Creatures do not live their lives in fear, but in faith. As we grow up, we take on more and more responsibilities, and many of us shift from living in the present moment, to stabilizing our lives to provide a feeling of security. Sometimes to the detriment of our dreams. The goals of building our lives into something we find socially acceptable, separate us from our mission subtly. As this happens, we have to re-evaluate what the original sources of inspiration were to live in our bliss. Our reality can become split; and we think we can’t change our responsibilities, and we fear to leap, and that feeling of what we want to do, and what we have to do, seem as though it cannot coexist.
As an artist, this realization confronts me head on – building a studio, a home, a solid understanding of what I can actually accomplish… At some point it becomes a choice that we make- to accept our lives as a split, or to redirect our priorities back towards our purpose. We manifest our destinies with each step, each choice, and each leap.
In Proverbs it is written, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
Vision fortifies our agreements with ourselves and guides us into service. “Purpose, then, is vision in action.” While needs change and visions evolve, a life informed by purpose supports creatures capable of growth and transformation. It is then no longer a question of can we do it, but how do we do it?
That journey is the gift of our life – a life you can be proud of, that you endeavor to achieve, beyond the fear of the challenges that reveal themselves as sufficient for growth, beyond survival, in a world that sees itself as limited, when in fact, we have the ingenuity to rearrange our resources.
And so, I meditate with the grasshopper, who moves to its own rhythm, grooves to its own special melody, and takes tremendous leaps of faith, where others fear to tread. The grasshopper uses thousands of tiny eyes to formulate the bigger picture. Perhaps, they intuitively use this special vision to see the world with a sense of adventure and groundedness, to fly and land with divine choreography.
The grasshopper reminds us that the inner voice, the songs in our hearts, can “bounce us into parallel worlds of awe and joy.” Helping us make forward motion in our lives, with great leaps of courage, helping purpose and true self-realization.
And so, now that we have built our foundation and established our base, we are taking a leap forward. Sitting atop a new body of music, we are going to the UK (starting in London) on April 1st, demo cuts in hand, to push the development of our sound and purpose, into the arms of British producers, where so many of our favorite artists have sculpted the records and musical atmospheres that have inspired the Creature throughout her life… from the Beatles to PJ Harvey, David Bowie, Queen, Radiohead, Peter Gabriel, and dearest to the Creature, Kate Bush.
We endeavor to open new doors, share our music on new shores, and intertwine our American way of hard work and DIY, with another culture that has demonstrated great capacity for realizing original music, whose rhapsodies require another perspective. Joining forces with the British and their comprehension of sound, and love of great music, we hope to lift Creature Rock’s upcoming album above and beyond anything we’ve been able to produce from our world – creating something that opens up new territories of your hearts.
From England, we head to Italy for the Month of May, where the Creature studied dance in her youth. That will be a time of planning the next move, while eating well and visiting Roma, her homeland.
Updates from abroad coming soon. We’re very excited to be working on a new record!
Love you all, Michael Creature
P.S. The Creature recently reconnected with old friend and collaborator, Kevin Fowler, to record some new and old tunes in the Pink Elephant. They were the founding members of Otitis back in 1996, and would love to perform these great songs for all of you in the near future. Attached are a few pics from recent sessions in the studio.
Happy holidays to creatures everywhere! We are wrapping up the past three months and the last few weeks of a beautiful year with a golden ribbon, because it’s a present. “The Present” moment, the present of life, and the present freedom to self-express, my gratitude for each day.
Star children and musicians are here to syncretize different schools of thought, so that the human spirit can break out of insipid patterns and remove the veils that society places over the experience of existence.
There are so many systems and societies to learn and grow from. Exploring and expanding traditions are powerful tools for uniting our consciousness and growing as a whole. This is an opportunity to aim to attain fresh perspective and internal harmony. Across the world, the year-end season is filled with rituals and celebration. We have the freedom of expression right now to openly celebrate each other, and to examine our relationships with prevailing forces, both internal and external.
One way I personally connect with the source consciousness is by writing music, the universal language of the soul. That discipline has moved me to write prayers that unite and declare my commitments to love, faith, growth, and many other topics. At this time, when people all over the world come together for festivities to celebrate the Christ and the Divine Being we innately yearn for as conscious creatures, the world resonates with appreciation and awareness.
Those who sing, pray twice.
Love in its ultimate form, is the desire to allow God’s Divine Life to be expressed through every thought and action, in each and every one of us. It is the consciousness that we all work towards, that all our moments should feel worthy of a golden ribbon.
For every year we share together on the planet, we move closer to the great consciousness that we will ultimately know. Consciousness alludes to the inevitable existence of a higher being. Rituals, ceremonies, and festivities, especially with music, are tools to communicate, connect, and have a relationship with God, our Creator.
I participated in this voodoo ceremony in New Orleans to heal the environment, after the BP oil spill.
A mandala ceremony I created for transition
All human beings want to realize their nature, and experience their connection with the higher source. Truth and creativity come from direct experience with the Divine Source, and emerge complete, and without effort. All cultures celebrate this higher source in their religious traditions.
Here are the words I like to pray – “Bless me with the power of the word, that my story will be good when heard. Bless me with the spirit to sing, bring meaning and harmony to my songs, my cosmic ring. Bless me with a virtuous mind, to be humble, fulfilled, honest, and kind. Bless me with the strength of spirit, to love, to see with Your eyes, and to be. For others as well, I ask this for me.”
In October, I had the great honor to help unite two souls in the presence of the Divine Grace (marriage). My two dear tribemates, Flower Plucking Rainbow and White Buffalo, united pigments and are now the Blacks. We wish them decades of clear communications, passion, and limitless joy!
“You have touched my spirit. Your eyes glow with life. I am glad you touched me, you are a part of me now.” - Native American Wedding Prayer
And most recently at Thanksgiving, Pilgrims and Indians came together, and the Creature Rock studio acquired three bantam, feather-footed silkie pullet chickens – Musette, Little Wing, and Pe’tune’ia. Food and love were abundant, and we were outwardly grateful for the health and prosperity we currently enjoy. Exciting change is just over the horizon, so today we store our grain and count our blessings. And when times are lean and the chickens do not lay, reflect upon the words of Job, “We have no problem taking the good days, why not accept the bad ones as well?”
Pray for our world, irreversible transitions are happening every day. (I’d especially like to pray for the families that lost their children and family in Newtown, Connecticut. May they go with God.) Every voice counts! We are the mouth, the voice, the hands, and the heart of the Great Source. Everything is alive. The energy that we are is, in all directions, infinite. Make a joyful noise, and may all your moments be wrapped in a golden ribbon.
Pilgrims and Indians break bread for unity
“Where we come from does not determine who we can become. What we look like places no limits on what we can achieve. We should all have the right to express ourselves, all have the right to be heard, all have the right to be what we can be: To reach for the sky and touch the stars. No matter who we are, no matter whether we are man or woman, or rich or poor: My voice, my right. My voice counts.” - Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Read the UN Declaration of Universal Human Rights here.
As always, thank you for your continued love and support (Susan Simpson;) Exciting Creature News coming up in the New Year! Stay “tuned”!
Wedding of our tribe members. Their union raises the energy of love on our planet.
Something to think about
Here is something to think about, particularly in this season of reflections…If we could shrink the earth’s population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same, it would look something like the following. There would be 57 Asians, 8 Africans, 21 Europeans, 14 from the Western Hemisphere, north & south, 52 would be female, 48 would be male. 70 would be non-white, 30 would be white. 70 would be non-Christian, 30 would be Christian, 89 would be heterosexual, 11 would be homosexual. 6 people would possess 59% of the entire world’s wealth and all 6 would be from the United States. 80 would live in substandard housing, 70 would be unable to read, 50 would suffer from malnutrition. 1 (yes, only 1) would have a college education, and 1 would own a computer.
When you consider our world from such a compressed perspective, the need for acceptance, understanding and education becomes glaringly apparent.The following is also something to ponder…If you woke up this morning with more health than illness — you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week. If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of
torture, or the pangs of starvation — you are ahead of 500 million people in the world. If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death – you are more blessed than three billion people in the world. If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep — you are richer than 75% of this world. If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish somewhere — you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy. If your parents are still alive and still married — you are very rare, even in the United States and Canada.
If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful — you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not. If you can hold someone’s hand, hug them, or even touch them on the shoulder — you are blessed because you can offer healing touch.
If you can read this message, you just received a double blessing, in that someone was thinking of you, and furthermore, you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.
This year’s Krewe DCM Halloween March in Austin, was held on the East Side, for our monstrous 2nd line brass band. We’ve put some pictures on Facebook here.
It dawned on me, I’m overdue to share some precious life with you all. As just one small being on one small planet, I forget to reinforce the importance of a single Creature’s contribution, by sharing what I’ve been learning and doing. Every one of you has made a rippling effect on my life experience, on my writing, my inspiration and collectively reinforced my courage. When you write me and share your big ideas, your small ideas, your music appreciation, your thoughts on all things creature, I love hearing from You! So, what’s going on with little Mz. Michael lately…
Well as you all know, we successfully opened the Pink Elephant studio for business and have been spending the last few months breaking it in and tracking bands! The sound in the rock room is phenomenal, and so far the musicians who have chosen our studio to be the birth place of their records have given us nothing but praise! We have an artistic and strong professional team, including our partnering engineer, Kent Arnold, a vibrant work environment, a state of the art acoustic design, and I think the new headphone monitoring system is just a bonus! I don’t think I have ever had as much fun patching instrument cables with my team as I did recording Sciborg and the Robopimps recently! Designing your own studio sure makes it pleasurable and efficient to work in….when a musician has a creative idea, we are able to corner it quickly and keep the focus on the music where it should be, and not on the technical side of things. The studio has been well thought out and it just works! The worst thing in recording is trying to get an inspirational take and messing around with wires, or not having ways of getting mixes quickly in the headphones, wasting band time and money, or worse, losing that spark of inspiration. I am overjoyed that the studio is proving to be all that I had imagined it would!
We have a brand new STUDIO page on www.creaturerock.com just for the Pink Elephant! Please check it out, share and contact us with your exciting musical projects! It is very true, that when you make a recording of your work, you are making history! It’s a huge accomplishment to make an album and share it with your friends, family and the world. It’s a magical, bonding experience that takes you to a new level of awareness in your music. I have to say, being on the other side of the glass, listening and helping capture the voices and sounds of other peoples’ musical expressions, in the studio we built with all that we have, and seeing players having fun in there, and feeling so comfortable with us, is tremendously fulfilling! I’m on the beginning of an adventure of meeting so many talented people and helping uplift their visions, it’s thrilling!
One crew of very talented people I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know, are the craftsmen at Collings Guitars! These guys know good acoustics when they hear them! I was invited to take a tour of their facility after the opening of Pink Elephant and I was in awe of the beauty and precision, the artistry and presence of the instruments they are making! They are based here in Austin, only 20 mins from the Pink Elephant Studio! Collings Guitars are a class on their own. They have provided axes to the likes of Joni Mitchell, Lou Reed, Brian May of Queen, even Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards… and they are quite an astonishing group! Handcrafted archtops, dreadnoughts, mandolins, and ukuleles have all been worked over by the individual contributions and man hours of these fine craftsmen in their modest, but world class workshop! They have even embarked upon the world of electric guitars in the finest of woods! I’m definitely a fan of their guitars, having always been a Martin acoustic and Gibson hollow body electric girl; I’ll have to save a while, but hope to one day own one of their gorgeous sounding beauties. I always say, every handmade instrument has a bulk of songs inside them, unique to them, waiting to be revealed..
Speaking of handmade instruments… How could I forget…. The lead man of the band I just recorded makes his own wild electric guitars!! Sciborg Guitars!! Three of these babies were hanging in my studio rack recently! Check them out!!!
So, yes, I’m still working on my book, seems like it will take a lifetime, but I hope not. I have some travels planned to concentrate on my writing, and will spend the summer months working on a new LP! Songs inspired by the piano, a love affair with the sun, love and hate, yin and yang, a love affair with horse racing… did any of you follow the Triple Crown?
I’m very excited to be heading off to New York, in a few days to play and write with one Mr. Barry Wedgle, legendary jazz guitarist and owner of Exit Records. I was very proud to be signed to this label years ago back in Colorado. Exit is a jazz label. How cool to even work for them for the year I did. Exit has expanded from Colorado to N. Manhattan, and also has a branch in Shanghai, China! Jazz is the rock&roll of China
But truly, as with jazz, improvisation is the informant of life’s most inner dimensions. Let’s talks about improvisation! I am greatly rooted in the foundation of playing the moment! Which in turn make me respectful for the music Barry and the musicians at Exit have spent their life exploring. It seems improv is mostly associated with jazz, or a style of acting, which I also love. But I want to stress to you that improvisation is the most natural and masterful form of music making, from all cultures in all genres, around the world. Improv is Universal!
Arnold Schoenberg wrote,” Composing is a slowed down version of improvisation; often one cannot write fast enough to keep up with the stream of ideas.”
I often feel this way. Writing a rock opera, which i am still undergoing, is a mixture of improvisation, captured through craftsmanship and costume!! I do love the Art of Costume.
Leonardo di Vinci was a violist as well as an artist. He and his friends used to put on entire operas made up on the spot, using poetry and music. That is so my idea of a good time! All of my favorite classical composers, Mozart, Bach, Beethoven among many others, were known to be fiery, imaginative, and entertaining improvisers! I sometimes secretly attend drum circles on a lake near my place. It’s so satisfiying when everyone plays off of one another and feels their way through a living rhythm. That’s when I hear the heat and the heart of the music. Songs have a life of their own!
Huge appreciation to all who are feeling their way through their thrilling, unexpected, pulsing life!
See you very soon!
Cheers, Creature heart on a string… Very literally, a piano, guitar, string…
P.S. Jazz, horse racing, pink elephants, and rock operas rule!!
First of all, we raise our trunks in gratitude to our wonderful Creature Community with the greatest appreciation, for showing your support so generously, especially to our backers who made the Kickstarter a successful fundraising experiment! We exceeded our goal, and we now have 3 recording sessions on the books for the Pink Elephant Studio! That is what this is all about… making space for artists to make music!
The Creature Rock Tribe, aka the Order of the White Sun, have just returned from giving their heart and soul, music and masks to the sacred New Orleans tradition and ritual of Mardi Gras! There are few cultural events comparable to the energy in New Orleans, with brass bands and parades intersecting throughout the city and the fire of life carried in the eyes of every person there. The beauty of the celebration lies in the core of this grand collective participation; everyone turns into a creator and the center of friendly and family interactions are based in the spiritual practice of costume making. Then The Party…the weeks long release of revelry before Lent!! We danced and we marched, we masked and we dispensed boxes of wine to the masses… I have to say, the Detroit Party Marching Band was out of this world! And it was an honor to honk with none other than Austin’s own Minor Mishap!
Speaking of Detroit… I’d like to take a moment to honor Slaughterhouse/Fluff Grrl singer and friend of ours, Bob Madigan. We lost him this past Sunday, but will never forget him… He was the unforgettable type! He was the living embodiment of the insanity that music can be, and although his subject matter wasn’t for everyone, people should know about Bob and how far he pushed the boundaries. “He was more than a weird guy. He inspired weirdness in others and praised it.” He would have appreciated the gator skull and other relics we will have on our piano as an altar for him, to honor his life, here at the Pink Elephant Studio on March 10th. His memorial is being held in San Francisco at the Cyclecide Warehouse on March 11th. We love you Bob!
Things are getting exciting in preparation for the opening! We can’t wait to see you all out here soon, and let loose your inspirations. You may want to start thinking about joyous occasion costumes now! You know how we creatures love to dress up! Feel free to be as big and as pink as you like. You’ll be partying with the elephants!
Be here March 10th from 7-10pm to celebrate music, muses and musicians!
Huge Love and Light,
Michael Creature aka Mama Eleguar from the Order of the White Sun still in Mardi Gras feathers
We are super excited about the Grand Opening of the Pink Elephant Studio! We have spent the past weekend testing out the rock room, and are happy to announce the successful recording of a full, 10-song album for one Tim Pitts! It’s a treasured collection of honest heart and pure soul.
$10 is what you’d pay to get a drink at a bar, and $20 is a bottle of wine. Your contribution is worth so much more, to get featured drinks all night long, amazing art creations, delicious delectables, and a chance to bring your instrument and try out the soundproofing of our beautiful new studio! Come out and meet other creatives, and have a memorable evening.
If we don’t reach our goal by February 18, we won’t receive any of the funds pledged so far. Because of the pledges we have received, we already have one recording session scheduled. You can be sure we’ll never offer studio time again for this cheap (8 hours for $150!), so take advantage, and help make the celebration happen right!
Happy New Year, Star Creatures!!! And sorry about the spam yesterday! WordPress was having a moment.
We hope you all had a trillion bubbles of delight in your glass to last you all of 2012! Each bubble filled with a dream and the silvery effervescence of gratitude. Our ambitions and dreams for 2011 have definitely come true. We are overjoyed to announce that finally, the Pink Elephant Studio has been completed, and we hope you will join us this tremendous year, to celebrate the grand opening!
Now back from our well-filling travels, we are working on the most Grand opening we can think up. We’ve embraced a lot of energy and put in a lot of work to be able to present this resource to the creative community. So now is the time to help show your support! Donations are greatly appreciated at this time in order to make the opening reception a tremendous success. We’ve set up a kickstarter account where you can make your contributions to this long awaited event. Please go to KICKSTARTER to make a donation. This money helps us secure our catering and libations, a DJ, live music alongside Creature Rock, visual art, and permits to party!! It will be an extreme personality-filled event. That means you should be there!!! Every dollar of support helps us put this on, and we are excited to give you a tour of our magnificent new studio and connect with all you creatives out there. Great music is on the horizon and the studio is getting booked as we speak!
Excitingly enough, while traveling, exploring the volcanoes, hot springs, white water and glowing oceans of Costa Rica over the Christmas holiday, Michael Creature was asked to sit for an interview with Nina Guzmån Alfaro, of the Costa Rican newspaper, the Voice of Nosara!!! We are looking forward to receiving an English copy to share with you in a few weeks.
Nosara, on the Nicoya peninsula, is one of 5 “blue zones” in the world – a place where residents routinely live beyond 100 years of age. There are many yoga studios there, and we were able to attend class by following a magical walk though a jungle path that led to an expressive lesson of total body centering, themed on miracles.The people of Nosara were so warm and caring, and actually, truly happy. We were very blessed to get a chance to meet with so many wonderful people, and experience the pure and concentrated magic cradled there. Michael is working on a new tune inspired by her experience in Nosara on a mystical Christmas eve, while bon-firing out on the Pacific beach at night with the locals, she witnessed a wave of phosphorescence crash onto the beach. As it sank into the sand, everyone ran along the beach and watched the sand light up like fireflies beneath them! If you stomped down very hard, you could see the agitated, glowing particles light up in a 3-foot radius. It was an incredible phenomenon, to throw the sand up in the air and see the phosphorous blow in the wind back to sea!
The ominous presence of smoke billowing from a massive volcano is breathtaking! Michael’s passionate about whitewater rafting! Rafting through the rainforest with painters, dancers, and musicians from around the globe was such an emotionally powerful trip, that tears flowed down the Creature’s face while hurdling the power of nature, in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Miracles, indeed! It takes a miracle for a dream like a recording studio to come into form; to have such immaculate travel opportunities, filled with musical attraction and opportunity. It also takes a miracle to have such good friends with whom to ring in the new year, out in the desolate beauty of Marfa, TX. We were able to watch the mysterious Marfa lights, appearing and disappearing, splitting into pieces and changing colors. The Creature Rock tribe danced in the new year so hard, it generated a year’s worth of miracles in advance… and will fill our time with great music, art, and good fortune. We hope everyone out there across the world could feel our rhythm…
So… The March 10 Grand Opening is not far off in the distance, but we can’t have you without the entertainment. So come on out January 20th,to see Michael Creature on her saxophone once again rocking with the Krewe’s Dead Music Capital Band, this time at Honk Fest!It will be a brass band honk out at the Spider House on UT campus. There is nothing better than some warm brass on a cold January night…
Saturday’s performance on the Austin Variety Show was scary fun! The Dead Music Capitol Band is an undead Krewe composed of all guys and one saxy Creature. On behalf of the Krewe, I want to thank all the guys at AVS for top-notch treatment, and am planning to return with a Creature Rock show there in the future.
The Dead Music Capitol Marching Band is doing one more show before Halloween at the Do512.com Shuck Fest at Abel’s on the Lake, Thursday October 27! 6PM until whenever. We go on around 7:30. RSVP herefor free oysters and affordable libations, and an abundance of zombie brass.
Oh and have I mentioned synchronicity lately? About a month ago, Austin Powell from the Chronicle talked with me about my epic friendship with the late & great Jim Marshall. I gave him a picture of Jim shooting the Johnny Cash “Folsom Prison Bird”, and it got published in this week’s Chronicle. The article also mentioned another of my rock photography godfathers, Baron Wolman, who just happened to be in town to give a talk at the Texas Book Festival. Check out the article here!
Finally… COME JOIN THE CIRCUS, Monday October 31, Halloween night on 6th Street, with the KeweDCM! We are THE parade of Halloween night in Austin, ambling through the crowds, can’t miss us. We begin marching at 9PM, and end up at Elysium on Red River. I’ll leave you with some words from the Krewe…
The Mysterious Appearance and Disappearance of the Circus of the 7 Dawns
It has been said that every few years, once Autumn arrives, when days are still warm but the wind blows cool at night…if you turn your face to that chill breeze, take a deep breath, and listen closely you might hear the distant sounds of a far off carnival.
The cries of long dead beasts from exotic lands, the fleeting smell of sawdust, the snap of canvas and rigging…they come on the late October wind and anyone both wise and wary knows the Circus of the 7 Dawns will soon roll into town. When the new moon dawns seven days from the end of October, from 7 dusks thru 7 dawns, the spectre grows stronger. On the eve of Hallowmas, the apparition is finally visible and anyone brave enough to attend is amazed by the sights and sounds of the only circus of its kind in the world. From the the Brass Orchestras, the Human Marvels, the Animal Menageries, the Midway, the Museum of Oddities and Freakshow, the Illusionists, Travelers, and Fortune Tellers, the Coterie of Clowns–all are there to perform one last time, reminding us all to enjoy each of life’s wonders while we still can. At sunrise, the Circus of the 7 Dawns always mysteriously disappears…leaving behind only the myth and mystery that brought them in with the Autumn wind.
Beings of Light, Beings of the Night, my Creature Tribe!!
We haven’t forgotten about you. And to make up for the time we’ve spent committed to building the art that is the Pink Elephant Studio, with architectural detail designed and crafted by our hands, (opening so soon!) making costumes, and writing brand new songs, we have a monstrous wicked event for you this Saturday, October 22!!
Being Filmed for Television Broadcasting, and a perfect opportunity to get your mysterious creature selves ready for Halloween…
THE AUSTIN VARIETY SHOW
Highland Mall- 6001 Airport blv.#2010, 78752
Inside the old Dillards, for a wild night from 8:30PM until midnight!
The Creature on saxophone, and a certain drummer you all love, are playing in The Dead Music Capital Band!
Doors at 8:30 for food and beverage, show starts at 9:30 and we go at 10pm.
The Dead Music Capital Band is the 2nd line brass band and skeleton drum line from the KreweDCM (De Coeur Maudit).
There’s a costume contest, “That Effin Game Show”, burlesque, and a variety of other performances. We will be leading a midnight Zombie walk through Highland Mall to The House of Torment!!
And for those of you who don’t know the KreweDCM Halloween Parade and Marching Club it is on again this year! The 5th Anniversary and Michael Creature’s 3rd year marching down 6th street, hopefully with many of you, of course… on her stilts, as the Krewe becomes The Circus of the 7 Dawns!
With 2 clubs supporting us this year, Elysium and Red 7, I believe we even have a police escort, the Captain, the builders, the marchers and the band, are
bringing Austin the best parade yet! MONDAY, HALLOWEEN NIGHT, 9pm we begin to march down to 6th street. You can’t miss us!
Halloween is the bloody birthday of our
favorite Creature Rock Drummer, James Ichabod; so be there to wish him the creature support he deserves, to salute our Krewe Captain, and to muse with marching Creature of the night!
Big kisses from the Creature… who is not contagious any more! 2 months with pneumonia can really put a damper on the pipes. But time is never lost – when fishermen can’t go out to sea, they repair their nets. Or maybe they play piano for hours a day and practice existential meditation through the Om frequency. I’m just saying…
My continued study of headdresses led to an elaborate construction process, and made for a beautiful naming ceremony to honor the Blackfoot bloodline of my mate for his birthday. That ritual celebration in turn prepared me for my own birthday, a centered passing into my 30s. Yes, The Creature is 30 and fabulous!
Rituals play a large role in my artistic lifestyle and creature culture, to encourage unity, mark growth, and express creativity. Naturally, as a music therapist and musician, the concept of using audible frequencies for healing and personal expansion is a topic close to my heart.
So when I recently discovered the therapeutic use of tuning forks, it was a significant revelation! I believe that The Key is Sound!
Tuning forks vibrate at specific frequencies, which have many uses, from musical instrument tuning all the way to the diagnosis of nerve damage. In sonopuncture, these frequencies are delivered to the body’s meridians and chakras, calibrating the body to the cosmic reference. Tuning fork therapy is a system rooted in the great traditions of the east and the west, blending science, medicine, music, and mysticism from intellectual and intuitive cultures.
The healing and meditative facets of sonopuncture are delivered in a ritual form. Ritual practices bring a centeredness and significant awareness which, when shared with my tribe of artists, will hopefully resonate out sympathetically to others.
Rituals, tribes, and significance.
Authenticity, artists, and culture.
A little more about what it means to be a creature.
Native Americans change their names at critical epochs in their lives, marking the evolution of personal identity. It was very special to share a naming ceremony with my tribe, whom I call The Order of the White Sun. Each member’s headdress was adorned with a unique needlepointed medallion, containing a symbol in Euthinethany. The chosen names came from my months of study and meditation on connecting with animal totems. Try this beautiful meditation to identify your power animal.
Another ancient and modern-day ceremony is tattooing, which represents a transition or identifying concept. Often, these marks are also associated with spiritual rites of passage.
I have a good friend named Tanya (you may know her from our previous projects together), who came into my life, sharing ideas about art, dance, creativity, and dreams. She has been a huge inspiration, a creative and encouraging force in our creature rock tribe. There is a natural connection and providence in our relationship. This woman dreamt of costumes that I would later create and wear in performances. She is an extraordinary dancer who knows the power of sound and dance therapy, and knows how to honor her accomplishments and transitions, especially with the challenge of cerebral palsy. Being the extraordinary artist and individual that she is, Tanya marked a transition for herself and endeared herself into my inner circle, by being the first person in the world other than myself, to get a tattoo in my dream language of Euthinethany! I am honored!
This event says to me that we have a unique secret society, a one of a kind culture originating from Creature Rock. Together, we are a culture that values artistic identity, freedom, and authenticity. We value ritual (and tea ceremonies!), universal power and natural wisdom, the details of which are particular to our very special, growing group of friends. We hope to share the value of this way of existing in the world.
Artists historically have been originators of culture. We strive to hold practices and artistic values in our hearts, as a celebration of our lives. We create traditions that draw from many cultures, yet stand so distinct.
Artists occupy a precarious, spiritual position in society -
We are the core of society, but live at the edge of it.
We are highly valued, but struggle to survive.
We walk the thorny path of honor.
If this resonates with you, hold tight to your tuning fork, sip consciously on your cup of tea, walk proudly in your headdress, sing and dance with all your might, and welcome to Creature Rock!
A predictable artist is a comfort to society. It portrays a static character, a “rock” for people in a dynamic world. But to make great art, one has to go to a place that is completely unpredictable….
A mate recently said to me, “It’s good to hear you’re out there,” after I reminded him to watch the meteor shower last week. I replied, “I’m out, in, below, around, above, and in between.” But it occurred to me that I may not be showing my face to the society of good people who, in some ways, expect my appearance either as a performer, or as a friendly creative of the many communities I frequent. Artists must be on the one hand, manufacturers of consumer products and events while maintaining happy listeners; and on the other hand, remain a fearless explorer of aesthetics and spiritual relationships. A challenging part of being an artist is learning where on that spectrum you are willing to be. Especially when the transformative season of the artistic heart is different then that of the holiday parties collectives are hoping you will attend. I do love a grand party filled with music, don’t get me wrong! But as a child of the world,there are so many kinds of communities, traditions and rhythms……to BE in one place doing one thing may look as if you are not being in another, at least while you are out there tying the mystery all up for them with your endeavors and your truths.
Recently, I have very literally been 850 feet below the Earth’s surface, caving in an environment not fit for humans, exploring the unpredictable. I’ve sang in a few different hot springs in this large state of Texas, under the stars… I saw for the first time, 2 shooting stars at once, explode in opposite directions, and a fireball split and burst into 3 pieces. I played piano out of the back of my transportive vehicular, and jammed on St. Martin, Joan of Art, with some inspired musicians on the banks of the Rio Grande, at the Mexican border, where we were applauded by an international audience of Mexican villagers, who lined up to listen on the other side of the river. It was a dream of a performance, where music was the language that brought people together. I had a humbling motorcycle ride, going 70mph through the Colorado Rockies.
The pressures of societies’ expectations melt away in that healthy vulnerability. Sometimes writing a newsletter / tweet / text / updating the world is the last thing on my mind when I’m push-starting my car in the desert sun, because I drained the battery plating Beethoven’s 7th in the wilderness! Or when I am studying a subject so intensely, that I must paint the picture, then write the story of that painting, just to see a character, so I can hear its perspective , so I can write it into a song that has a meaning filtered through the mediums and see the subject of interest in that unpredictable way.
Sometimes one just prefers the night sky over the computer screen; and the land of creative material is in the natural world in great abundance. I have entered into my writing, painting, making season. (More on “Creative Seasons” coming up: Show Season TBA) But what a fun performing season it was! I will look forward to it again in the New Year. Thanks to all of you who came out and marched with us, and the Krewe du Coeur Maudit. We’ve added some pics of the March and the Art Outside performance on creaturerock.com and facebook.
A quote that comes to me often, and speaks directly to my soul… especially at times when my eccentricities do not set me at ease, but conflict with society’s expectations, is “Be in the world, but not of it.” I take its meaning as, tuning into your own rhythms, knowing your inner season, and honoring it.
“To be or not to be…?” “Live and let live..” Manquée is the subject that has me philosophizing.. it means: That which has missed being. That which might have been, but is not. I have a very special friend who lives in a completely empty, single room, and comes out once a month so people knows he is still around! “Good to hear you are out there..” sort of thing. He spends his time writing a book completely in his mind. It seems very coherent to me. He says it’s coming along splendidly. His enthusiasm and utter joy for his life and his work, although there is literally nothing to show for his last 20 years, has me completely convinced that he is just one extreme artist and that whether or not anyone ever hears his book, it does exist and has changed lives. His and mine. So is it a book manquée? Is he a writer manquée? To society maybe, however that does not make him a nothing or a non-artist. Does it?
In the dictionary, examples of manquée are used to describe great artists that could have been but never achieved society’s acclaim. Marta Becket is another extreme example. She left society completely; the fame and bustle of the New York ballet scene, to dance isolated in an old opera house in Death Valley. There, she painted every inch of the old theatre with a historical audience. She danced three performances a week, whether or not a live audience attended. This made her happy, and she eventually was featured in National Geographic, prompting people from many cities to travel to see her paintings and watch her dance.
Who is one to say… that the mystery of a free artist is manquée?
The Creatures are marching again this year with the infamous Krewe du Coeur Maudit drumline. We will be parading down 6th St. through a sea of ghouls and revelers! We’re assembling the line up at 7PM under the south side of the 1st St. bridge. If you’d like to participate and march, send us an email. The tall stilted Creature is looking forward to marching next to her drumming brother, James Ichabod, whose Halloween Birthday we celebrate. Come march and wish your favorite drummer a deep dark birthday scream!
This past weekend was the spectacular Art Outside Festival, which was the glorious introduction of Roxy Rose, the pretty pink piano shell body of Michael’s stage keys, hand crafted by our close collaborator Thor Carlson of New Orleans. The beautiful Moon and Sun props made for our dancers by our favorite artist in the Creature Community, Nikos Pulos of Colorado. Thanks to all of you who came out to support Art Outside! And if you didn’t see the show, we have some pics up on the photos page and more on the facebook page for your dancing fantasy enjoyment. What a tremendous time we had rocking and listening to so many great bands out there who make this event amazing, and the art…….it’s best you can find in Texas!
The Creature ladies always march to the beat of James’ drum when we play “Star Child”, the rhythm of the stars, the cadence of our hearts. It brings a magical feeling of sacred spiritual travel into other realms for the Creature. We saw you guys out there marching with us this past weekend! But this weekend, we march into the dead of night. The dark edge of mortality reveals us flesh, blood and bones!
What feels like lifetimes ago, I wrote about my theories on nonlinear time. It has been ages since I’ve updated you on my journeys and revelations. It’s good be home, to be building a home,and it’s good to be able to share these stories, my music, and lifetimes with all of you.
Creature Rock loves Peaches!
A lifetime can be recalled in one song, a transformation heard through one record… For me, the process of making and releasing The Creature Sessions coincides with the passage of one year of my life. And for those of you who haven’t heard, it’s out in the world for you now, to hear and touch and experience; to make your own memories and have a little lifetime with. Music has so many uses…We love hearing how you feel about the music we write, what you have done with it, and how it’s helped you. Visit our CR page on facebook and leave us your comments. We also feel privileged when we get good reviews in the press. To hear the good word from The Austin Chronicle’s mouth this week, read the review here.
The experimental research of life and death, repurposed for this work, took me to the edges of my creative reserves. I’ve just returned to Austin from my well-filling lifetime in New Orleans. I spent about 6 weeks there, getting our record into the largest independent music store in the Southeastern US. We are so thankful to our new friends at Peaches Records, for putting us in the listening station and letting me drive my motorbike through the store to sign CDs and making promotion so fun! They also took good care of me while I was traveling alone.
As a side note, when I came home, the peach trees at the Pink Elephant Studio were laden with ripe peaches. I belly laughed so hard, it seems, God pays for our promotion. We took advantage and got in that tree, Comet dancer and I did some Creature Rock Loves Peaches (Records) promo photos.
Back in NOLA, I’ve been making costumes, learning the art of needlepoint, headdress and ceremonial decoration, not to mention exploring the cultural importance of these art forms. I attended an authentic voodoo ceremony, whose purpose was to heal the oil spill, and participated in challenging, concentrated physical and spiritual meditations.
Lessons, stories, and practices
I will start posting on a new page, where you are free to comment, ask questions, share experience and insight with me other disciplined creatives!
…So, yes, the STUDIO is almost complete! We had a construction party this past weekend with the unequivocal sculptor, Thor Carlson. He taught us well in building the ramp and stair case to the main entrance. And.. this space cowboy, did indeed build my magical new piano shell for our upcoming performances!! I was finally able to give my Roland stage keyboard her proper creature name, now that she has a body. I present you, Roxy Rose, mind you without her paint job. We’ve been photographing the studio’s progress from a stationary location, and are putting together a time lapse video of its construction, we will send out soon. (images to quench your curiosity) We still have months before we are rolling in there. So support us and go buy a copy of THE CREATURE SESSIONS. I do have a piece of advice for all of you, especially you ambitious creatures… DO NOT buy a house, build a studio from scratch, rebuild your band, and put out a record all in the same year!
By the grace of God, we are headed to shore. With great abundance, comes great responsibility – the kind that only practiced equanimity can get you through. This is why we have art. In a few months, live shows will commence again. We are happy to announce that we will be performing at ART OUTSIDE again this October! This is our second year, and I have to say this is my favorite independent festival in Austin. Everything about this experience is well thought out, the sound was great, the art is top flight, and we had so much fun last year! Jim Allen Day will be rocking on bass for us and my dancers are prepping up for you guys! Ticket are on sale now. But until then, enjoy the new album! Enjoy the new website, and stay in touch!
A moment made tangible. A picture speaks a thousand words, and volume. We tend to orbit with accomplished, talented photographers of the performing arts.
Recently, Michael was randomly called to a unique performance opportunity at the Long Center in Austin – On March 13, she will be modeling for a lighting seminar / photoshoot held in Austin by Houston-based advertising photographer Robert Seale. The seminar is an all-day event targeted at professional photographers, entitled “Thriving in Uncertain Photographic Times,” and is being put on by photoshelter.com. Please take a minute to look at the event agenda, and see a sampling of Robert’s spectacular photography. Did we mention that it’s completely sold out?! Imagine Michael in a photo shoot in front of 150 photographers…
In case you missed the live TV performance on Fox 7 Austin’s “Good Day Austin” show, it’s been archived here. We apologize in advance for the sound quality!
As an advocate of the arts, one of Michael’s goals is universal design. This concept is to make art accessible to all people. More on this in future newsletters… In order to become proficient at universal design, it is necessary to heighten the senses to their fullest potential – sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste, balance, temperature, pain, direction, time, proprioreception, intuition. I’ve written much music musing on the nature of light, and visual art on the stage is a major creative outlet for Creature Rock. The reason I love doing all sorts of creative work, is because it allows alternative access to expression to the senses, outside of music.
I’m very supportive of people learning how images are created, and how light works. In reality, humans can handle and achieve much more than our default senses. We must master the most accessible senses, and then others will be revealed – new dimensions with which to experience the universe. Already, many women would argue that they can sense phases of the moon. Twins regularly defy time and space, as if macroscopically quantum entangled. And many animals, and a few astute people, can sense a person’s character.
Creature Rock performances are always one of a kind! Just like the Creature, who is an uncommon find with her unique sense of style which appears to be alive! However, her choice of show themes are always universal. Although, you wouldn’t describe it as commercial… CREATURE ROCK is the daily special THIS THURS WATCH US ON TV!!
FOX 7- Music in the Morning special on Good Day Austin! Thurs. Feb. 4th(7:30 am Central) Debuting with magnanimous and gifted violinist, Michelle Alany, the striking comet of a dancer, Miss Emily Boykin, and the Yin and Yang of Creature Rock… rhythm knight, James Ichabod and rock saint, Michael Creature. LIVE ON THE AIR talk and rock with news anchors Joe Bickett and Katherine Kisiel… (the alliterative Katherine Kisiel!)
Save this email and stream it here if you, like us, do not own a television.
CR melted the Flamingo Cantina last week with with their RED HOT INNER FIRE show and thoroughly burst into flames to Moonticca and the Texas Clock and Disciples of Sound with intensely high energy all night long! Thanks guys let’s do it again! We really painted the town red!
The universal theme of the night: Magic, Manifestation, and Rebirth!
Michael’s 3 favorite animals, self and band not included.. are the Pink Elephant, the Unicorn, and the Phoenix. One of her life goals is to make enough profits with CR to open a wild life preserve for protecting these endangered species. In light of this vision, these next two performances on Fox and at Lamberts are centered around bringing awareness to the world about these great, mystical and magical animals. There is much to be learned about the rare winged creatures who immerse themselves in fire and transform into their magnitude from a small ordinary bird to a Phoenix. A common misconception people have is that their feathers are red and yellow, resembling fire. On the contrary, the Phoenix rises out of the fire reborn of ash and spirit. Its spread is that of spring, greens, turquoise, and purple with a shiny gold aura! To come learn more about the Phoenix and Pink Elephants… please join us at Lamberts Sat. Feb. 6th in your most embellished greens!! Those supporting the awareness of the Unicorn who is purple and cream, sit in fields of green that the Phoenix brings!
Creatures welcome back from tour, Fifth Nation (going on at 11:30pm)! We are always grateful to be sharing the stage with these two! Come early to get your nook of the room and don’t forget to look fabulous so everyone knows you’re a part of the Phoenix Preserve!
PS. Speaking of capturing hidden magic… Michael’s been featured in the (Wall St. Journal acclaimed) photo projects book- PHOTOJOJO! Photographed by co-author Kelly Jensen, the Creature’s picture appears with tips on how to make a hidden spy camera and other cool arts and crafts that can be done with a photograph! This book is absolutely the type of project we support and are thrilled to have been involved in! Get a copy at most bookstores nation-wide or online. See if you can find the creature’s bum on her pink scooter.
Thanks to all of you who support and love us through our many transformations. Sponsor Pink Elephants, seriously we are looking for sponsors!
Holiday’s Light was the First Creation – along with the emergence of light came the core revelations that all of humanity share. We know that light is the fastest thing in the universe, and therefore the fastest way to travel to your heart’s center.
In honor of the living light in us all that brings us together in spirit with our family, friends, and fans, we celebrated holiday light with a Creature Candle Ceremony. Michael has a personal tradition of lighting coloured candles to remind her of where she needs to be focusing. (that and she wears red knickers..) A physical affirmation and representation of energy she wishes to bring close to her heart…A yellow candle represents creativity, pink to travel towards love…. we lit white candles for spirit. Tiny beacons of light shone from our creature compound, out into the universe, honoring our sacred connections to the people we love. There was a candle in our circle for our fans!
In 2009, we transitioned from San Francisco to Austin, we recorded the Creature Sessions, won an award, played some great festivals, forged a lasting musical relationship, and bought a house. This year, we’ll release the album, tour the East Coast, construct the Pink Elephant Studio, and explore further the forms of artistic media that will carry our message to many, many people.
As the mixing is wrapping up, we’re finally metamorphosing from studio rats into performers again! Don’t forget that it’s you guys who make up our Creature Community! We have fun shows lined up and great musicians! We tell you to come see us, but we perform to see you!
Flamingo Cantina, Jan 21st A mostly female line-up of thunderous rockers including Moonticca and the Texas Clock. This is our first time rocking this venue. It’s always good to be at the first of anything! Show starts around 9:30pm.
If you can’t make it to the Flamingo Cantina, or you are more of a morning person, then stay in and watch us live on the telly!
Feb 4 at 7:30AM , CR will be LIVE on TV!! Fox 7, on Good Day Austin!! ON-AIR interview and musical performance hosted by news anchors Joe Bickett and Katherine Kisiel. It will be on youtube afterwards, but you can stream it here. Creature Rock TV…..it really is meant to be!
Lambert’s, Feb 6 – One more opportunity to see Creature Rock live in Austin on West 2nd St. downtown…..We love this classy spot! Fifth Nation, is returning to Austin from an extended tour of the east coast and we are psyched to have them back!!! We’ve been burning candles for them regularly. They are our band of kindred spirit. This gig is going to melt some brains and it will be a show you don’t want to miss!
As always, we love you all, and love to get your feedback. Write us a message, check out all our other on-line presences and see what other fans are saying and doing to stay connected with Creature Rock.
One last special thanks to the MUSIC GATOR in South Carolina for making a special display of Creature Rock Creations in your store! We hope to see our Carolina fans there in the Spring!
Creature Rock presents the Pink Elephant Studio, the only musically inclined pachyderm in Texas!
Word of the Day
syncretize - to unite differing beliefs and traditions. To combine elements, teachings, characteristics, or practices of differing systems of religion or philosophy, melding various schools of thought.