Thursday, April 17, 2014

When Marnie Was There

illustration by Carol Lay

It is with enormous pleasure that I can finally share the big news that I have written the ending theme song to Studio Ghibli's next feature film, entitled When Marnie Was There.  In case some of you don't know, I practically worship the movies that Studio Ghibli release!  They have moved me so much, and have been an undeniably positive influence in my life.  To sing on one of their movies was a far off, distant dream I had, but never really believed could come true.

And then, seemingly out of nowhere, the producer of this film contacted me asking if I would be interested in writing the ending theme song.  I literally gasped in a way you would....say, if you saw a pegasus flying in the sky.  And then I let out a scream of delight and ran around the house like a little girl.

For the first few weeks of work, I was pretty sure they'd fire me at some point.  But, lucky for me, they never did -- and I'm finishing up the last mixes for the "Song Book" as I type this.  The "Song Book" will be a full-length album of songs that won't actually be in the movie, but are inspired by the film and its characters and story.

And the story!!!  "When Marnie Was There" is a British children's novel, written by Joan G. Robinson.  I immediately fell in love with the characters, especially Anna, the protagonist.  Robinson's writing is so real, and so honest.  I read the book 3 times now, and cried at the same parts, each time.

The Director of the film is the highly regarded, Hiromasa Yonebayashi (The Secret World of Arrietty), who I am over-the-lunar-eclipsed-moon to meet next week.  

During this whole process, I didn't even think to take note that this theme song would be Studio Ghibli's first theme song sung in English!  Even after careful consideration of having me sing this song in Japanese, it was finally decided to keep the song in its original form.  Here is an article just posted in The Hollywood Reporter, highlighting this specifically.  

In the end.... I am just so so thankful for this dream-come-true opportunity.  Truly.... something out of a dream.  

I also just happened to find this today....  

p. a.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Remember How I Broke Your Heart

I'm so excited to finally reveal the music video I made for one of my favorite songs on the new album.  This was filmed back when I still had crazy phoenix colors in my hair.  I made this with the super amazing Director Alfred "AJ" Broadbent.

We had booked a room at a really cool, old motel in the middle of nowhere.  We were mainly going to use it as a 'home base' and 'bathroom', and see if we could get some cool exterior shots while we were at it.  I was setting up my things inside, when I heard AJ talking to someone outside.  All of a sudden AJ appeared and said, "We have to leave".  Apparently, the owner ran out of the office when he spotted our camera gear and said there was absolutely no filming here.  AJ told him he completely understood and said we would respect that.  I just needed a place to change.  The guy then retreated back inside his office, only to come running out again 2 minutes later yelling that he was going to call the cops and we needed to leave.  (!!!)  Then, his 20-something year old son came out of the office yelling something, and he turned around and yelled at his son to get back inside (!!!!!!).  Needless to say, we swiftly left the premises.  YIKES!

5 minutes down the road, we found an empty, windy pass.  I drove my friend Charlie Wadhams' beautiful old car up the road.  I seem to remember him telling me that "she" doesn't like hills.  Sure enough, the car slowly came to a stop, and never started back up again.  Luckily, it died in the most beautiful part of the road.  So we just shot pretty much the whole video right there.  We sort of didn't have a choice.

At the end of the shoot, AAA came and swooped us up.  As soon as the car was back on the "flats" she started back up again, and we headed home.

And there is the story -- and gossip -- behind the making of this very emotionally charged video.  ;)

I hope you like it!

p. a.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Lomography Giveaway!

I recently got one of these 'Diana F+' beauties, and can't stop bringing it with me wherever I go.  They're so light and travel-friendly, and the way the photos turn out is always surprising and fun.  
And now YOU can enter to win one for FREE!  Plus 3 rolls of Lomography film.

In the next few days, I'll be sharing some photos I've taken with it on my Instagram.  Check them out here!

♡ Long live analog photography! ♡

p. a.