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Steve Ison

3/10/2013 3:08:51 PM ---- Updated 3/10/2013 7:19:24 PM

IAC GEMS #15 Shadow Puppets by CHANDRA MOON
Shadow Puppets by CHANDRA MOON is a wonderfully atmospheric track..
Instantly creating a strange late night space from its opening cool broken arpegioed chords..
Its poetic lyric deals with the disturbing hallucinogenic effect on a mind that can't sleep, as all the 'normal' conscious barriers are let down,allowing unguarded n unedited thoughts and feelings from the unconscious to come flooding in..

Of course this is the well we all hope to draw on and use as food for our creativity -but its also the road to madness if you can't be in control to some degree of when and how those energies that can overwhelm and fracture the fragile conscious personality are let loose..

Its funny for me -even with the subject matter and the slightly dissonant (and very creative) instrumental flourishes added to the basic guitar n vox here,the mood of this song is haunting in a pleasant rather than genuinelly disturbing way.
.
The feeling is picturesque and even a little evocatively nostalgic for me.. Bringing up images of running along the beach as a child -Or seeing an old girlfriends smile in my minds eye -albeit in crackled cine 8 tones..

Its opening and enjoyable as alot of music like this is that creates a deeper personal space for you to explore - but not frightening...

More healing and soothing than chaotic

One of the main reasons i think is Chandras voice,which is so soft n lovely toned, velvety smooth like she's singing us to sleep with a beautiful (if slightly strange) lullaby..

Theres more than a little of the spirit of Nick Drake here in its gentle soulfulness and soft incantation

As a song its instantly enjoyable and moves beautifully n naturally..Particularly love the chromatic rising 'margins of my mind' melody that reappears a couple of times throughout the song that adds a strangely charming almost childlike quality to the song..

I always put this together as like a sister track to the excellent 'Ghost Around' by Dick Aven..Its not that they're particularly similar -more something about the atmosphere they both evoke in me..

Anyways its a space i totally love being in

Thanx alot for the inspiration Chandra..Lovely song x


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Chandra Moon

3/11/2013 8:16:24 AM ---- Updated 3/11/2013 8:17:53 AM


Wow Steve I am so flattered and overwhelmed that you would choose one of my songs as an IAC gem! Thanks so much!

When we recorded the track (which I wrote in the autumn of 2007) last year, I very much tried to keep the feel of the song to "internal" fears in one's own mind rather than overdoing the "external" spooky sounds such as creaking doors or anything like that. We'd been living in a village in Oxfordshire and the local church clock used to chime all night on the hour and when the wind was blowing in the wrong direction you could hear it all night! The other sounds such as whispering reflect my own jumbled thoughts at the time - the clock ticking in the room counting the endless time when you just can't sleep.

I used to lie there trying to meditate but end up with morbid thoughts. As you rightly say, the shadow puppets reflect back to childhood when familiar shapes in the room can become troublesome images.

The guitar picking was so difficult for me to do as I'm not really a "finger picker" but I had to do it that way as it's how I heard it in my head and now of course I can play it fine!

When we play it live, Paddy Uglow, who plays keyboards with me, plays it different every time - depending on the mood and I love that about this song - it's unpredictable and strange.

Thanks again for taking the trouble to really listen to it - I am thrilled! I hope you won't mind me quoting some of it. Here is a picture that a Japanese artist felt inspired to draw after he heard an earlier version of the track online!!

 photo ShadowPuppets_zps3e777f0b.jpg


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Shoe City Sound

3/11/2013 9:47:48 AM


Excellent choice - and I'm thinking maybe this gives us a line on the process of picking. I know all the music Chandra has posted on this site, and this song would seem to not be typical of the rest of her stuff. So I guess it's about rare gems!

I completely agree with the song description except that I think this tune hits me darker emotionally. The first time I heard it I was honestly scared - so not kidding here. I mean the term "puppet" has a thousand weird images/meanings for me in the first place, and Chandra's voice (which is so beguiling and story telling in every tune) just makes it eerier for me in this context - as she breaks down your resistance and lures you in to a really dream like scenario of beautiful sounds. I think it's actually visual in that way.

Great image of the puppet ... I had imagined it more as a Pierrot sort of puppet but on the dark side haha

Anyway it's a space I really love being in too even if it freaks me out a little - part of the attraction I guess :)

Congrats Chandra!






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Stoneman

3/11/2013 10:30:07 AM


What an awesome choice of artist and song to highlight. You have outdone yourself on this one. This haunting song reminds me of some of some of the effects of PTSD. It is almost as if she is writing straight from the PTSD manual. I will share this song with some of my veteran brothers who will surely recognize the correlated imagery. Probably, the only difference is that the shadow puppets that trouble our sleep also bring violent and bloody images of war.

I love the way this song was written and as with all of Chandra's compositions, the musicianship is superb. Thank you so much for bringing this song to the forefront. Though I am very familiar with Chandra's work, I somehow missed this one. Excellent choice!

Much Respect,
Stoneman


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Chandra Moon

3/11/2013 10:50:32 AM ---- Updated 3/13/2013 5:30:26 AM


Thanks again for your lovely comments. Yes Dolores - the image I've put up is someone else's imagination from hearing the song - for me it's more like finger puppets and weird shapes - nothing like the Japanese cartoon drawing! For Stoneman or others it might be war images - hopefully the song triggers individual visual images of hidden fears. I find the whispering effects the most spooky and it took some time to get the right sounds for that bit.

It certainly was a "different" song for me though I don't have a particular genre - they just come to me rather randomly. The production is down to Richard Bloom my wonderful producer and the piano Paddy Uglow (who has a page here too).


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