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Please support “Doctors Without Borders” and the relief efforts in Japan! Your ‘thank you’ song here…

March 12, 2011

Woke up this morning and meant to write a different post.

But this it would be. I turned toward the news channel and my heart broke in just one single second. Throughout the course of the day the idea grew to somehow ‘do’ something.

A few days back I wrote the lyrics to this song, not yet knowing what this would be for, wrote it, put it aside as I do with so much.
Throughout the day the idea was born to support one relief effort. I wrote this song and quickly recorded it. (forgive some rough spots, sorry)

We, The Major Love Prayer and myself would like to kindly ask you to support “Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres” who are currently trying to reach the worst hit areas with support teams.
Due to flooding MSF is trying to use helicopters and will coordinate further relief efforts after an initial assessment.

We’re hoping to have a video up soon and kindly ask for you to support this organization in their quest to help in the worst hit areas. We have nothing to sell to you- but we would like you to consider a direct donation to “Doctors Without Borders” since efforts like these deserve support. And THANK YOU! (hoping to have a video up by the end of the day)

>How to make a (tax deductible) direct donation: -have a look at their website!

>For donations from outside the US, or direct donations in currencies other than the US dollar -please use this link!


Prayer For Relief

Nightfall gently rolls
Spilling waterfalls
Waters crashing still
Over every hill.

Castles in the sky
Your ballroom’s safe for you to fly
Mirrors everywhere
And his music that is floating here and there.

Thanks for flying with me
No emergency exits anywhere on board
Thanks for flying with me
No emergency exits anywhere

Hands surrounding him
Gently tending now to him
Feet no longer his
On his toes he’ll twist

Wash away the tears
Dare to share all dreams and fears
And fall asleep at last
And a lullaby I’ll sing you real fast.

Nightfall and some relief
Dimly lit sights they now see
Over rolling hills
And the peace
And the peace
And the peace
That it spills
E pace mio dolce cuore
E pace mio tesoro
Friede, Friede, Friede, mein Herz
Und Friede, Friede und Friede mein Herz!

Lyrics, Composition, Arrangement, Vocals & Piano: Irina Hale
-©2011 Irina Hale, March 11, 2011; All Rights Reserved

In Hope for those who are waiting for help and those rebuilding;
In Memory of those who lost their lives.

Free download link -here!


One Heart Be: The Major Love Prayer

February 25, 2011

For more information about the Major Love Prayer, how it started, etc -have a look at their website!

Join us next on February 25 at 2pm Pacific / 5pm Eastern / 22:00 GMT / 23:00 Berlin / 01:00 26th Moscow / 07:00 26th Tokyo


For more detailed information in 18 different languages -click here!

“…a monthly global visualization taking place at the same time in every country on Earth. Everyone is welcome to join us! Inspired by Michael Jackson’s desire to heal the world and begun by his fans, our mission is to make that change…with love. Every 25th we join together as ONE for a powerful worldwide prayer (meditation, intention, etc), healing the world with L.O.V.E.! Please join us this 25th at 2pm Los Angeles time and help send out a major love!

We’ll be sending LOVE and asking for assistance from higher realms to heal the world and all its children. We ask for peaceful resolutions to conflicts and for the loving energy of compassion to awaken in the hearts of all humanity.

“Whatever you believe, you become” and we believe in peace and unity. We believe there’s a place in everyone’s heart that is love, that we are the world, that change is truly possible and that we are ONE — “one in joy, in pain, in love, in service and in consciousness.” Now is the time. The world is awakening to a deeper understanding of LOVE, and WE (us, you, me!) are an important part of this wave. Thank you SO much, everyone!”

And lastly, I send a huge smile and a big ‘Thank you!’ to the wonderful admin over at the Major Love Prayer.

“Sparks Of Silence”- A Song Written For The Major Love Prayer

January 21, 2011

MONTHLY PRAYER/MEDITATION EVERY 25th at 2pm Los Angeles time. MJ fans unite to heal the world with L.O.V.E. Everyone is welcome to join!

Sparks Of Silence

What is the sound of silence?
Can you hear it in it a spark.
Nothing is really silent.

Do me a favor and relinquish
let go of fear and all the useless
The floor right here
next here to my candle
that you lit me
is all you need.

Just take my hand
and I will show you
we’ll fly above more than the sky now
trust your instinct
you won’t fall down.

Look up behind my eyes
what I will show you
is what we once used to call home
Do you remember this at all now?
Because your maps are all so wrong now.
More places growing in between now
they’re young, those planets
in between.

And the galaxies behind you flying faster
fast and faster
than any of the light could ever be
takin’ me higher, higher and higher
higher and higher
and still.

Don’t rush, I am waiting
behind those mountains
they are waning
and they are groaning
growing faster
twirling faster just like I do.

And I will show you how to breath now
is what I say for you to bring it down now
will make you dance on the edge forever
my suddenly fearless one.

And the galaxies behind you flying faster
fast and faster
than any of the light could ever be
takin’ me higher, higher and higher
higher and higher
and still.

Don’t bring me back yet
what is the time now?
Not of your realm
but now you feel it running faster.
Your face is priceless as you ponder,
it’s not what I’ve done.

Lyrics, Composition, Arrangement, Vocals & Piano: Irina Hale
-©2010 Irina Hale, June 26, 2010; All Rights Reserved
All pictures are owned by their respective owners. No copyright infringement is intended.

HOW did I get here??? Extra #29 on the set of the video shoot for Michael Jackson feat. Akon “Hold My Hand”

January 3, 2011

Dear Reader,
This is an entry in the MJ category…and it’s going to be unbearably sweet, so please consider yourself warned.
I am exercising self-control, or the sugar crops of this planet would disappear.

You know that the universe has an immense sense of humor- when I found my own photographed backside hanging from a chair on TMZ, with several others- you know that things happen. But what happened?

In November 2010 a video was being shot- that to “Hold My Hand” by Michael Jackson with Akon; marking the first official single of the first posthumous album by MJ- directed by Mark Pellington.

MJ and Akon

Just a few days before the shot, I recall reading the casting call, thinking to myself, ooooh! But I was too late.
But never fear- another casting call went out into the world, this time on Sony’s official website “Want to be an extra? Email us.”

I am the type of person who has never won a single dollar in any lottery and who inevitably will find the one banana peel in a 10 mile radius to act out an impressive slip-and-fall. Meaning, I am the person who is typically in the wrong place accompanied by the worst timing known to mankind.
“Will you at least email your application, you can cry later!!” And so I did- God knows how many people emailed.

I looked into the mirror and simply asked for the small miracle to be part of this video, hoping to have addressed the right folks on the right Planes of Existence, as free of emotion as I could possible be. (the latter part is akin to asking me to stop breathing…)

It was a Friday, 8 PM.
My phone sounded the sound that makes me perk up- the sound of a sonar on a submarine, reserved for the one email account that means “REALLY, REALLY important!” I jumped. And then I read the words.

“Congratulations! You have been selected to be an extra in the Michael Jackson “Hold my Hand” music Video Shoot. etc etc”
^^^I think I just stood there not saying anything, reassembling the lower part of my face that had dropped considerably and was now resting comfortably on the floor, while I was staring at my blackberry in utter disbelief.

Slowly, slowly the scent of red beans having turned black brought me back. Dinner was definitely ruined, I knew I would have to work all night on another translation that needed be done- but none of that mattered. I spent the rest of the night blowing my eardrums out, dancing through the house. I just did as I was told.

So I put on my dancin’ shoes. “Blissfully ecstatic” would be a good start to describe my elation.

And so this East German found herself once more in 5 lanes of LA traffic, shaking her head in disbelief, praying and hoping both map and GPS would get me there. I have zero sense of direction…

Something rather remarkable (but then again…if you have been a part of the post June 25th world- you already know…) happened.
The entire group of extras was CCed on most of the correspondence leading up to the shoot- random strangers started conversing with one another before they even met.
Conversations went like this: “Hey, can someone pick me up at the airport?”- Answer: “Which airport, dude?” or “Heeeeeeeeeeelp- my printer ate my map and I don’t have access to another printer, somebody please email me directions!!!” or “What the %^&%* are you guys wearing??”- you know, all valid and burning questions that demanded answers. Such as “oh what the bleep- now they decide we should bring second outfits with a plain t-shirt???” You mean, it’s 8PM and I am hunting down the next Target for a plain shirt? Yes, Sir!

MJ Job: Set Location

Later, on set, we joked that this wouldn’t be something related to MJ if there wasn’t a considerable amount of ‘dramatic flair’ added. And believe me, that drama came.
In form of a rather cowardly attempt at plain old sabotage.
10 minutes of midnight we received an email (supposedly by the “Estate”) regretfully informing us that the shoot would be cancelled due to weather concerns…Sorry everyone.
We had been asked to check our emails for last minute changes- and I am sure a few people did not show because of that email.
So the organizers shot out one last minute email to PLEASE disregard any questionable emails- confirming the call time and asking us to please confirm our participation.

I personally decided that unfortunately in the world of Michael Jackson an attempt of sabotage could be part of the deal- and it was.

And there it was, the huge blimp hangar. Things got pretty real when actual security outside the set was instructing everyone on how to proceed from here on out.

I recall driving onto the set on a narrow gravel road- when this thing came my way, being hauled away from the set. I started laughing and pulled over- it was the polished, black grand- or my car. The truck was bigger, they won.

Video Still

We signed our lives away on a lot of paper, lined up like lemmings to get our numbered ‘mug shot’ taken- and spent a lot of time in the holding area. No photography on the actual set and being the good girl that I am-I left my camera in the car. But nobody had an issue with us shooting one another and so the camera came out for a short while.
Now I regret being fairly shy and rather biting my tongue off before asking for anyone’s picture- all the while Mr. Pellington had zero issues to pose with us, BUMMER, and there I was so polite, lol.
(lemme tell you how relieved I was that I did not find MY pics on TMZ)

So the extras shot their scenes. The blimp hangar is gigantic- and so are it’s doors.
Director: “Now imagine you’re walking in the light, you’re a spirit and you’re walking home.”
Well, it’s fair to say that none of us had issues understanding that concept the first time.

A few repeats, countless females in heels stumbling over the same crack in the hangar floor again and again. So did I. No banana peel anywhere in sight- and my face still almost hit the ground. Right to the words “things will go better if you jussssssss, if you jusssssss hold my hand.”

“Okay everybody, let’s do it again because a few of you were ducking when the camera went above you. Don’t!”

The song was done, but the scene was still going. So we clapped, walking out of there. Clapping in silence, to the song inside of us. Powerful, oh, someone was with us. We didn’t have to say it, some of us looked at each other, sharing the same observation. Finally one said it, oh God, this feels weird.

“Cuuuut! Listen, people, some of you are not walking in the light!!” A few of us were close to laughing tears.

We had a good time. We sat, we waited- people danced. Put more than 3 MJ fans together and start counting the minutes until people dance.

" 'Til we see the sunlight" - MJ fans in their natural habitat- dancing.

Financial crisis? Let's dance! 2012? Let's dance! Bored and waiting? LET'S DANCE!

We sat and waited a lot- and listened to our stories- and everyone had a story. Wether someone overcame their fear of flying just to be able to be part of this- or moving from Chicago to LA- I listened to some remarkable stories. Obstacles and mountains moved- fears faced- all just to be there. In other words, the usual heroism in the world of being yourself in a world post June 25.

Trying to round up a few of the extras.

And the offical “planned” part of the day ended. We were free to go- but an offer was made to those who decided to hang a bit longer- ‘if you guys can wait a little, you could just dance freestyle for us and we’ll film it”. (you mean, film us dancing…with THAT camera??? *gulp*)

the last scene of the day incidentally opens the entire video

I don’t think any of the scenes that we did with the sun going down were planned that way- I think they happened after the crew observed us.
The last scenes were literally shot in the minutes before the sun went down, surrounding by rolling hills, the wind in our face, releasing balloons, dancing and singing- in sincerity. There was joy, we were joking the silly little insides jokes only nuts such as us can understand. (or find funny…)
I just breathed joy into the crisp air, just being free, dancing and enjoying the other’s company. And I loved and cherished I loved my life. Dancing in the wind, under the sun going down.

Some of those shots made it into the final video.

You see, even visually we represented the idea. We were short, tall, skinny, not so skinny and everything in between. We were black and white, representing all continents, male and female, all age groups.

We are the world. Truly.

6 hours later, 6 hours in the wind, blistered feet- and richer with priceless memories.

We spent the whole day talking endlessly about synchronicity and it's meaning. Amazing stories.

6 hours of wind means being cold and a patchy wind burned face- but if you could harness the happiness of those minutes- entire cities could have been powered on my happiness alone. I heard similar sentiments from others, lol.

The end of the day- the sun went done, a single lonely balloon left, empty chairs. And a big blimp hangar.

BET recently ran a wonderful “Behind The Scenes” Special that captures so much.
Or, as Director Mark Pellington put it: ‘To Michael’- pointing up. “Union of souls and music and imagery.” Indeed.

I had just a bit of time the next day- time to take those dancing shoes off. I had brought 2 of each onto the set- butterflies and a few “dancing shoes”.

I said, hm Maestro, here’s a pair of dancing shoes, you better like the color and the butterfly- the butterfly is sitting on a tree, perched up on a branch in Forest Lawn, overlooking the old children’s section there.

I was also there to give simple thanks, thinking about this journey.

All I can say to is Thank you and everything else I will fail to express in human language.

2010 may not have started the way I envisioned it to start- but the end- the end of 2010 was sweeter than icing on your typical American birthday cake.

2010- an unexpected start, a tattoo, a 3000 mile move- and a video. What a year.
I returned home and wrote an even sappier (oh yeah… and you thought this was sappy???) account- apparently it has been translated into Russian and even Chinese- now that makes me happy. Sony blocks this video in Germany- and China blocks youtube- but these pictures and the account- the joy was shared nonetheless. (says the girl who stood on one side of The Wall in Berlin the night it came down…)

What story will I have the next time I come for a visit?


1/1/2011 The Laundry List

January 1, 2011

That date just looked too good not to have it visually saved somewhere.

On the list for this year:

1)Record and finish all remaining songs from 2009/2010 in the first 6 months of 2011.
Dead slugs on the grass are faster in ‘completing’ a song. (as complete as a song can be on a simple laptop). Must not use urge for perfection (and utter horror of amateur sounds…)to not get songs into acceptable shape.

2)Conquer this completely irrational fear of paintbrushes and paint. Must ignore the fact I previously couldn’t paint or draw for the life of me. To make matters worse, there’s a literal tryptichon in my head. (might as well do this ‘big’ if I want to do it at all)
Therefore new and only motto is: I can paint. I will paint.

New Year's Resolution No excuses. Now I'm scared.

The knife will come in handy.
More New Year's resolution

3)Get over fear of jazz chords. 30 year old woman does not need to be afraid of jazz chords. White girl will get over herself. White girl wants to get out the jazzy lullabies.

I can do anything, you hear me, subconscious? I am finishing 3 paintings this year and record mountains. Along the way I WILL find way for new computer and by way of miracle I will find a decent acoustic instrument that not only sounds great, but is affordable. Say, a Boesendorfer Grand, lolol.
Fear of failure can live someplace else with someone else.

Dear Universe :Help!! I broke my Casio!

November 14, 2010

Don’t let my piano break without me seeing a way of fixing it. Gaaar. That’s cruel. I have 4 pieces piled up in my mind that I wanted to remove from said mind, BOO. Well, it’s still under warranty (piano, not the mind…but I’ll be your friend if you show me the on/off button on the silly thing for a more effective shut-off, the mind that is), so it’s just going to be a huge pain to get Casio to send me an entire pedal construction, the pedal keeps sliding out. No sustain and a loud clicking noise. Awesome.

happier days...when I dragged it through the door.

Been very frustrated lately with the technical limitations of a digital piano (I sooo long for a the feel and sound of an acoustic piano) and a laptop, the gap between “in my head” and “what ears hear” is becoming larger by the second and it’s frustrating that one can only bring out a fraction.

Soooo, universe….should I ask for the miracle of a baby grand, lol?? (now that this one’s broken- a PEDAL??? Are you serious, a PEDAL, universe? I got no sustain pedal. I would get the keys- I am rather hard on this plastic, but come on- the PEDAL?? I think I screamed in frustration, I hope it’s fixable, I didn’t touch it out of fear I’d just finish that plastic piece of garbage in my anger, my initial impulse was to show that piece of @#$% how far it can fly through the air)

Boo. I get the message to play more cello, haha. Yes, totally neglected that. Maybe stuff my head with more cello stuff then, hm?

I had my head full with themes that were part of a sonatina/fantasia (can’t really call it sonatina, ’cause I didn’t exactly present the theme, in this case the chorus according to the “rules” of a sonatina- ie ending on the dominant, nope. ) on MJ’s “Little Susie”.

I felt haunted by that song since I first heard it back in 1995 when it was first released. I hear the opening bars and the chorus and always hear at least 3 or 4 themes that could be weaved around it. I hear the chorus (the verses really not at all) and start scratching my head. It’s like dancing a Gavotte to a song that was written ca 1979.

And in 1995 I popped the tape into my purple walkman, pulled the blanket over my head and started crying tear of Happiness, which is what usually happens when I listen to music by Robert Schumann. It’s not sadness, it’s absolute joy over a piece of music. Color me silly. “Little Susie” makes me want to write entire symphonies around it’s themes, well, if I were able to, that is.

Little Susie, HISTORY, Michel Jackson 1995 CD-Cover booklet - page:37/ Image: "Lichtkind" (Child of Light), 1972 silver print, grattage by Helnwein

Gottfried Helnwein and MJ 1988 in Germany

Just for the fun of it I hit the “record” button for someone who needed some cheering up. By now the piece is 5 times as long but now that’s the silly sustain pedal is broken, I only have this part left. I was playing with 2 new themes in my head (which is what most of this is), the actual opening of the actual song and the chorus once the way it was originally written by MJ, without anything added, and one variation on the chorus. Casio better send me the pedal construction replacement soon, there’s more stuff piling up.

I swear, I have never derived as much joy as from trying to weave new themes around an already existing theme/motive. It’s that obsession on “variations” that drove me for weeks.

I love the Space flight sequence from “Contact”.

EDIT: Oh, thank Goodness for Dads who are Hobby Sound Engineers with inventor tendencies. Piano is FIXED. And it looked ugly. Boo.

Guess I do play a lot...Temporarily fixed until the new part from Casio comes in. Hurray!

“Acting is a phony profession for a grown-up man if there’s no spiritual manifestation behind it.”- Oskar Werner

October 23, 2010

Born 13 November 1922, Vienna, Austria.
Oskar Werner

Crossed the divide 23 October 1984 due to a heart attack days before embarking on a scheduled reading/reciting tour throughout Germany.
Oskar Werner

One of the rarest actors mankind had the pleasure of experiencing.

Followed the hunches and pushes and lo and behold, Oskar Werner’s last interview he gave before crossing over was indeed not on youtube as of yet. (that surprised me, usually the Oskar Werner afficionados would have put that up)
Happy to say, this is hereby remedied

Didn’t have the time to translate the entire 45 minutes, so just some of it. I don’t think this interview has ever been translated at all in the realms of the English speaking world. It’s difficult to split it in the right places, I did my best.

Teil 1/Part 1:

“Acting is a phony profession for a grown-up man unless there’s a spiritual manifestation behind it.

When you fought your entire life for the nobility of the spirit and the quality of true emotion- you simply cannot partake in defacing the great classics.

And I also think one has a responsibility toward our youth that is so very desperate and without guidance. That is why they are so violent.
I just don’t believe that one can achieve anything with smashing in windows- but with the complete opposite. They need to protest- but in a dignified manner, not without dignity.

And that’s why Schiller said (and I love Schiller passionately!) “Art is the daughter of Freedom.”- and he was right.
And Schiller told the artist something else: “The dignity of mankind is in your hands; protect it! It sinks with you! With you it will ascend.

…you can only understand things so much- as far as you have come along yourself. Nobody will spoon feed you a master piece overnight, that is something you have to work on for yourself.
That I know the [Mozart’s] ‘Magic Flute’ by heart is a blessing- it also belong to me and not just [the director] Karl Boehm.”

Teil 2/Part 2

Interviewer: “I met a colleague…and he said ‘the content is pretty nice, but I love the voice and the voice is marvelous.’ Now I ask myself- but how do you reach the audience with the message?”

Werner: “But that is why I am doing this. Because there is something that I have to communicate to them that is of concern to me.
And because I am a pacifist and had deserted in that war it is my job to tell the youth what I think about war.”

Interviewer:”Sometimes I doubt if the message is coming across, as if to say ‘Okay, here is Oskar Werner with his marvelous voice’ and that’s that.

Werner: “Oh, that’s fine, that’s not a problem. They are still coming. They are still hearing it.”

Werner”…That is also because I have said no- I have rejected over 300 movies in my life, even refused very lucrative ones in Hollywood. Because I am aware of the responsibility.
Think about it, you turn the TV on- the youth is literally being schooled in evening filling home study courses in ‘Crimes’. When you see 8 different murder stories, some might get the idea to try that, too.
They literally exercise every crime there that you could think off- I’m surprised TV even can add something new to this.”

Interviewer: ” Are you a religious person?… What do you believe in?”
Werner: “…I already told you that.
The sublime, the beautiful and that humans are more than just pigs. If you believed in everything that is being portrayed today, you’d think everyone is just a criminal, a murderer, a bank robber and nothing else. And that is why I chose my poets because there is more to us than just that.”

Teil 3/Part 3

Interviewer: “Truffaut. You later parted ways fighting. He later said you didn’t execute Fahrenheit 451 than he wanted it.”

Werner: “You see, when we did “Jules et Jim” the collaboration was excellent because I basically knew how to speak my lines in French- but I didn’t actually speak French then. It’s like being a singer who sings Italian without actually speaking Italian…it’s sort of in your ear.
But when we did ‘Fahrenheit’ he didn’t actually speak English and that might be the main reason- the generational difference of about 10 years- and that he actually is French.

But in the night of the Kristallnacht [pogrom or series of attacks against Jews throughout Nazi Germany and parts of Austria on November 9–10, 1938. Jewish homes were ransacked, as were shops, towns and villages, as SA stormtroopers and civilians destroyed buildings with sledgehammers, leaving the streets covered in pieces of smashed windows—the origin of the name “Night of Broken Glass”]- I SAW how the synagogues were burning and how the SA piled up mountains and burned [books by] Freud, Stefan Zweig and all else.
So, his [Truffaut’s] potrayal of this seemed too small and too cheap. Infantile.

That Truffaut handed this over to the press is so tasteless and without tact. Even if I am arguing with my sweetheart- that’s not even my neighbor’s business, I do that quietly.”

Interviewer: “You played Mozart once. After that, you were offered to play Richard Wagner in Visconti’s ‘Ludwig’, which is now considered to be his best movie.
But you didn’t play Wagner- what was the reason for you to refuse this role?”

Werner: “Because I hate Wagner like the plague. If there ever was a genius of kitsch- which is a contradiction in itself already- then for me that is Wagner.
And my condition was that I would be able to play Wagner the way he actually was. Portray him as the pig that took advantage of people- and they told me, that’s impossible, we can’t do that on the German market.
So I said, fine, then somebody else will have to play Wagner.”

Teil 4/Part 4

Teil 5/Part 5

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