Thursday, December 23, 2010

One God, many or none

Whether there be one god, many gods or none, don’t give up this opportunity at Christmas and in the coming new year, to know peace, love, happiness and thankfulness in your lives, and to see it in the lives of those you love. To all of you whose own paths in life have crossed with mine during the past year, i feel blessed by your friendship and love - the highs were higher and lows less troubled than they otherwise would have been.
For SOAR - there were two hundred shows where there may have been none - forty new songs where there may have been none - many new friendships and a lifelong love or two where there may have been none, were it not for the sweetness and love you have given us.
Thank you :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A bit more personal - our latest song

There are lots of reasons why people leave SecondLife, good and bad, slowly or suddenly, to return one day or never to return. I got thinking about musos in SecondLife one day and how their leaving is somehow a bit more personal than say one of the bands that play your local pub leaving to play in another town. And one of the reasons i figured this may be so is that in some cases the music and the person can go hand-in-hand in SecondLife in a more profound way.
For many SecondLife is not just the local pub but a thousand local pubs scattered around the world. For many there is no music after SecondLife, even sadder is that some pass away and we didn't even get to say goodbye.
Because SOAR is a band that has been given so much by this place SecondLife and the people that make it a second home we decided to write a song for the musos who are gone from here and to say to them all, that yeah, it was a bit more personal and that they are missed and not forgotten.
You can listen to the latest demo of this song by clicking on the heading to this blog entry.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Whoa! Now that has been a journey - almost two months. Three song contests and the final that finished on Friday.
The winner was drawn in the same way as the others, by the song contest board, from the names of all people who had voted for ANY song. This is important because right at the end of the contest i'm told that the song cover of one of the top three songs got blocked and people couldn't vote for it any longer. Oblivious to all of this i was happily singing away at our show in the sky above and sent the message to Rebs to end the contest, as we had all the others, towards the end of the show so we could announce the winner during the show. If i had known about the blocked cover we would have gotten that fixed and run the competition for a little longer. 
Once again thanks so much to everyone who enjoyed this contest and got to spend a bit more time with other SOARINGS staring at the vote board. It was hypnotic for some reason :) Thanks to Rebs whose hard work made it work for us all.

The top three songs in the final were -
Calling in your dreams
Across a star filled sky
Our thanks to Chance whose beautiful words are at the heart of Stormwinds.

The winner of the SOAR concert is Svetlana. Wheeeeeeeee :)
The winner of the 5000L to someone who is in our group the SOAR PANDEMONIUM is Galia Beck. Wheeeeeee Galia :)

And finally. We aren't finished with you yet!! More fun things for us to do together in the new year :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Some of you would have heard me refer to The SOAR VAULT (TSV) during some of our shows and i'm here to tell you some more about it.
TSV is where all the songs and parts of songs that weren't completed when they were begun, live. Experiment looks after TSV as he gathers together most of the song output of the three of us, dates them, collates them and then knows how to find them when we need them. That's the clever bit.
SOAR go and pluck something from the vault every now and then - because we have a lot of affection for stuff in the vault, even some guilt for the maybe-good-songs that we have neglected. Two good examples of how useful TSV is are our songs, IN THE WINTER and KANSAS SKIES.
I always had a soft spot for IN THE WINTER and it irked me that it was in the vault still. So sometime last i took it out of the vault and tried again. I started out with just the chord and lyric sheet and to my horror i had forgotten how the chorus went. OH MAN - bad moment. Oh yeah, we do have mp3s of everything so the problem wasn't terminal or anything. But what i did instead of going off and finding the mp3 was to just grab the guitar and start to sing it - surely the chorus would come to me :) But, it didn't! But a new one did! WHEEEEEEE. And so, the IN THE WINTER we sing now is out of the vault and into our shows. The guilt is gone and another song lives.
Experiment's song KANSAS SKIES is another example. Around the same time he sent me this song, that i'd never heard, saying he thought it had the makings of a good song but it wasn't finished because he hadn't been able to write a chorus for it. HEY PRESTO. We write a chorus and another song is saved from the vault, and it is now one of the songs i most like to sing.
I don't even remember half of my stuff in TSV let alone what must be in it written by Charles and Ex. Two weeks ago i was merrily listening into Charles as he finished our show at the ground venue of The Colour Factory when out of the vault popped a new song written by Charles and Experiment. I hadn't heard it before. It was complete and i think it has many interesting and lovely melodic things happening in it that i cant wait for it to be finished and become a regular song in our shows. It was called LIVING IN A WORLD. I'll link a rough mp3 version of it to the heading of this post if you are curious to see if you hear what i think i hear in this song.
OK just a few more things. How many songs or parts songs are there in the vault? I don't know. Maybe EX will add a comment to this post when he reads it but my guess would be maybe 50 almost complete songs, and 200-300 bits of songs. And this is before we even start to count EX's instrumental catalogue! I wait to see how far out i am.
And where did they all come from? Well as i said earlier Experiment collected them as they were written and recorded. There have been periods when we wrote lots of songs and then a bunch of years when we hardly wrote any. There is a bunch of stuff from the times when Charles and Ex were quite prolific and worked together on songs and an assortment from each of three periods when i wrote lots of stuff.
We love TSV and we are almost as happy to find songs from it to bring into our shows as we are to write new ones, and we kinda like the mix.
Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

WEB SPECIAL PREVIEW - Harmony Was Stolen

Some time ago, like in 2009, we got kicked out of a lovely venue and were never invited back, because, well we don't actually know, but it prolly has something to do with the tuning of my guitar or my reluctance to subject people to my guitar playing on a regular basis. I mean it couldn't have been anything else because it was a folky kinda place and we are the Bad Boys of Ballads after all.

So anyway i plotted that night, or was it sometime in the next six month, for our return, or our revenge. I set out to write a ridiculously simple folk song, with one voice and one guitar and four chords, but so far Experiment had rejected all my efforts - some didn't even make it into the SOAR Vault. I KNOW!!!! Go figure that. Until now :)
So for you sweet peoples who read my blog, here is your web special preview of HARMONY WAS STOLEN. We will prolly debut it at The Colour Factory this Friday if we have stopped fiddlin with the lyrics by then.
I hope you like it, and, thanks for listening.

Friday, December 10, 2010


WHEEEEEEEE. YEEEEESSSSS. It is built and opened and now there for all to see and enjoy. A larger, grander, more beautiful, more colourful, more crazy place than its predecessor, and i LOVE IT to pieces. And to Scarletti who turned ideas and visions into this beautiful accurate reality, GREAT BIG HUGS.
This is a big build - three main floors - two mezzanine levels - six or seven different stages for performing - private intimate gardens and rambling open spaces - and the wonder of colour throughout, colour that is a joy to behold - and then, all around, Scarletti's art!!
But, OMG, just what it that!! Well let me tell you :)
We call it the Performance Shaft. It is a shaft through all floors of the build and up into the sky. Through the shaft the suns rays and the splendor of the universe at night will fill the building with light. And because we feel that musicians and music are part of the light that fills the building we have three performance stages, one on each level, within the shaft. 
The shaft cannot be completely transparent or there would be no shaft, and so in its gentle white shroud it joins the floors of the building together and reinforces its purpose on each floor - no matter that one is a dance floor, one a gallery and one a rooftop garden. 
When you see the shaft on the Artsplash Gallery level you will see that it is stark, a space for living art where the audience can be all around the musicians, close, almost face to face. Detached or intimate, to be observed or ignored? Well thats for you to decide when you see it.

So, welcome to the new Colour Factory :) It isn't a place everyone will love but we kinda like that too, but everyone is always welcome, anytime. And in the wonderful beautiful creative canvas that is SecondLife i am sure this place belongs. And that shaft too :)
Thank you to all the sweet peoples who came to the opening. You make us feel special.
Warm hugs
No matter what, ever.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The FINAL Bedside Concert Competition begins

YUPS, the last, at least for now. This competition features the eight top voted songs from each of the first three competitions, 24 in all, so it's just going to be harder still to decide. I'm glad i don't get to vote - and as for that Distant Oh person, i try to stop him from voting but he doesn't listen to me.
Just a few changes to let you know about. Only five votes per person per day. The prize for the winner is a SOAR concert of your very own PLUS 5000L. You only get the cash if you are a member of our group, The SOAR PANDEMONIUM. There is a group join thingy on our tipboard rezzed near the contest voting board.
These competitions, as unserious as they are, have been so much fun so a big thankyou and smile from me to all of you who have been a part of them. The final 24 songs are -

Whispers and Answers
In to Magic
Brand New Day
When it's in your Plans
I Fall
A Man Called Peter
Song for a Broken Soul
Across a Star Filled Sky
Only for You
Kansas Skies
Heart of the Crime
Calling in Your Dreams
Sparrow in the Willow
The Only One
Now and Forever
The Sound of Hello
And the Sun will Shine
The Storm

Sunday, December 5, 2010


YAY, WHEEEEE and other sweet things for Ayira Karu the winner of our third Bedside Concert competition.
The top eight songs were -

Whispers and Answers
In to Magic
Brand New Day
When its in your Plans
I Fall
A Man Called Peter

Thanks to everyone for rolling up every day and voting. This competition had more than 3500 votes cast.

And so on to the final competition where the top 8 songs from each of the three previous competitions are up there for your listening and voting pleasure. Same great prizes and even more cash!! You gotta be in our GROUP though to be eligible to win the cash - so don't forget to join up. There's a link to do so near the contest board.
Good luck and keep having fun.
I am.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Do you remember me - the story behind the song.

It is time to tell this story. Because today i need to tell a story. I love things from my past - some of them live in glorious detail and others are just contained in a single image, like a postcard. This one made it all the way into a song and about ten postcards in my head. 
Once upon a time i was traveling around Europe - its something people do, and love. One December i was on a boat from Ireland to France, and on that boat i met a girl, from America!!   And on that boat we talked and talked and i sang and i sang to her. And when we got to France we decided to travel around a bit together before we both had places to be for Christmas. And we had such fun together all the ways from Barcelona to Paris and Luxembourg. But then it was time to part and to have Christmas in other places.
We agreed to meet again on new years day, at midday at Geneva Railway Station, on the same spot where we said farewell. A hug and a kiss and a wave goodbye. It didn't occur to me to need contact details, an email address, a phone number as agreeing to meet as we had seemed enough - just like it was a date :)  Laughs at me. You can too.
Come January 1 and i was at Geneva Railway Station early and i wandered around for a couple of hours prolly filling up on coffee and babybel cheese, and come  midday i began to look at what trains were arriving to try and figure which one/s she may be on. When she hadn't arrived by midday i thought nothing of it as trains were arriving from all over at all times. But by 1pm, by 2pm, my heart was sinking. It was then that i decided to play my guitar, and busk, at Geneva Railway Station. So there!! I did!!
I travelled around Europe with my guitar and a couple of books filled with handwritten songs, covers, that i liked to sing. I had memorised about six! This was my first busking dilemma though i was soon to realise that it wasn't a problem because no-one stayed to listen, at least not for six songs, so i just rotated the same six songs over and over :)
And singing helped my heart be still, even as i watched out for each train arrival and saw each come and go with no sight of her. Ok ok i'll get to the end :)
When all hope was reasonably lost and had been for some hours in all reality, and when my mind was turning to the night and what to do with myself, and i had stopped wishing upon every train that arrived, she did arrive, at 6pm :) Now how amazing is that LOLOL
We found somewhere to stay, a place overlooking a city square, and from our windows we watched snow fall out of a dark sky into the white light of the square, and we talked of many things, perhaps even of love.
We travelled a bit longer through Europe until to America and Australia we did fly. Some time later as the idea for this song started to come to me, about memories and about remembering sweet people and sweet times, some thoughts of her from nowhere came and collided with mine, and this song, about lots of things, was written. 
Indeed partly about her. Indeed to remind me of busking. Indeed to always remind me to love the stories of my life whether they be in great detail or just a single postcard.

There is a link to the song in the heading of this post. Will there be more song stories from the bad boys of ballads? Well lets just see how a couple go.