Auriol Hays

Awareness through music

Archive for August, 2010

Joy of Jazz

I sang terribly a few nights ago and  I am not talking about the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz festival. I sang at a small event in my home town in front of my mother and sister and things did not go as planned. I got nervous, did not connect with the audience – you name it, I did it. Sure I recovered and started over again. But that is not what I will remember – in my head.

I think it’s just the way we are programmed as humans. We remember the mistakes with greater accuracy. Often embellishing it more along the way. And don’t you just hate the continuous action replay that goes on mentally? Lol!

The irony is that I can’t really remember what I did on stage at the Joy of Jazz even though I would class it as one of my musical highlights so far. Everyone experiences a moment where they think, “Is this really real?” The entire week spent with the Gauteng Big Band felt like that.  Everyone made me feel at home and reminded me why I always dreamed of being a musician.

So even though I had a minute of “what-the-fuck just happened” at the gig last night I won’t let it replay in my head for too long. I will take the Montreux approach instead. That amounts to “shit happens and you better learn from it girlie”.

Lord knows I did not bring the house down at the Joy of Jazz festival. I was also the least experienced. And honestly I don’t give a rat’s ass about that either. Being on that stage felt so good. So instead of having a action replay of the “bad” gig….this time round I choose to think about Bra Johnny, Bra Stompie, Prince, Khaya, Andile, Hendrik, Mlungisi, Sydney and all the kids they mentor. Then to make it even sweeter I will think of just how good it felt to be home with my husband, daughter and annoying cats…lol! Nothing better…

posted by auriol in My music and have Comment (1)

Some Place Simple

I have always loved reading horror books and I reckon it is the cause for the blood lust in my music. “The world changes, we do not; therein lies the irony that finally kills us” says Armand from Interview with a Vampire. Who says horror movies don’t give you something to think about?

Armand wants Louis because he needs a link to the age he is living in. How many of us do not need the same thing? I thought I too needed a Louis when I first got into the music industry. There was so much uncertainty. Hell, I thought I needed so much back then. It’s funny what you discover along the way….

Does this mean I don’t take guidance? Oh no. I always listen. The one thing being a mother taught me is that I don’t have to agree with anything just because it was said by someone with greater authority. Anyway, I have always learnt faster through experience. And that has meant falling hard on my ass at times…lol!

My husband annoys me (for a variety of reasons) but mostly because he is always listening to millions of artists. The words I dread hearing are “Take a listen to this artist”. I say dreaded because he is a weirdo and most of the music he suggests is just down right weird. Still the one thing I have always admired about him is that he is never scared to try new things. So I reckon he would make an excellent vampire. You could drop him in any age and he would adapt.

As much as we hate to admit it – no one knows everything or even that much really. At best we know little about little. The only way clarity comes is through experience or by falling short of your own expectations. And when that happens all it takes is time. Time to reflect and change your direction. Most of us find change so scary and the inability to adapt can and sometimes does kill us…

posted by auriol in human nature and have Comment (1)

California Dreaming

Lawrence Fishburn’s daughter is becoming a porn star to kick start her acting career. Personally, I think she is just doing this to piss her Daddy off. Lord knows she could afford the odd acting class. This rant is about kids and the choices they make – not porn.

No matter what your kids get up to or how old they become – parents always feel responsible. If there is any truth to the reports then poor Lawrence must be mortified. I know I would be! I can hear some of you saying, “Well, she is a grown ass women so the choices she makes are her own.” But be serious now how would you respond if that was your kid?

Look I feel terrible when my daughter can’t keep her room clean. The site of that dirty instantly reminds me of some very unpleasant people. So I do the next perfectly understandable thing; I freak out. In order for peace to prevail in our universe, I have accepted that every now and then she needs a bit of help so I help her out. After the required screaming and preaching of course…

“I’m hoping the same magic will work for me. I’m impatient about getting well-known and having more opportunities and this seemed like a great way to get started on it.” In other words she wants to be famous and now. Lord, this is alarming stuff. “I’ve watched how successful Kim Kardashian became and I think a lot of it was due to the release of her sex tape by Vivid.

Sure, I hope that I am quoting her out of context and that she has some other exit strategies. This 19 year old, by just doing her own thing, is making us question why we value the things we do and just who we are becoming.

posted by auriol in PEOPLE and have Comment (1)

Dr Who?

My sister thinks she is doomed to live and die alone. I keep telling her to wait; things will eventually fall into place. Does she ever listen to me? When I told her that LOST was a kick ass series she dismissed me! That was until I handed her the entire final series and by then it was too late. Yes, girly, you should have listened to your sister all those years ago!

Now I find myself in the same dilemma – trying to convince her about the sheer genius of Dr Who. But is seems she just can’t get past the strange looking aliens or all the downright improbable things that happen to the Dr. Of course they would be improbable! The Dr is a Time Lord, capable of travelling in between time and space for goodness sake!

The thing that really makes the series compelling is that the Dr, in between preventing every kind of catastrophe, is torn between his duty (to ensure the survival of almost every living thing in the galaxy) and his own desires. Not only is he a Time Lord. He is the last of his kind. So he is doomed to be lonely and watch all those he loves die.

Does that not sound seriously fantastic? Yes, yes, I am an addict, I know this…but back to my sister. Sometimes she acts as though she is the last Time Lord in the know and unknown galaxies. Only difference is that the Dr accepts his loneliness and has as much fun as he can whenever he can.

Loneliness is a strange thing. You either embrace it or it ruins you. Loneliness taught me to appreciate the quality of my own thoughts more. Hell, I sound like a monk now! It also lead to me cultivating a curious habit. I grew to love silence.

I only fill my house and head with noise when I need to do mindless things like cleaning. I can’t write music, blog, have a great conversation when there is too much noise around. My daughter gets annoyed when I close my eyes while eating certain foods. I want to savour and prolong the experience. I wish my sister could see that…but I reckon she has to find value and meaning to her loneliness in her own time and space..

Sure the world will end and we all will die. Now that that has been established – let’s have some fun why don’t we?

posted by auriol in sanity's overrated and have Comment (1)

Inception

“Stop pestering me for new episodes of True Blood! There are more important things to worry about” says the husband. It’s at moments like this that I wonder, “Does this man truly understand me?” LOL! Of course there are better things to worry about. Poverty, war,  the looming oil crisis, our bills that need to get paid – yes, all the really good stuff. Now don’t get me wrong I do worry about those things – but just not in my free time! And if you know me you would know that I love a good movie or tv series…

Last week I finally got the chance to watch INCEPTION. My sister’s mind was buzzing all over the place as we stepped out of the cinema.  There are many theories going around about the meaning of the movie.  I prefer the theory put forward by Devin Faracio on Chud.com . The idea that the movie itself is one collective dream that we are all sharing.

Now, I love my dreams! Most of the time I don’t remember them but every now and then I have a dream that changes the way I think about everything. It changes everything because the idea itself seems so crazy. Like the one I had about being a musician years ago. I reckon that’s why I am going to buy this movie as soon as it’s out on DVD, because DeCaprio’s character was right when he said, “A single idea from the human mind can build cities. An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules.” It has for me…

Just this morning I woke up from a dream and said, “Shit, I hate visiting that place” Yes, I need to think about that dream or if all else fails call up my best friend who seems to know my mind better than I do at times…lol!

I could also relate when DeCaprio’s character said,” I can access your mind through your dreams.” Like I said I am going with the theory that he is dreaming throughout the entire movie. Each character is a projection of his mind. And so he learns the nature of his mind through his dreams…That movie, like this life, is the ultimate dream within a dream, within a dream…

Years ago after watching THE MATRIX, some guy ahead of me said, “What if this life we are living is not real?” I just shook my head and thought, “Of course it’s not real you fool! We are just dreaming it up as we go along” Yes, I was very tolerant all those years ago…lol!

This is why I love movies. Simply because the things we watch, just like our dreams, can give us clues to what’s going on in our mind…

posted by auriol in on the wild side and have Comment (1)

Fields of Barley

We’ve all said, “I will only love you if…” or “I will only love you when” to someone we care about. The two lines I hear most in Cape Town are, “I will only have sex when I am married”  and “If we belong to the same church things will be easier…”

The only thing we all seem to know is how not to behave. Blame it on society, your parents…whatever makes you comfortable but I reckon at some point we have to face this inevitable fact: a lot of what we think is right or proper is just someone else’s bullshit that we decided to adopt.

Maybe it’s because I was a shy child or maybe my mother really is to blame. She never once told me how I should behave or urged me to be a good girl. I was left to figure it out on my own. Yet despite that I struggled. And every day I come across people who say, “I know I shouldn’t be feeling this but….” They just don’t know what to do with how they feel.

Every emotion is packaged in some polite and politically friendly wrapping. We rarely show that we are hurt. Are too scared to show any kind of anger or acknowledge resentment. I had to learn the hard way that sometimes you have to be rough and loud or even nasty to honor your emotions.

Letting go of your conditioning is never pleasant. I find it hard sharing how I feel. So I take the easy way out instead; I write a song. Now that sounds great on paper but it is really sad. I would rather spend hours writing a song than a few minutes being deadly vulnerable with people I love.

Why can’t we just be honest and say, “I love you despite the fact that you are a crazy agnostic bitch who doesn’t believe any of the things I do.” Just the other day I told my mister, “I don’t know whether to kill you or divorce you because of your terrible taste in music!” We have come to some serious blows because of this. Trust me it is a serious matter…

Respect is important. Giving people the space to be themselves vital. Some of my friends are really loopy but why, in heaven’s name, would I want to surround myself with people who are just like me? That is seriously mental if you think about it…lol!

posted by auriol in human nature and have Comment (1)