Paper Dragon

To Know the Dark

Happy June Solstice, all! It's the longest night of the year down under, and we're celebrating it with musical theatre down in the Dragon's Den tonight, then again on Friday. See some of you there, and to the others: catch you next season!

To Know the Dark
by Wendell Berry

To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.
Author: Paper Dragon
Date: 2021-06-21
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Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

Happy March equinox, all! As the subsolar point appears to leave the Southern Hemisphere and cross the celestial equator, heading northward as seen from Earth, we mark the arrival of autumn (down under) and release a new song in the Demos section of our Music page.

It's called "Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam" and sets to music several quatrains of Edward Fitzgerald's magnificent carpe diem poem of the same name, liberally translated from manuscripts attributed to the 11th century Persian polymath Omar Khayyam. May you enjoy the song and the poem too!

We are no other than a moving row
Of Magic Shadow-shapes that come and go
Round with the Sun-illumined Lantern held
In Midnight by the Master of the Show;
Author: Paper Dragon
Date: 2021-03-20
Tags: demos
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Album 1

Happy Summer Solstice, everyone! Today is an extra special occasion for us. After one year in the making, we hereby release our first album. Woot!

You can listen to (the cleverly named) Album 1 on our Music page over and over again all summer long. You can also download its tracks and artwork free of charge. Enjoy and share!

The music, recording, mixing, and artwork for Album 1 were lovingly and entirely home made by us, because we dig DIY and the gear required is cheap enough and small enough these days. That said, recording and mixing are deep arts we're newbs at, and you can spot the prints of our soft rude fingers across the album. But hey, that's OK. We're learning, and it's Unpop ;)

Thanks to all of you who encouraged us along the way!

Author: Paper Dragon
Date: 2020-12-21
Tags: album
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If Everything Happens That Can't Be Done

Happy Spring Equinox, everyone! In honor of the occassion, we've put down our gardening tools and released a new song on our Music page. It's called "If Everything Happens That Can't Be Done" and sets to music a seasonally appropriate poem by e. e. cummings. We hope you enjoy it along with a full twelve hours of daylight.

Author: Paper Dragon
Date: 2020-09-23
Tags: demos
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Down by the Salley Gardens

Happy Winter Solstice, everyone! In honor of this longest night of the year, we've re-emerged from the basement and released a new song on our Music page. It's called "Down by the Salley Gardens" and is a little sad and wise. (Thank you, William Butler Yeats.) We hope you enjoy it, nestled near a fire, perhaps, and staring at the stars.

Author: Paper Dragon
Date: 2020-06-21
Tags: demos
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Happy Birthday 2

Hello friends, hope you're faring well amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Posting to say we are unscathed and happy down under. Moreover, today's our second birthday. Hip hip hooray!

We don't have any new music for you, but we are busily washing our hands and recording our first album, to be released this year. Stay tuned. Stay well.

Author: Paper Dragon
Date: 2020-05-02
Tags: birthday
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Videos Batch 2

Q: Hey Paper Dragon, i see you're at it again, this time with a new batch of videos.

K: I like making videos, and people have asked us what goes on in the Dragon's Den.

A: I didn't think we could record live down there with our single mic and phone camera, but hey, not bad.

Q: Not bad at all. Is this part of a larger project?

K: No, but you never know.

Q: There's no telling what twists and turns life will take. What else did you get up this summer now gone?

A: Our friend Jesse, who filmed the videos, has been giving us skateboard lessons. I can kick turn now!

K: Me too! Almost.

Q: Daring. Any plans for the autumn?

A: Play on stage again.

Q: Really? I thought gigging was killing Kate.

K: Long story, but let me just say it started out benign enough, and then...

Q: And then?

A: Well, you'll have to come to the show to find out.

Q: See you there.

K: Actually, it got cancelled today because of COVID-19.

Q: Curse this pandemic!

Author: Paper Dragon
Date: 2020-03-22
Tags: videos
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Demos Batch 4 released

Q: Paper Dragon, the seasons turn, and you turn with them. Tell us about your new Demos Batch 4.

A: Sure. You can find it hot off the electro-press on our Music page. It features cats and nymphs and shepherd's lies, millers wives and double suicides (possibly imagined). Oh, and our favorite half-diminished chord. All a bit fantastic, albeit short.

Q: Only three songs?

A: Yeah, with all our gigging in the past three months, we haven't spent much time in the recording studio.

K: He means his bedroom.

A: I mean my bedroom. Also we've been going to the beach.

Q: To record?

K: To relax.

A: And to fly.

K: And to fly.

Q: Kites?

K: Nope.

Q: How's the gigging going?

K: ...

A: ...

Q: Do you have any more shows on the horizon?

K: No! I mean, uh, I need to take a break and assess why I want to crawl into a hole and die during every show. Playing in a duo is a lot of pressure, and our last show at Thirsty Dog was the straw that broke the dragon's back.

Q: Sorry to hear that. Well, I hope you figure things out, Kate, and that you two return to the stage one day. Your demo recordings suggest something special, but I think the real magic happens at your shows.

K: Thanks for the encouragement, Quincey.

Q: You're welcome. All the best to you two, and happy Summer Solstice!

K & A: Happy Solstice!

Author: Paper Dragon
Date: 2019-12-22
Tags: demos
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Demos Batch 3 released

Q: Band, congratulations on the release of Demos Batch 3, published on your Music page today, the Spring Equinox. I know it's not the season, but in honor of the occasion i baked you a pumpkin pie. [Offers pie]

A: Wow, thanks Quincey! I love pumpkin pie.

K: Me too!

A: [Eating] Mmm.

K: [Eating] So good.

Q: So tell me about this new batch of demos.

A: Well, it was going to be seven songs, but then we composted one to fertilize a future crop. That left us with six songs, which isn't prime.

K: We avoid composite numbers.

A: So we set one aside for later, which made a hearty batch of five.

Q: "Your Friends They May All be Dead" is a catchy song with a strange title. What's it about?

K: Well, the lyrics for the song first started out as random murmurs that kind of fit the melody, and then those random murmurs somehow evolved into the words "your friends they may all be dead." I was certain this was just placeholder text, but at some point I had sung those words so many times, I couldn't imagine it any other way. So then I had to figure out what the heck "your friends they may all be dead" meant, which wasn't too hard as I was going through a strange situation with some investors and feeling very unsupported, so the song became about that experience.

Q: "What Is Our Life?"—

A: What is our life?

Q: What a sad song! How did it arise?

A: The beginning riff and melody came to me first, then i needed some haunting words to accompany them. So i searched my high school poetry book and found the poem by Sir Walter Raleigh, which i tried using on another occasion to no avail. This time it was a perfect fit, and when i wrote the ending melody, tears pooled in my eyes. So sad and sweet. I don't believe the poem, but i sympathize with its sentiment.

Q: This question comes from my flatmate, who is a fan.

K: Another fan?!

Q: Are roller coasters still fun for you?

K: I haven't ridden a roller coaster in decades, but they are still very fun in my mind.

A: I don't know. I think i'd get dizzy on one these days.

Author: Paper Dragon
Date: 2019-09-23
Tags: demos
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Demos Batch 2 released

Today is the Winter Solstice down under, the longest night of the year. To celebrate, we're publishing a new batch of homemade demos, then sleeping extra. Syncing our releases with the changing seasons seems natural. You can find this batch, along with the previous one, on our Music page. Enjoy!

Questions?

Q: What does your music mean to you?

K: It means a chance to get out of the house and interact with other humans, make loud noises, and share a tiny piece of my soul.

A: My best song ideas come from the other side, from a timeless realm of wonder and delight. They're echoes from the other side, saying without words, "Read the hints. Come at last."

Q: Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music?

K: Yes.

Q: ...

K: ...

A: ...

Q: Tell us about your next gig.

K: We're playing at the Portland Public House in Kingsland on 8 August. We'll be appearing as a duo, a trio, and possibly a quartet all in one hour long set!

A: Leaving the Mt Eden nest.

Q: Exciting. This next question comes from my seven-year-old niece, who is a fan.

K: Aw, that's cute.

Q: Would you rather kiss a boy or a frog?

A: Pass.

K: Depends if I am in princess mode or not.

Q: Are you two a couple?

[Simultaneously]

A: Yes.

K: No.

Author: Paper Dragon
Date: 2019-06-22
Tags: demos
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Demos Batch 1 released

Today Kate and i celebrate Paper Dragon's birthday number one. Hip hip hooray! Over the past year we have written thirty-nine songs, played two open mic sessions and two garden parties, grown from two members to three to four to three to two, and spent approximately one hundred fifty hours practicing in my basement, bumping our heads on its low beams.

In honor of this momentous occasion, we are dining on dumplings and, more relevant to you, dear reader, publishing our first batch of homemade demo recordings. You can find them on our Music page for your listening (with headphones) pleasure. Enjoy and share!

Questions?

Q: You describe your music as Mt Eden unpop.

A: Unpop™

Q: Yes, what do you mean by that?

A: I don't know exactly, especially since we have eleven fans now. Eclectic? Our songs mix bits of pop, rock, folk, Afrobeat, and Latin in characteristic Mt Eden style.

Q: You set a lot of poems to music. Why is that?

K: Alex's lyrical genius is dumb, so he steals words from dead poets.

A: True, and Kate writes all her own lyrics. That's why she's so slow making songs :-)

Q: What have you learned from this band?

K: That putting yourself out there is scary, but also, people will still like you if you play a wrong note, or forget the words, or even train wreck to the point where you have to stop playing entirely.

A: To sing better and in public. It's not terrible. In fact, i like it. But whenever i start to feel like i'm putting on a show, i try to return to stillness, the source of authentic performance. It feels better that way, and i think people respond best to that mode of play.

Q: What does the future hold for Paper Dragon?

A: Our crystal ball is cloudy, but we are preparing another show, this time with Kate on drums. After that, tour the entirety of Mt Eden? Then onto Kingsland? I have a connection in Kingsland.

K: I don't count as a connection.

A: Hmm, maybe Mt Albert then.

Author: Paper Dragon
Date: 2019-05-02
Tags: birthday, demos
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