Maiden, Mother, [CRONE] - EP

by Jordan Reyne

supported by
/
  • Compact Disc (CD)

    5-track EP from a trilogy of EPs called "Maiden, Mother, Crone". All music and lyrics written, performed, and mixed by Jordan Reyne.
    Live drums by Simon Rippin. To be mastered by Stephen Carey of "The Eden House".

    The "Crone" EP is the first release in a trilogy of EPs called "Maiden, Mother, Crone". It is a collection of songs made from vocal loops and tribal drums, and told from the perspective of a character I have used before, and call "the old woman". It's deliberately unimaginative as a name ;) as it is meant to show how we lump all "off the radar" people into one generic category, without giving them the chance to become a specific self. "The Old Woman" first appeared in the ghost story / murder mystery "Remembering the Dead" and does actually have a very distinct character. it is this character I take onto the EP. The Old Woman is political because she can be. She is often ignored and marginalised, but because of that, she feels free to speak her mind. Sometimes speaking her mind gets her attention. Sometimes it results in further marginalisation. She is also somewhat angry: angry that she feels she has as much life in her as she ever had, but that her own face and body betray her - by inviting opinions to the contrary from others.

    The themes of assessment, moral judgement, and body alteration have all been magnets for me in choosing which songs go on which EP. Some of the songs are sung as a male protagonist, from his view on the central character and what she means/ represents to him. Others are sung from the protagonists perspective themselves, or other women reflecting (with various degrees of insight, or lack thereof) on their own situation in regards to their life stage.


    The Artwork

    Despite my own fascination with old narratives, the pressures society places on us obviously alter throughout time. The artwork for each EP is an attempt to set the older archetypes of women (Maiden, Mother, Crone) in a modern day context in terms of the pressures exerted on them:

    The Crone

    The crone is the body to be altered. Ageing involves passing out of the realm of attractive. Our faces and breasts start to sag. We develop wrinkles. These things are seen as flaws to be corrected. With such corrections, we are led to believe, we can retain the attractiveness that keeps us engaging for others. We can retain what still counts for women as "power".
    The diagrams on the Crone cover are taken from cosmetic surgery pages - face and brow lifts specifically.


    The Mother.

    The mother is the moral and public body. Any woman who has been pregnant knows that by some mysterious force, people seem to think they can both touch and make moral assessments on your body. A pregnant woman seen drinking wine at dinner will get gayes from strangers, who will take the time to monitor if it is more than one glass. Acquaintances will come up to you and touch your stomach, though they never would have dreamed of doing so if you were not pregnant. Society, for better or worse, feels perfectly justified in commenting on the aptitude of mothers.
    The diagrams from the Mother EP are taken from medical health journals. They show the instructions one must obey to be considered "good" in terms of looking after ones own body.


    The Maiden

    The maiden is the judged body - a body constantly measured against the ideals about beauty and femininity. Through the process of passing on gender roles, we teach girls that attractiveness is of the highest importance. We also teach them the rules and regulations of beauty/ femininity. Thinness. Clothing style. Grooming. A non aggressive manner of speech.
    The diagrams from the maiden EP are taken from modelling agency pages. They represent the ideals promoted to women in terms of what constitutes beauty.




    Background - Your Mum is a Wealth of Info and Experiences.

    The Maiden Mother Crone trilogy is 3 sets of songs grouped according to how women are perceived at their various life stages. The Maiden Mother Crone motif is an old one, but in talking to my mother about her experience of old age, I realised that whilst images of women over the years may have shifted, ways of viewing and constructing women are still very tied to old age-based ideas.

    Two comments from my mum were the catalysts. The first was when she said:

    "Every day I get up, still feeling like this same self I have dragged around the planet for decades, and then I look in the mirror and think 'WHo the f'##k is this old woman? Is that seriously me?'".

    For me, her comment says that her own physicality is confusing to her. She herself sees old age as invoking certain ideas on how and who one is meant to be. If we have wrinkles, we are expected to be a different kind of character than if we don't. If we don't feel old (and my mother is certainly one of the most alive people I know) then our inner ideas of who we are come into conflict with what we are led to beleive the facts of our physical age imply.

    The second comment my mother made was about visiting the supermarket, where she had to return an item only minutes after buying it. It broke on the way out of the store. On returning to the sales clerk (a man in his early to mid 30s), with the item, barely 2 minutes later, my mother said
    "I just bought this a minute or so ago, and it broke on the way out of the shop. Could I grab another?". The man looked at her blankly, then replied that he didn't remember serving her at all.
    "It was like I was invisible or something", mum told me.


    Hello Every-Body


    What my mothers experience shows - and she said this to me herself - is that once our attractiveness in societal terms diminishes, we actually fall off the radar for many people. Her own invisibility, my mother noted, was a direct product of her being uninteresting to the sales clerk. Her being uninteresting was quite likely linked to her not being "attractive" to him. If she had been a woman his age, with a slim figure and styled hair, he would far more likely remember her. For him however, she was not memorable in any way at all. She didn't get to even register as existent because she was not first attractive.

    Society, for men and women alike, still structures our characters primarily in terms of our physicality. For women, our physicality also dictates whether we will be paid attention to or not. To be considered a person, or competent at what we do, we must first be considered attractive enough. It's like the admission test. If we don't make that first hurdle, we simply do not register as being. We see this in politics where women politicians are criticised for their looks (before their competence is even considered), whilst men are criticised only if they do something unpopular in their actual jobs. We are, by commenting on a woman's looks first, asserting that women should not enter into areas of competence unless they meet the criteria of attractiveness. In short, women are still meant to be attractive first and foremost. Men, these days, have a massive pressure to be attractive too, but what they do can still count even if they are not good looking. An "unattractive" man still gets to be visible.

    There is actually a positive side to my mothers story. Being deemed invisible has another edge to it. It gives you a certain amount of leeway. As an inherently shy person, my mother often bottled what she felt for fear of being told it was not acceptable to disagree. Nowadays, she relays stories of a new-found confidence to say whatever the hell she thinks. Loudly. Being outside "the gaze" in everyday encounters, she can voice opinions she didn't dare utter before. She will tell the local government representative doing his pre-election speech that his talk is "A bunch of useless waffle with every tired old trick of rhetoric in it". She will tell the pompous ex lecturer in her book club group that he is "full of sh#t". All things she would never have done before.
    Why?
    "Cos I know he doesn't care what I think", she says, "He will probably just write it off anyway, and it feels so good to actually be able to say it. I get to be myself more if I say it. So I say it".



    Where Facts Meet Fiction (yup, it's always been my shtick ;)).


    Physical change with age is an unavoidable fact. What isn't an unavoidable fact is set of symbols and narratives we tie to physical age. Our society's beauty ideal is very homogenised (thanks to the all pervasive nature of advertising) and it happens to be young - as evidenced by the massive success of beauty products that offer "anti ageing" effects. Seeking eternal youth via altering our faces and bodies means we do not have to face invisibility, or the moral/ public narratives placed on the mother figure. Persuig eternal youth is, of course, a futile pursuit. I used to wonder why people bothered, but as I too get older, I realise that the ageing itself is not the key issue - it is the set of narratives and symbols (old and new) with which people assess our value and character based on that age:

    In capitalist culture, the idea of constant and full control over the body is a multi million dollar industry. We are told that the body can be altered, if we only work hard enough. This "working hard enough" has the added effect of linking looking attractive with being hard working, and therefore "good". In other words, our physical appearance also has a moral element attached. If I have worked hard to attain my looks, I am therefore "good" in some way. The belief that science and personal perseverance will not fail us results in the idea that there is no excuse for not looking good. We can therefore make something of a moral judgement on those who do not look attractive - they are "not trying hard enough".

    As someone every bit as effected by pressures to be a certain way in order to be "visible", I think we all owe it to each other, as people, to look more closely at why we feel a certain way about some people over others. Why do we not take person x seriously? why do we think person Y is of "weak character"? Why are we more inclined to personally tell the pregnant women that it is not OK to slap their child than we are to personally tell the football hooligan that punching someone in the teeth is somewhat antisocial?

    At some point, age and death catch up with us all. It is something we cannot control. What we can control is our assumptions - if we look closely enough at them. Eventually too, we will be the ones on the receiving end of the marginalisation of the elderly. Our daughters will have to go through the assertions of their worth or worthlessness based on impossible beauty ideals.
    To finish, an often repeated joke - but one that fits.

    "If you ever need to remember how to spell the word "assume" - remember it makes an "ass" out of "u" and "m

    Includes immediate download of 5-track album in the high-quality format of your choice (MP3, FLAC, and more), plus unlimited mobile access using the free Bandcamp listening app.
    ... more
    shipping out on or around 14 May 2014

     £6 GBP or more

     

  • Immediate download of 5-track album in the high-quality format of your choice (MP3, FLAC, and more), plus unlimited mobile access using the free Bandcamp listening app.

    bonus items: Video of live performance of The Shadow Line, Video thanks, printable artwork for booklet and CD.

     £4 GBP  or more

     

1.
06:10
2.
3.
04:56
4.
5.

about

5-track EP from a trilogy of EPs called "Maiden, Mother, Crone". All music and lyrics written, performed, and mixed by Jordan Reyne.
Live drums by Simon Rippin. To be mastered by Stephen Carey of "The Eden House".


The Music

The "Crone" EP is the first release in a trilogy of EPs called "Maiden, Mother, Crone". It is a collection of songs made from vocal loops and tribal drums, and told from the perspective of a character I have used before, and call "the old woman". It's deliberately unimaginative as a name ;) as it is meant to show how we lump all "off the radar" people into one generic category, without giving them the chance to become a specific self. "The Old Woman" first appeared in the ghost story / murder mystery "Remembering the Dead" and does actually have a very distinct character. it is this character I take onto the EP. The Old Woman is political because she can be. She is often ignored and marginalised, but because of that, she feels free to speak her mind. Sometimes speaking her mind gets her attention. Sometimes it results in further marginalisation. She is also somewhat angry: angry that she feels she has as much life in her as she ever had, but that her own face and body betray her - by inviting opinions to the contrary from others.

The themes of assessment, moral judgement, and body alteration have all been magnets for me in choosing which songs go on which EP. Some of the songs are sung as a male protagonist, from his view on the central character and what she means/ represents to him. Others are sung from the protagonists perspective themselves, or other women reflecting (with various degrees of insight, or lack thereof) on their own situation in regards to their life stage.


The Artwork

Despite my own fascination with old narratives, the pressures society places on us obviously alter throughout time. The artwork for each EP is an attempt to set the older archetypes of women (Maiden, Mother, Crone) in a modern day context in terms of the pressures exerted on them:

The Crone

The crone is the body to be altered. Ageing involves passing out of the realm of attractive. Our faces and breasts start to sag. We develop wrinkles. These things are seen as flaws to be corrected. With such corrections, we are led to believe, we can retain the attractiveness that keeps us engaging for others. We can retain what still counts for women as "power".
The diagrams on the Crone cover are taken from cosmetic surgery pages - face and brow lifts specifically.


The Mother.

The mother is the moral and public body. Any woman who has been pregnant knows that by some mysterious force, people seem to think they can both touch and make moral assessments on your body. A pregnant woman seen drinking wine at dinner will get gayes from strangers, who will take the time to monitor if it is more than one glass. Acquaintances will come up to you and touch your stomach, though they never would have dreamed of doing so if you were not pregnant. Society, for better or worse, feels perfectly justified in commenting on the aptitude of mothers.
The diagrams from the Mother EP are taken from medical health journals. They show the instructions one must obey to be considered "good" in terms of looking after ones own body.


The Maiden

The maiden is the judged body - a body constantly measured against the ideals about beauty and femininity. Through the process of passing on gender roles, we teach girls that attractiveness is of the highest importance. We also teach them the rules and regulations of beauty/ femininity. Thinness. Clothing style. Grooming. A non aggressive manner of speech.
The diagrams from the maiden EP are taken from modelling agency pages. They represent the ideals promoted to women in terms of what constitutes beauty.




Background - Your Mum is a Wealth of Info and Experiences.

The Maiden Mother Crone trilogy is 3 sets of songs grouped according to how women are perceived at their various life stages. The Maiden Mother Crone motif is an old one, but in talking to my mother about her experience of old age, I realised that whilst images of women over the years may have shifted, ways of viewing and constructing women are still very tied to old age-based ideas.

Two comments from my mum were the catalysts. The first was when she said:

"Every day I get up, still feeling like this same self I have dragged around the planet for decades, and then I look in the mirror and think 'WHo the f'##k is this old woman? Is that seriously me?'".

For me, her comment says that her own physicality is confusing to her. She herself sees old age as invoking certain ideas on how and who one is meant to be. If we have wrinkles, we are expected to be a different kind of character than if we don't. If we don't feel old (and my mother is certainly one of the most alive people I know) then our inner ideas of who we are come into conflict with what we are led to beleive the facts of our physical age imply.

The second comment my mother made was about visiting the supermarket, where she had to return an item only minutes after buying it. It broke on the way out of the store. On returning to the sales clerk (a man in his early to mid 30s), with the item, barely 2 minutes later, my mother said
"I just bought this a minute or so ago, and it broke on the way out of the shop. Could I grab another?". The man looked at her blankly, then replied that he didn't remember serving her at all.
"It was like I was invisible or something", mum told me.


Hello Every-Body


What my mothers experience shows - and she said this to me herself - is that once our attractiveness in societal terms diminishes, we actually fall off the radar for many people. Her own invisibility, my mother noted, was a direct product of her being uninteresting to the sales clerk. Her being uninteresting was quite likely linked to her not being "attractive" to him. If she had been a woman his age, with a slim figure and styled hair, he would far more likely remember her. For him however, she was not memorable in any way at all. She didn't get to even register as existent because she was not first attractive.

Society, for men and women alike, still structures our characters primarily in terms of our physicality. For women, our physicality also dictates whether we will be paid attention to or not. To be considered a person, or competent at what we do, we must first be considered attractive enough. It's like the admission test. If we don't make that first hurdle, we simply do not register as being. We see this in politics where women politicians are criticised for their looks (before their competence is even considered), whilst men are criticised only if they do something unpopular in their actual jobs. We are, by commenting on a woman's looks first, asserting that women should not enter into areas of competence unless they meet the criteria of attractiveness. In short, women are still meant to be attractive first and foremost. Men, these days, have a massive pressure to be attractive too, but what they do can still count even if they are not good looking. An "unattractive" man still gets to be visible.

There is actually a positive side to my mothers story. Being deemed invisible has another edge to it. It gives you a certain amount of leeway. As an inherently shy person, my mother often bottled what she felt for fear of being told it was not acceptable to disagree. Nowadays, she relays stories of a new-found confidence to say whatever the hell she thinks. Loudly. Being outside "the gaze" in everyday encounters, she can voice opinions she didn't dare utter before. She will tell the local government representative doing his pre-election speech that his talk is "A bunch of useless waffle with every tired old trick of rhetoric in it". She will tell the pompous ex lecturer in her book club group that he is "full of sh#t". All things she would never have done before.
Why?
"Cos I know he doesn't care what I think", she says, "He will probably just write it off anyway, and it feels so good to actually be able to say it. I get to be myself more if I say it. So I say it".



Where Facts Meet Fiction (yup, it's always been my shtick ;)).


Physical change with age is an unavoidable fact. What isn't an unavoidable fact is set of symbols and narratives we tie to physical age. Our society's beauty ideal is very homogenised (thanks to the all pervasive nature of advertising) and it happens to be young - as evidenced by the massive success of beauty products that offer "anti ageing" effects. Seeking eternal youth via altering our faces and bodies means we do not have to face invisibility, or the moral/ public narratives placed on the mother figure. Persuig eternal youth is, of course, a futile pursuit. I used to wonder why people bothered, but as I too get older, I realise that the ageing itself is not the key issue - it is the set of narratives and symbols (old and new) with which people assess our value and character based on that age:

In capitalist culture, the idea of constant and full control over the body is a multi million dollar industry. We are told that the body can be altered, if we only work hard enough. This "working hard enough" has the added effect of linking looking attractive with being hard working, and therefore "good". In other words, our physical appearance also has a moral element attached. If I have worked hard to attain my looks, I am therefore "good" in some way. The belief that science and personal perseverance will not fail us results in the idea that there is no excuse for not looking good. We can therefore make something of a moral judgement on those who do not look attractive - they are "not trying hard enough".

As someone every bit as effected by pressures to be a certain way in order to be "visible", I think we all owe it to each other, as people, to look more closely at why we feel a certain way about some people over others. Why do we not take person x seriously? why do we think person Y is of "weak character"? Why are we more inclined to personally tell the pregnant women that it is not OK to slap their child than we are to personally tell the football hooligan that punching someone in the teeth is somewhat antisocial?

At some point, age and death catch up with us all. It is something we cannot control. What we can control is our assumptions - if we look closely enough at them. Eventually too, we will be the ones on the receiving end of the marginalisation of the elderly. Our daughters will have to go through the assertions of their worth or worthlessness based on impossible beauty ideals.
To finish, an often repeated joke - but one that fits.

"If you ever need to remember how to spell the word "assume" - remember it makes an "ass" out of "u" and "me".

credits

released 14 May 2014
all music written, performed, produced, and mixed by Jordan Reyne. Live drums by Simon Rippin. Mastering by Stephen Carey.

tags

license

all rights reserved

feeds

feeds for this album, this artist

about

Jordan Reyne UK

Described by New Zealand's National Radio as the pioneer of a new sound, Jordan's music is a blend of irish/ celtic rock, steam-era machine noise, and Grimms fairytale-eske lyrics. Imagine PJ Harvey trapped in the workhouses of Industrial Revolution era England, with only Nine Inch Nails for company. ... more

shows

contact / help

Contact Jordan Reyne

Download help

Shipping and returns

Redeem download codes

Track Name: Dear John
Dear John, Im writing to extend an invitation.
An opportunity to join us for a feast of food and celebration
Far beyone imagination, of what
you made of them or me, you made us what we are.

Cos you're all heart John.
you're all heart John.

Please take off your shoes and I will welcome you into my home
Oh it might seem kind of lonely till the other guests make themselves known
and thankyou for your commendation of my choices, but there is only one
that would keep you in the style to which you've become acccustomed.

But you're all heart John.
you're all heart John.

Delicacy of flavour, oh it fill the senses, feel it come
in rarity anf favours, all laid out since you were bred and born
and we only get to do this once, cos it's far beyond our means.
Dont let me bore you with the details - I know you want to taste a part of each

Cos, you're all heart John.
you're all heart John.

A moments silence, please.
To thank our guests and bless this food that's only yours to eat.
Oh and their names are written underneath each plate
each dish, each tasteless grave
but yes, you like the flavour
and you wont change.

you're all heart John.
you're all heart John.
you're all heart John.

There but for the grace of god goes you or I
you taste every story, but do you recognise?
you're so free with the glaze, and it disguises the taste
of what you know this if for.
What its for.

We, we're all here. We feel each bite, we feel each tear as you sew the seeds
your pound of flesh, your fiscal year.
Know what you are
we know what you are we know what you are
know what you are
dear
dear
john.
dear john.
Track Name: The Shadow Line
The sky threw down it's blood and rain on the day that she was born.
They gave her number, rank and name
to see if she could hold her own.

but I won't see red

She wouldn't wear her shoes of green, my little girl, and she wouldnt sing.
And when at last, they asked her why
she pointed at the world outside.

but I wont see red.

The men in power, they set up eyes, to show us where the shadow lines
would trip and blow, and show us how
to keep us safely from ourselves.
and they watched us fall down one by one
as the hunger came and seasons turned
till in the end, they called her name
and the fear bit deep, and the sirens came.

but I wont see red

They say some towns are painted gold, and pictures line the city walls.
They show us things we cannot be
and lead us there in hope and greed.

but I wont see red.

My little girl, I found her there. They'd told her she could outrun death
they gave her gold and pretty things
till she was bought and sold and she
told me with, her final breath
"You can never die, if you've never lived".

but I wont see red.

When she was gone, they took her name, and all she had lost, to sell again
and the children followed one by one
with empty eyes drawn to the tune
of endless gold, undying fame
and the cycle turns on blood and rain

And I see red.
Track Name: Servitude
Turn those voices down
he whispered, he whispered.
Let me be your quiet
in this dissonance, this dissonance.

I will heal your hurt
he whispered, he whispered
follow my hand
through the dark
I'll be your strength, my fading flower.

Oh you're not alive, but I am your saviour
Wasted spirits die, and I want you to savour, savour
the rush of power
he whispered, he whispered.

When I hold you, you're beautiful
he whispered
Hold the knife tight, in your hand
come prove your loyalty to me

Oh you're not alive but I am your saviour, saviour
Cos I am the knowing, the reaping, the sowing and I I I I I I I I
Burn them to the ground
turn those voices down.
Track Name: Dishonour Among Thieves
Dishonour Among Thieves

Cold where your footsteps fall
I am your echo and your shadow
Here: left, right.
Red cross, dead loss, second sight.
Oh, I am waiting.
Oh, I am listening.
For slips of the tongue
loose lips, sunk ships, power trips and
oversights, oversights oversights.

You're pale as a fish. As a shark
your face buys silence, distance
calculate what violence, violence
will buy you.

Bam. Another ace in your hand
Bam. Another race to rail against
Bam. Fear is a trading game.
But which one of us
doesn't need their name?

Cos we are the men who won't be blamed
we are the ranks whose game is is
knives in the back, shots in the dark
slight of the hand, cheap tricks, suck dick
don't run, don't walk, don't stand single file
green light, red square, no blood on your hands.
Blood on your hands.
You look so horrified.

Your slights of tongue, done legal tender,
surrender
your will to power, cower, kill, remember
Your god forbids you'll be forgotten,
short stick, free kicks, dead and rotten.

Cos we are the men who won't be blamed
we are the ranks whose game is is
knives in the back, shots in the dark
slight of the hand, cheap tricks, suck dick
don't run, dont walk, don't stand single file
green light, red square, no blood on your hands.
Blood on your hands.

You look so horrified.