Posts Tagged ‘tori amos’

Way back when it was spring, I was planning on submitting a piece for Somerset Studio’s ‘winter’ theme. I started creating this paper that I was going to use as a background for….something.

I wasn’t able complete the background paper, let alone the project itself, in time to submit it. As a matter of fact, I only just finished my background paper within the last couple weeks.

So here it is….

layered paper

layered paper

And a couple close-ups…

layered paper

layered paper

layered paper

layered paper

I wanted to create a spare but layered look using black, white, and ivory as my palette. I started with a piece of watercolor paper, and sprinkled some coffee on it to start (gets rid of that blank white paper staring back at me). Next came pieces of paper I tore from a pamphlet from Opera Philadelphia, which was ivory, black, and grey, with a little red. After that I added layer upon layer upon layer of paint (Liquitex Basics), stamping (using found stamps like corks, pencil erasers, and small plastic lids), pretty tape (Tim Holtz), glitter glue (Tim Holtz), German scrap, and lace. Lots of layers. I think I got a little carried away….

I had always intended for this background paper to be cut into smaller pieces, so I added the German scrap and lace with that in mind.

Here are a couple pictures…these show the paper I tore from the Opera Philadelphia pamphlet:

beginnings of layered paper

beginnings of layered paper

layered paper - beginning

layered paper – beginning

I’ve now decided to make an accordion book, which I have never done before. For years now I’ve wanted to make a project incorporating some of the lines from Tori Amos’ song Winter. I thought that would be fitting with this paper and its original intention.

So that is my current project. At least the one that I am focusing on, since I have at least five other projects started!

Thanks for stopping by!


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I’ve been listening to Tori’s new album, Gold Dust. The songs on Gold Dust are reworkings of some of her previous songs, with accompaniment by The Metropole Orkest.

sights and sounds

I like it so far. I like the songs but sometimes I feel like the original emotion of the song is not there. Or it’s different. Or maybe it’s just me. It’s growing on me though.

I’ve only listened to it a few times so far. Flavor, Programmable Soda, and Snow Cherries from France seem to me the most transformed, and I like these new versions better than the originals. I also really like Precious Things and Jackie’s Strength.

Gold Dust contains some of my most favorite songs – Yes, Anastasia, Cloud on My Tongue, and Marianne.

It’s certainly an interesting selection of songs. Some I would not have expected, like Programmable Soda, Flavor, and Star of Wonder (which is making me look forward to the holiday season and Midwinter Graces!). Others are a given, like Winter and Yes, Anastasia.

Overall I’m enjoying it.

Thanks for stopping by!


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odd & end #1
I saw my first opera! (This was a few weeks ago). It was Manon Lescaut, about a young woman whose desire to live the good life leads to (what else) tragedy. It was very good – I like the second act the best. The singing was in Italian with English translations, which definitely helped a lot.

to the opera!

Afterward we ate at this restaurant, Barbuzzo. The food was delicious! But the most delicious thing I ate was the dessert – budino. It was a type of pudding in three layers – crushed chocolate cookies on the bottom, then some kind of creme fraiche type pudding, topped with a layer of salty caramel goop. It was amazing. We only got one and split it. I regret that decision very much.

odd & end #2
I’m working on some Christmas ornaments to submit to Somerset Studio. Here’s what I have so far:

pink and glitter

I cut strips of paper and glued them to a piece of cardstock to create a new background paper to use. Then I dry-brushed gesso on it and spritzed it with glimmer mist. The theme is “pink and glitter”, inspired by a song by Tori Amos. Each ornament (I’m making three) will have a phrase in the center, and will have beads and fringe. That’s the plan, anyway!

odd & end #3
Still working on my April page in my calendar journal…

journal page

This green paper will be cut into the journaling squares. I splattered it with white acrylic paint.
splattered paper

At this point I’m wondering if I want to use it for 2012 or save it for next year. I enjoy working on it and it’s a great way to try out techniques, but it’s a lot to have to do in my limited amount of time. I definitely will not do this again next year!

Have a great day!


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I just love Christmas. The older I get, the more I enjoy it. Sure, it’s great when you’re a kid – waking up to a pile of presents, tearing them open, and swimming in a sea of gift wrap.

But as I get older, I appreciate the ideals that Christmas celebrates more and more. Choosing and giving gifts, spending time with loved ones, spreading a little cheer and kindness. And of course I love the decorations, the tree, wrapping gifts, and baking.

To me it truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

I also love love love Christmas songs. No matter what kind of mood I’m in, Christmas music makes me feel so happy. It’s all I listen to from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

These are 10 of my favorite songs, in no particular order:
1. Christmastime is Here – Vince Guaraldi
2. Happy Christmas (War is Over) – John Lennon (I like Sarah McLachlan’s version also)
3. The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole
4. Happy Holidays – Andy Williams (it’s not Christmas until I hear some Andy Williams)
5. The Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Andy Williams
6. A Wonderful Christmas Time – Paul McCartney
7. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee (best version!)
8. Silver and Gold – Burl Ives
9. that song without words from the Peanuts
10. O Holy Night – Josh Groban (so beautiful – gives me chills)

I’m also listening to Midwinter Graces by Tori Amos. It’s a great seasonal album, with a wide range of songs and musical styles.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!


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Last Thursday, December 1st, we went to see Tori at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia (and I’m only just now having a minute to post about it). It was amazing!

She came out in a long, flowing, pink satin gown, metallic pink leggings, and glittery silver high heels.

I very much enjoyed the string quartet, Apollon Musagete – they brought so much energy and it was fascinating to watch them play. They sounded great with Tori.

She played several of my favorite songs from Night of HuntersShattering Sea, Nautical Twilight, Fearlessness, Carry, and – Star Whisperer! You may remember from a previous post that I have claimed Star Whisperer as my song. I did not expect her to play it, because it is rather long (almost 10 minutes). She did speed up the first part a bit, but she played the whole thing, and it was wonderful.

She played with such energy and passion, and it was a great concert. Standouts for me: Velvet Revolution – I always loved this little song, and she played it with such passion. Hey Jupiter – I didn’t recognize this song until she started singing; I loved the new arrangement, and the quartet was great. Cruel – absolutely incredible; the quartet – I didn’t know strings could make sounds like that!

And, she played one of my most favorite songs – Cloud on My Tongue. The quartet played with her, and it was wonderful.

She also covered Joni Mitchell’s A Case of You; and really, all of the songs were done beautifully.

The time just flew by. It was a fabulous evening. I think Tori is simply amazing and brilliant!

Thanks for stopping by!


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tori amos

I’ve been meaning to post about Tori’s new album, Night of Hunters, for about a month now, but because of work and other time constraints – and inchies! – I haven’t had a chance.

It certainly is different from her prevous work. The music is really beautiful and so is her voice. I think Tori achieved her goal of presenting an epic song cycle about one woman’s journey, while touching on the themes and archetypes that are typical of classical music. The blend of story, lyrics, and music is done very well.

I have to say, I thought it was so funny – on the cd wrapper there was a sticker that said, and I’m paraphrasing, that the cd presents the journey of a woman whose story is only unravelled after traveling to mythic Ireland! Naturally. That’s where I unravel all of my stories.

The songs do present the story as myth. There are all sorts of creatures about – Annabelle, a shape-shifting creature of duality, the Star Whisperer, Cloudriders, the Fire Muse and the Seven Sisters.

There is also much mention of nature on this album – the sun, moon, stars, sea, trees, sky; nature serves as a secondary character. When I listen to the songs I imagine everything taking place outside, and much of the piano music gives a feeling of running or flying.

A delightful surprise is her daughter’s appearance on the album as the aforementioned Annabelle. Miss Hawley also appeared on Mid Winter Graces, but to a much lesser extent than on Night of Hunters. She has a great voice; it presents an interesting contrast to her mom’s. Miss Hawley sings on several songs, most notably Job’s Coffin (one of my favorites), where she sings pretty much the entire song.

I love the cd book, which is an actual little book (I have the deluxe version). The photographs are a bit stylized (they remind me of the photos for Abnormally Attracted to Sin) but are beautiful and complement the songs. I love her clothes too!

One thing that I have always loved and appreciated about Tori is her need/desire to take her art in different directions, a clear characteristic of a true artist. Each of her albums is different, and you never know what you’re going to get! She is quite brave in that regard, because when an artist tries different things, there is always the risk of disapproval from the fans. And certainly for Tori several of her albums have been received in a not-so-happy manner from some of her fans. However I have always loved her work, and I can’t imagine her creating anything that I wouldn’t like. The basic themes that she is concerned with are always there, as well as her poetical and metaphorical lyrics.

Also I know some of her fans are tired of the themed albums, but I don’t mind them at all. I appreciate the extra work she puts into them, and I feel like it gives my brain more to play with! I like that she wants to create a whole world for her albums.

My favorite songs on Night of Hunters include Shattering Sea, Snowblind, Battle of Trees, Fearlessness, Job’s Coffin, and Nautical Twilight. I think my most favorite though might be Star Whisperer. I don’t know yet who exactly the Star Whisperer is, but I’m very intrigued. I love the lines “why have you locked up your sky? Night sky whisper me back to life.” And there’s something about the music and lyrics and her voice – it’s all very dramatic and I just love it. It’s my song.

Have a wonderful day!


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Tori has a new album coming in September, Night of Hunters.

night of hunters

It is a “21st century song cycle inspired by classical music themes spanning over 400 years”, according to the press release. In her own words: “I have used the structure of a classical song cycle to tell an ongoing, modern story. The protagonist is a woman who finds herself in the dying embers of a relationship. In the course of one night she goes through an initiation of sorts that leads her to reinvent herself allowing the listener to follow her on a journey to explore complex musical and emotional subject matter.”

She has been recording with Apollon Musagete, a Polish string quartet (who apparently will be touring with her as well). It all sounds quite intriguing. Can’t wait to hear it!

I have tickets to her show at the Academy of Music in December (my poor husband gets dragged to yet another Tori concert!)

In the meantime I’m listening to The Beekeeper, which is my summer Tori album. Some of my favorite songs – Parasol, The Power of Orange Knickers, Jamaica Inn, Barons of Suburbia, Sleeps with Butterflies, Ribbons Undone, The Beekeeper, Goodbye Pisces, and Marys of the Sea.

Thanks for stopping by!


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