Isabella is dead, and she is being mourned by Lisa Gerrard, of the band Dead Can Dance.

Lisa starts with a ghostly, inhuman groaning, bringing to mind witches and dark spirituality.

Then she begins howling and wailing in torment, in wretchedness, in madness.





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Anyone who has lost loved ones knows how shocking it is, how unacceptable, how beyond our control, how it jars our reality. Our entire being screams in protest.

This song is bursting with all these emotions, emotions that if we gave in to would smash the order that exists in the world to enable us to function. We would be mercilessly driven into the madness that lurks beneath the surface in all of us. How can it not? Just take a deeper look at the world, how can there not be madness? Sometimes, much to the horror of my husband, I want to go screaming and howling out into the streets myself. I really do. But of course I don’t…haven’t reached that point yet. 🙂 Fortunately, we find outlets for it in Art. Books, music, dance, theater.

Dead can Dance  was formed in 1981 in Melbourne by Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry. In 1982 the two musicians relocated to London where they signed for the alternative post and gothic rock label 4AD. 

Here is “Ocean” by Dead can Dance with the amazing vocals of Lisa Gerrard. Hope it leaves you as stunned as it leaves me.



Ephemeris by H.U.V.A. network

Discovering new music is what fuels my world. Music makes everything better. All of a sudden doing dishes, laundry, or other tedious chores become a sway of the hips, a dance, and quiet moments become filled with magic. While looking for something to spur my writing, something dark and atmospheric but not jarring or intrusive, something that will simmer and pulse in the background, I discovered H.U.V.A. Network. It’s perfect background for the Gothic novel I’m furiously working on, Owl manor, Abigail, book 2 of the Owl manor Trilogy. Beta deadline October 4! Yikes, I’m completely buried. As I write with this playing in the background, it helps me visualize the events, as though I’m directing a movie. Here is one of my favorite albums by them, Ephemeris.


Kate Bush: the Astonishing, the Freaky the Uncoventional.


Being a long time lover of the dark and supernatural, the Gothic, I was drawn to Kate Bush because of her song, “Wuthering Heights”, based on the book by Emily BrontĂ«. It was the most astonishing thing I had ever heard in my life. Kate shrieked and wailed like a cat in desperate heat in her rendition of a dead Catherine Earnshaw, a young woman dead in her prime from unrequited love.

Her phenomenal creativity in music composition, range in voice, singing and dance created an explosion of color and emotion that made everything else in my world look and feel mundane. She channeled topics close to my heart: mysticism, witches, the supernatural. Passionate and intense one minute, little girl the next, clown one minute, and insane the next, she performed with a courage and abandon that was melodramatic, surreal, and groundbreaking back in the 1970s when her song “Wuthering Heights” came out.

Her music drew on a variety of influences: classical music, rock, opera, folk.  Nominated 13 times for the British Phonographic Industry accolades, and for three Grammy Awards, she won Best British Female Artist in 1987. In 2002, she was recognised with an Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music, and in October 2017, she was nominated for induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

She is not for everyone. Some people still prefer the Pat Benatar version of “Wuthering Heights”. To each their own. You have to have a love of the astonishing, the freaky and unconventional, the shocking even, to appreciate her.

I met the love of my life because of her. One day in Art school, as I walked by a young man’s desk, I saw the music of Kate Bush sitting next to his things. I raised my hand and gave him a thumbs up. Two years later we were married.

And as I write Gothic novels now, I can’t help but think it’s all related.

Here, performed by Kate Bush, are “Wuthering Heights”, from her first album, The Kick Inside and one of my all time favorites “The Jig of Life” from Hounds of Love, released in 1985.

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Language of the Soul

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Anybody who has been deeply touched by music will attest to the fact that it is the language of the soul. It gives voice to our emotions and makes us see what a privilege it is to feel, which is what makes us human. Relevant to every age, every culture, whether you’re in a sad place, happy, or angry place, music will touch on those feelings and play them out.

The music that has been doing this for me for a long time is that of Mr. Peter Gabriel. His prophetic voice, his endless vision and creativity, his ability to get to the core of life. His songs made me cry when I was an adolescent, and they make me cry now. His lyrics and sounds carry the joys and pains of our existence, and appeal to our primal instincts, the raw emotion that we all try to deny for it might drive us mad.

But sometimes madness makes you feel, and that’s part of us, right?

Those who think “Sledgehammer” or “Big Time” when they think Peter Gabriel…there’s so much more: “Rhythm of the Heat”, “Mercy Street”, “That Voice again”, “Here comes the flood”…I don’t know where to stop. These are the ones that reach deep into your soul and consume you, take you on a journey in which your emotions are wrung out and leave you feeling drained…and cleansed. It’s therapeutic.

Here are the lyrics from one of my all time favorites, “That Voice Again”. I took out the refrains. And below the lyrics is the song on Youtube. Watch for the part where he sings “Only love can make love”….aaaahhhhh, thank you Maestro. You are a constant inspiration to me.

I want to be with you
I want to be clear
But each time I try
It’s the voice I hear
I hear that voice again

I’m listening to the conversation:
Judge and jury in my head
It’s coloring everything
All we did and said
And still I head that sharp tongue talking
Talking tangled words
I can sense the danger
Just listen to the wind

I want you close I want you near
I can’t help but listen
But I don’t want to hear
Hear that voice again…….

I’m hearing right and wrong so clearly
There must be more than this
It’s only in uncertainty
That we’re naked and alive
I hear it through the rattle of a streetcar
Hear it through the things you said
I can get so scared
Listen to the wind…….

What I carry in my heart
Brings us so close or so far apart
Only love can make love

Does anyone have a musician they have been deeply touched by and would like to share?




The glory of ethnic music

On Sunday at the San Jose Jazz festival, my husband and I experienced a Ukranian group called Dakhabrakha. That was the undisputed highlight of the day! They call their genre “ethnos chaos” and played some powerful tribal rhythm music that included goblet drums, didgeridoos, accordeon, harmonica, flute, cello and a few other instruments I didn’t recognize. And the vocals were piercing and haunting even though we didn’t understand any of it. If you’re interested, check them out on Soundcloud: 🙂dakhabrakha