February 27th, 2008


the Moon and the Fire circle Song By Song Commentary By Shauna Burns

Originally the Moon and the Fire circle were two separate albums. One representing the moon - or the dark - one representing the sun - or the light. But when I was structuring the albums it become clear pretty quickly that to tell the whole, complete story they needed to be presented together - moon and sun joined as one. You can see this visually in the artwork. We've fused the image of our moon and sun to make a new planet with her own colors and texture. This represents the dark and light in all of us living harmoniously as one. Each song has a very specific place on our moon/sun fusion. This is a journey from light to dark to light again. You can hear it and feel the shifts as you travel through it. With the Moon and the Fire circle we are embracing all the aspects of Self.

As fate would have it there is a twist in our story, from whom are we viewing this? Who's point of view are we looking? These questions have always been a driving force in my songwriting. Giving the listener that different point of view of vulnerability, freeing of spirit and healing. When you are dealing with a journey of the soul, living with this harmony of light and dark has always fascinated me and it’s also something that I tango with regularly. But remembering where your light is located is a crucial part.

I view the songs as dwelling in different phases of our planet, similar to the phases of the moon and sun when they are in orbit. This gives each song a home on either the sun or the moon.

Phase 1: The Sun.

1. Bloom ~ Bloom starts us off claiming that it will not be artificial but rather authentic. "Tulips bloom but BMW's fade with time" - something that is real, alive, growing and blooming will be everlasting but something synthetic and manufactured will "fade with time." I always thought Bloom would be a great first song, something to blast us out.

2. Desert Sun ~ “Only the heat heals my soul The heat heals my heart”, these are elements of soothing calm for me. A sacred place where healing can be possible and where you can be embraced. I view this song almost as a meditation.

3. Comet ~ Comet teaches me that not all dreams can dissolve into star dust. Comet has a real innocence that I love, where anything is possible (dark and light) and that feeling of anticipation. It’s also foreshadowing the transition into the Moon phase.

Phase 2: The Moon.

4. Out ~ We have now entered the Moon phase. Stark. Focus. Open. Dark. Underworld. Orbit. I always see this song as a pressure point, small but powerful.

5. Chamber ~ I got my Vampires' license writing Chamber… my relationship with this energy has shifted. I guess we can say I’ve come full circle in just this one song. Yes, the venom has poisoned, but with that venom comes clarity and then acceptance and even redemption. It’s sometimes a good thing to be friendly with the Vampires. I love playing this song, it’s extremely freeing.

6. Starfish ~ This idea, that you can turn yourself inside out to fit, really fascinates me. Not listening to what your inner voice is screaming at you?… Not so good.

(*Twilight interlude… I really see Tumbleweed quite intertwined with a book called Twilight by Stephenie Meyer so I thought it's best to parallel Tumbleweed’s story with that.)

7. Tumbleweed ~ What draws me to Tumbleweed, which is mirrored in Twilight, is this thought of holding the balance between light and dark. Something so bitter it's sweet. The thought, you are not good enough, there is something wrong with you... thinking you are all alone. This vulnerability that we can feel, which is paralleled in Bella, is what makes her so intriguing and ultimately a strong force. The vulnerability she has fuels a strength she draws from inside ~ her clear inner voice and longing. This is coupled with the thought that love can be seductive, powerful, life changing but it can also be dangerous and at times destructive. The force between Bella and Edward. This space between push and pull, force and magnetic. These elements of dark and light. Of course as fate would have it, the Vampires make an appearance in Tumbleweed... I guess you can say I saw the forest through the trees. Tumbleweed is an axis for the entire album, holding the harmony of light and dark as one. You cannot alter fate and tear the soul in half.

Phase 3: Slowly transitioning out of the Moon up into the Sun…

8. The Caribbean Sea ~ Deep in the Moon phase sometimes we get a glimpse of light. Are they reality or are they just merely a mirage?

9. Failed You ~ This particular recording is pure in instrumentation ~ just piano and vocals only for this one. Sometimes we need that subconscious force to tell us to "stand up push off and fly".

10. The Slow Process of Shutting Down ~ We are now starting the transition into the Sun. When I say "shutting down", I am talking about shutting down what that expectation of you was and opening the real you. New rules do apply here.

Phase 4: The Sun or Fire Circle.

11. Around You ~ Sometimes the person you want to be close to isn’t that close but luckily I’m really good at writing letters. I thought this song might be too happy but a good friend assured me it wasn’t… I’m taking their word for it. But sometimes we need light huh? This song is about someone very special.

12. Magic ~ This song’s simplicity is what I love so much. Pure magic. I knew it needed to be very focused and light. As if the piano and guitar were having a conversation… I would like to think I would know what the piano would say.

13. And Fire ~ This song is what happens when songs have a strong core. We are clearly in the light of the Fire Circle now and I think this song reflects that. Surrounding yourself with people and ideas that mirror your soul and embrace your true self. This song seems to travel a lot to other places but when it comes back it brings gifts.

14. When the Rain Comes ~ Coming full circle back to the light feels right for this work and When the Rain Comes makes me feel like the journey is resolving but at the same time beginning anew to the next journey. The credits may role but it’s not really the end. As with so many cycles and phases in life we evolve to a greater purpose and a higher meaning.

The Recording:
We approached recording the Moon and the Fire circle differently than with every thought but still held a place for that organic integrity. Piano and vocals are always recorded live together at the same time. (I get my juice from the piano.) Sometimes James Clark, my co-producer and drummer will play live with me. We worked a lot with layers, loops and textures that harmonized with the theme of "blasting out". This is what the Moon and the Fire circle feels like for me, a blasting out into the universe on a great adventure through the soul. James and I not only wanted to kick it up a few notches but we wanted to blast it out of the universe in all aspects.

All of these elements have gathered together creating the perfect universe where the Moon and the Fire circle combine to embrace the soul.