Ophelia of the Spirits

Ophelia of the Spirits

 Sydney, New South Wales, AUS
BandFolkAdult Contemporary

Ethereal Celtic folk rock with an Impressionist twist. Both earth mother and air sprite, Ophelia of the Spirits is a character who explores the shifting balance between the beauty and the tragedy of existence with her haunting music.

Biography

Ophelia of the Spirits was born in 2007 when Sydney-based performer, songwriter and film composer Angela Little was studying for her Masters degree in Screen Music Composition at the Australian Film Television & Radio School (AFTRS). One of only four students accepted into the course after a nationwide selection process, her vision was to develop a compelling creative concept which fosters strong interaction between different art forms including music, film, theatre, and animation/digital media.

The name itself derives from characters in the works of the great playwright William Shakespeare and Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini, and was intended to highlight the importance of promoting artistic, philosophical, and spiritual development and discussion within and between communities. More than a person, Ophelia of the Spirits is a portal to a Jungian inner universe of magic and mystery where the surreal environment serves to question what is real and what is imagined, and ultimately to highlight the truths revealed when we turn inward to confront our own struggles and triumphs, and those of all humanity.

In May 2008 Angela independently released her debut self-titled Ophelia of the Spirits EP, which received airplay on Triple J, ABC, and community radio stations around Australia and shot to #30 on the iTunes Australia charts in its first week of release.

Angela’s vision of combining her songwriting and compositional talents gained momentum when she was brought on board to co-compose Additional Music for Baz Luhrmann’s 2008 film, Australia, in a music team headed by Oscar-nominated composer David Hirschfelder. During the process, she co-wrote and was asked to perform the film’s love song, By The Boab Tree, which featured on the end credits of the film, and was ultimately amongst 49 songs shortlisted for a 2009 Academy Award for Best Original Song from a Motion Picture. In addition, she co-wrote and orchestrated a version of Waltzing Matilda, which also featured on the end credits of the film, and was televised worldwide as part of the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup. Both of these songs subsequently featured on the EP Australia: Music from the Film, alongside songs by Sir Elton John, Australian icon Rolf Harris, and John Butler. The EP was released on iTunes in December 2008, and achieved considerable success on international iTunes Soundtrack charts, with By The Boab Tree reaching #1 in Spain, #5 in Germany and #7 in Italy, and Waltzing Matilda reaching #3 in Spain and #7 in Germany. Following this success, the Ophelia of the Spirits EP was re-released by MGM Distribution in December 2008, becoming available through retail outlets for the first time.

Throughout 2008 and early 2009 Ophelia of the Spirits has continued to perform at venues along the East Coast of Australia, including multiple headline shows at The Basement & The Vanguard in Sydney, and Manchester Lane in Melbourne, building a reputation for staging shows that are visually exciting and strongly focused on storytelling through music and image.

Angela has also been shortlisted for a number of awards over the past year, including two songs shortlisted in the 2008 Australian Songwriters’ Association Awards, as well as being a top ten finalist in the 2008 Musicoz Awards, and a finalist in the 2009 APRA Professional Development Awards for Composition for Film and Television.

2009 has already proved to be a busy year, with the Ophelia of the Spirits single Shame being selected as iTunes Single of the Week in March, and subsequently hitting #35 on the iTunes charts. Currently working on her first Ophelia of the Spirits album, The Secret Garden, Angela is now planning its release while co-composing the music and recording vocals for upcoming Australian feature film The Clinic with Australia’s leading film music production facility and scoring stage, Trackdown.

Lyrics

Shame

Written By: Ophelia of the Spirits

Shame
You brought this on yourself
You’re the one to blame
Nobody else
Should have never sunk
Down down down so low
But that’s the way it goes

You are lost
Trying to find your way back home
But what’s the cost
Now you’re out there on your own
You’ve got blood on your hands
You’re a broken man
You should have never sunk
Down down down so low
And you should be ashamed

House of Cards

Written By: Ophelia of the Spirits

You don't know what I know
You can't see the spreading stain
Of deception
I am cruel to myself
Things will never be the same

Oh this will all fall down
Around you
In a house of cards
It's just too hard
Not to touch it
So it all falls down

I will hold my silence
Like a weapon in my hand
If I used it
I would murder myself
You could never understand

Oh this will all fall down
Around you
In a house of cards
It's just too hard
Not to touch it
So it all falls down
It all falls down

Ring-a-ring-a-rosie
A pocket full of posies
A-tissu, a-tissu
We all fall down

Nothingness

Written By: Ophelia of the Spirits

Take this breath from my body
Take this blood from my veins
You are the dawn of my destruction
Only nothingness remains

Take this flesh from my humble bones
Take this pleasure in my pain
You are the dawn of my destruction
Only nothingness remains

Bleed me dry
I’ll cry a thousand rivers til it’s over
Say goodbye
I’m looking back at you as I go under

Your Angel

Written By: Ophelia of the Spirits

There is something in your eyes
So blue and clear and so surprised
You weren’t expecting me
But I’m here and I will set you free

There is something in your voice
You’re so sad and scared
You think you have to make a choice
But like the way the river leads towards the sea
This river’s leading you to me

And you say that I’m your angel
That I’m your guiding star
But what it all comes down to is I’m only human too
And I love you just the way you are

There is something in your arms
They’re so safe and warm, you know you make me feel so calm
And since you stroked my hair and held me through the night
I know it’s gonna be all right

So you say that I’m your angel
That I’m your guiding star
But what it all comes down to is I’m only human too
And I love you just the way you are

Don’t be afraid, we’ll be fine
Remember everything happens in its own time
And like the way that every river leads towards the sea
This river’s leading you to me

This War

Written By: Angela Little

When the leaders of nations are stabbing the dark
With a knife grown blunt as they tear it apart
I’m ashamed
To pick up the pieces

When the cries of starvation are echoing
Through the guts of a nation that’s bloated with spoils of war
Was it worth fighting for?

Is this war worth fighting?
Is this war worth fighting?
Is it all worth fighting for?

When she picked up the gun she was shocked by the weight
She caressed the cold barrel, felt the stirrings of hate in her heart
Could she blow this all apart?

When she looked at the river of blood in the sink
She saw colours and shapes and she started to think it’s a shame
But aren’t we all the same?

Is this war worth fighting?
Is this war worth fighting?
Is it all worth fighting?

If evil prevails while we turn a blind eye
We’re washing our hands of the moment to try to speak out
To stand up and shout

I am not afraid
I am not forgotten
I will not be silenced...
That’s a war worth fighting

Like Rain

Written By: Ophelia of the Spirits

Reaching out
I'm like a child with open arms
I want to shout
I'm standing on the edge of something
Looking down
And I've seen this precipice before

Goodbye fear
You've held my hand for many years
But it's time to let go
Now it's time to watch you float away
From here
Away from here

And I see her face
And I see the place
And it is beautiful
Like rain

Reaching out
I'll light my candle in the sky
I want to shout
The power's gone from you to burn this fire dry
And you will never burn it out
You'll never burn it out

And I see her face
And I see the place
And it is beautiful
Like rain

Oh mother
Mother
I'm coming home
I'm coming home

Oh mother
Mother
I'm coming home
Your daughter's coming home

Fireflies

Written By: Angela Little & Luca DeFrancesco

I don't know what I can say
To make this better
All I can do is be here with you
Here together

I know it's hard to believe
There is beauty in this world
But someday you will see
That you and those around you are like fireflies
A little light in the darkness shining bright
And I will never be afraid
With you to guide my way

The world has brought you to your knees
But please understand
That all you ever need is a faithful friend to help you stand
To tell you

I know it's hard to believe
There is beauty in this pain
You will live and love again
Because you and those around you are like fireflies
A little light in the darkness shining bright
And I will never be alone
With you to guide me home

You're like fireflies

Someone Like Me

Written By: Angela Little (Ophelia of the Spirits)

I’ve been scared
To show too much of myself to you
I’ve been scared you won’t like what you see
I’m prepared
To give this some time
These are trying times, trying times indeed

You’re not sure
That’s ok cause I’m so unsure too
But I’m here for you

Be my friend
Ask what you want of my soul
I hope that it helps you to breathe
And maybe you’ll see
The goodness inside you
Reflected in someone like me
Someone like me

This feels hard
And confusion is hanging in the air
This sadness seems too much to bear
Don’t give in
There is courage inside you to strengthen you
From within

The damage is done
But it’s all up to you from here on
Leave the past in the past

And be my friend
Ask what you want of my soul
I hope that it helps you to breathe
And maybe you’ll see
The goodness inside you
Reflected in someone like me
Someone like me

Oh be my friend
Ask what you want of my soul
I hope that it helps you to breathe
And maybe you’ll see
The goodness inside you
Reflected in someone like me
Someone like me

This War

Written By: Angela Little (Ophelia of the Spirits)

When the leaders of nations are stabbing the dark
With a knife grown blunt as they tear it apart
I’m ashamed
To pick up the pieces

When the cries of starvation are echoing
Through the guts of a nation that’s bloated with spoils of war
Was it worth fighting for?

Is this war worth fighting?
Is this war worth fighting?
Is it all worth fighting for?

When she picked up the gun she was shocked by the weight
She caressed the cold barrel, felt the stirrings of hate in her heart
Could she blow this all apart?

And when she looked at the river of blood in the sink
She saw colours and shapes and she started to think it’s a shame
But aren’t we all the same?

Is this war worth fighting?
Is this war worth fighting?
Is it all worth fighting

If evil prevails while we turn a blind eye
We’re washing our hands of the moment to try to speak out
To stand up and shout

I am not afraid
I am not forgotten
I will not be silenced
That’s a war worth fighting

Discography

Ophelia of the Spirits (Self-Titled EP) - independently released digitally 10th May 2008. Re-released digitally & to retail by MGM Distribution 2nd December 2008.

Australia (Music From the Film) - EP. Released digitally 16th December 2008. Features "By The Boab Tree" & "Waltzing Matilda" by Ophelia of the Spirits alongside tracks from Elton John, Rolf Harris & John Butler Trio.

"Shame" Single. Released digitally 10th Feb 2009. Australian iTunes Single of the Week 3rd March 2009.

Set List

The typical set lasts for around an hour. The set is a mixture of songs, soundscapes, and instrumental interludes. It is performed in a cyclical formation, almost like a play in two acts. The songs in the first half of the set are performed continuously, accompanied by soundscapes and snatches of classical pieces which underpin the original music, and the entire set is accompanied by visual projections when possible to do so.

Typical set list:

* Children playing / wind / distant chimes (Soundscape)
* Music box plays the theme from Swan Lake
* L'Enfant Perdu (Instrumental) - 'The Lost Child'
* Leave A Light On (Song)
* Introduction from Beethoven's 'Moonlight Sonata' becomes
* Shame (Song)
* 'Moonlight Sonata' returns and becomes
* Greedy (Song)
* Whispers / lo fi rumbles / distant echoey singing and piano (soundscape)
* A Pretty Piece (Song)
* Somewhere Over The Rainbow (Cover - Instrumental - haunting, accompanied by soundscape whispers / lo fi rumbles / distant ech