Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Holy Quartet

Hey, hey!

I went out with a girlfriend last night and we ran into an old friend of hers and got to talking about music, movies, books, etc, i.e. all the important things in life. I realized that I've never written about my fave music in this blog. So here goes!

My fave music of all time culminates into this "holy quartet":

  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Nirvana
  • The Doors

(in strictly alphabetical order, so as not to imply that they are in any way in an order of preference!)

I have been trying to find a fifth band for years, but have been unable to find a band that deeply touches my soul in the way these bands do. They have remained my favourites over the years. That does not mean that I only listen to them! In fact, I actually listen to them quite infrequently these days. But they are the ones that have touched my soul in the deepest way: I call them my "soul music".

It is interesting that I am a very positive person but the music that has touched my soul the most is very dark and even sometimes angry and depressive. Maybe it's therapeutic? It also reflects the fact that when I was younger, I used to be quite a depressed person. It just got over it and grew into who I am today. And of course I'll never stop growing.

If you look at the 4 bands above, you'll note that those guys (and yes, they are/were all guys, not girls) lived pretty wild lives. Three out of the four lead singers died in some really gruesome way:

  • Kurt Cobain of Nirvana shot himself (or was murdered? or was pushed into commiting suicide? the debate continues...). Allegedly he was also a drug addict.
  • Jim Morrison of The Doors was a raging alcoholic and died of an overdose of something in a bathtub in Paris.
  • Jimi Hendrix was using something, passed out and suffocated on his own vomit (sorry if I made you lose your appetite).

Hmmm.....I wonder what it says about my psychological landscape that the music written by people who lived those kinds of lives touches me the most? ;-)

I've already written previously, that Jimi Hendrix sings something along the lines "My girl left me, but at least I still have my guitar". We all need to have a guitar, i.e. something to live for other than the people we love.

Several years ago, I knew a guy who was an IT Manager and also a guitar player in a rock band. He said to me once: "First and foremost, I consider myself an artist". This was something like 5 years ago and it was then that I first realized that I too consider myself an artist above all else. However, at the time, I did not really have a medium to express myself in! I had been taking voice lessons (classical) for about a year, but to be honest, I'm not that great a singer. I am sure that my voice can develop and improve, and I may go back to singing again (just for fun) sometime, but I realized at some point that music - as much as I truly am passionate about it - is not the area where my true talents lie. I've also dabbled in dance and have developed into a pretty good dancer over the years, but the truth is that I am not all that talented physically either. I am quite clumsy and uncoordinated and it is really difficult for me to learn anything physical. I can do it, but it's just always really, really difficult and takes a long time.

Now I seem to have slowly discovered over the years that my preferred media of expression are writing and photography. I seem to have some natural talent in those areas. Why do something that's really hard for you when you can do something that you both love doing and are good at? That doesn't mean that it comes all by itself, you still have to work hard and keep learning all the time (which is what this blog is all about for me), but it just makes more sense to find out where your natural talents lie. It may take some time and experimentation, but it's really worth it.

I hope everyone can find a way to express him or herself. And it doesn't need to be anything artistic, it can be absolutely anything that you are passionate about and that lifts you above the mundane.

If you ask me why I write, the answer is simply: "I have to". I think that mosts artists would say the same. And not just artists but anyone passionate about something, e.g. athletes often say they do it because it's what they love the most, not because they get payed a lot of money for it. David Bowie has said that you can't become a musician just because you "don't want to pump gas".


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