a mid-week musical interlude (sans photo)…
Posted in music, paris, soundscapes August 19th, 2009 by pia

I don’t know about you, but my week has been rather chaotic. Not so much on the outside, but on the inside. My head is full of stuff. It is filled with to-do lists, demands, commitments, negotiations to be made, responsibilities weighing heavy, and emotions riding high. On the outside I may be cool, calm and collected but on the inside, it’s a wild and crazy ride. Rarely does my exterior expose what is going on behind the scenes. But every now and then it will bubble up, and reveal itself to those I am closest to by either snapping a sharp remark, or dismissing their needs. As much as I want to eradicate this behaviour, I am told it is called “human nature”.

What I have learnt though, over the years, is that beautiful sound and music is a wonderful, gentle technique of subjugation. It calms the soul, breathes life into the deepest, darkest commotions of the mind, and warms the heart. When you take the time to listen – just listen – then a sense of renewal is found.

I had no intention of writing all of the above as an introduction to this soundscape but somehow, it happened. And I see it is not without purpose, because what I am about to share with you is a continual, flowing moment of musical interlude that does just that: breathes life and love into a place where commotion is writhe. A moment that almost everyone who visits this special place will experience at some point. It’s a moment when one goes below the cool, calm and magnificent exterior and experiences life under the skin, below the surface, and deep in the veins of this celebrated city. The sound echoes through this labyrinthine nerve center, and penetrates through to its darkest corners.

I speak of the metro Chatelet in Paris. And today, I take you with me as I walk from one of the cavernous tunnels passing by a 12-piece orchestra that plays in this underground mecca, up the stairs and back out to the grandness above. This metro of Paris is very much like one’s mid-week mind. And this music is the strong and gentle breath it needs.

Please press the play button below and enjoy…

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

a beautiful song you can download for free…
Posted in film, music June 15th, 2009 by piablog


Have you heard of an australian band called middle east? i had not, until this morning when I read on one of my friend’s facebook status that this very talented band from townsville in queensland, have made their song blood available for free download through itunes. The song is featured in the teaser of a new film which had its world premiere recently at tribeca called accidents happen. It’s directed by andrew lancaster and stars geena davis.

The song is gorgeous, to say the very least. I’ve been listening to it over and over again today, and I highly recommend you download it right now as tomorrow (june 16) is the last day you can get it for free!

Click here to listen to the song on middle east’s my space site, then go straight to your itunes account to download it.

And a very big congratulations to andrew for his first feature – the cinematography looks stunning, geena is awesome, and I can’t wait to see this film!

paris soundscape: musique dans l’air
Posted in music, paris, pia's photos, soundscapes June 6th, 2009 by piablog

Visiting Paris is a festival for the senses. For French Boy and I, its notably our taste buds that party like its 1999. The moments prior to this particular trip, we spent the train ride deciding where we would eat for every single meal. Since we only had 2 nights there, that being 6 meals – we realised we had to cull our list of favourites down substantially.

But to my surprise, it wasn’t the food and wine that stole my heart this time.

It was music.

No matter where we wandered, no matter what time of day or night, there was incredible open-air music coming from all sorts of places – from the habitual accordian player on metro line 12, to a saxophonist whose somber, slow tunes at midnight were reverberating through the thick stone walls of the Richelieu hallway of le louvre. Our weekend was marked by spontaneous musical intervals and for me, it was very special, being the week after my musical friend had passed away. I imagined he was there, in the air somewhere, waving a magical mystical conductor’s baton everywhere we went…

However, there was one particular interlude that moved me to tears. We were wandering around the palais royal and as we turned the corner there, out of nowhere, was a 12-piece string ensemble in full swing, performing la petite musique de nuit (4th mvt) , by Mozart – a song I have adored since I was a child. It whisked me right into the moment and I realised at that point that my mind had been everywhere else – thinking about loss, mortality, my family, past events, future projects… but then, for the first time in such a long time, I was right here, in the present, in the middle of Paris, captured in the moment by this music.

With wide eyes and whole heart, I listened, watched, and felt. My senses were enchanted.

I watched as a lady in the crowd waved her arm in the air and gently dropped it with each fall of each note. I watched the conductor – who was also playing a violin – as he came to the woman and played his instrument, just for her. The space between them was filled with admiration, love, passion, understanding and pure pleasure.

I was present.

The music filled my whole body and my heart heaved. As I took my next breath tears welled in my eyes. I watched this lady enjoy the performance without inhibition and I understood: this is life, and I am living it.

Please press the play button below…

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

This one’s for you, Mum.

i can’t get enough of these guys…
Posted in music May 26th, 2009 by piablog

…I hope they make you laugh as much as they make me laugh. If you have the time, check out their other live performances on youtube. I particularly crack up at this one, and French Boy can’t get enough of this one.


PS yes I have lots to share from my weekend! and maybe even a soundscape or two.

for russell…
Posted in music, personal May 21st, 2009 by piablog

When I was a little girl, I looked up at the wall of gold and platinum records I’d pass in the living room of my best friend’s house and wonder what they were for. I’d pass the white piano and wish her gold-record-owning dad might just play a tune while I was visiting. Then, when I was a teenager, I played the cassette tape of his musical compositions over and over again, swimming in the fabulous beats, rhythms and lyrics. When I was an adolescent I loved going to his local gigs to hear him play. At my 21st, I was beyond words when he came out of the crowd to drum and sing me a song. I danced my heart out to that song.

I hoped this man would be a part of my future for as long as he has been a part of my life. I hoped we would laugh some more, drink some more, dance some more, and enjoy life some more. I hoped this man would grow to be an old fuddy duddy.

This is a hard post to write. So I am not going to write much at all. I will save my words for another time when my heart has not swallowed them and instead, I will give you some legendary. australian. music.

Below I have compiled a collection of music videos spanning the early musical career of Russell Dunlop – legendary Australian drummer, record producer, and dear family friend. Please click on each and every video, be cast back in time, and please enjoy and celebrate Russell’s life with me…

Country Road, 1973 by the band mother earth, featuring renee geyer,. Russell is the drummer – this was before I was born, and also when he had dark hair!

Pressure Sway on the album “Esteem” by the Machinations, 1983. I was 5 and going to kindergarten. I made a friend – my very first friend in fact. Her and I were inseparable. Her name was Kane, and our parents became best buddies too. Her dad was Russell, and I thought he was the coolest dad on the planet (excluding you of course, dad). Russ produced this album.

space invaders.1980. what a bloody brilliant song!! Russell was the drummer in this band.

I LOVE THIS SONG. Mental as Anything with their hit single If you Leave Me. 1981. from the album Cats and Dogs which Russ produced.

and then there is this song which is one of my all-time favourites and still gets me jumping around the place – Mental as Anything with their hit single Too Many Times. 1981. from the album Cats and Dogs which Russ produced.

Here’s to you Russ. Thank you for keeping it real. We miss you.


**this just in (june 2009): Russell was not just the drummer for the song Space Invaders – he sang all the parts as well, even the falsetto. See? legend. Thank you Glen!

And thank you everyone who has emailed me and told me your connection to Russell, and how much he meant to each of you. You are so very missed Russ. Can you please come back for an encore. px