Night Owl

NIGHTOWL

Today I was working on a new manuscript, which really means, I was listening to a lot of new music.

New and new. That’s just what I do. A story has to have a soundscape. A soundtrack all its own.

Later, some songs will fall by the wayside, and I’ll wind up with a playlist made up entirely of songs I adore, that can transport me to my fictional world immediately.

It’s like, double escape. Double journey. Good as double chocolate. If you write, try it. Writing to music is my favorite thing to do, besides maybe singing.

Naturally, I wound up today at the Sirenstories SoundCloud, my secret source for new indie music. In the cloud I found Night Owl, a beautiful, evocative song by Megan McClean.

After listening to Night Owl a few times, I stopped working on my shiny new novel and decided it was time to share the song with you.

Barry Snaith of Wakefield, Britain, who goes by the name, The Inconsistent Jukebox, produced Night Owl, and says of Megan and the song, “I love her voice and it’s a truly beautiful song. It was a pleasure to add what I could to an already haunting piece of art.”

“Megan had originally recorded this on some shitty little mobile phone (probably inside her pocket by the sound of it!). I hope you all like it and can get through the rough sonic quality to see the diamond within.”

We definitely see it Barry. We hear it. We love it.

Megan McClean goes by the nom-de-plume, War Is Noise. On Night Owl she sings and plays acoustic guitar.

Barry Snaith was kind enough to send me the lyrics for Night Owl, with a lovely note that included TONS of amazingness, and this:

“These are the words, but Megan tends to improvise. If you listen, you’ll find that she rarely sings the same way twice – it’s all utterly heartfelt, an outpouring of emotion. That’s what makes it so captivating.”

NIGHT OWL

Lover you pierce my heart


Like a night owl in the dark


And I don’t know how to say these words

Which are unheard

But so simple from my heart.

 

I praise The Lord above 


That is my humble word.


I’m a vagabond


And that is my heritage, dear,


So accept me or not.

 

Lover you pierce my heart


Like a night owl in the dark


And I don’t know how to say these words

Which are unheard

But so simple from my heart.

 

And, with arms stretched so wide


Into the night sky

Past is dead


But you still read what they said.


There is no charm.


Your heart was once warm.

 

Lover you pierce my heart


Like a night owl in the dark


And I don’t know how to say these words

Which are unheard

But so simple from my heart.

 

Album art image by Adrian James Hill.

PS Do yourself a favor and click the link for James Hill. Gorgeousness awaits you.

The Visual Music of Kamil Vojnar

Sirenstories usually features music, but after I came across several pieces online by visual artist Kamil Vojnar, I really wanted to write about his gorgeous work. I say wanted to because I did want to, and I tried, but I’m so enamored by his images, I’m  finger-tied. It seems I care too much.

This is the first piece by Kamil Vojnar that I fell in love with. In. Love.

I was searching for an image to represent Sirenstories, not this blog, but the YA trilogy of the same name that I’m writing. This spring I’ll be working with an editor who will help me shape and polish the first book, and someone suggested I use kickstarter to fund the work. But I needed an image to attract people to my project.

When I found Kamil’s Siren standing above the beach, I gasped in recognition. He is one of the characters from my trilogy.

But I don’t think  that would please Kamil Vojnar. Even if I created the most memorable character in literary history, even if I made him heroic, and brilliant, clever, and magical, Kamil would not be happy because that would mean the pinning down of one of his images, something that is not meant to be. The essence of Vojnar’s work is light and movement.

I’ve rewritten this post a dozen times, and I’ve cut nearly all that I thought I wanted to say. I’ve spent hours online pouring over  websites that feature Vojnar’s stunning pieces as well as information about him and his exhibits, but I couldn’t find the words I needed. They all sound stiff compared to his ethereal images. Music would describe his work best I think, or a poem might be able to, if it were read by someone with a complicated, beautiful voice, and it was endless.

Kamil and I have exchanged a series of emails, and he was kind enough to allow me to use the above image for my project, but now that I’ve learned so much about him, that almost seems wrong. It is all too easy to commercialize Kamil’s work, because it is instantly enjoyable, but that doesn’t mean that his art is easy. His work has darkness in its depths, and its light creates haunting shadows. Kamil Vojnar is a fine artist, and although his work has a fleeting quality—or perhaps that quality belongs to the moments portrayed—it is not meant for fleeting purposes. His pieces are full of unanswered questions, restlessness hidden inside stillness, and sorrow that will not be resolved. We’ve all heard music that makes us ache. There is something here we cannot obtain, something unknowable, perhaps unthinkable, possibly unbearable.

Obviously Kamil can’t upload his pieces to the Sirenstories Soundcloud, but he knew that I would be writing this post, or trying to. I think he will appreciate my frustration in trying to find the right words.

Kamil Vojnar‘s website is a beautiful, evocative place to visit. No matter what kind of artist you are, you will find inspiration there starting with an ephemeral series of images that seem to melt into one another. Each image vanishes into the next and there is no ‘button’ on his site to click back to this series of pictures. I think that perfectly represents the art of Kamil Vojnar. Each piece is a moment from a dream, captured but not contained. Each image murmurs, possibility . . . and the viewer wonders, what has just happened? What will happen next?

Please click on the image above to give yourself the gift of a journey into Kamil Vojnar‘s sensual and sorrowful world.

Tanguy Dairaine used Kamil’s images to create this video for French pop star Patricia Kaas, which she used on her 2009 tour. The video was projected on a giant screen behind her while she sang her intimate song, Une Derniere Fois.