tundra

Pilgrims-Tundra-Album-Cover-vegan-pop

not posted anything for such a long time.   since the death of my mother, i’ve thrown myself headfirst into my music project with my love, Robert.

together, we are called Pilgrims.  we have just finished our second studio album, Tundra, which will be dropping in all major download and streaming platforms on 21st May 2019.

be sure to watch for it…

we also have a 2-hour radio interview / album preview on Sunday 19th May at 1900-2100hrs (GMT) with GEE FORCE, on Bridge FM, 87.7fm – be sure to listen in… hear all about our songs, their meanings and origins.   international listeners, and those outwith the 87.7fm range can listen in on Bridges FM  >> CLICK HERE <<

 

thank you for your support over the years!

i love you all.

 

Kat xx

 

 

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NEW RELEASE- Wilderness, stunning debut album, by Pilgrims

a sound born in a storm. this is what happened when a bird fell from the sky and foxes followed us home. this is supernatural, homespun honesty. this is soup, at 4am. this is a map of the stars that trace our fate. this is paprika tea. this is animal instinct. this is our story. our music.

this is the sound that came from a gorge . this is what happened when lovers cut each others hair with a samurai sword. this is inside out and up ‘n’ down. this humble creation from this hibernation. baring and purging. this is defining heroes. this is katsu curry & fermented pears. this could be winter. these are our scars. this is our music.

this is the chaos of living with panthers in a house by the sea, where ravens share their secrets with those who speak their language. this is our allegiance to our ancestors and the salt in our Bourbon. two years of travelling around the sun, we are finally home…

BUY NOW – https://pilgrimsuk.bandcamp.com/album&#8230;

CONTACT – wearepilgrimsuk@gmail.com

© all rights reserved


into the wild… the making of ‘Wilderness’

“WILDERNESS” – a collection of 13 songs inspired by animals; animals that have been totemic in the relation between a man (Robert Davidson) and a woman (myself, Kat McDonald).

a sound born in a storm. this is what happened when a bird fell from the sky and foxes followed us home. this is supernatural, homespun honesty. this is soup, at 4am. this is a map of the stars that trace our fate. this is paprika tea. this is animal instinct. this is our story. our music.

this is the sound that came from a gorge . this is what happened when lovers cut each others hair with a samurai sword. this is inside out and up ‘n’ down. this humble creation from this hibernation. baring and purging. this is defining heroes. this is katsu curry & fermented pears. this could be winter. these are our scars. this is our music.

this is the chaos of living with panthers in a house by the sea, where ravens share their secrets with those who speak their language. this is our allegiance to our ancestors and the salt in our Bourbon. two years of travelling the sun, we are finally home.

Source: into the wild… the making of ‘Wilderness’

Listen to WILDERNESS >> HERE <<

Tell Lie Vision

 

tell_lie_vision

i don’t own a television.

and i don’t want one.  people ask me why i don’t have a TV, with an expression of such absurdity you would think i had just asked them if i could shit on their chest.

i take pride in myself for the fact that i don’t own a TV set. and here’s why.

it is all lies.

the mainstream media is one of the biggest liars in the history of all mankind, next to religion.

[but God is good, i hear you say.  yeah?  well if God is so good then why do kids get cancer? oh it’s God’s plan… he has greater things for them…]

FUCK OFF!  tell that to the grieving parent. tell that to the 8 year old with leukaemia writhing in agony.  

TV is full of shit and my head has enough crap in it without being fed more lies and lies by omission; the manipulation of advertisements purporting a better lifestyle – yeah, a lifestyle that feathers the nest-eggs of the ugly big corporations that are borne of greed and profit and don’t really care that they’re spraying our crops with chemicals akin to Agent Orange; poisoning your soft drinks with neuro-toxins; that that burger is to die for (yes, literally!); that those running shoes are something of a ‘miracle’ that you will need to enhance your performance to workout with style (tell that to the 5 year olds working in shit-stinking sweaty conditions for 18 hour days!); that you NEED insurance (another bête-noire of mine) – what a rip-off.  i could go on but…

anger is a negative energy.  holding onto anger will just further embitter the soul and turn it black, and turn me into even more of a misanthrope than i am already.  fuck that!

so – that is the short answer as to why i don’t own, want or need, a fucking TV set.

there have been a few songs written about TV.  and yes, the sun always shines on TV, doesn’t it?  even the epic scenes of war seem sensationalised and glossy.

Bruce Springsteen growled about having 57 channels and nothing on.

[well, turn the fucker off, Brucie and go read a book…. or write another song!]

Dire Straits and Sting wailed about wanting their MTV.  i remember a day when MTV was cool, full of good music and, dare i say it, informative.  now it’s all dating game-shows and reality TV – offering gaudy glimpses into the private lives and homes of artists most of us have never heard of, but who have sold a billion records, apparently, and have their own unrivalled ‘brand’ of bling and trainers (again endorsing the sweatshops of Hell for the poor and purporting a lifestyle of greed of profane proportions).  who needs an 18ct diamond-encrusted toilet?  it’ll fill up with shit just the same as a bog-standard (bad pun, i know!) porcelain one.

the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy wrote a real stinger of a tune: ‘Television, the Drug of the Nation’ – breeding ignorance and feeding radiation.  this song remains poignant today, spouting ‘a child watches over 1500 murders before he’s 12 years old’.

and then there’s Gil Scott-Heron.  The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.  wise words from a legendary poet and performer that needs little or no introduction.  that song is older than me and still holds the same spine-tingly poignancy as it did back in the day it was first released.  today, the Revolution will NOT be Televised, that’s for sure… but it will be on Twitter or Facebook or fucking Snapchat.

i take pride in the fact that i don’t own a TV set and that i don’t subscribe to the mainstream and worship the remote and its digibox disciples.

i find other ways of ‘educating’ myself and ‘entertaining’ myself.  there are 1000s of books to be read. more than i could read in a lifetime but i am prepared to give it a good try…

and there are places to visit. i just love to travel.  travelling offers the BEST education.

there is (too) much going on inside my head that i need to categorise, rationalise and contend with without the distraction and soul-extraction of television.

i have my own reality. i do not need to watch a group of disparate and desperate people stowed away in a houseful of cameras and sensationalism; i do not need (or want) to see ‘celebrities’ in a jungle eating worms; nor do i care for discovering Britain’s talented humans with their dancing dogs (that’s just another deplorable exploitation of animals).  i don’t want to see the cringe-worthy and patronising debacle that is breakfast tv – where two puppets interview the vulnerable and needy; which draws me nicely to the ‘pièce de résistance’ – the Jeremy fucking Kyle Show – another truly remarkable shot at bear-baiting.

is this what advocates TV as ‘entertainment’?  it’s no wonder we are being ‘dumbed-down’.   there is nothing to FEED the imagination!

i’d much rather read a book… or take a long walk along the beach… or play my guitars… or write some poetry or prose… or visit friends and family.  yes, actually visit people and talk with them, walk with them… break bread with them.

i would love to be in a position to ditch my mobile phone and take myself off the grid completely, but i need it for work.  it’s a double-edged sword.

but i’m working on it…

[steps off soap-box]

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love is cutting each other’s hair with a samurai sword

synesthesia

i/
images and words are, to me, inextricably linked.  words can paint as vivid a picture of a person, an animal, a beautiful vista or a situation as memorably as a timeless photograph or a painting.  words can also make memories.  images are memories, past and new.

for me, there is another voice. music. song. rhythm. harmony.

as writer, photographer and musician, i crave all three. i crave them.  for me, one does not exist without the other, or the other two.

i hear music in my lover’s heartbeat. i hear music in traffic and the cacophony of voices on a city’s subway.  i see stories unfold before me, when i look into the eyes of a tiger.  i see my lifestory in the eye of a wild horse. i can taste colour. i can smell the rain before it falls.  perhaps i walk to a different drum beat than most. i find beauty in the mundane – words, scribbled on an abandoned piece of paper in the gutter;  scarecrows;  a dead moth in a broken lightbulb;  a dead deer lying burst open at the side of the road; fallen spirals of orange peel.

for me, image (both moving and still) does not exist in isolation.  there is a soundtrack, there is music, there are voices and rhythms, and colour, in everything around me.  words do not just hang in the air, like clouds.  they move. they hit. they often resound and reverberate, resonating deep inside.  words, too, have colour and form and their own unique fragrance.   music is in everything. it is our oldest form of communication.  there is rhythm in life – its seasons, our lives, and the patterns and archetypes we define ourselves by.

for me, this trinity, is all that i am.

twice, we have travelled around the sun twice…

 

ii/

love is a strange entity.  its power and grace can overwhelm and overturn.  it can even bring a country to its knees. it is something we all succumb to. it is consuming and transporting and, if done right, it never leaves you.  it tugs at you, it keeps you awake at night. it overrides your need for food and water. it is addictive.  it is the most powerful entity in the universe.  and when you meet someone that seems to be a reflection of you and all you aspire to be, someone who hijacks your thoughts on awakening and your hypnagogic dreamstate, then the world around you can become a very strange and beautiful place. a better place, but a wondrous and strange place – almost a surreality.

one day, a bird fell from the sky and landed on my lap.  it was a sign.  a sign that my life was about to change.  and it did.

Robert and i found each other in a storm.  love, born in a storm.  and we have clung to each other ever since, knowing that we have something powerful, something unique and something that many have envied.  the beginning wasn’t easy.  people we thought were friends preyed upon us, like a shiver of sharks;  each with their own agenda, waiting for a weakness to appear – even trying to divide and conquer.

but we are stronger than that, because we have loved before…

i sought counsel from a tiger.  he told me not to be afraid, just as i was not afraid of him; as he, this 800lb cat, took meat from my hands with all the tenderness of small child.

and so, we embarked on this journey.  we have travelled twice around the sun and have come to learn that all we have and all that we are are the most important things in life.

“nurture & protect”

we are both musicians, writers and visual artists. that was the arena in which we first came to know one another and acknowledged a mutual respect. but it was music that brought us to this point, this journey, this pilgrimage.

and we are but Pilgrims; seeking truth, love and spiritual nourishment in this life.  a life together.

through this journey, our lives have been inextricably fused with music, images and words.  and the journey journeys on as we make soup at 4am;  make love in public libraries;  make travel plans to visit volcanic islands and to fall sleep on desolate beaches; make memories – old and yet to savour, like paprika tea.   we forge songs.  we laugh. we laugh a lot.   we share the same need to be connected, to be connected with nature… the universe, with our selves to ourselves, and to each other.

we have cut each other’s hair with a samurai sword and we have stared into deepest space, with our backs to the sun, and marvelled at our universe, knowing that we have loved before…

T H I S    I S    O U R    S O N G S ……

WILDERNESS (parts 1 & 2, part 3 available later this year, with accompanying film) – FEEL FREE TO TAKE FOR FREE… OR LEAVE A LITTLE GIFT!

PART ONE:  a lone wolf, wild horses, a familiar fox and a room full of 100 butterflies… (click and listen…)

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PART TWO:  seeking counsel from a tiger, a playful wolverine,  charming bees, humming bird kisses and a shiver of sharks… (click and listen…)

wilderness part 2 COVER

PART THREE:  coming later this year, with accompanying film….

ALL songs inspired (mostly) by my poetry and prose (all of which can be found in my ‘older posts’)

ALL SONGS & MUSIC  (C)(P) Pilgrims UK, Robert Davidson & Kat McDonald

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

alive, alive-o

seashell-on-beach-photograph-

i live, with my lover, in a sea-shell upon a distant shore.

we can hear the sea sing all day as it slams onto the shore and breaks – casting echoes like magic spells around the bay. we feel its song resonate and reverberate around and through the pink and unholy curves of our shell’s cathedral vaults and brittle ceiling.

‘Kathryn… come here, my love…’

i feel its pearlesque floor silky smooth beneath my feet as i walk, barefoot, towards my love. the ozone air wafts through its iridescent corridors and toys with my hair and soft fabric of my pale indigo dress. my lover stands with his arm outstretched to me. he stands there, bare of foot and chest. his hair is noticeably longer than it was yesterday and the tips are indigo. his beard is indigo and long enough for me to curl up and fall asleep in, like i have done countless times. he looks good. his denims are indigo and hug his slender frame. i take his hand and he wraps me up in his arms. we hold each other close, swaying to music only he and i can hear. the dance floor is pearly pink and shining. the twinkle of sand particles catch the morning sunlight and scatter patterns of light around inside. our very own private disco in the diamond dust. we defy gravity, spiraling into its hollow core. the canon of our laughter swells and fills the chambers of this hollow shell that we call home and it is the most beautiful noise. he presses me against the wall. urgent. the walls of the shell feel as warm and smooth as the skin on my lover’s back. i love mornings like this.

we walk to the frayed edge where land meets the sea. the sea bears many gifts and fruits of the ocean… today we have an abundance of giant green olives – many of them conveniently pitted and halved. i watch as one of the many giant olives drift ashore. we climb inside and sail out to sea, headed for the distant horizon – to Neighborland’s Grand Market.

Neighborland: a former landfill site, made of reclaimed rice-cakes, stray socks and discarded McDonald’s happy meal toys is home to a population of almost 5000. every Sunday people come from near and far; by air, by land or sea; on foot or gryphon, to peruse the market stalls and haggle with stall holders. there is much bartering or swapping – a goat for poem; a kiss for a bottle of wine; a loaf of bread for a new pair of boots.

we moor our olive at the Lesser Western Pier and head straight for the Neighborland Bar where we order some cocktails. the Barman looks like my brother from Earth, Stewart Munro McDonald. he even has the same sense of humour. i ask the Barman his name. he tells me his name is Arty. the Bar is quiet. there are only the two of us and an albino troll seated near the entrance to the mens’ toilets. he looks a little worse for wear and is muttering to himself. Arty picks up his guitar and begins to play some Faron Young.

“God, my brother would LOVE this place…” i say to my love. we finish our drinks and leave. we have some poems to trade today.

it’s a busy place, patrolled by giant wasps, there is very little crime in Neighborland.

the Market is a colourful, lively hive of activity. we stop at the Hookah pipe corner and swop a poem for some bloodberry elixir.   this is headier than cinnamon, more sour than black cherry and more potent than a vintage port. this will be a sweet delight for us when we return home to the cool comfort of our shell.

music… we hear music…  a strange and haunting sound and decide to follow it… we meander through the crowds of drunks and queers, the jokers and clowns, through the limbo dancers and jazzers, down by the whores selling fake gold and prawns, through the spice trail to a little blue tent at the farthest corner of the Market place. the sound is louder now.  it sounds like nothing we have heard… we enter the tent.

inside the cool darkness of the tent, we let our eyes adjust to the dim shimmer of phosphorescent glowworms, weaving all across the floor. we take off our red shoes and walk, carefully, across the floor to speak with the stall owner. he is a rotund man with a large mop of black curly hair. He is seated, cross-legged, on the floor playing a vintage Electrolux vacuum cleaner. he seems lost in his ‘music’. we take a seat next to him and hold hands as we listen to him play.  sensing our presence, he stops playing, opens his eyes, and says “if you have come to sell me those red shoes, i am not interested…” we laugh. he introduces himself as “Keef”. i offer him nine poems for the Hoover. reluctantly, after much deliberation, he accepts – on the promise that we take good care of it and make music with it. he offers us something to eat “a snake-flavoured cookie, perhaps…. or a juicy glow-worm…?” he says, giddy like a child with a secret…. “and i have some botanical tea.  it’s the best in town…?”

the tea was a strange brew – of bamboo, garlic and fermented panda poo, served with  a splash of (organic) tiger milk.  Keef holds up a large ewer, full of the bubbling and foul-smelling ‘tea’, and laughs maniacally as we leave the tent.

as we walk away, i hear him, shuffling around inside his tent, slurping down his strange brew and his booming voice reading one of my poems aloud – only it is punctuated with giggles as he picks up glow-worms and eats them “alive alive-o…”

we leave the Market with no more poems in our hearts to sell.

back at the Lesser Western Pier, we clambour back on board our giant green olive and i row back across the sea, to our shell home, while my lover sings Faron Young songs…

words / dream recollection (c) Kat McDonald 2015

– they do say that we should make note of our dreams as soon as we can upon wakening…  as soon as one foot hits the floor, all dreams are lost…

wilderness – part two : this is the most honest we have been.

wilderness part 2 COVER

Source: wilderness – part two : this is the most honest we have been.

[a huge fan of Pilgrims, obviously, being one of the singers/songwriters… but don’t let me cloud your judgement.]

this is the sound that came from a gorge . this is what happened when lovers cut each others hair with a samurai sword. this is inside out and up ‘n’ down. this humble creation from this hibernation. baring and purging. this is defining heroes. this is katsu curry & fermented pears. this could be winter. these are our scars. this is our music.

A Pilgrim’s Pilgrimage

Source: A Pilgrim’s Pilgrimage

“we could physically feel the stresses and strains of town life fall away… the Scottish Highlands opened up before us.  we needed this. we were there, amidst the wild of the bracken and heather; the sheep and the sheep shit; the silence and breath-taking beauty…”

~ excerpt from A Pilgrim’s Pilgrimage, 2015 :: their journey in pictures, shot while filming on location in the Scottish Highlands & Islands, garnering film footage for the film ‘Wilderness’ to accompany their debut album – both out soon!

who are Pilgrims?

that, in itself, is a story to be told…

a sound born in a storm.  star-crossed lovers.  a lovesong.  a sound supernatural, homespun and honest.  a map of the stars. paprika tea.  a series of totemic animals that have furnished their love, and their music.

All images (c) Kat McDonald, Robert Davidson & Pilgrims UK 2015

~ nae nickin’!

Pilgrims on the radio! LISTEN UP…

Oh my stars… a delightful interview: candid, off-kilter, on fire… explicit honesty, openness and flowing conversation.

4 tracks from Wilderness Part One were played, and the ‘story’ behind each song was brought to light and explored.

2 new tracks (as yet unfinished) played from the imminent Wilderness Part Two, again, each song’s tale was told.

Watch and listen as Pilgrims’ journey unfolds…   (full album & accompanying film coming v. soon!!)

LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW IN FULL (approx 70mins)

DOWNLOAD ‘WILDERNESS PART ONE’ for FREE << here >> or RECYCLE THE LOVE, leave a donation… 

pilgrims – part one of the journey

ep art1

a sound born in a storm. this is what happened when a bird fell from the sky and foxes followed us home. this is supernatural, homespun honesty. this is soup, at 4am. this is a map of the stars that trace our fate. this is paprika tea. this is animal instinct. this is our story. our music.

 

words, imagery, music (c) Pilgrims, (c) Robert Davidson, (c) Kat McDonald – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED