letter from the Île-de-France Oct 2012   #6

MUSE news xox hj

In this edition: 
Freefalling, Australian photographer Wendy Smith, Vol•UP•2, impermanence, laparadilddle, music.

My first solo project Underbelly got a nice review by Neil King in the U.K.’s FATEA magazine. A “very cosmopolitan album” and “a world of discovery and thinking.”
Listen and purchase here: 

On the horizon
NEXT SHOW Jeudi 15 Novembre in Paris, with Karl Strand & Cyril Adda. Three solo artists, folk and razor sharp blues/rock. Gambetta Club, 104 rue de bagnolet 75020 Paris

NEW SONGS I’m in the studio writing and recording first tracks to map out our next CD project. Folk, pop, Americana. 

THEATRE In rehersals nowI’m writing the soundscape and participating onstage with two other actors on an inspired piece based on four Tim Burton short stories. Bizarre, surreal, poignant. To be seen in theatres around Seine et Marne and Paris in 2013.

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"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."

- Helen Keller

Free Fall to Earth

The other night much of the world watched as Felix Baumgartner dangled his feet in the stratosphere, and free fell to earth. The modern day Icarus took us with him, to an in-between space, neither earth, nor outer space. Just way up there. This starts to feel like Greek mythology but here in the 21st century the falling man lands, dusts himself off and walks away a hero. Nothing bad happened. Images of freefalling come up from time to time in my songs – it’s a great metaphor for time passing, loss of control, taking a plunge, and for fear – but to tell you the truth it’s nothing I would actually want to experience. Our falling Felix lived out my worst nightmare, and was really OK with it! I admire people who go a little too far, and am deeply relieved when they come back all the better for it.

Photo by Velvet D’Amour for Vol•UP•2

Check out Velvet D’Amour’s VOL•UP•2 - a revolutionary magazine that challenges the fashion industry's outdated and boringly narrow view of beauty.

While there is no shortage of articles chronicling the detrimental effects that mainstream fashion magazines have, particularly on women and young girls, there are no fashion magazines which actively challenge these notions using the power of imagery to promote genuine diversity and inclusion." -BUST Magazine

An Eye From Down Under 

This summer we had the opportunity to work with Australian photographer Wendy Smith, who documented three of our concerts. Click here to see her Theatre la Cible concert sessions. She worked with peculiarities of the theatre, the vibe of the music and lighting to create an intense photo sequence of musicians at work. I asked her to tell me a little about herself, beyond her life in Paris, and this is what I learned:

I am from Dapto, a once rural town in the Illawarra on the South Coast of New South Australia. It is here that I have lived most of my life. I am a psychologist and a photographer. I began formal studies as a mature aged student completing a Management Diploma and Psychology Degree. My interest in photography goes a long way back to my early 20’s but wasn’t fully awakened until I began travelling around Australia, using my Dad’s SLR until I was fortunate enough to receive a Christmas gift of a Nikon D90. Then one year I jaunted off for a dashing 10 day trip to Europe leaving me with a wanting of more.

I have now been in Paris for 18 months and in general loving it. A few months after moving here I had the psychological space to realise I was indeed living a dream of mine: to live in an apartment in the historical creative sphere of Paris, Montmartre. I can’t think if anywhere else in Paris that I would want to live. Having said that I am also now looking forward to finding a new home in the suburbs where I can have my own patch of grass to lay.

It hasn’t all been easy moving to this country, there have been some tough times and there will be more to come I am sure. I have however, enjoyed all challenges this new life has put in front of me, even if I have cried at times or felt lonely or just felt down and out and at times wishing to throw the towel in and return to Australia. But give up is not in my nature and I am indeed enveloped by the magic, the dynamic, vibrant lifestyle and the baguette, the freshly baked baguette at 9pm.

There are a number of projects I am currently working on. One being building my private practice in counselling psychology for expatriates, basically I provide counselling and coaching for anyone who would like support in English whether it’s your native language or not. I provide counselling and coaching either or both face to face and via Skype making my work easily accessible internationally. My information can be found at my website www.wendysmith.eu .

Another project I am working on is my photography. I am enjoying challenging my photography skills here in Paris. Previously in Australia and in my travels abroad my photography was based on landscapes, cityscape, fauna and flora, which I love. Here in Paris I have shot many a photo of the touristic sites. I am now enjoying the challenges of experiencing and seeing the city in a new light within my photography…beginning to see more detail in the buildings, the colours, the diversity of the city and the differences and similarities of life here to Australia. I hope to give the viewer the feeling they are standing alongside me, experiencing as I am the world as I feel and see it.

The plans for my photography are to continue to travel and share these travels through photography, to sell prints from my photography website www.wendysmithphotography.eu , continue to enter photography competitions and hopefully attain more awards, (just this year I have won 2 awards), initially hold a small exhibition of my Australian landscapes, then more exhibitions of differing themes thereafter. I would also very much enjoy doing some freelance photography and more music photography.

Paris has opened up a creativeness in me that I believe was always there, but not harnessed. I am finding my artistic expression through writing and photography they in turn help me bring more colour to my role as a therapist. This journey has only begun and I cannot foresee where it will take me, but I am ready and excited for the journey.

You can connect to Wendy here:




Radio On!

• Listen to Underbelly on Radio Crystal Blue. www.radiocrystalblue.net

• Underbelly is now on regular rotation on New Driven Radio. The  show airs Tuesday evenings 8-midnight (eastern time) on 89.1 WBCX and is streamed internationally at: www.Brenau.edu/wbcx.

• Underbelly is being played on "Along The Tracks" on Acoustic Spectrum between 7pm & 9pm on Friday repeated Sunday 9pm & 11pm http://www.acoustic-spectrum.co.uk/listen-here/. That's nice!

Paint job

Somebody that I Used to Know
Watch this catchy, gently surprising video from Belgian-Australian artist Goyte, sometimes compared with Sting and Peter Gabriel. Nice!

Word for a friend. Adam Krims

I was really sad to hear in September about my friend Adam Krims’s passing. He was funnier, smarter, kinder than most people I have ever met. He was interested, generous, and irreverent, with so much to put on the table. His scope of musical expertise cast a profound net from classical to rap and beyond. He wasn’t here long enough.

Music and Urban Geography by Adam Krims.

Boston Blogger

I stumbled upon Farah Joan Fard’s insightful music blog LaParadiddle and right away felt at home. This well written, sharp blog from Boston USA keeps a focused lens on interesting music and events, in Boston and beyond.

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Issue 6 · Fall 2012 · MUSE news· Paris, France