THE STORY OF “DEEP SLEEP”, OUR NEXT SINGLE

I’ll answer the question: “What do you write first, when you write a new song? The lyrics or the music?”

At the beginning of Deep Sleep, one guitar plays with the singer. I wrote that guitar part, the music, first, long before any lyrics were added.

I had two challenges when this song was written.

First, I didn’t really like writing in open chords anymore. Down on the neck, near the tuning pegs. For awhile, it had seemed to me that there was nothing left to find in those chords, E’s, A’s, D’s, G’s and C’s. 

However, and secondly, I wasn’t healthy at the time. I was very sick with Lyme disease. When Lyme really takes hold, complicated mental processes become impossible. So, there I sat, playing four open chords on my nylon-stringed guitar, over and over, because that was the best I could do. Luckily, I tried adding pull-offs to improve a plain vanilla progression: E major, A major, C major and D major.

Pull-offs are a technique of poking a note with your fingertip, called a hammer-on, and then rolling the fingertip off to pluck the same string and sound an adjacent note. That’s a pull-off.

Hammer-on, pull-off, hammer-on, pull-off, hammer-on, pull-off, that’s what you hear in the first guitar entrance, a rhythmic continuous drone that plays through the entirety of the song.

Months later and slightly recovered, I was asked to play some of my songs in a recording session. I got the go-ahead to bring this - as yet instrumental - song to the session. I needed lyrics in a hurry. I had nothing. I took a walk up to Red Rock above Castro Street, desperate for inspiration. I thought:
 “This is a lullaby.”
And the first words came to me: “Go to sleep. abandon despair.”
I hurried back and sat for hours with a thesaurus and a dictionary, writing those lyrics, methodically: synonym, antonym, first meaning, second meaning, archaic, poetic, interior, exterior.

The story of Deep Sleep is a drama with a happy ending.


Image credit: “Underwater Tower” (1883) by Viktor M. Vasnetsov [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

THE STORY OF “DEEP SLEEP”, OUR NEXT SINGLE

I’ll answer the question: “What do you write first, when you write a new song? The lyrics or the music?”

At the beginning of Deep Sleep, one guitar plays with the singer. I wrote that guitar part, the music, first, long before any lyrics were added.

I had two challenges when this song was written.

First, I didn’t really like writing in open chords anymore. Down on the neck, near the tuning pegs. For awhile, it had seemed to me that there was nothing left to find in those chords, E’s, A’s, D’s, G’s and C’s. 

However, and secondly, I wasn’t healthy at the time. I was very sick with Lyme disease. When Lyme really takes hold, complicated mental processes become impossible. So, there I sat, playing four open chords on my nylon-stringed guitar, over and over, because that was the best I could do. Luckily, I tried adding pull-offs to improve a plain vanilla progression: E major, A major, C major and D major.

Pull-offs are a technique of poking a note with your fingertip, called a hammer-on, and then rolling the fingertip off to pluck the same string and sound an adjacent note. That’s a pull-off.

Hammer-on, pull-off, hammer-on, pull-off, hammer-on, pull-off, that’s what you hear in the first guitar entrance, a rhythmic continuous drone that plays through the entirety of the song.

Months later and slightly recovered, I was asked to play some of my songs in a recording session. I got the go-ahead to bring this - as yet instrumental - song to the session. I needed lyrics in a hurry. I had nothing. I took a walk up to Red Rock above Castro Street, desperate for inspiration. I thought:

“This is a lullaby.”

And the first words came to me: “Go to sleep. abandon despair.”

I hurried back and sat for hours with a thesaurus and a dictionary, writing those lyrics, methodically: synonym, antonym, first meaning, second meaning, archaic, poetic, interior, exterior.

The story of Deep Sleep is a drama with a happy ending.

Image credit: “Underwater Tower” (1883) by Viktor M. Vasnetsov [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

The Next Single: “Deep Sleep”
Here are the lyrics to “Deep Sleep,” our pending single. 
Go to sleepAbandon despairInvite your dreams to lull dull careCast off the lineListen and feel my musical caress
A bower of love encloses your eyesSlip into the slumberous tideYour even breath describing timeFilling the sails we’ll voyage reclined
Drift in the deep comfort of the wavesA rippling retreat blue and green shadesSlip slide and spinDancing within as dolphins butterflySubmerged lullaby
A purling peaceA languorous reposeSafe harbored beneath those turmoils and woesDive into the brineClouds stars combinedYou are blessed
The billowing sea where sunken bells tollMarine drapery envelops your soulReverie and tranquil delightSwimming with me immersed in the night
Deep SleepCopyright © 2014 by Mary Kelley
photo: Flower hat jelly © Monterey Bay Aquarium

The Next Single: “Deep Sleep”

Here are the lyrics to “Deep Sleep,” our pending single. 

Go to sleep
Abandon despair
Invite your dreams to lull dull care
Cast off the line
Listen and feel my musical caress

A bower of love encloses your eyes
Slip into the slumberous tide
Your even breath describing time
Filling the sails we’ll voyage reclined

Drift in the deep comfort of the waves
A rippling retreat blue and green shades
Slip slide and spin
Dancing within as dolphins butterfly
Submerged lullaby

A purling peace
A languorous repose
Safe harbored beneath those turmoils and woes
Dive into the brine
Clouds stars combined
You are blessed

The billowing sea where sunken bells toll
Marine drapery envelops your soul
Reverie and tranquil delight
Swimming with me immersed in the night

Deep Sleep
Copyright © 2014 by Mary Kelley

photo: Flower hat jelly © Monterey Bay Aquarium

news/ANOTHER SINGLE!
This is our third single release, “Praying Hands.”
Like “Sylvia Said” and “Here I Am,” this single is available for purchase at many digital music stores, including iTunes.
It’s also available for live streaming here on this website, as well as Soundcloud.
Words and Music: Mary Kelley
Produced by Mark Abramson and Dave Lebolt
Vocals & guitar: Mary KelleyGuitars, drums & sequencing: Mark AbramsonKeyboards & mix: Dave Lebolt
Thanks to all of you, more music is coming soon, about a month from now.

news/ANOTHER SINGLE!

This is our third single release, “Praying Hands.”

Like “Sylvia Said” and “Here I Am,” this single is available for purchase at many digital music stores, including iTunes.

It’s also available for live streaming here on this website, as well as Soundcloud.

Words and Music: Mary Kelley

Produced by Mark Abramson and Dave Lebolt


Vocals & guitar: Mary Kelley
Guitars, drums & sequencing: Mark Abramson
Keyboards & mix: Dave Lebolt

Thanks to all of you, more music is coming soon, about a month from now.

COMING SOON! THE THIRD SINGLE, PRAYING HANDS
“Praying Hands” will go live August 4 on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and many others. We’re chuggin’ along toward our goal of twelve songs. And maybe, maybe, the album will be pressed in vinyl. Nine singles from now…
Ever since Mark first played “Praying Hands” with me on our first tour, he wanted a chance to record it. When we did record the song, it was several — my new favorite nonspecific adjective, several — several years later.
Finally, Mark and I met at his San Francisco studio in the Noonan Building, Pier 70. There we began our collaboration, this collaboration, this working together on all the music, all the images, all the techne, and all the arete, the realization of which I am hugely proud and glad.
We set to work recording “Praying Hands.” The basics of vocals, guitars, and a first mix were done. That was where Mark’s friend, Dave Lebolt stopped by to give a listen to the music Mark had been telling him about. That day, Dave added the piano arpeggios and he and Mark began improving the recording.
What is is remarkable about “Praying Hands” is its “will to live.” It began as an unfinished blues, with only a first verse. I’ll admit it. Long ago. Several years ago. In fact, the first verse fragment was recorded on a portable cassette deck, sitting on the carpet in an unfurnished apartment. In my own defense, a good song survives the Test of Time.
Lo! Several years later, that big E major chorus kicked the song into full form, even on an acoustic guitar. That version of “Praying Hands” endured until Mark and I gathered songs for the set we played on the UK tour.
Thence, several years later, we find ourselves here, in the Noonan Building, Pier 70, posting this blog.
P.S. You can listen to the song played live with two guitars, on the Harrogate CD, or by using the player below.

COMING SOON! THE THIRD SINGLE, PRAYING HANDS

“Praying Hands” will go live August 4 on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and many others. We’re chuggin’ along toward our goal of twelve songs. And maybe, maybe, the album will be pressed in vinyl. Nine singles from now…

Ever since Mark first played “Praying Hands” with me on our first tour, he wanted a chance to record it. When we did record the song, it was several — my new favorite nonspecific adjective, several — several years later.

Finally, Mark and I met at his San Francisco studio in the Noonan Building, Pier 70. There we began our collaboration, this collaboration, this working together on all the music, all the images, all the techne, and all the arete, the realization of which I am hugely proud and glad.

We set to work recording “Praying Hands.” The basics of vocals, guitars, and a first mix were done. That was where Mark’s friend, Dave Lebolt stopped by to give a listen to the music Mark had been telling him about. That day, Dave added the piano arpeggios and he and Mark began improving the recording.

What is is remarkable about “Praying Hands” is its “will to live.” It began as an unfinished blues, with only a first verse. I’ll admit it. Long ago. Several years ago. In fact, the first verse fragment was recorded on a portable cassette deck, sitting on the carpet in an unfurnished apartment. In my own defense, a good song survives the Test of Time.

Lo! Several years later, that big E major chorus kicked the song into full form, even on an acoustic guitar. That version of “Praying Hands” endured until Mark and I gathered songs for the set we played on the UK tour.

Thence, several years later, we find ourselves here, in the Noonan Building, Pier 70, posting this blog.

P.S. You can listen to the song played live with two guitars, on the Harrogate CD, or by using the player below.

ANOTHER NEW SINGLE!
This is our second single release, “Here I Am.”
As always, please give this song a listen here or on other sites, or you can purchase the song on iTunes. Tell your friends about it on Facebook or across the table in a candlelit cafe. Hint: This song is for lovers.
Thank you, to everyone for your support and inspiration.
The musicians participating in this recording were:Mary Kelley: vocalsMark Abramson: guitarsDave Lebolt: keyboards and percussionMike Visceglia: bass 
Words and Music: Mary KelleyProduced by Mark Abramson & Dave LeboltArranged by Dave LeboltMixed by Dave Lebolt
Musicians ain’t nothin’ without listeners.

ANOTHER NEW SINGLE!

This is our second single release, “Here I Am.”

As always, please give this song a listen here or on other sites, or you can purchase the song on iTunes. Tell your friends about it on Facebook or across the table in a candlelit cafe. Hint: This song is for lovers.

Thank you, to everyone for your support and inspiration.

The musicians participating in this recording were:
Mary Kelley: vocals
Mark Abramson: guitars
Dave Lebolt: keyboards and percussion
Mike Visceglia: bass 

Words and Music: Mary Kelley
Produced by Mark Abramson & Dave Lebolt
Arranged by Dave Lebolt
Mixed by Dave Lebolt

Musicians ain’t nothin’ without listeners.

THE STORY OF THE NEXT SINGLE, HERE I AM
"Here I Am" will go live June 30 at iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and a host of others. Very cool. To me. Before the "official" blog post on June 30, this post is more about the backstory of "Here I Am," how it was created.
The picture above is yet another gorgeous little town in Tuscany, called Grosseto. There my story begins…
After I had finished playing a short tour in Italy, my manager, Annette Jarvie suggested I attend one of Robert Fripp’s Guitar Craft seminars, which was being held near Florence. I landed in Grosseto, the lone mature female in a class made up entirely of teenage Italian boys, who were expecting a rock idol encounter with the great Freep.
To their amazement, Fripp’s Guitar Craft – to me – was a guitar yoga, an individual guitarist’s concentration on playing precise plectrum-focused string pattern compositions.
Hourly. Living in monastic simplicity for a week or so.
"No espresso?! Impossibile! Mama!!"
I discovered Gurdjieff’s “remember where you are” philosophy at that villa in Tuscany. I did not succeed in the discipline, but I did compose two songs in that Fripp tuning.
The music for “Here I Am” was written there, in that mesmerizing guitar style, when I wandered off, yet again, from what I was supposed to be practicing. The first phrase happened, I pulled out a melody and found the chords I needed. With that music without lyrics playing in my mind, I traveled to Venice.
There, as I stood in the phenomenally imposing hall of the Great Council of Venice in the Palazzo Ducale, the first lyric, “Here I am” tumbled out of my imagination. Now, as I write this, I am struck by the coincidence of Gurdjieff’s profound “remember where you are” and my little “here I am.”
A presto, i miei amici.

THE STORY OF THE NEXT SINGLE, HERE I AM

"Here I Am" will go live June 30 at iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and a host of others. Very cool. To me. Before the "official" blog post on June 30, this post is more about the backstory of "Here I Am," how it was created.

The picture above is yet another gorgeous little town in Tuscany, called Grosseto. There my story begins…

After I had finished playing a short tour in Italy, my manager, Annette Jarvie suggested I attend one of Robert Fripp’s Guitar Craft seminars, which was being held near Florence. I landed in Grosseto, the lone mature female in a class made up entirely of teenage Italian boys, who were expecting a rock idol encounter with the great Freep.

To their amazement, Fripp’s Guitar Craft – to me – was a guitar yoga, an individual guitarist’s concentration on playing precise plectrum-focused string pattern compositions.

Hourly. Living in monastic simplicity for a week or so.

"No espresso?! Impossibile! Mama!!"

I discovered Gurdjieff’s “remember where you are” philosophy at that villa in Tuscany. I did not succeed in the discipline, but I did compose two songs in that Fripp tuning.

The music for “Here I Am” was written there, in that mesmerizing guitar style, when I wandered off, yet again, from what I was supposed to be practicing. The first phrase happened, I pulled out a melody and found the chords I needed. With that music without lyrics playing in my mind, I traveled to Venice.

There, as I stood in the phenomenally imposing hall of the Great Council of Venice in the Palazzo Ducale, the first lyric, “Here I am” tumbled out of my imagination. Now, as I write this, I am struck by the coincidence of Gurdjieff’s profound “remember where you are” and my little “here I am.”

A presto, i miei amici.

NEW! The First Digital Single
Mary Kelley’s digital single of Sylvia Said is now available at most sites, including iTunes.

This is the first of twelve single releases.
Please give the song a listen here or on other sites, and consider adding it to your library, or telling a friend about it.
Thanks, to everyone for your participation.
Musicians ain’t nothin’ without listeners.

NEW! The First Digital Single

Mary Kelley’s digital single of Sylvia Said is now available at most sites, including iTunes.

This is the first of twelve single releases.

Please give the song a listen here or on other sites, and consider adding it to your library, or telling a friend about it.

Thanks, to everyone for your participation.

Musicians ain’t nothin’ without listeners.

Sylvia Said

“Sylvia Said” was first released in 1974 as the B-side of the 45 rpm single release of John Cale’s “The Man Who Couldn’t Afford to Orgy.” I discovered the song on the collection entitled John Cale: The Island Years. 

Full disclosure: I never listened closely to the phenomenon called Velvet Underground. I listened to this collection intently. If it’s a choice I have to make – Stones or Beatles? Giants or A’s? Lou Reed or John Cale? - I choose John Cale.

Above is a YouTube audio of a first mix (circa 1974). Here’s our cover version of his song.

Here I Am

We’ve been getting more and more hits for Here I Am on Soundcloud, and I want to thank all of you for giving this homepage song a listen.
I’d like to give a special thanks to Dave Lebolt for his exquisite contributions to the recording. Mark’s arpeggiated acoustic guitar and eBow stylings were sweetened even more with Dave’s touch. Dave enlisted the contribution of New Yorker Mike Visceglia to play the bass on the recording with subtlety in just the right places.
And for me, Dave’s Steinway grand piano is so sweet to hear, always.
I thought I’d end this blog post with the lyrics from Here I Am, for your pleasure:
Here I amAlone with youWith youWith you
To say we areMeant to beIn words so sweet
We stand before two doorsI choose one doorAdoring you
You might let me downOh that’s not what you’ll doAnd I could break your heartBut I could never hurt you
In twoThere’s loveThe lover and the lovedWho loves the other too
Hold you like a wishAnd linger with you
You might let me downBut that’s not what you’ll doAnd I might break your heartBut I would never hurt you
True lovers at the startAs wise as they are newEmotion lost then found with youWith you
Silence is our poemWe’ll marry in a kissAnd in our hearts go home
And here I amAlone with youWith you
Words and music by Mary Kelley © 2014 Methylethylketone Music

Here I Am

We’ve been getting more and more hits for Here I Am on Soundcloud, and I want to thank all of you for giving this homepage song a listen.

I’d like to give a special thanks to Dave Lebolt for his exquisite contributions to the recording. Mark’s arpeggiated acoustic guitar and eBow stylings were sweetened even more with Dave’s touch. Dave enlisted the contribution of New Yorker Mike Visceglia to play the bass on the recording with subtlety in just the right places.

And for me, Dave’s Steinway grand piano is so sweet to hear, always.

I thought I’d end this blog post with the lyrics from Here I Am, for your pleasure:

Here I am
Alone with you
With you
With you

To say we are
Meant to be
In words so sweet

We stand before two doors
I choose one door
Adoring you

You might let me down
Oh that’s not what you’ll do
And I could break your heart
But I could never hurt you

In two
There’s love
The lover and the loved
Who loves the other too

Hold you like a wish
And linger with you

You might let me down
But that’s not what you’ll do
And I might break your heart
But I would never hurt you

True lovers at the start
As wise as they are new
Emotion lost then found with you
With you

Silence is our poem
We’ll marry in a kiss
And in our hearts go home

And here I am
Alone with you
With you

Words and music by Mary Kelley © 2014 Methylethylketone Music

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