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When I began my journey into the maze that is music, much of it was approached with amateur objectivity. I played, just to feel myself playing. I played, because I wanted nothing more than to graze my hands on something asking to be played. I played for the spaces inside me that had no voice. I played for the women inside me, who came before me, who had no choice but to scream through the mouth of a young girl untamed by societal standards. I played to pulp myself of the puppetry, the pain, the people who could never understand. And most of all, I just played.
If you told me then, what I was really doing, I wouldn't have believed you. If you told me then there was method to the madness, a slow reveal, I would have asked you where you placed your medication. If you told me then there was something beyond that 7 ft space piano room I slept in, religiously dedicated to my path of no return, I would have asked that you pass me the digits to your dealer. Unbeknownst to me, a story was unfolding, filled with a richness so true only a lifetime could capture it.
The title for Chrysalis was born through a synergetic conversation with my dear friend and long time collaborator Roy Gnan. It was born from a knowledge well beyond our scope of comprehension, an intuition not yet understood by the masses. Music, the invisible allure, guiding me on the wings of clairvoyance, whispering her sweet nothings into two thirsty ears. Soon, it would become clear, that what I was to embark upon would be nothing short of a life fully lived. A lifetime, of celebrated transformations.
With cocooned wings prevalent in the sonic soundscapes of multiple songs, I too was in a swaddled state. Cloaking myself in white sheer chiffon, drenched in makeup like hell hath fury on my face, I was a girl simply trying to protect herself from the brutalities of this world. For those of you who know the album well, you will recall the song "Stockholm Syndrome," which quite literally is a condition that causes hostages to develop a psychological alliance with their captors as a survival strategy during captivity. A delicate dance of painstaking power. The last -thhhh- of the lyric "Tear those eyes out they'll do no good, shut that red mouth as mother should...Oh Stockholm Syndrome, let's get a room, my sweetest torture, don't die so soon, I lost my fortune, buried my purse, you know you owe me, for what it's worth..." brings you to a soundscape of a moth exiting my mouth, and leads, you as the listener, and me, as the artist, on an existential journey through the moth-like metamorphosis of our lives. A journey I am dedicated to documenting with every grain of my being.
This brings me to the muse message of The Moth.
Moths are nocturnal animals, culturally symbolizing wisdom of the other world, telepathy, and secret knowledge. Because they conduct their life-sustaining activities and practices in complete darkness, they are highly reliant on sensory perception. They navigate the night by using their awareness and inner-knowing. For humans, the moth animal totem is a sign to recognize our own vulnerabilities and utilize our own instincts and intuition, rather than relying solely on the concrete things that we can see in the daylight. Though nocturnal, they are driven towards light, so much so it can end in death. Even when its efforts toward light prove dangerous and futile, the moth continues to drive forward, demonstrating its faith and determination.
As masters of disguise, moths also camouflage as different creatures. The Lunar Hornet Moth has evolved to look just like a hornet, even having similar transparent wings without scales. Knowing hornets sting, predators are likely to avoid it, not realizing it's completely harmless. The Eyed Hawk-moth cleverly combines two tricks. Normally it rests with its camouflaged forewings covering its hind wings and so is difficult to see against bark. But if it is disturbed it suddenly exposes its hind wings to reveal a flash of bright eyes, which are enough to startle a predator and frighten it away.
Rich with symbolism, today, we are nearly finished with our new album IMAGO which quite literally means "the fully developed adult stage of a winged insect." Unveiled now, I embark on womanhood, free from the chains which bound me pre-birth, free from the bullshit that attempted to frighten me back into that precious cocoon. I bring you a woman untethered but still just as impassioned.
It is one of my life paths and greatest joys to bring you on this exploration of the mind, body, and soul. And as long as you tribe with us, I will always give of this gift that was given to me by the ancestors that came before me, and now, come through me.
May we all live with purpose and integrity.
In a world stuffed silly with emoji’s, I still find myself getting lost in wormholes of words. Tiny empty missiles shaped with the heat of perspective, filled with the breath of anima. I rest between awe and frustration that I’ll never truly understand them all.
I don’t watch tv. I wouldn’t even know how to use a remote at this point. All the pixels could never add up to the visual I get from a blind word. Eroticism exists in a letter that sculpts the universe with imagination and empties the eyes of what never was there to begin with.
Here’s something I read the other night that I adored. Perhaps it will inspire you as well...
“Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.” .....................
What is a something you’ve read that you love? Happy Sunday
When I first touched my fingers to the keys of a piano, I fell utterly in love. There was no safety I had ever known before that moment, zero salvation, just a world I never felt I belonged in. Music has shown me that it doesn’t matter if I belong, because I’m here, and I’m alive, and I’m playing from a heart that still beats with blood. I have never cared enough about success to stray far from the real reason I create. I create because I have no choice. I create because I want to beautify the diary of my life, and maybe, if I’m lucky, beautify yours. Very excited to share that pre-orders (as well as many other goodies) of the album coming this month. Until then, what’s something that feels like salvation for you in these very strange times we’re living in?
I dated someone once who thought it was attention seeking to speak about mental health issues on social media. If you went to his page, you’d have no idea he struggled with a major debilitating illness. It was all cherries and roses.
In my opinion, Imperfections should never be taboo. They are not a sign of weakness nor are they disempowering. They are tangible human qualities that all of us are threaded with.
Depression does NOT mean you’re incapable. Anxiety does NOT mean your fears forever overtake you. Your momentary instabilities do NOT translate to something as watered down as “crazy.” And your imperfections are the beautiful Picasso of your portrait. Don’t you ask of us to fit inside your definition of sanity so you have some semblance of safety. We refuse. ...I stand for the broken. Each crack bursting with light is worth the fall. And those who rise though weighted by the pain, are that much stronger for having felt the world so deep.
In the last week I’ve been posting directly from the heart, and the outpouring of love from you all has been really beautiful. We are emotional siphons paving the way for a more compassionate future and I am honored to have you as my fans and friends. Thank you for being a part of my musical journey.
***What is something you may consider a flaw that you’ve come to accept and perhaps even honor in yourself? Let’s speak on imperfections in a BEAUTIFUL way.
Sometimes when I’m listening to someone speak, I like to ever so slightly blur my eyes with a somewhat formless squint. Instead of taking in the details of their mouths, I’m able to see their spill of colors void of featured distraction. I feel them as a painting and I see no flaws. A breathing portrait.
I thought today of my swirling sadnesses, the one’s I push past to stand in the morning, to smile, to create, to go another day. I thought about where these sadnesses stem from. Typically a slew of faded memories that slip through the cracks and slap me like a switchblade. I wondered on the importance of perspective. And with wonderment, I squinted my mind. I blurred the edges of memory and turned my past into nebulous shapes, colors of experience. Fire hot reds, soft blues, pulsating purples, gold glittering truths. It was as though a weight had been lifted from my chest. With the scrutinizing details removed, all that was left was an undulating portrait of a previous time.
One day we will die. Death will squint us out of existence and we will be formless again. And in that moment, what will truly matter? The man that cut you off on the freeway? The woman who yelled at you in the grocery story? The kid who makes you uncomfortable simply for having a different sexual orientation than you? The man of a different race/religion? A fight with your lover? A fight with your mother? Will any of this matter on your last breath?
If your answer is no, try not to let it matter now. Let it go. Squint it out of existence before it devours and conquers your life.
I want to release the traumatic events I experienced in 2015. These have weighed heavy on my heart. Now it is time to Phoenix.
What is something that someone has done recently that really upset you, that you know you should let go of? Is there anything you’ve done to someone else that you could reach out and apologize for? ...why do you think we have such trouble with forgiveness? Especially forgiving ourselves?
2/23/18--I read an article recently that links workaholic behavior to a traumatic upbringing. Upon first seeing the title, I didn’t even want to open it. I knew it would resonate and sometimes (only sometimes) I idealize the ignorance of the unknown. I don’t want to slow down. I don’t want to smell the roses! I want to leave a legacy of work that I’m proud of! (😡) And so I read it. Because I knew I had to read it. See, I grew up in a household of highly educated parents. Perfection was promoted and I learned quickly how to earn respect. I was ridiculed in school for being too thin, too quiet, too weird...you name it, I heard it. My only real taste of happiness came from accomplishment, and I don’t think I’m alone in this. Our world is hyper focused on doing. Being is scoffed at. It doesn’t lead to “results,” and we want them. We want results like our lives depend on results. Have you ever seen a Labrador eat? He thinks his life depends on eating every last drop of the bird seed you accidentally left on the deck. HE HAS TO EAT IT ALL BECAUSE HE MUST. Then he gets really sick and pukes all over your Persian carpets. You clean it up in wonderment. How can such a smart dog be so fucking greedy? Well. I ask the same of you. And me. Why are we ravenous? We’re ravenous because we believe our lives depend on it. Because we’ve been taught from a very young age to eat ALL the bird seed, reach for ALL the stars, be the BEST at EVERYTHING. We’ve been told our lives depend on it. Well let me tell you something. I have no fucking clue what an em7 chord is. Please don’t tell me. I don’t want to know. If you ask me what chord I’m playing, I’ll look at you with an utterly blank stare. And you know what? I’m proud of that blank stare. For once in my life, I didn’t aim for perfection. I just played. It was fun, and so I kept playing. It was genuine, and so I kept playing. It’s easy to lose perspective on that when you turn your playtime into a career. All the logistics dry you of the wetness that once drenched your spirit. I felt that. Have you felt that? Then I remembered. I came to my piano and I remembered. I wrote again and I PLAYED and I cried and I lost my mind. I felt free-dumb in simply being me. And songs were born. Songs I cannot wait to share with all of you who have been waiting patiently. We all have our own paths. Perhaps some of you are musicians, painters, writers. Perhaps some of you are bankers, bus boys, strippers. Whatever you are, your purpose will never only be in “doing.” The most honest essence of you will come around when simply “being.” I relish in this lesson, because without it I’m just a headless chicken. With it, I’m the wind. When was the last time you let yourself play? What did it feel like? Also, if any of you guys are artists, share with me your work by hashtagging it #fridayisforfun ...Would love to see what you guys are up to.
2/21/18--Recently it came to light that one of Trump’s top aids, Rob Porter, was physically and verbally abusive to both of his ex wives. If you’ve seen the black and blue picture of his first wife, Colbie Holderness, you know how heartless this man is. When his former boss, Donald Trump, defends him by dismissing his ex wive’s realities, and defends himself against the upwards of 22 women who have accused him of sexual harassment and sexual assault, we know this problem has come to a head. What is a third grade History teacher supposed to say to her female students when our own president is not only a sexual predator, but defends everyone in his tribe that is of like mind. Now, let me be clear. I’ve never been crazy about politics. Most of it seems like an absolute sham, a game I’d rather not play. But nonetheless, our president symbolizes the state of this country. And I am utterly sickened as a result. When I wrote the song Cool For Chaos, I didn’t really know what exactly was coming through me.
Lyrics such as ...
“I heard you speak like a savaged wolf
And I let you eat the closest thing to love
But I’m a useable force
You’re gonna’ have to push harder than that
I know you, you’ll shut my lips
You’ll say, shove yourself down with
But wait, are you cool for chaos?
Upon reflection, I realize more than EVER that I was finding my voice, unafraid of it’s power, and ready to fight back with strong truths.
Oddly enough, the music video had me in a glass box, manipulated by a wire doll, fighting for my last breath. LET ME BE CLEAR. I broke OUT of that fucking box. And nobody, not my president, not a fellow man, NOBODY, can put me back in it. So dear Donald Trump...You’re crowned king of the dis-ease that has poisoned our society for centuries. You and your infective mentality will soon be dinosaurs, and women will be HEARD. To all my female fans and friends, I stand by you all the way. To all the respectful male fans, thank you for helping pave the way for other men. Ladies, have you ever not been believed? Or dismissed into a state of helplessness? Respectful gents, what are your thoughts?
2/19/18--Ever since I can remember, I’ve had a strange relationship with boundaries. People invading my space in negative ways, whether it be emotional or physical, intentional or unintentional. In the last year, I’ve strengthened them though occasionally I still slip up and notice that I’ve let someone in too deep, too close who doesn’t deserve that intimacy. It’s difficult as a sensitive soul to navigate spatial distance, whether it be emotional or physical. Especially difficult if you’ve grown up in families where boundaries are not respected. It becomes something of the norm and we learn to let EVERYTHING in. Both energetically and emotionally. Do you guys pay close attention to boundaries? What’s your discerning approach?
that's a wrap!
It has been a beautiful experience to shoot in Rome with the wonderful crew of John Wick 2. Writing and performing these songs on screen has been majestic to say the least. Special thanks to Chad Stahelski, Tyler Bates, and Keanu Reeves for bringing me on board
Nostalghia's Lyric Video reaches 4,000,000 views
Title track "Who You Talkin' To Man" written by Ciscandra Nostalghia and Tyler Bates for John Wick reaches one million views on youtube. Big thank you to all loyal fans and followers.
tv on the radio/nostalghia tour wrap
It's been real. Here we are with Kyp and Dave from Tv On The Radio.
Thank you to those who voted! It was a landslide due to all of our devoted followers.