Catherine is...

"Promisses of Someday" project

After a fabulous, magical week in San Diego for the anual Beauty and the Beast convention, the Everything girls were ready for a new homework. I have to say our excitement levels for this particular project were running so high, too high... Having been in the same room for days, laughing and hugging, crying and joking together, was such an overwhelming experience for all of us... in a good way, of course!

As usual, I woke up the day of the deadline deleting or altering all I had previously written. No, no, no... No good! With the preparations for the move, my room was (still is) as messy as Vincent's chamber in "The rest is silence." Two suitcases half-packed, books, papers, clothes everywhere... So I took a deep breath, made myself a cup of hot tea, and begun watching those events unfold in my head. And then, this little piece was out.

You'll find the very simple words here. It's actually just a "mini-song," a glimpse into Vincent's thoughts as he tried to answer a simple questioning statement from his wanderer brother; it had to be in terms he would understand, images that would speak to both of them...

To the girls: I know you love me... but you can't deny it has a few extremely silly bits! But like the others, it was so much fun to do!

Sonnets from the Portuguese XXIX

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I think of thee!---my thoughts do twine and bud
About thee, as wild vines, about a tree,
Put out broad leaves, and soon there's nought to see
Except the straggling green which hides the wood.
Yet, O my palm-tree, be it understood
I will not have my thoughts instead of thee
Who art dearer, better! Rather, instantly
Renew thy presence; as a strong tree should,
Rustle thy boughs and set thy trunk all bare,
And let these bands of greenery which insphere thee
Drop heavily down,---burst, shattered, everywhere!
Because, in this deep joy to see and hear thee
And breathe within thy shadow a new air,
I do not think of thee---I am too near thee

Un sueño contigo

Something different again, this time from my corner of the world

Since I'm sharing a bit of everything, I decided to throw this in as well. After all, as many of you already know, this huge adventure I'm soon setting off on is greatly about cultural exchange anyway.

An old friend of the family - who is also a song-writer - was compiling a CD of guaranias (a style of music from Paraguay) he had written over the years. He said he had recently written one with me in mind to sing it, a quite flattering statement! So we recorded this song in January 2009. The title means "A dream with you".

We were also invited to a folk music tv program, for which we filmed some landscapes and old colonial houses in San Bernardino, a small town outside Asunción. Everyone says it looks very nice, and I've been meaning to call the station to ask for a copy... but I keep forgetting! Ok, I'm calling tomorrow; and hopefully some of us will be watching it together soon!

I have dreamed of you so much

by Robert Desnos

I have dreamed of you so much that you are no longer real.
Is there still time for me to reach your breathing body, to kiss your mouth and make
your dear voice come alive again?

I have dreamed of you so much that my arms, grown used to being crossed on my
chest as I hugged your shadow, would perhaps not bend to the shape of yor body
For faced with the real form of what has haunted me and governed me for so many
days and years, I would surely become a shadow.
O scales of feeling.

I have dreamed of you so much that surely there is no more time for me to wake up.
I sleep on my feet prey to all the forms of life and love, and you, the only one who counts for me today, I can no more touch your face and lips than touch the lips and
face of some passerby.

I have dreamed of you so much, have walked so much, talked so much, slept so much
with your phantom, that perhaps the only thing left for me is to become a phantom
among phantoms, a shadow a hundred times more shadow than the shadow that
moves and goes on moving, brightly, over the sundial of your life.

Can't cry hard enough

Another special request

Months ago, my friend Cyndi emailed me asking if I could record a song she loved, just for her, because she was missing her cousin. So this is what I could come up with that night, and fortunately she liked it.

I was really touched when she chose to use that recording for a tribute video for her best friend whom she lost a few months ago... and then, she used it again, this time for a similar tribute to our Chan, something I just can't get used to yet; this was - still is - so surreal...

I have been asked about the song in the video, so I'm posting the mp3 here. (Thanks, Cyndi, for including me in your project. love you, can't wait to see you again!)

Here is the video

Love's Philosophy

By Percy Bysshe Shelley

The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the ocean,
The winds of heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single,
All things by a law divine
In one another's being mingle—
Why not I with thine?

See the mountains kiss high heaven,
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdain'd its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth,
And the moonbeams kiss the sea—
What are all these kissings worth,
If thou kiss not me?


The very first I shared in the tunnels

I have already told you about my school contests days, and how I got to be more "familiar" than I sometimes felt comfortable with here in Paraguay. I started singing out there in late 1992 at fifteen, and by 1995 - the year I graduated - I had gotten plenty of invitations to sing at special events, tv, etc, and had met a lot of interesting people. To make a long story short, I kept singing here and there; it was amazing that people wouldn't forget me, since I didn't have any CD, any recorded material to show.

In 1998, one of our main newspapers released a CD with regional music on its anniversary, and I was invited to record a track. The project did pretty well, so the next year, 1999, they decided to release a second CD, - "Pintemos el mañana. Canciones infantiles" - this time containing children songs; and I was invited again. The producer and arranger that year was Lobito, a fabulous musician and dear friend of mine who sadly passed away in 2003. I remember he telling me: "You better say yes, because I'm saving my favorite from the CD for you."

So that's how we got to record this song, which is the spanish version of "Someday", from Disney's The hunchback of Notre Dame. At that time I was pretty happy with it, so different from my customary home recordings! If I sound a little tired (more like an old lady), it's because of the sleepless night before... hey, I was only 22 after all!

This was also the very first song I shared here in the tunnels. I'd had so much fun in my first Winterfest online (2006) that I was determined to contribute the next year. So when the time came and I got to send a couple of things and was asked for help with a couple of others, it meant so much to be able to draw out of my shell that, I sent the Candlemakers this song, not as a submission but as a thank you note... but it ended up making it to the celebration anyway! It has a beautiful message, so fitting for Below.

PS: I couldn't include Lobito's lastname because I just can't risk having my "secret identity" discovered via some google search, you know... Oh, and I'll try to scan that CD cover.

Sonnet 61

by William Shakespeare

Is it thy will, thy image should keep open
My heavy eyelids to the weary night?
Dost thou desire my slumbers should be broken,
While shadows like to thee do mock my sight?
Is it thy spirit that thou send'st from thee
So far from home into my deeds to pry,
To find out shames and idle hours in me,
The scope and tenure of thy jealousy?
O no, thy love though much, is not so great,
It is my love that keeps mine eye awake,
Mine own true love that doth my rest defeat,
To play the watchman ever for thy sake.
     For thee watch I, whilst thou dost wake elsewhere,
     From me far off, with others all too near.

My Delight and Thy Delight

by Robert Bridges

My delight and thy delight
Walking, like two angels white
In the gardens of the night:
My desire and thy desire
twinning to a tongue of fire,
Leaping live, and laughing higher;
Thro' the everlasting strife
In the mystery of life.
Love, from whom the world begun,
Hath the secret of the sun.
Love can tell and love alone,
Whence the millions stars are strewn,
Why each atom knows its own,
How, in spite of woe and death,
Gay is life, and sweet is breath:
This he taught us, this we knew,
Happy in his science true,
Hand in hand as we stood
'Neath the shadows of the wood,
Heart to heart as we lay
In the dawning of the day.

I have no life but this

by Emily Dickinson

I have no life but this,
To lead it here;
Nor any death, but lest
Dispelled from there;
Nor tie to earths to come,
Nor action new,
Except through this extent,
The Realm of You!

I know him by heart

I'm a romantic... I still believe!

My dear friend Sandy sent me this song (by  - Jon Vezner, Paul Williams, sang by Vonda Shepeard) yesterday. I'd never heard it before, but it got stuck in my head, so I had to do something about it...

I know one thing that strucks something deep inside us BATB lovers is the concept of Vincent and Catherine as "soulmates", "bonded", or my favorite, quoting Carole - one of my best writers and friends - "twin flames." Who wouldn't want to have that kind of soul connection? I have my extra-synical days, mind you... but a bigger part of me keeps refusing to believe it's all just a fantasy. Comes with the package of being a romantic, I guess.

Anyway, thanks for the suggestion, Sandy! I hope you enjoy it.

Look! Sandy's muse stopped by for a visit... and now we have a lovely vignette, Hold on, to go with the song; an expantion of "Once upon a time in the City of New York."

Love me

by Sara Teasdale

     Brown-thrush singing all day long
     In the leaves above me,
     Take my love this April song,
     "Love me, love me, love me!"
                    When he harkens what you say,
                    Bid him, lest he miss me,
                    Leave his work or leave his play,
                    And kiss me, kiss me, kiss me!

The Rose

What's that word... blue?

One night some fifteen years ago, I randomly caught the 1979 movie "The Rose" on TV. Though there's not much to say about the movie itself, Bette Midler's portrayal of the self-destructive rock star was such a rollercoaster of emotions! To this day I remember that last line "Where is everybody going?" and this song as the end credits, unexpectedly making me cry. I usually had my little tape recorder handy - grandpa used to say it was attached to me - so fortunately I reacted and put it to the TV, catching most of the song, and that was the only copy I had for years. You see, in those days - for me at least - if a song wasn't in the radio, you had trouble finding it at all! Gotta love technology...

Last week was simply awful. I was feeling blue and I had to do something about it, so I did what always helps: Just grabbed my guitar and played some music. And soon this one came to mind, since I've always associated it with that blue feeling... Half-way through, I told myself I'd rather channel it into something positive, like recording it.

Oddly enough, that feeling changed a little when I shared it with a few very dear people who once upon a time had suggested I sang it. Oh, and a version of this song was the first thing Claire ever sent me, our first email exchange... three years ago! So well, it sounds kinda more hopeful now.

If it sounds a little strange at times, it's because I had to tweak the background track: The only one I could find included the harmony, and since I wanted to sing it myself, I had to cut those parts and replace them with empty ones. Somehow all this track tweaking and harmony took me back to my childhood, to the days I needed two tape recorders to do this... That certainly brought a smile! Have I said I love technology? I wouldn't trade those days for the world though!

You've got a friend

Happy birthday, Fruitcake!

I'm just so not creative! Some of you know how this girl spoils me rotten, and I can't even come up with a good birthday surprise... So well, given that she'll listen to anything I sing - even in "disastrous" occasions - I guess a wee song will have to do.

I'm sorry if you're all sort of tired of this song, but it's appropriate! Big hugs, Fruitcake. Thanks for everything! I love you!

Little note: I always have to "restrain" my singing a little when recording on the computer because my small microphone overlaps. Hope I'm not sounding... "emotionless" in all of them!

Love came for me

Celebrating birthdays

I share my birthday with the dear Lee Holdridge, go figure! So this is just a little thing to celebrate. Thanks heavens he'll never hear it though!

one clue thing that captured my heart about Beauty and the Beast was the fantastic music, the way it helped tell the story, set the atmosphere, heighten emotions... And mr. Holdridge was a main responsible for that. Not to mention the small fact that, it was looking for more info about the music that I found fandom in 2005, and consequently some of my dearest friends.

I still smile at the memory of how I came across my copy of the "of love and hope" CD:. One day in 1998, a friend and I were browsing CDs at a store. I love soundtracks, so when we got to that isle, she was reading me the labels... and then I picked a random CD from a shelf - something I seldom do! - and asked what it was. "It's Beauty and the Beast", she said, "But wait... this is not Disney's... it has the picture of that show, remember?" My heart skipped a beat: I didn't know there was a CD out there, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I had only heard Lisa Angelle's version played in one single radio station here back in 1989 when the show was in the air. Well, I asked the guy at the store to play it, and as he got it ready he also remarked, "But I'm afraid this is not what you're looking for. We brought this copy by mistake, but it's not Disney's Beauty and the Beast." I wanted to shout "Who wants Disney?" And then I hear the first note... and it's enough! I literally jump with a silly grin on my face, squeezing my friend's hand. And then I go to the second track and there's Vincent's original voice for the first time... It was one of those magic moments! The only OLAH copy in my country, and it ended up in my hands! Providence is when something is meant to be.

The song I'm sharing now is not OLAH-related, but another of Lee's fabulous compositions, from the 1984 movie Splash, sang by Rita Coolidge with lyrics by Will Jennings. This song captivated me when I was younger, even in a time I couldn't understand all the words since I was still learning English, or make the connection with the show. It's ovbiously lacking most of its charm though, since I don't have the beautiful orchestration and my attempts at playing it are miserable... But again, it goes with much love.

By the way, I did record it on March 3, but I went out for "birthday tea party" with my sister and cousins and forgot to post it later. Oh my, to think next March 3 will find me writing from another home, a wintery one for a change!

You're the one

Pssst... this one's for you

Here's a song Sandy suggested a few days ago. It's another of those romantic ones to sing in a quiet, lazy day.

Ah, the more I work on these recordings, the more I wish I was better equipped for them! I only have my one computer microphone... and lately I've found myself wishing for a real little studio! Oh well, I hope you'll enjoy this one too anyway.

And by the way, I love it when you all give me ideas! One reason I don't update more regularly is that I can't think of what to post. So keep them coming!

Thank you, Sandy.

I'll stay

"Nor iron bars a cage" expansion

One thursday evening, after watching this episode over Skype with Carole, Sandy, Krista and Laura, I made a little comment: "I wanna see Vincent's face when she tells him she's not leaving!" And then, all of us were screaming at our TV for the missing scenes, for what was, but we didn't get to see. So we assigned ourselves some homework: we were to write some short "fill in the blanks" pieces.

A couple of weeks later, the four of them had long turned in their beautiful works, and we decided to submit them as a group project for Winterfest. But, though I had honestly tried, I had to break the news... "But... But ladies... I can't write!" They didn't take it very well: They said if I didn't do it, there would be no group project; they wouldn't submit it. Imagine that! So I asked - half-joking - if I could try my hand at a song instead, and their encouragement was so strong that five minutes later, I had half a melody and a couple of verses in my head.

For a moment I really thought I wouldn't make it. After that flash of inspiration, the muse decided to take off again. (And then real life kept preventing me from going after her.) But somewhat magically, only a few days before Winterfest, again the missing part just came to me... and totally different from what I had planned!

My biggest concern with my B&B songs is that I may not be true to Vincent and Catherine's story, to their voices, so if something doesn't sound quite right in either of them, I really hope you'll let me know. Here is the direct link to the song and words. I can only say, who would have thought homework could be so much fun? Working with such talented friends has been both an honor and a pleasure. Thank you, ladies!


From France to Paraguay... something different this time

My dear friend Claire has been sharing great music with me for quite some time now (some of it very intriguing, I tell her). A few months ago, she introduced me to the charming Alan Cumming... One day she surprised me with a recording of her own version of one of his songs. And somehow the thought came automatically to both of us. "Let's do it together!"

Well, I played with that recording she sent, and made our wee acapella version of Unexpressed. And since we have a few friends in common here, I wanted to share it. Of course, the perfect excuse was the upcoming WFOL 2010, but we would have done it anyway... and I certainly hope to do it again.

I miss you, Claire!