Today marks one year since FIRE was released into the world - that album was my first leap into the unknown chasm of the life I want to live. The last year has been a journey. I've experienced many wonders - have felt the love and support of many beautiful souls. Yet one person gave me an incredible, priceless gift. Victoriah Szirmai used her divine gift as a sonic translator to show me to myself - she held the door open for me to look past my human flaws and experience my own divinity through her gifts as a musical channel.
Victoriah wouldn't call herself that: a musical channel. She's a well known music writer in the German jazz and adult contemporary music world. Professionally, no one in "the scene" uses my hippy-dippy lingo to describe anything. "A channel, absurd! That's a music critic!" But since I, as her, can experience truth and put pen to page, I'm going to call a spade a spade.
Victoriah has a divine gift. She is a channel, a medium. She is a vessel through which the essence of a piece of music can move to be translated into words. This creates an access point allowing a person to understand a song that would otherwise remain in the ethereal realm of feeling and sensation. It's quite an incredible skill.
I was blessed with not only the opportunity to bear witness to the magic, but I was also a recipient of her life-changing gifts.
I still remember sitting at Victoriah's dining room table, tears streaming down my face as the gravity of the experience hit me. I was transcribing her words as she drifted into a realm between music and word. On the surface, she was helping me work on my promotional texts for the songs on FIRE, but that's not what was really happening.
We started with the first song on the EP. And contrary to my expectation, Victoriah didn't simply describe the song in a factual way. No. She channeled the soul of each song and translated it's essence into words. With my own experience connecting with other realms, I immediately recognized what was happening. And it was not "describing music" for the purposes of promotion.
I sat, watched, and transcribed as she opened up the channels of her soul to allow the music to move through her, showing her its essence. I witnessed the same creative process I myself go through when I write a song. There is no thought, no calculation. Just opening, feeling, allowing. I was witnessing creation. The creative muse was weaving worlds.
I was sitting present, acting as a midwife to the birth of another aspect of something I myself had birthed. What Victoriah channeled with her words were the meanings of my songs back to me.
As a creator, sometimes it's hard to describe your work - which is why we seek help from writing professionals! How do you speak succinctly about something so close to you? It's very hard. And I say this with insider knowledge! I also work in marketing, so I have a strong background in distilling the essence of a product or principle so an outside reader can connect with and understand it. But even with this skill set, it's extremely difficult to describe my own work. As the creator, every aspect of the whole is equally important. It's difficult to distill the wholeness you experience as an extension of your being into words. Yet, Victoriah was able to do that.
In the next section, I will share the core, uninterpreted channelings of the 6 songs on FIRE with you. I find the magic to be most palpable in the form of Victoriah's raw transcriptions. I invite you to experience the collaboration: listen to the songs and read her words. Allow the full scenes to fill your senses!
The room was still, yet filled with energy. 'Body' started playing, with its sensual intro. Victoriah closed her eyes and started speaking words aloud...
“Neo soul with a “drum and bass twist”- middle eastern flavor - new soul - sensual - not so liquid - overflow of sensuality, of sensual love - clear love letter clear addressee - mermaid mit unterleib - it’s a secret garden - expected it to be hidden - courageous to start with it, sets expectations high - experienced as very physical, playfulness, not taking it too seriously or too heavily - a bit of teasing - come here/teasing and taunting, sophisticated melodies, not simple melodies, hear classical influence, sung by someone who feels very good about herself - I’m a rose watch me - look as I blossom, belly dancing (hands), holds back but expresses everything with tiny gestures (communicate sexuality in the blink of an eye), subtle yet in your face - open”
A short pause between songs left space to breathe, but the focus of the moment pushed on towards the song 'Fire'...
"Desert - outer space - not form this world, comes to you from somewhere, talks and speaks from another place - very ethereal, deepest sense of the word etheric, coming from up above, not from earth - not of earth - having a short visit of earth and asking earthlings how you are doing, but returning to space - goddess comes down for a short visit - attractive earthing shell, visit for a limited time, both know it has to end, he will be left there with a broken heart - can regard it as feminist - asking if he’s satisfied to see wings 0f a goddess - over-earthy love, hugging the earth ball, wrapping it in her wings because she has so much to give - siren part to it, up on a hill as a siren, singing this intriguing and all the seamen crash on the hill because they are not watching the sea, but listening to the singing - goddess that wants to bring love but leaves destruction because all the humans fall for her"
My initial positive shock and wonder evolved to a calm witnessing as I received her interpretation of songs so dear to my soul. 'Icarus' started playing softly...
"Camp fire - big black woods, with a meadow in the middle, campfire lit - surrounded by trees so big you can’t see the sky, you don’t know what lies there, wolves, ghosts - elves dancing - pagan scene - mystic - a lot of lightness, like a white good witch, good healing energy, but also all the dark stuff - ritual - goodbye ritual - dances a goodbye - between fire and water: dark and the light - fire burning, but a lot of air/ethereal things surrounding the fire - beings from another world, half earthly beings, dancing beautifully, silhouettes translucent dancing in front of the fire, seeing the fire through them, the shadows like moths to a flame - whole flock of birds sleeping in the trees, heads in feathers, they are not moving, but there are there and breathing, the wood is sleeping but its breathing and organic, vibrating - acoustic guitar adds weight to it, more earth, this brings the fire in - reminds of Loreena McKennitt - underlying Celtic flavor - pagan scene, gnomes and elves and fairies - a bit Nordic - Medieval - folk - ancient underground - hearing these ancient sounds awakens the collective human memory - far away"
Half way through the album, Victoriah and I hit our tempo. I feverishly typed as she continued to weave her web of words as 'King' filled the air with sound...
"Three chord instrument - Oud - sitting in a Bedouin tent - listening to the stories from 1001 nights - far memory of the call to prayer in Islam - ritual - hear the semi-sacred background - deeply rooted in European classic - synthesis from western and eastern culture melting into something very own - very modern counterpart, after the intro - culminating into the modern sound - this is where we built our culture from these roots - this is where we come from - valuing roots and tradition - but turning it into a new/own thing - could be calling the tradition culture (return to me) - symbol as something much bigger, not just one person but the whole history - brings the whole history and we bring it together - maybe even more concrete - bring them together - two lover's roots combine in this music - Iokokanoa and the Arab man at her side - not a "love song," but love song as a symbol of something bigger - not only a love story of 2 but of human kind - melts beautifully into the strings - your history is the key to your personal kingdom - to be continued - the kingdom is TBC - playful movement at the end"
I took a pause here for this is when she saw the most intimate part of me. Not the spiritual views, but MY story - the story of my love and life that I had unconsciously written into my own song. There for the listener to experience and feel.
We continued with 'Deja Vu'...
"Bridge to the first song - sensual chords with the bass - means that the first 4 are one part - part 2 begins now - Body part 2 - nothing mystical to it - very clear - you get that you see and see what you get - it’s a reprise of the first song but like its transformed - less playful than the first one - more clear - more demanding - like the woman who was teasing her man in Body has lost her patience - feels she has to get more obvious - very unetheric - no gnomes or elves or unearthly beings - very human - tricky/complex choruses"
With one song left in our journey, I savored the last song, 'Mountain,' with Victoriah...
"Very Janet Jackson (a moth to a flame - That’s the way love goes) - spoken intro - intro sounded like Greek or Latin, was not heard right away that it was German - mixed in a way beyond words - French accent - sounds like Enigma - the most sensual but in a less obvious way - more etheric way - has earthly, human, all the elements - first time I hear water - hear flowing water through rain flowing through my body - not sure if it's tears or rain because you are wet - you are being showered by something - like sonic shower - sonic shower you get listening to it - come in dirty, take this sonic shower and leave it lifted - it does something with your inner memories, your memories touch the memories of the listener, their very own memories and emotions and reach them to a level where they didn’t even want to be reached, but they now have to deal with it - that’s what this sonic shower does - this music moves something in the depths and ignites them to deal with things, but in a good way - like subtle yet in your face a good force - force them to a good outcome - hear a lot of love - love that is weltumspannend, spans the whole world - steps walking away or towards? I will find a way - does the way lead away from or to you?"
A LASTING IMPRESSION
What Victoriah gave to me that evening was an immeasurable gift. Of course we all strive to feel confidant on our path without outside confirmation - to be convicted and steadfast on our paths within ourselves. FIRE was my first solo album. After over a decade of decisions, it was the first leap into the true commitment to my own creation. Of that I am sure. Yet, I am a human and am not without doubts. I love my music, but will others understand it?
Yes. Others will understand. Songs written carry information beyond the intention of their creator. Listening to a song is connecting soul to soul. And once in a while you are lucky enough to watch your music touch souls with another being - as I experienced with Victoriah Szirmai.