a fucked up lovesong

https://miaowmcdonald.bandcamp.com/track/a-fucked-up-lovesong

Sunday 19th January 2019 was a horrible day. one of the worst days of my life. it was the day i almost lost someone i love completely. i have never felt so scared, so helpless in all my life. those twenty two minutes, waiting for the ambulance to arrive, seemed like twenty two hours.

i caught a glimpse of a Death, his shadow, his black dog… i fought hard, and won. Death would not take his soul. not this one. not today.

having to come to terms with this trauma and process its reality, and the many subsequent questions, is something i never want to relive.

but from the intense discourse, in the days and weeks that followed, came an overwhelming realisation that my love for this soul was strong. stronger than i ever thought possible.

from this event, this ‘ground zero’, i learned a lot about myself. there was a lot to process. even now, after a year and more, i am still haunted by that vision of Death and his black dog.

although lessening in frequency now, i still have nightmares and panic attacks in the small hours of the morning. i wake up in a cold sweat, cradling myself and reassuring myself it was just a bad dream and that he is safe. but that coup d’œil of what life would be like had i not arrived when i did, still chills my bones, turning them to powder.

living through this has made me appreciate the little things. it’s those little things, that seem insignificant at the time, that really matter when someone is gone. and by gone i mean not just in a different room. i mean gone somewhere where you cannot follow. ever. one day, you will never see one of their two hundred forty one different smiles again, or hear them sing in the shower. and it’s then you’ll punish yourself for not appreciating the little things, like the little kiss on the top of your head as they walk past, or the smell of their hair. even their moods and grumpiness will be something you will miss with a crushing weight upon your chest.

so tell them that you love them now. don’t wait.

listen to them.

be mindful, watch out for them. ask them how they are feeling. let them know you are there.

listen.

listen with your ears, your eyes, and your gut instinct…. it could save a life.

people deal with trauma, shock and grief in different ways. for me, writing is a cathartic process. a compulsion. a necessity. it always has been.

and so, i picked up Julio, my 30 year old Spanish guitar, and wrote a song.

this song… a fucked up lovesong.

SAMARITANS 24 hr HELPLINE > 116 123

(c) Miaow McDonald (music/lyrics)

(c) Miaow McDonald Photography (image)

pink lemonade for a blue girl

Pink Lemonade for a Blue Girl 2

this is a pink song about feeling blue…

it’s a gentle track, with a hint of ASMR about it and, perhaps, an unexpected time signature change.

it’s a song about summer feels… a song about the sea, its melancholy and escape.

“Pink Lemonade for a Blue Girl” is the 3rd of 13 or so songs from my debut solo album, Year Zero.

this song is available to LISTEN TO / BUY on bandcamp miaowmcdonald.bandcamp.com/track/Pink-Lemonade-For-A-Blue-Girl

“Pink Lemonade for a Blue Girl” will also be available on all other digital platforms to download and/or stream… iTunes, Spotify, Napster, Deezer, GooglePlay, AppleMusic, TikTok, Soundcloud, YouTube etc etc etc…

(c)(p) written & performed by Miaow McDonald

engineered/co-produced by Robert Davidson, the ‘Aged Choir Boy’.

Miaow McDonald: Vocals, Guitars, Piano & Synth
Additional Musicians:
Robert Davidson: Drums, Tuned Percussion and odd field recordings
Joshua Jamieson aka CyberneticZ: Accordion

 

 

528Hz: an emotional healing

 

IMG-8320

a light breeze floats in through the open window, toying with the light voile drapes in my bedroom. i feel it, but i am somewhere else.  i am a million miles away.  a million miles high.

i can feel the warmth of healing hands upon my solar plexus.  these are not my hands. i am alone in my room, save for my cat, Alf, asleep at my feet.

then, out of the blue, the tears come.

and they flow from somewhere deep inside me.  somewhere dark.  an emotional dam, breached. a release.  a flood.

“take my shadows” i repeat. a mantra.

i see my mother for the first time in three years and i can feel her hands in mine, cool and soft as i remember them being.  i tell her that i love her.  i tell her that i’m sorry, and that i miss her every day.

i see my father, for the first time in thirty years.  he holds me close. i can smell him.  i inhale deep and upon exhalation, i know everything is going to be okay.

i see my lover.  we are swimming in a deep blue ocean and we embrace, in the water.  like the waves we break through,  i feel a surge of overwhelming love for him.  immeasurable love.  and a longing to hold him.

my hands tingling, my heart feels heavy and i cry.  i cry for loss. i cry in gratitude. i cry with love.

i am filled with an enormous swell of desire.  desire to live.  to really live and savour each moment, because it’s the little things that matter:  every smile.  a scent.  a touch.  a glance.  every feeling.  every word ever said.

i feel like i am bathed in light and supreme love.  and still the tears flow.

tears of complete joy.  joy for having been blessed with the fortune of family and loved ones.  joy for having this complex and yet, paradoxically, simple fortress-like shield of love around me.  love from my family and my lover, my friends that are family, and the natural world around me.

i see trees.  tall trees, stoic and wise.  these giants are beautiful and i cry for them.  i cannot bear to think of a time when i will not see trees again.

stretching out my legs, i feel Alf’s soft fur against the soles of my feet.  i hear him purr in his sleep. i cry for him.  tears of joy for having the privilege of his friendship, and the knowledge that one day, he will be ash in my hands… just like my mother, whose remains (or what’s left of them) are in a small box, in a drawer, by my bed.

i see my grandparents. humble folk, hardworking folk and cry for the feelings of loss.  of being cheated because i never knew them.  but they are smiling.

i see my dear friend, Jess.  my lover’s gran.  i see her smile.  we look into each other’s eyes for the perfect time.

i feel blessed to know these beautiful souls, and to have been bestowed and entrusted with their love, their knowledge and wisdom, their guidance and other gifts.  gifts of smiles, embraces, shared laughter and raised glasses.

but the pain of loss and the knowledge that everything is infinitely temporary shakes my heart.

everyone is smiling, except me.  the tears roll down my face and soak the pillow beneath me.  i squeeze my mother’s hands.  she tells me to let it all go.

and i do.

and i am back in the ocean with my love, and we are kissing.  tears of joy rushing back to the ocean.  it’s like we have found each other again.   i don’t ever want to lose that.

i focus on my breathing and soon become filled with an inner sense of calm and purpose.

i want to live.  live better.  to create.  to live and love.

because love is everything.

 

IMG-8583

Words & Images (c) Kat McDonald 2020

fire with fire

fire with fire idea5

so have you ever loved someone so much it burned?      <<< Shhh.. Listen >>>

 

p.s.

18 months ago, i began to put structure and integrity into a bunch of songs i had written over the past few years, using only chaos theory, my voice, a tenner’s worth of iPhone music apps and Julio (my 35 year old Spanish guitar).

three years ago, it had been an emotional storm: too much illness, too many deaths and one near death.

every day ago, lessons learned.

 

FIRE WITH FIRE is the second single from my forthcoming debut album, Year Zero.

you can stream/download from all major digital distribution platforms, iTunes, Googleplay, Applemusic, Bandcamp, Spotify, Napster, Deezer, TikTok, YouTubeMusic etc etc.

<<< LISTEN HERE, I LOVE YOU >>>

 

 

 

 

Pandora’s Box

pandoras box

spending a summer under a belly of cloud is one thing (actually, it’s to be expected, i live in Scotland, after all) but spending a summer under a Government imposed ‘lockdown’ is not something i ever envisaged having to endure in my lifetime.

but here we are.

we are living history, in the present tense.  and things are tense.

locked down, under house arrest.  only permitted to leave the house to shop for ‘essential’ items and/or to partake in some form of solitary outdoor exercise – keeping a safe 2 metre distance from all other humans at all times.

with that said, i must’ve walked for miles.

life sucks right now.  no work. no pay. having to claim benefits to keep a roof over my head and food in my fridge.  but i’m not the only one.  we have all been stricken by this… whatever it is…

“pandemic” they say.

this pandemic is serious, with serious repercussions for us all.  life will never be the same.

but i have a lot to be grateful for. i have my health and my sanity.

while words like “social distancing” and “lockdown” were once upon a time confined to lines from some Hollywood script they are now in everyday use, uttered by five year olds out for walks in the park with their fearful masked parents.

i wonder (and worry) about the psychological effect of this new ‘norm’ and burgeoning fear being pressed upon us by Governments and the media on the children of this world.

A world where children can no longer play with their friends. A world where they can no longer hug their grandparents.  A world full of rainbows in windows and applause, ringing out from the streets and gardens, on Thursday nights as we are asked to applaud key workers, risking life and limb, it would seem, in our hospitals and hospices.

we were never prepared for this.  were we?

but ‘they’ knew it was coming.  i’ve seen the videos of speeches from the world’s ‘leaders’ and their band of equally megalomaniacal aides.  i have followed this with interest, impartiality, and, to some extent, fear and shades of cognitive dissonance.

i have followed the money trail and i’ve been sickened by what i have learned when digging deep.  deeper than any mainstream government/Gates Foundation-funded media would ever allow.  i suggest you do the same.

so many deaths. so many lies.  lies and fake news.  fake news and lies.  conflicting statistics and contradictory statements from polarised camps of scientists and government lackies.

and rest-assured some people stand to make a fuckload of money from this ‘plandemic’.

but i’ve been a good citizen, i am doing what i’m told as i watch more and more truths unfold.

sitting on my doorstep, sipping iced tea i watch empty trains flit by; i hear birds singing, oblivious to it all; i hear sirens wailing and i watch as storm clouds gather overhead.

i see it. i see it all so clearly.

and i cannot believe what i am seeing.

but i will keep being a good citizen and keep doing what i’m told.  controlled.

but this has changed me.  i can feel it.

this will change everything.  i know it.

our lives will never be same after this and the smoke clears.

i watch as the world, our beautiful world, spins out of control, spilling and contorting into a dark and terrifying place to be.  this is year zero.

is there hope for the human race, or are we marching closer to engineering our own extinction event?  sometimes, i hope so.

the way things are heading that may not be that far away, or as far-fetched as you may think.  again, dig deep.  check sources, who is funding what articles, actions, and casting what aspersions.

open your eyes.  question everything.  follow the money.  don’t believe everything you read in the paper, or see on BBC etc (remember, they were complicit in the harbouring of paedophiles for decades).

it’s hard to know just what is real, and what is spin for profit and power.

all we can do is hope.  hope one day love will prevail and the sun will return to our skies and unite us as a species.

and one day, Orwell will be considered fiction again.

 

(c) Kat McDonald, June 2020

 

 

 

year zero

so this happened…

ambulance_miaow_mcdonald_2020

18 months ago, Kat McDonald, the former chanteuse of Little Buddha and Bedhed, finally gave in to the burgeoning suggestions, from her fellow Pilgrim and lover, that she record the songs she had been writing.  engineered/co-produced by the Aged Choir Boy, she began to record the handful of songs she had been writing.  crafting songs from chaos using only her voice , Julio – her 35 year old Spanish guitar and a tenner’s worth of virtual instrument apps on her cracked up old iPhone.

the past 3 years, for Kat, had largely been teeming with love and moments of joy but they were not without stabbings of grief  as she watched my mother grow sick and die, as she watched her ‘adopted’ gran grow sick and die, as she saw her boyfriend struggle under the duress of a complete mental breakdown, as she held too many hand of friends as too many of her friends’ mothers died, as she struggled financially and now there is this… THIS!

what is this?

Kat finds herself locked down in a weird existential delirium: in the throes of the new and merciless pandemic virus that has its jaws firmly clamped around the world.  a terrifying and yet curiously calming time to reprioritise.  and time to create.

and so, in the wake of the vicious pummelling to her heart and brain, she sought solace in writing songs.  for her, it’s a chaotic, visceral process.  yet cathartic.  “a primal scream at the top of my lungs”, she says.

a release…

after 5 months of deliberating, pacing like a caged leopard, as Kat made mad scribblings of possible album names on napkins or any other bit of paper available, she has finally decided to name it “year zero”.   because that is what it is.

13 songs about this life.  because this is her ‘year zero’

and it is our ‘year zero’ – from hereon in, life will never be the same.

under her creative name, Miaow McDonald, her debut album ‘year zero‘ will be out some time under lockdown……  available on all digital platforms, incl. bandcamp

‘ambulance’ – the debut single from ‘year zero’ and will be released Monday 13th April 2020. available everywhere.

https://miaowmcdonald.bandcamp.com/releases

“a very special thank you to the Aged Choir Boy/fellow Pilgrim (Robert Davidson) for his patience and believing in me, even when i felt like an imposter, i know i can difficult to work with…  “you are my dragonfly” x”                                                                                                                         – Miaow McDonald

 

Miaow McDonald: vocals, guitar, bass, piano, Theremin, synths and responsible for some other sonic perversions and samples.

album cover _ YEAR ZERO

(c) Kat McDonald 2020 – locked down, performing/recording as Miaow McDonald.

whoever would’ve thought an onion bagel with peanut butter, blueberry jam, toasted garlic & chilli flakes would taste so good…

well, well, well.  it’s the end of the world.  for real.  or so it seems, at times.

the bogey man, this time around, is called COVID-19.  a pandemic.  a corona virus.  and it is invisible.  and terrifying.

i have watched it sweep from east to west.  it’s not discerning. it favours not the pretty nor the tall; the rich nor the hirsute; the male or the dog.

it is a new contagion.  a new threat to life as we know it.  worldwide economies are breaking,  thousands of people are dying.  life will never be the same.

i have watched it shut down our neighbouring countries.  Italy. Spain. France.  and i’ve wondered why our limp Governments have been so slow to react.  lock us down, please.  full lockdown.  if you want to ‘flatten the curve’ you have to stop the migration and congregation of people.

today, first official day in lockdown (is it lockdown?) here in Fife, Scotland where we have currently 19 cases of Coronavirus confirmed.  out of a population of close to 335k, that may seem like a blip, but given that you can drive around Fife in 3 hours and that these cases have emerged since March 17th, i would say we have reason to be concerned.

but i had to go out today.  latex gloves on, antibacterial gel in my pocket – like a gun a holster – i ventured outdoors with my boyfriend, Robert.  we needed to get some essentials.  yes, we are in isolation together.  i guess you could call it ‘twice-olation’.  keeping a sense of humour when adrift in unchartered waters is essential.  as is toilet roll, it would seem.  it’s been 5 days and i’ve yet to see any on shelves when i’ve made a trip to the supermarket.  it’s as rare as hens’ teeth!

we got, pretty much, what we went out for: food for us, and food for Alf – our cat.

i have been self-employed since 2012.  now i am not working.

i have had to claim emergency benefits. having paid my taxes for all my working years, i feel thankful that i can do this,  feeling no shame in it, and that my claim has been dealt with swiftly.  i only applied yesterday.  and after a brief telephone interview today,  i should have an emergency advance paid to me by Thursday.  that is a relief!  at least i know now that my rent is covered, for another month anyway, and that i will be able to pay my bills (hopefully).  yes, i have to pay that advance back, but on my terms.  i was not expecting that.

so here i am. no work. all been cancelled or postponed.  how do i stop myself from becoming engulfed in the fear, swallowed up in the mass hysteria and going stir crazy? it’s all everyone is talking about. and rightly so, it is a strange and terrifying time to be alive.  and we are all scared.

and things are going to get worse before they get better. i can see it coming.

so we are doing what we are told. washing our hands.  staying indoors.  not making any unnecessary journeys.  avoiding contact with anyone and everyone. i am not even visiting my family (some are high risk with underlying health conditions stacked against them).  it’s just me, Robert and Alf – the cat.

initially, i had moved in with Robert to continue working on a solo music project that he is producing for me, as i have four new songs that i wanted to lay down.  that was 10 days ago.  we have decided it best that we isolate ourselves together, keeping our shared car in one spot – in case of an emergency.  it’s working out well.  and we give each other space – that is essential.  but it isn’t all that bad, being locked up with your lover and cat.  we have some fun times.  singing in the kitchen, cooking together.  making music together. i have been playing a lot of guitar lately.

90785844_2489984377932427_5190335713698119680_n

so this is where i wrap this blog post up for today…  it is 1.31am and i am having my supper:  onion bagel with peanut butter, blueberry jam, chilli flakes, toasted garlic and jalapenos.  i know… it sounds weird and disgusting, but i swear… it tastes like hope.

90574570_875400162907003_1501246882775564288_n

stay safe people…

 

(c) Kat McDonald – March 2020

ephemerality

IMG_0161

they say a storm is coming.  this may very well be true.  and although the sky is the perfect shade of blue, clouds are gathering fast.  rain is in the air.  i can smell it.

the concrete step feels warm beneath my bare feet.  the sun is coy and toys with me, playing hide and seek amid the cloud formations.  but there’s a restlessness in the air.  i can feel it in my hair.

it is friday.  3.15 in the afternoon.  it is supposed to be summer. that’s what the calendar states.  summer solstice.  the longest day.

and it has been the longest day.  nothing seems to have gone to plan today.  what is today, anyway?   what is time if nothing but a human construct to organise our lives by?   i feel like i am waiting.  waiting for something to happen.

i sit on my doorstep with a cup of coffee in one hand and an abundance of time in the other.  i watch the trains go by.  there’s something beautiful in their ephemerality.

i marvel at the tiny flowers, violet and yellow, growing up through the cracked and spawling concrete steps up to my home.   such unexpected beauty.  such unexpected strength for something so small and seemingly delicate.

my thoughts turn back to a time when i had a medieval castle on my doorstep; to another time when i had a beach.  and now, it would appear, i have a garden.  a wild garden with wild birds and butterflies.  a wild garden fringed with an abundance of cherry-red lanterns of the fuschia bushes growing down by the railway tracks, tall spikes of  purple and white digitalis salute the pathway, and a lone Himalayan palm tree sways in the breeze.  there is also a mysterious outbuilding hidden amid the trees that overhang my overgrown lawn.  i think i may have a key for that…  a big old rusty key.

maybe i should seek the services of a gardener.   the lawn grass is almost waist high.

the sun, when she shines, warms my face and shoulders.  i close my eyes and listen to the sounds of this supposed summer:   trains, chattering birds, distant music from someone’s transistor radio and people in conversation.

i open my eyes.  squinting, i follow the voices, momentarily sunblind.  it is my neighbours, John and Jess.  they are an elderly couple and they are talking to their gardener.  their garden is perfectly plotted geometry.   the precision of its symmetry whispers a sense of order and calm.

“shall we plant delphiniums?  i just love delphiniums”

another train rolls past.  taking that moment with it.

i look at the wilderness of my garden.  it screams chaos.

i shiver as the sun shies away behind a big black cloud, clearly overshadowed – or so it would seem.   the air is cold.  too cold for a storm, i think.

petrol blue and white magpies chatter with one another, swooping from telegraph wire to tree top, and back again.  even they seem restless.

the gardener fires up his lawn mower.   it splutters and starts, then growls loudly as it cuts up the grass.  the tiny green blades are no match for those big steel ones.   i watch him walk back and forth, steering the grass-cutter, turning their garden lawn into a chess board.  the smell of cut grass is pungent.

the sun, having burned through the cloud, is hotter than before.  it is almost 4.

i tiptoe down the hot concrete steps to the dry stone dyke that divides order from chaos and start up a conversation with the gardener.

for £30 he will cut the lawn and square up the edges, he says.

okay.

next week, i say.

 

words (c) Kat McDonald 2019

 

 

 

jellyfish jargon

i have writer’s block.

IMG_E6995

i read, somewhere, that there are many ways to overcome this curse.

i thought “oh… what the hell – things can’t get any worse, can they?“.

so i played a little game – some “word disassociation” – with my lover.

here is the result of our experiment – our “mind meld”.

 

                                      wishbone,                   elbow
                                      and plastic cannon
limp leg
                                      and jellyfish jargon

blade system, warm broth
                                      damp disaster and
soft sponge

                                      swamp surf
and temper ripped
                                                                            telephone tampon
a signal pip

                                     yellow dog and decaying sun
                                     rattling flowers and
                                                                                                                flavoured gun.
                                    keys collected
on a pretend horse;
                                    a cannon ball
                                    with turtle force

                                                                    pristine hands
                                                                    and permanent grin
                                                                                                              apricot eyes and
                                                                                                              lavendar gin

howl, pull,
                 push harder
                 a crossbow found
in Cupid’s larder

                                                                        wishful thinking
                                                                        with lemon aid
                                                                                                                         splice,                     splinter
                                fizzle, fade

tiny mind
                  little bitch
lonely existence
thou shalt not suffer a witch
                                                                       broken glass
                                                                       and pineapple powder
sleep asylum and
                               tulip chowder

                               mask trap and
fuck face
                                                                       vile greed
                                                                       and petal safe

dog, cat and watermelon
                                               thunder boom – put that dress on
                                                                                                            a clever kiss
                                                                                                            in blind rage
a fist full of piss and desert sage

                                              stinking dust
                                              good luck chain
fortune cookie and
                           lust                     for rain

                                                      ritual blood
                                                                             earth quake
                                                                                                   teeth chatter
                            vanilla shake
in forest dark
we travel light
                          turn
jump
                                                                                                   petrol high

                                              denim serpent
purple cloak
                                              opium stab
                                              at ticking clock
                                                                                                   listen to jazz
                                                                                                   hand on cock

                       cowboys
                                      and lions
lipstick smear
                                      red, dead
and drawing near

clip
cut
                                    pussy pie
                  dull twist
shudder
sigh…
                                                    my lone piano
                                                    in temple building
                 mud paste
                                                   for sandwich filling

                                    dragon light
                                    and ocean fire
                                                                                        forest song
                                                                unholy choir

                                   drowning thoughts
                                                               and downing bourbon
                                                                                                              blue balloons
                                                                                                              for a nervous breakdown

lick
         lips
         waterfall
                         of space perfume in empty hall

my empty pen
my broken sword
                                sacrifice the umbilical cord
                                                                                 of my wild imagination

 

Image & Words (c) Kat McDonald

June 2019

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