
evil did i part, trap i did live
the degree to which i have chosen to live selfishly is comparable to that of the devil himself.  and at a certain point, i chose to part ways with my heart’s malicious addictions.  i recognized, these evil ways are a trap for my soul.

life, je fil.  life, je fil  (French: je fil  =  English:  i wire, i tie, i thread)
but oh how i grapple! oh, life! i want to choose life. God gives us a choice, saying “here is life and here is death. choose life.”  but i long to be in control.  i want to be behind the happenings of how my life unfolds.  i want to tie it and thread it and wire it and untie it and unthread it and unwire it according to my own desires.

don’t i prefer pit? nod, i did, i won’t.
i level it now.
won’t i level it, now?
i did, i don’t. i prefer pit. nod.
Biblically, the word “pit” is occasionally used when referring to the dwelling places of the enemy.  i go back and forth with my own will and with God’s will for me.  don’t i prefer to do things my way, and indulge in the ways of this world?  though wicked they may be, they are enticing and they offer worldly promises… nod. yes. i made this choice before, and maybe i will turn back in the future. i won’t choose death then, at least. as if to excuse my current decision with the assumed understanding that later… later… later i will choose good. later, i will choose life. but for now, i level it. i level it by rationalizing and minimizing the spiritual aspect at all.  justifying my own thinking that leads to these behaviors.. well, i have these human desires and that doesn’t make me evil.  i just want to do it my way and that doesn’t make me bad.  i am still a good person.  i treat people well.  i’m generous…  i level it.  i make it ground level to the earth, not above and not below, so i can understand and intellectualize what clearly is not about the intellect at all, nor does it consider the orderly boundaries of the intellect. this whole “chorus” is expressing how i have chosen evil before, wondering if i will or won’t in the future, but dealing with the present choice, right now.  and presently, deciding to dismiss the weight of the spiritual repercussions of supporting my own fleshly and worldly desires, and by the last word of the chorus, i have chosen evil ways again.  (though at this point, i sluff it off because i’ve drained it of the spiritual element at all. at this point, it is sarcasm at best within my deeply rooted spiritual indifference).

mmhmm, hmm, mmhmm, hmm
“mmhmm” is the “yes” of the nod previously mentioned.  the head’s involvement with the inner dialogue as i justify, explore and deny and then eventually agree with my own flesh as it determines the direction of my soul, that i have now casualized.   the “hmm” is the deeper knowing of my very motives.  that i just want to get away with my own behavior, and i will believe whatever it takes to permit myself to make these decisions that quench my selfish needs so i can live with myself as i do just that.  if i go this direction… attempting to ignore any spiritual facet of humanity, indulging in all things physical, embracing the world in all its ways, adhering to the prince of the earth (the enemy) and his plans for me, i am choosing a life of denial. but i don’t care, because i get what my flesh wants. and that matters more to me when i feed that beast.

i saw i was i, elu par cette crapule. (French: elu par cette crapule = English: elected by the villain)
elu par cette crapule. i saw i was i.
so here i am, seeing my very own self. and my inner motives, and i decide i must be “elected by the villain.” (the french translation).  sought after by him to indulge in my sinful nature.  and i see it again. and behind it all, we are all “elected by the villain” as he longs to devour all souls created by God.

mmhmm, hmm, mmhmm, hmm

don’t i prefer pit? nod, i did, i won’t.
i level it now.
won’t i level it, now?
i did, i don’t. i prefer pit. nod.

life, je fil.  life, je fil

evil did i part, trap i did live
devil is as selfless as i lived
and i struggle again.  and i go back and forth.  and the cycle continues.

so on a concluding note, i must share that my heart has been captivated by the Lord since I was 5 years old. and as I have sought Him out, He has exposed to me this swaying pattern that is all too common amongst his people.  i am a part of his people. and so are you. we all are. because we were all made and built by Him. because He desires relationship with each and every person he creates. i see the ways that I utilize this faulty thought process system. i am relieved and grateful to say that i have since yielded to Him my sinful ways and on a daily basis, i believe for the grace He imparts to His willing, receptive children to say “yes” to life and “no” to death. it is a risk for me to share this song and this explanation, as i typically neither spiritually nor artistically function with such overt acknowledgement of the enemy and his shadow mission for our lives. i tend to focus on the glory, redemption and freedom in choosing life through Christ. anything south of that is uninteresting and even off-putting in this season of my life. and yet, it was forced to come through in this song as i had to yield to the limitations of palindromic thinking. so cheers to risks. cheers to unconventional spreading of gospel, truth, freedom and redemption through Christ. this is what i stand for. i stand for freedom. i stand for life. love. truth. surrender. sacrifice. i stand for due praise and reverence at the expense of personal comfort zones. refusing to acknowledge the existence of adversity is all too convenient for he who preys after our souls. i will stand against the predator and claim my own salvation. i claim the same for you, on behalf of your soul. your life. which i value. whether or not you do. whether or not you acknowledge this confrontational life-long battle. i stand for you. i stand with you. the fabric of your being. because i see it beneath the front. and maybe it took a palindromic concept for me to be forthright and candidly announce my intentions behind my art, but that is just how God works. He works within the very premises of the unique purposes that He had in mind from the beginning when creating each of us. and for me, he made me an artist. so he knew He’d get through to me through art and have access to people in my sphere through the art within my being. so here i am. loving you. petitioning for you. for your soul to choose life. and i do that through this palindrome. as i wrote it. when i perform it. as i’ve created this video. as i’ve written this blog. He is actively pursuing you. now and forevermore. relentlessly.

guitar teaching videos

yep, it’s true!!!  the part of my 30s that i love is this naturally rooted desire to be intentional with any and all purposes that i have identified thus far in my life.  teaching music is definitely one of those innate facets of my being that i can now introduce to the internet world.  it has been a daily part of my life for almost two decades and only now has it occurred to me to incorporate this into my online endeavors.  will you be my student?

“my hazy story”

i had the honor of playing at molly malone’s in october after “the wrong women” performed.  typically, when i prepare for a show, i put together a set using my current hope @ mollymaterial and order my songs in a live-set friendly, logical way to start with the intention of attracting the audience, then rest with the crowd in some emotionally gripping songs and end the performance with a bang.  in this case, i sensed a specific prompting to begin something new.  i had, however, experienced such dramatic life-changing circumstances that forced me to approach every decision with new purpose, new mission & refreshed vision. so instead, i drew from my library of songs i had written over the last 10 years. while there have been many, i only selected songs that would tell one specific story line.  i created a chronological setlist of my own material to tell one truth in my life.  roughly, i chose one song per year since 2005.  to represent the blocks of time in which i suffered writer’s block, i chose cover songs that i had sung as therapy during those seasonshope hazy, as long as the lyrics stayed true to the integrity of the story. between the songs, i wrote a narrative to string it all together.  i performed this live-show that i call “my hazy story” for the first time that night at “molly malones.”  i felt so liberated by the experience, that i fine tuned the concept and put it up at “the sherry” in december for a few runs with the hope to record a full front to back version of the show.  again, these performances were liberating. hugging people at the end of the shows who claimed that my story was their story is what gives me reason to continue telling this story.  and this is why we have art.  to connect. to express. to relate to one another. to heal.  art is a medium that God uses when we yield what happens in our life to Him.  i get to share a shorter portion of it at genghis cohen next wednesday (feb 11), and again, i perform the full version at the voodoo lounge in the House of Blues on March 12.  i hope to have the opportunity to share with you the beautiful transformation that has taken place in my life at one of these shows!!!  to get a taste of “my hazy story,” watch the video below!  :)

IMG_4532

new website updates!!!

hi to you all!!!

so i just added a worship page to my website.  this, as you will read (if you decide to click on the new page!) has been a part of my life for so long and i haven’t quite known how to approach it or incorporate it into my website but it became clear and i am so excited to share with you this part of my music, my passion, my heart.hope worship

life can be unpredictable and worship has been the most consistent, reliable, and amazing avenue straight to God through any and all of my life challenges!!! i am so thankful for the role it has in my life and excited to be more open and share with you more about my worship journey.  while worship itself is a medium in which to receive healing, for me, it was also an area in my life that needed much healing.  and ironically, i received that healing through worship.  God has a way of doing those kinds of things!!!

if you don’t have a chance to spend time on the new page, be sure to hear the latest “worship drift” video with the lovely autumn montgomery!!!

status updates

my truth can rarely be externalized in a mere one hundred and forty characters on a twitter post.  i %22penning%22am a woman of many words. many thoughts.  also, i find it difficult to distinguish what moment or what thought is “the” one worth sharing. i don’t quite know why.  i think that in one light, with a healthy self perspective and balanced view of one’s life, many happenings are actually worth sharing.  so in that sense, one can’t go wrong with what he/she shares.  but in another light, it seems that what one chooses to share is the very fabric that builds another’s perspective of who that person is and therefore, these posts and photos carry the inevitable weight of painting an accurate picture that the author intends to display.  it’s quite a vulnerable endeavor when pondered.  and yet now, i will paint this: what we all choose to share is valuable.  i will share with confidence. i will share knowing that regardless of the response, it mattered enough to me to share it and that is what matters.  in a sense, what we share really is an extension of ourselves, who we are and where we are… and our own journeys are irreplaceable, exposing and relevant to exactly what we should share and need to share right now.  with that, my truth tonight took form in writing a song, writing this blog, submitting poems to writing contests, pursuing potential purpose infused endeavors and posting this picture of the whole process on my instagram, so here you go… in the raw flesh of my creative space.  your turn now, post with pride.

writing season shift

welcome to my website! i hope you enjoy exploring the ways the passion exuding in my soul manages to surface through art.  current update is this: since completing the heart consuming vision of materializing my previous album, jamais la même [ never the same ], i have been writing in my transitional stage… this tends to happen between every concrete vision.  during vision season, i’ll have a very clear understanding of what i need tohope hazy with santa cruz externalize and have direction with the style and message of what is to come, then i put my all out there. and then i finish. what’s next is explorative.  through the discovery of whatever creative state i’m in,  the next vision makes itself known… this is the stage that is coming to an end because now, after a long while of awaiting and aimlessly writing, clarity is carving through the haze!!! i am so excited for the season of music ahead as i am banging out the structure of what is to come and humming melodies or muttering unidentifiable place holder syllables that somehow have so much meaning because i already know what i have to say.  the weight of the message is so heavy, i can hardly bare it. but it needs to be said. and i am a vessel purposed to be utilized for truth. and in truth is freedom!