Auriol Hays

Awareness through music

Archive for July, 2011

Stadium Arcadium

What chance did Amy Winehouse really stand? Most of us have disappointed a few people in our lives and bounced back. Now imagine millions of people expecting nothing but the worse of you. That has an impact somewhere and we would be fools if we thought that it did not affect Amy.

Let’s leave her alone for a second and be real with each other. We are all judgmental. I try to resist my inner bitch, honestly I do. It is just so hard to not offer an opinion. Sometimes I catch myself and am disgusted by my behavior. “Is this who you are Auriol?” I ask myself. No, I would not want someone to talk smack about me so I need to stop. I am currently monitoring myself rather closely, you’ll be glad to know…

Judging others is easy because “it means you do not have to look at your own issues” Margaret McElroy said on a recent radio show. I agree with Margaret on this. I have a group of close friends and I am very involved in their lives. I tell myself that my motives are pure. I love and care about them. However, I do have to question my behavior in that arena also. How much of what I am saying is projection or based on some real or imaginary fear? I am I avoiding things in my own life because they seemingly “need” me?

Even if I am aware of some of the new age thinking around this troublesome notion of non judgment putting it into practice is another kettle of fish altogether. I once heard it said that we can only evolve spiritually if we emotionally detach ourselves from people and all their dramas. If you are dealing with addiction or are in an abusive relationship being emotionally detached does seem impossible.  Rani Manicker, author of The Rice Mother, wrote “It is human nature to want the dark side of the moon.” Not only is it human nature it just happens to be a lot easier. And we humans are lazy!

So Amy didn’t really stand a chance. I am not excusing her behavior simply because it is not my place to. The fact is just that you have to be made of sterner stuff to withstand such collective energy. And what if…what if she was meant to fail…so I could be having this conversation with you?

posted by auriol in things to ponder about...hmmm and have No Comments

Anything Goes

My sister can shock the hell out of me! Maybe it’s because she’s the middle child or a Virgo. Honestly Sandra Bullock doesn’t stand a chance of grabbing that Oscar if my sister’s around. Before I carry on I just want to state that I love my sister – with all my heart and soul. Even though she does not look the part my beloved sister can be a drama queen of note! And here’s the scary part – I love every second of it!

I feed off those crazy emotions. I am a musician after all. At best I try to extract and distill negative emotions. Sometimes it’s as simple as saying: this is how it is, deal with it. Life isn’t always pretty and people aren’t always nice. On a good day I try to gain insight into my own condition and share it. A fellow artist and friend, Curtis Folts  remarked, “The purpose of an artist is to evoke the fullest range of emotions from people that their medium allows and to lend them the courage to see themselves in that light.”

Now that I am writing music for the Deep Hays album all the blood has been cleared and I find myself in a peculiar position. I am no longer the killer or the wounded. The polar opposite in fact – I am the lover and the beloved. And that is deeply satisfying from a songwriting point of view

I have a confession to make that will explain a great deal. I recently set up an altar in my home. Yes, I returned to my heathen ways. In it I have symbolic representations of what matters most in my life. The Gods Saraswati, Lakshmi and Ganesh are now part of my home. Before you ask I do house other religious iconography…

Part of my morning ritual involves simply sitting alone for a few minutes and focusing on those parts of my life I need help with. My mother does the same – only with her bible and lots of singing. Thanks to this ritual I am a bit more focused now. I do not allow my emotions to highjack me – that often…Once my head is cleared I start my day.

On a serious note giving into those emotions can lead to ruin. Okay, maybe I am being a bit dramatic but they definitely get you into trouble. I have to share what Curtis said to me this morning because it  resonates, “I believe that when we master our relationship with our emotions we will master our evolution.”

Back to my sister. She once convinced some people that she is a recovered heroin addict who sincerely wanted to start a daycare centre. She walked away with their phone numbers and their kids names! I love my sister but sometimes, just sometimes, she is gloriously, deliciously mad…and strangely enough that keeps me sane!

posted by auriol in career,human nature and have No Comments

Ne Me Quitte Pas

Sean Paul, Ben Harper and the gym. Those were the magic ingredients that resulted in our solid performance at the Grahamstown Festival. Oh, and let me not forget the intensive rehearsals with my band! But first allow me to explain how Sean and Ben fit into the picture. Everyday for the last few months I visualized the show in my head while sweating up a storm in the gym. I even had a mantra coursing through my head, “I will remember all my lyrics, I will remember it all”. And just to be sure I wrote down a few slippery phrases on my hands.

The day before the show I was convinced that no one would rock up to see us. “Mark, what do I do if there are only 5 people?” I had to confide my fears in someone. “Auriol, you will do your best no matter how many people there are.” But imagine my surprise when I heard the show was sold out! This has never happened before. I once sang in front of 15 000 at a benefit concert but in all honestly it does not count as many came to see the Idols winner. Yet, the idea that people came out to see my band and I perform really took me by surprise.

In case you are wondering – I am not writing to boast. I write to remember; the journey music has taken me on, the people who guided me through it and all the epiphanies that have hit me along the way. It always comes back to Montreux for me. It was not the dream gig but it was the kick up the ass I needed. I came back a different musician with greater focus and determination.

“Auriol,” said my pianist, “You can trust us”. Poor Fabian had no idea what he was asking of me! At each show they play a song without me. I want the audience to experience what I know to be true: they are extremely talented musicians in their own right. Not only do they bring the house down but it always leaves me feeling immensely proud! By the end of the festival I was more at ease than I have ever been with any band. I really enjoyed hearing them squabble amongst each other about who garnered the most applause! They were also kind enough to not mention the fact that I forgot a few words here and there…

posted by auriol in musical performances,My music and have No Comments