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ellyn & robbie | Skywriting with Glitter

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United States - California - LA

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Folk: Singer/Songwriter Spoken Word: Poetry Moods: Mood: Dreamy
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Skywriting with Glitter

by ellyn & robbie

A poetry and music duo whose fusion blurs together into something novel yet familiar, powerful yet vulnerable, heart-breaking and humorous.
Genre: Folk: Singer/Songwriter
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Myth
4:00 album only
2. What Color Is Your Parachute
3:09 album only
3. Up Is Down
3:19 album only
4. Kiko of Greenville
1:46 album only
5. Anybody
4:30 album only
6. The Girl in the Wishing Well
3:42 album only
7. The Life of a Raindrop
5:23 album only
8. Marathon
2:07 album only
9. Onset
4:43 album only
10. Kingdoms in a City Lost to Time
4:57 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Ellyn Maybe's powerful spoken word performances of her own touching poetry coupled with the angelic voice and poignant piano compositions by Robbie Fitzsimmons unite the two venerable art forms together to create new art on Skywriting with Glitter, the debut LP release by ellyn & robbie.
Based in Los Angeles, the two have been featured on stages and festivals around the world including Glastonbury, Lollapalooza, Electric Forest, Lightning in a Bottle, Envision and Bumbershoot to name a few.
Ellyn Maybe is a 2012 United States Artist nominee who has been championed by the likes of Henry Rollins, Jackson Browne and Greil Marcus.
Robbie Fitzsimmons is a composer and performer who has collaborated with the likes of Lana Del Rey and Paul Simon.
Together they draw from eclectic influences and backgrounds to make what they describe as "cinematic phrase paintings with simultaneous symphonic sound sculptures."
Skywriting with Glitter is a colorful feast for the imagination, a roller-coaster of emotion that swirls together two prolific souls into a unique and inspired symbiosis.



to write a review

Jaimes Palacop

An Essential Album
SKYWRITING WITH GLITTER is iconic spoken word goddess Ellyn Maybe and genius composer Robbie Fitzsimmons fusing poetry to the spine of singer/songwriter coffeehouse. Or maybe it's a Grand Guignol Cabaret as envisioned by a cross of Stephen Sondheim, Bertolt Brecht and David Lynch. Or maybe it's dance floor disco as tango in the burning ruins of an apocalypse. Or maybe it's the plaintive key of loveless longing as whispered by the lonely on yet another empty night.

Or maybe it's all of these things and more, depending on how you perceive them and who you happen to be at this exact moment in space. What is definite, is, you start the album thinking: "this is great!" and you end it knowing that this is essential listening (and owning) not just for spoken word lovers, but also for music lovers.

Maybe, is known to legions of fans as an incredible poet and spoken word artist and here, she does not disappoint.

Fitzsimmons, also a powerful and incredibly elastic singer, as well as talented piano player, invokes at times the harmonics of Joni Mitchell (Up Is Down), the endless creativity of Regina Spektor (Life Of A Raindrop) and the sonic bird flights of Kate Bush (Anybody) and French chanteuse Patricia Kaas (Onset). It's interesting that when I first heard the album I thought it was Maybe singing. Fitzsimmons has such a wide range, that those soaring harmonies had to belong to a female counter part!

He complements Maybe's poetry perfectly ; in tune with the temperature of her spoken word and lyrics. What is truly amazing is that this is all stripped down piano. No percussion, no auto tune, no additional instruments. Just piano and Ellyn and Robbie.

And yet, there is definitely variety; each piece or song (there are six spoken word pieces and 4 songs), like a separate character telling a story, Fitzsimmon's piano mirroring the emotion of that character.

The story can be wistful, noting:
"There was a girl who lived in a house.
She sat at a table with place mats and
monogrammed patterns.
Everyday went like every other day
& today was tomorrow too quickly." (The Girl In The Wishing Well)

The story can be amused, and then turn almost sad:

"You have a twitter account
Born in Autumn to a giraffe named Autumn
You have a Facebook page."

"Kiko someday I’ll see you
And we’ll dream of xylophones and music
way up high in the sky
And the world goes on and on" (Kiko in Greenville)

And the story can even sound downright whimsical and almost euphoric:

"When my parachute is around me I become very giddy.
Talking to strangers all over the hemisphere.
When my parachute takes its lunch hour
I fly on my own.

My endorphins singing to the dolphins that have lifted their tails
to greet me in an opera of water
and glittering, abundance and song." (What Color is your Parachute?)

This is an amazing album. Get it. Listen to it. Rejoice in two artists of the highest caliber bringing their A-game and changing the rules to the game at the same time.

-Jaimes Palacio
Former poetry picks critic for The OC Weekly and Next...
Amateur film maker and non pet owner

Ethan Gold

pure words meets & dances with pure music
Ellyn Maybe & Robbie Fitzsimmons, pure words meets & dances with pure music. I’ve known Ellyn since she found me in the second weirdest way, from a rant I posted against haters of a chandelier tree. I’ve known Robbie since he rolled across one of his parties in a cloud of mega-saturated invisible electric dust. Ellyn is a sage pen and a powerhouse voice and a woman and a conscience of America and a sensitive seeker of the past age of artists and bohemians and a future of passion and kindness, making words that make us aware. Robbie is an electric plastic mystic futurefaerie who was born singing, and you believe it when you see him and hear him, music coming from mouth and fingers like water pours from a fountain in Florence where the water never stops. And what a challenge it is for people this full to make their work into something you can understand! But the perfect alchemical mix of Ellyn and Robbie is finally in bottled form and Skywriting With Glitter is a glimpse of the huge souls of these two travelers.

Wishing wells are the biggest use of land
When the world told me to wake up
I was already tying my shoes
You are every dungeon
You are every oasis

She's right we are, so point your mind towards that place where you see everything, and enjoy Ellyn and Robbie’s wonderful new album as a colorful carpool lane to take you.

Amelie Frank

A Match Made in Spoken Word Heaven
You know you’re in the right place when Ellyn Maybe announces, “Jerome Robbins choreographs your neighborhood!” She does this very thing in her poem “Myth,” heralding the whimsy and lightness of her new album with Robbie Fitzsimmons, Skywriting with Glitter. This title may sound a bit like Lisa Frank meets Yoko Ono, but I have known Ellyn Maybe for about 26 years, and I published her second book, The Ellyn Maybe Coloring Book. I had not had opportunity to listen to her extensive collaborations with Robbie before now. I have to say, two artists could not have been better matched by the stars, for it is hard to tell where Ellyn’s voice ends and Robbie’s begins. In their collaboration, there is mutually evoked depth, texture, and wonder unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. It is an exciting pairing of sensibilities, celebrating each artist’s distinctiveness, yet fusing into something fuller and greater than their separate geniuses.

In fact, when I first heard “Up Is Down,” I thought it was Ellyn singing! Why had she been hiding this textured, ethereal, bluesy voice all these years? Turns out, it is Robbie singing and composing the music, and his work is a natural extension of Ellyn’s artistic sensibilities. His melodic lines compliment both her voice and imagery--whimsical, but never precious; delightful, but never airheaded. The two trade off between him singing and her speaking. Sometimes, their voices are indistinguishable. Sometimes, he sounds like her shadow side, weaving sinuous themes that trace the muscles of Ellyn’s writing. I’ve often wondered what Ellyn’s cri de coeur would sound like. Robbie nails it, balancing out the beauty and the idiosyncrasy of her inimitable spirit. The music brings out a new dynamic in Ellyn’s voice, a boldness I haven’t heard before, I daresay even flirtatiousness (check out the very end of “Kingdoms in a City Lost to Time” if you doubt that Ellyn has a saucy wench in her).
Her narrative persona has never been stronger or more confident, and she remains a commanding visionary. Whether you are listening to “Kiko of Greenville” (a Miyazaki film as a spoken word piece), or the stunning “The Girl in the Wishing Well” (old school Ellyn offering fables instead of fairy tales), or “Up Is Down” for which—surprise, surprise!—Ellyn wrote the melody, you are in for artistry you have not encountered before, and you may be astonished by how it can move you. From “The Girl in the Wishing Well”:
There was a girl who lived in a wishing well. Pennies hit upon her head. She kept some stuffed animals like people win at the restaurant 'cause people want to win. There was a girl who lives in a cave. She danced with the hieroglyphics. Language pirouettes. Animals hummed off the walls like a choir of history repeating. There was a girl who lived in a house. She sat at a table with placemats and monogrammed patterns. Everyday went like every other day & today was tomorrow too quickly.
You wish the world could be as Ellyn sees it. You wish the world could sound as Robbie hears it. The precision in her images anchor her writing so that there’s never a false note from her heart, and probably nobody can sing better from Ellyn’s heart than Robbie.
I’m sure that Ellyn would like me to add that she and Robbie recorded this album in the same studio where our freshly minted Nobel laureate Bob Dylan once laid down tracks. I share their state of stoked for many reasons, particularly because of what they can pass on to the poets of the future. Los Angeles’ perennial woman-child is now a songwriter and a muse, an inspiration to up-and-coming creators to remain steadfast to the magic of who and what you are.