June 13, 2000

So tonight, I’m wishing I had a big hug from you and you look into me with love. ….What is it like where you are? Is there music playing? What are you feeling? Frequently I think I feel things too deeply. I was thinking today about my brother who died when I was only twenty. I still think of him all the time and the emptiness left in me when he died, has never left. SOmetimes I think this is why I need music. And why some people say they can hear so much emotion in my voice…… DO we ever get over the insecurity we had as a child? If we were bullied, or unpopular, do we have a fear of being alone or left behind as the ‘laughing hipsters’ leave us in the dirt? How easy is it to be alone and LIKE it? What does it take to have so much self love that you don’t ‘need’ anyone else….you can take them or leave them because you don’t really care. What about being cold as a result of past rejection and hurt? Is it an advantage to be cold and unfeeling as a result of the discipline to make yourself that way? To make yourself invulnerable…… What about inadvertantly setting yourself up to be punished by another person? Does that happen?

I want to hear your emotional survival methods/secrets. Share them with me.

The guestbook on this site waits for you.

June 11, 2000

6/11 Several nights ago, I attended the Atlanta show of the current Dead Voices On Air/ Legendary Pink Dots tour. Not only did I enjoy seeing Mark Spybey again, but I met for the first time -Edward Kaspel , who was a soft-spoken gentleman who got a spontaneous big hug from me when he said he had always wanted to meet me….Photos of us were taken in the dressing room after the show and will soon be up on this site.

CMJ Change Music comes to Atlanta this week and as I was given a ‘premium pass,” I will be attending as an audience member as many ‘music and the internet’ panel discussions as energy permits….

The evenings are still pleasant and cool here. I lie out in my big hammock gently swaying between the Japanese Maple and the Magnolia. Here I am under the stars in the clear sky. I wear a satin slip —and look up at the fireflies hovering in the tall trees. Candles, incense, red wine and the cicadas…..

************************************* Oh and Thanks to those on the guestbook for their feedback about the Blackmouth project…..Both John’s and Brett’s sites can be accessed from my links page….

June 7, 2000

7 June

Last night, an unexpected treat- a last minute invitation to a new production of the Mozart opera Cosi fan tutte, the delightfully perverse comedy . A terrific performance by The Atlanta Opera. Also a brief visit to the home of friends who never fail to inspire me. Tomorrow night, I’m looking forward to seeing my friend Mark Spybey in town with his project DVOA -touring with The Legendary Pink Dots.

Something began to happen to me internally when I was in Japan and as a result, the songs I wrote there are going to be some of the most beautiful ones on Disburden Disciple.

I am slowly and cautiously finding and allowing beauty and romantic love back into my life and the shock has been the realization that even though they are also a part of life and indeed beautiful, I no longer want or feel a need to literally live with and surround myself with images of death and decay. There is also a need and appreciation for simplicity and minimalism. I’m going for long walks almost every evening in a park nearby and I even feel intense joy emerging inside although I fear it because all extremes of emotion are ‘honey on a razor’s edge’ and they are all temporary.

Every week, I receive email and packages and letters from all over the world from people who say my music and also Swans – has had an impact on their life. This is not a reason to make music but it is one reason to take a deep breath and look around me and close my eyes and remember.


May 28, 2000

28 May —- Satin covered knee-pads are available at the altar . Memorial Day weekend. Atlanta. The city is glorious. Driving in the pickup truck is a pleasure. Everyone but seemingly half a dozen other people have left the city for their summer weekend place on St Simon’s Island off the Georgia coast , the Florida beaches , or the North Georgia mountains. Yours truly has been enjoying such lovely American pastimes like mowing the lawn, making lemonade, swinging in my hammock at dusk , and seeing a movie at the mall. ….. I truly enjoy such simple incredibly old-fashioned activities. And I have to say that after a life of seeking out the new ,the dangerous, the ultra-intense…it makes sense to me that I find simple things to be nurturing and exquisite. I have had so many lives already. Been so many different women. …And life’s diversity offers a balance……. There are jars of alcohol with black snakes floating in the bottom available in a Tokyo night spot I was in recently , outrageous toothless fat strippers in the Atlanta nightspot, Claremont Lounge , and the same Japanese Privet bushes are in my front yard as are artfully arranged inside a trendy nouvelle cuisine Tokyo restaurant. ..Balance is all around….. —When ‘cutting edge’ is an effort, it’s the same pose as unquestioning conformity because it is that person’s time to embrace the sanction of desperation, the cheap thrill and artifice. And only the individual can know when healing can begin……for some–desperation , artifice, and thrill-seeking IS the altar of their inexorable religion. Making music and writing are absolute essentials to my life in this world. They aren’t activities in which I engage. They are as necessary in who I am as the breath I take in my lungs…. And healing is a solitary process.

x J ————————————————————————— ——-

May 19, 2000

I saw a new book tonight : Melody Maker- History Of 20th Century Popular Music (Bloomsbury Press). It contains passages about Swans. Tonight I have been thinking about how important it is to take time out to reflect on what kind of person we have become. There are blind spots that others can see but that we ourselves cannot. This is a painful process. It is essential to let down ones’s defense mechanisms to see more clearly and let the truth in. But you have to have trust in that person in order to take what they show you as real.

Conversely, sometimes the person that you least expect it from is deeply insecure and frustrated. So frustrated that something you would never think would set them off lights the fuse and you get burned in the process.

Every time we enter into the bond of intimacy with another human being, we invite a mirror held closely up to our own selves that may not reflect what we want to see.

I can only decide to believe that I will not grow as a person unless I face this mirror and I can only feel the burning as necessary to new flesh and new beginnings.

My life has been a combination of ‘suffering’ I consciously or subconsciously decided to inflict upon myself as well as the cowardice of sometimes taking the path of least resistance in order to try and avoid suffering. I don’t like sarcasm and interpersonal conflict and yet it is there waiting for me even when I least expect it.

Some thoughts: Don’t whine and complain to anyone. You are not entitled. Have a thicker skin when it comes to criticism and decide if that person is actually offering you the privledge of ‘the mirror’ and revealing something about yourself that you just may need to see –instead of becoming defensive.

And yet—be careful and honest with yourself when you get deeply involved with another person. Your life is precious. Do not let their disease infect you. Its okay to walk away. Maybe you wish things were different and you are full of guilt and remorse and you feel you cannot go on without them. These are universal. Many people have felt this way before you. YOU have probably felt this way before. ………………………….. ………………………………………………………………… …………………………….

May 16, 2000


This jet-lag is crushing…

Returned home to find the rosebush M.G. planted for me in full bloom in the front yard.

Read first review of Blackmouth today in Outburn magazine. My first entirely pro-tools project. All vocals sound files into the Mac. Got a letter from MG where he says this is the only way he wants to record in the future for his own recordings, including The Angels Of Light .

The recording artist must now wear many hats. Sometimes, I dream of the luxury of focusing on writing and performing the music instead of all the other aspects to being a self-employed self-product and the business and technical aspects therein.

I met someone in Tokyo who told me the internet was damaging the indie labels and not increasing the profile of the artist at all and that the major labels are only stronger for the internet. In my case, the internet has allowed me the privilege of making available my work directly to the people who want it and bypassing the middlemen of the industry altogether.

I want to believe in the power of artist controlled websites and to debunk the myth that you have to get on a major to advance your work and your profile. One of my favorite artists, Tricky, was dropped by the major he was on. Need I say more about the majors? The internet should be about networking and giving artists freedom to do their work and get out from under the thumb of the music business. To do this, of course, you have to get people to be aware of and come to your website. I am still learning how to do this. I think it is a marriage of print ads and promotion and other traditional factors in addition to the net. But things will never go back to where they were when the artist was crippled by the music business machine. I don’t want to sound naive . I am far from bohemian or socialistic. I am not even that idealistic. However, I am aware and informed and realize it is still hard work. Nothing is handed to you on a platter. Too many musicians feel entitled. M.G. always reminded me that you have to work hard and expect nothing in return. I say you have to create your OWN ‘return.’

A Hopi-Indian inspired song that came to me in a dream after a day of visiting Temples in Japan is the next and final recording to take its place on Disburden Disciple. I will be in New York in June to record it.

Love J

May 9, 2000

May 10 Tokyo

Photos to be posted soon from this trip. I have enjoyed my stay immensely and have made new friends. I’ll carry with me the unforgetable sound of the hanging foot long prayer cards made from wood flapping in the breeze at the temples , the unique taste of the thick green tea which made me realize I had never REALLY had green tea at all before now, the consumerist irreverent to the past attitude of the young – with a veritable sea of prada backpacks and vuitton bags, and the knowledge, hospitality, and insight shared with me by a very special gentleman from Australia who has made Tokyo his home. J.

May 7, 2000

May 8 Tokyo Yesterday, a long train ride to visit temple grounds which included meditation halls scented with years of rich sweet incense , gardens with sublime elements like a pond in the shape of a letter representing ‘mind’, graveyards with the statues known as ‘stoneghosts’ and air filled with jasmine and hyacinth and cranes in the trees and a swimming snake and turtles bobbing their heads above the water… J

May 6, 2000

May 6 Tokyo Tonight was huge screens and neon and street fashion. This afternoon was a visit to artist Trevor Brown and the privledge of seeing a painting in creation stage as well as other beautiful work. (His site is linked.) Right now, sleep is seducing me. J

May 4, 2000

Tokyo March 5 7:20 A.M. Visited 3 temples yesterday and met dancer Shakti. http://home.att.ne.jp/gold/shakti/ Her current production Woman In The Dunes is the one Severin wrote the score for and for whom he asked me to sing ‘I Put A Spell On You’ We met at a popular hangout by a street bridge where there were hundreds of incredibly dressed young people. A number of them looked inspired by Trevor Brown’s images.Many were dressed as nurses with bandages and outrageous makeup. They apparently leave home looking quite conservative and then transform themselves in the train station restrooms into looks way more bizarre than, say, Marilyn Manson. But my favorite thing about Tokyo so far is the crows . One swooped down by me on temple grounds yesterday that was huge.Most of them are three to 10 times the size of the crows I love in Georgia. They wake me up here with their ‘caws’ in the morning. Wonderful.