Nearly Oratorio-Occlude

Things happen for a reason.

You hear it all the time.  You half-way believe it until something hard happens to you.  The loss of a plan or a dream is a very large pill to swallow.  Life can’t be all rosy and shiny.  It would be incredibly boring, but I have become weary of the twists and turns which rear their ugly heads in my life.

You know the saying, you come to a fork in the road….which path are you going to take?  For some reason, my life has been full of the long, twisty difficult roads, which surprisingly become unforgiving dead ends.  My philosophy has alway been to pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and start all over again (I can hear my mother singing that in my ear).  Before I do that again, I think I will take a moment to mourn what could have been.

As my eyes fill with rude watery vision interrupters, I realize I haven’t allowed myself the permission to hurt a bit.

Dreams, wishes, hopes.

What would life be without them?  As the hours turn to days, months, and years, I am acutely aware of the speed of their passing.  What should I do with the time I have?

I harbor significant plans, but feel tired of the road blocks which keep popping up in my way.  Bet you are thinking, “Stop your silly whining!”

Don’t get me wrong, I have exponential blessings to count.  I make every effort to focus on them and push aside the fears and worries of not having ‘enough’ love, friends, food on the table or safety nets in case the worst happens.  There are many in the world that would trade places with me in a heartbeat, but this shouldn’t discount my own personal disappointments.

In my church, they have what they call, rally day.  Today is a makeshift rally day for me.  After I take a moment to recognize my weary inner sadness due to outside unforeseeable circumstances, I hope to begin again.  I will turn over a new leaf, turn from distraction, and focus on the people in my life who give me sincere love and support.

Music makes my personal rally day possible.  Melody, harmony, rhythm and dynamics is my solace, my joy, my life blood.  Because, no matter who we are closest to, we are all ultimately alone.  No one could ever know our deepest thoughts, desires, and fears.  Somehow, I find an intertwined connection with artists who create music.  I seek similar stories and shared feelings when I listen to their works of art, as I interpret each song personally.  It may not be accurate or what the composer intended, but it speaks to me in a unique way and I feel compelled to share the voice of my own understanding.

Music is a profound form of communication that has been around since the beginning of time.  I trust its arrival into my heart and my head, and know it is a gift in my life.

Today, in my personal fragmentation, I need to find an innovative, original, and cutting-edge song.  I need a song of sweet sadness, pocketed with impressive healing possibilities. As I write this stream of consciousness, I contemplate my screened-in porch view. I see a glorious blue sky, soft gentle breezes dancing in the trees, birds spiritedly singing, and my adorable pup snuggles beside me in a peaceful mid-morning nap.

The world is a remarkable place. Despite my inner turmoil, I see its profound heart wrenching beauty.

Yes, I have found my song, as I will find my new path, and the sun will set and rise again, reminding me to move ahead with heart and conviction on another uncharted route.

Nearly Oratorio-Occlude

“Occlude” means to close, shut in, out, or off.

As I listen, I close my eyes and experience  in my mind, the streaming dots and dashes of roadway stripes quickly passing under my car. I feel the wind in my hair, and sink happily into a gentle motion of peacefulness. Occlude” is a hypnotic, mantra of repeated sounds emphasized with a soft drum percussion. It is a song about closing or shutting off and yet I  crane my ears for a definitive beginning of new, in the combination of sounds and vocals.

Nearly Oratorio clearly has my attention. The thoughtful name has me curious. Oratorio means a large-scale musical work for orchestra and voices, typically a narrative on a religious theme, performed without the use of costumes, scenery, or action.

What a huge, over the top, undertaking with that heavy title. But, what makes this incredibly real is the ‘nearly’ that precedes Oratorio. I am fond of this thoughtfulness, and after hearing the music on repeat for several days, I recognize the contemplative process behind every sound, melody, and vocal.


Simon Lam is a Melbourne artist and is Nearly Oratorio. He is involved in multiple projects, but in an interview for Stereogumhe discusses Nearly Oratorio… 

“the quieter side of me, the part that endlessly (and most of the time needlessly) thinks about things until I forgot what I was thinking about in the first place. And basically just record that.

My whole ethos for this project is to make it like no one is ever going to hear it, which was the case for a long time. Through the different projects and producing for other artists, every bit of music I make is somewhat directed at person or a culture. But for Nearly I just make exactly what I want to hear. I’m pretty aware that notion might result in a lot of people not liking it, but you have to do some things for yourself sometimes you know? It’s completely selfish. I think it’s just lucky that other people can connect with the sound that I want to hear, so I figure its nice to release it for those people. 

If you are like me, we place our own ideas on a song. “Occlude” is a perfect example of a beautiful song which has indistinguishable lyrics and a musical ethereal ambiguity.  It is prime for outside interpretation. I love the free fall of deciphering a song any way my heart feels at the moment.

No matter where your heart rests, I highly recommend you listening to the entire EP, Tin. If you are an adventurous listener, you will appreciate the depths of sound and electronic experimentation.

As for me and my journey of ups and downs, I am reminded of a quote that brings me peace and a bit of understanding along with the crazy good music I listen to and share…

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well worn path; and that will make all the difference.”

-Steve Jobs


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