secret lives of paperclips

by zando8grl

Stand Tall 01:47
I stand tall for you I left everything go away from me Your eyes tell a story About the way you see others in this world Gentle eyelashes of compassion, feathering You've got a world inside of you... A whole world inside... And I see What you see
Road Walk 01:25
Love is like you... You are loved... You are love.
Paws & Nails 01:43
Running 02:10
Waiting 01:16
Listening 04:08
Simple act of kindness Simple act of listening To ourselves and to each other Why don't we listen everyday? The pull, the pull of technology The noise, the noise our headaches make What is the sound... What is the sound... Of ourselves? Are we the chaos? Do we like the noise? Simple act of kindness Simple act of standing in place We run around Catching our coattails on each other Why distract ourselves From ourselves, Captivated by the future? When we were young There was no addiction to the future We were here Let's be here When you're in love You feel the moment last forever You are here We are here


Secret Lives of Paperclips is a collection of songs made while commuting to and from work on the subway with vocal parts and one ukulele song ;) made at home.

It is organized into four movements:
I. Emerge (1-3)
II. Love (4-12)
III. City in Motion (13-16)
IV. Transmuting (17-20)

The title song is an ode to movies and stories: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Stranger Than Fiction, It's A Wonderful Life, Paterson, Me and You and Everyone We Know, and others in this spirit about the inner world of an artist -- and the fear of and yearning for adventure outwardly realized. It is also dedicated to the imagined life of office supplies at night -- paperclips swimming like a pod of dolphins, tape dispensers breaching like whales, scissors pirouetting like dancers. Perhaps office supplies were made for more than office work.

Stand Tall is about the people we stand a little taller for -- for our parents and for ourselves with greatest love.

Road Walk is about a walk of equality with animals. I picture a world where animals are treated with reverence.

Prelude to a Fairy Tale is part of a longer finished piece with words. The song is about a shy clown who courts a beautiful, studious rose and who loves and cries for the earth.

Storge was commissioned by my friend Jessica Holloway, choreographer and dancer. I am so grateful for the assignment to write a song about: Storge (Greek) -- nurturing, affectionate love often used to describe love between parent and child.

Marisa's Sunrise is named for my girlfriend Marisa. She heard a sunrise when I played the song for her -- so, it is her sunrise, her Irish landscape.

Wind Chime Loves Gentle Breeze I created a few years back, a love story and perhaps a first exploration of movement through sound.

Polkadot Love I hope allows you to see and hear love quietly unfurling in great bolts of polkadot fabric in every direction.

Tin Can Telephones is about love which is about communication which may feel old-fashioned, but it's still a miracle if you think about it, that we're all born to understand one another.

Waltz for Moose & Sparrow is for love between slow and fast, great and tiny, earth-bound and sky-free.

Bright Petals is a song about optimism and hope. I'm drawn to the sunshine energy of yellow flowers. Yellow is my mom's favorite color and her energy feels like sunshine.

New Jeopardy Theme Song is a new take on a 5-1 classic. This is in the love section b/c I love another's love for the show even if the show totally intimidates me.

Fifth Avenue (Pop Goes Kazoo) includes a recording while standing along Fifth Avenue near Central Park Zoo. The part of Fifth Avenue I love is the part along the park.

Grand Central (Crisscross Commute) found it's name while I zoomed from the 4 train to the Shuttle train below Grand Central during morning rush hour, among us zig-zagging commuters.

Baseball, church for some is inspired by a city that loves baseball. New York spins forward, but always with an old record crackling in the background and with a reverence for ritual.

Gray day, small dance break was finished on a gray day as I raced to meet friends, Joe and Joy, for a walk across Brooklyn Bridge.

Paws & Nails is about the lion paw sensation of the electric guitar -- even if GarageBand generated. I'd feared that this song sounded too aggressive, but I believe in turning outrage into courage.

Running is an ode to electronic music love which is an ode to my sister Vanessa : ) Vanessa is my favorite DJ, introducing me to just about all of the music I've ever known, widening and deepening my understanding and appreciation of music.

Waiting is about a love of jazz and a fascination with technology which started as a kid playing saxophone and Super Mario Brothers. This song is included in the end credits of my friend Hye Yun Park's film for her grandfather which is a great, beautiful honor.

Listening is a song I worked on for a few years. Listening is a practice after all. I wanted to create a meditation-dance-trance song about being present. It feels a grateful kinship with Dar Williams' song "What Do You Hear In These Sounds," a song about therapy -- and Listening is likely the result of years of reading books on self-help and on the subject of presence, and the song was finally finished while in therapy myself : )

My hunch is -- and I wonder, is it true for you? -- that while I love stillness and quiet and calm, I also love a little noise, a little dance, a little adventure -- and it's possible to be fully present in each realm -- the quiet and the noise. Perhaps the noise brings everything into focus.

Why emerge, love, city in motion, and transmuting? I'm curious about the electronic transfer between place and person, between two people in communication, between objects side by side, from one instrument to another, and about the alchemical changes within oneself made possible by and through motion.

Thanks for listening.


released March 12, 2018


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zando8grl Brooklyn, New York

Amanda Gates-Elston is interested in finding sounds to describe places, animals, people, objects, and moments in time. She is interested in composing for moving image, dance, and theatre. She creates daily tabletop theatre with animal figurines, loves acting onstage and film, and is drawn to people who believe-things-into-being. ... more

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