antomusic.com

antomusic.com

As personal manager and press contact for Anto, I am THRILLED to announce that we have a new website. (Between you and me, it makes my job easier! ::happy sigh::) As partner/best friend etc., I am proud. I helped as far as the business end of setting up the domain, making decisions and planning – and of course the writing, but Anto did the dirty work. Never satisfied with using templates, he designed the site and wrote the code, loaded it onto the platform.. and more stuff that I won’t pretend to understand. It’s easy for me to say “we need separate tabs for photos and videos” but he actually knows how to make it happen.

Have a look around and click on some music – it’s all available as free downloads in the ‘store’.  🙂

Update and “Everything”

Life has been busier and more difficult than usual lately – if that’s even possible. I try not to complain though because I’ve learned the hard way that life can always get worse. Hardships disguise themselves as trials but I think positivity is the real challenge. Every once in awhile though, pure joy shines and a sense of calm bliss finds its home in the centre of my being. Most often, those moments resemble this one:

 

Whatever else is going on, I have the best friend and partner that even my imagination couldn’t conjur before I met him. There are many things about our relationship that people don’t understand – and I couldn’t care less. We work together, we love each other, we cry and laugh and worry together…and sometimes he just plays me music while I find my bliss again…

I’m working on that positivity…and “if the while I think on thee dear friend, all losses are restored and sorrows end.” (William Shakespeare, Sonnet 30)

 

The Vampire Effect

Social interaction is a basic need of the human psyche. It helps define our identities and is a critical building block of self-image and self-esteem.  We may hate to admit it, but how we see ourselves is coloured by how we think others see us. The looking-glass self can be blamed on evolution and the survival instinct to be protected by the group, but it still has real implications in today’s society – especially in a society that’s erected on Bluetooth and Skype.

We may ‘connect’ with more people and chat with people all over the world but we’re becoming vampires. We have conversations in under 140 characters and catch up over news feeds and comments. As society evolves devolves, people are losing the ability, maybe even the desire to interact in meaningful ways. Do we really know who are ‘friends’ are online. Do we ask? Do we have dialogues? Do we even respond to their messages or just ‘unsubscribe’ from them?

We’re becoming too insular. The more our worlds expand, the more closed off we are – and when we look into our proverbial mirrors, there’s no reflection staring back at us.

People are becoming invisible. 

We say we want friends, but maybe we just want an audience.

Ask a kid today what he wants to be when he grows up; he says ‘famous’. He wants to be heard and seen. He wants attention because our society is void of it.

I used to consider generosity in terms of material or monetary value. Now I tend to use the word to describe people generous in spirit – giving of their warmth and their heart, giving of their time, their compassion and their positivity. We don’t just look for our own reflections in others, we also give them theirs, and being a reflection is a big responsibility. As human beings we should shoulder that responsibility with grace and kindness.

The more I look at the troubles and strife in this world, the more I think the root cause of it is someone just wanting to be heard, to be noticed. Hidden underneath people’s anger, hostility and apathy, are people who feel invisible.

Respond to others. Step out and embrace them, physically or metaphorically. Give a compliment, be a shoulder to lean on. Smile at the person standing in line that looks tired. Comment back, ‘like’ a picture, give of yourself – and maybe in doing so, you can find your own reflection again, smiling back at you. 

Off the Menu

Warning: Mature theme (but not explicit)

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The music throbbed, its hard bass line vibrating against her body. It was loud enough that she had to raise her voice so the waiter could hear her order.

He was cute. Very cute. Young, thin, his jeans practically draped off his sculpted hipbones. Dark fringe curtained his eyes. Was it dark brown or black? It was hard to tell in the dark light of the restaurant. He tossed his head back to flip it, revealing deep eyes that could only be the darkest brown. They flashed for just a heartbeat before the soft fringe fell forward, blanketing them again teasingly. Good lord he was beautiful. And sexy as hell.

“Is that all?” His voice matched his face perfectly and his lips curved into a brilliant smile when she nodded wordlessly. She bit back the urge to purr back, “Actually, I’ll take an order of you too, piping hot…” She was fairly sure that wasn’t on the menu though.

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Read My Mind

I saw a survey that asked “if you had a superpower, what would it be?”

Other than the obvious altruistic powers like eradicating diseases or orchestrating world peace, I’d wish for the power to manipulate time – at least that’s always been my quick default response.

I may have to rethink that answer.

“The path Fredric took through the tents brought Eragon into close contact with more minds than he had ever touched before. Hundreds of thoughts, images, and sensations pressed against his consciousness. Despite his effort to keep them at a distance, he could not help absorbing random details of people’s lives. Some revelations he found shocking, some meaningless, others touching or, conversely, disgusting, and many embarrassing. A few people perceived the world so differently, their minds leaped out at him on account of that very difference. How easy it is to view these men as nothing more than objects that I and and a few others can manipulate at will. Yet they each possess hopes and dreams, potential for what they might achieve and memories of what they have already accomplished. And they all feel pain.” – Christopher Paolini

To read minds….maybe if everyone possesed such a superpower we’d already live in a world free of war and needless suffering. Imagine what the world would be like if we could all see through each other’s eyes, hearts and scars. If we could look at a person and feel their insecurities and fears… and if they looked at us and felt ours… just imagine.

Band Requests

(Written back in the MySpace days. I should mention that I’m now involved in the music business as a lyricist and personal manager so I’m now one of the people sending out friend requests. My how life has changed.)

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So I started going through some of my friend requests – I didn’t make it all the way through but I’ve been making good progress. There are so many bands out there looking for an audience – and I love it.

A few years ago I read an article (and I wish I’d clipped it and saved it) about how all the world’s media was in the hands of about 6 powerful people. Companies are owned by corporations, owned by conglomerates…who, when it comes down to it, are steered by a handful of people. Looking ahead the prospects for our media/news/entertainment choices were grim – and god help us if these people had a political agenda.

But out of this corporate version of an unimaginative hell, rose the indie movement. Just when it looked like the Grecian Formula, tie wearing unspired types were going to rule art by the formulaic laws of focus groups and politically correct blandness, something amazing happened.

Artists stood up and created their own market.

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I Feel You

As the birds harmonize over the sound of traffic and the leaves rustle and whisper like ghosts in the shadows, I feel you here – away from time – in a world that exists in our hearts – wide open and free, intimate and deep…

Choices

We have so few choices in our lives. Sure, we have millions of little decisions every day, but I’m talking about the big ones. We’re brought into this world, into a country and economic bracket that wasn’t of our choosing, into a skin that we didn’t get to choose, into a complex jumble of neurotransmitters and other biological determinates that weren’t of our choosing… We cling to the notion that we are products of our own design – but we forget that the foundation on which we build ourselves, was handed to us without options.

I hate my looks, curse my weaknesses, wish I could’ve won a bit more in the DNA lottery… I am haunted by what I’ve lost and what I couldn’t reach. I get so caught up in wishing I could’ve been born with more, that I forget that I was born with so much.

I wasn’t born in a place where water is scarce, or where bullets fly over my head on a daily basis. The fact that I’m a woman doesn’t condemn me to a life without rights, where I am someone else’s property. My child has food. My child has dreams. My child is able to be a child, not a soldier.

Sometimes it’s hard to look at your own life with perspective but flip on the news and see what life could’ve been like – what it IS like for someone else – through no choices of their own. If you feel safe in this moment, if you feel loved, if you have food and a roof, then maybe you’re luckier than you think.

Lyrical Stress

I haven’t touched the novel in weeks…maybe longer. (Much longer). I’ve been working on lyrics and as the stresses of  ‘normal’ life increase exponentially, so have the pressures of writing lyrics to a deadline. The minutes slip away as the studio date draws near.

But finally, my partner in rhyme and I finished writing the lyrics for the final song tonight. It goes without saying that I’m not completely in love with every word but that’s part of the neurotic leanings of a writer. I can’t use enough superlatives to explain how much I love writing these songs together, but I’ll ponder and worry and rewrite until the final moments before recording. Every song needs to be vetted and I know I’ll hate each one of them before the process is over. And then I’ll fall in love with them all over again…

I kick myself because I’m not Shakespeare, but these are pop songs – and considering that one of the top songs right now (I song I might admit to liking *cough*) includes the lyrics, “Boom, boom, boom. Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon…”, maybe I should let go of my neurotic self-flagellation.

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The better half of this dynamic duo…

Ariberto Terragni

 
Ariberto Terragni is a talented writer, an immensely interesting man and someone I am very blessed to know.  He has passionate and provocative views on everything from literature to politics, Italian culture, art and of course soccer.  

His blog is written in Italian but it is definitely worth the click of an online translator:
For a glimpse into his novel, Un uomo da abbattere, or to find his documentaries, please visit his YouTube channel:  http://www.youtube.com/user/cikciak
 

Late Night Freud and the First Glimmers of a New Idea

It’s too late at night to ponder too deeply… my head is heavy and my thoughts are muddled. A thought just occurred to me though and I can’t believe I didn’t figure this out before now.

My writing has changed over the past couple of years. I attributed my change in focus to many things – mainly the fact that I acquired an amazing writing partner. Almost everything I write now is a shared labour of love and we get so caught up in ‘our’ stuff, that the latest novel keeps getting pushed to the side. Inspiration pours out of me in the form of poems and lyrics now and it’s a very different mindset and process than when I write a novel.

When I write the novels, I sit by myself and step into a world that’s of my creation – but not mine. It’s pure fantasy.

When I write songs and poems, I write with and for my partner, about a world that’s ours. It’s our reality.

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Strength

The magic in strength is that it can travel across oceans, from one soul to another, hand in hand with love and faith. And by making the journey, it empowers both souls at once.

Exhausted

If you fight until you’re exhausted, until every bit of anger and ego, every ghost of past hurts is extinguished, until you’re so spent that all that remains is the ability to listen…then you’ve done it right.