Posts Tagged ‘music’

My picture inspired by Lady Gaga's "Poker Face"

My picture inspired by Lady Gaga's "Poker Face"

I’ve said before how much music means to me, it’s as good as beyond words: As a kid I’d compose little pieces of music which would occupy hours of my day. I’m classically trained – in Piano and Viola principally. I also have perfect pitch (which means I can hear when it’s out but doesn’t make me instantly a great singer – I just know when I go wrong :p), and “fast eyes” (basically effecting sight-reading and hand-eye co-ordination). But none of this makes my taste in music any better than yours. I am lowest common denominator in my tastes according to most, and people often manage to succeed to make me feel a sort of shame about the music I love. I often take down music references on my art-work to avoid the inevitable “huh” and general “what the f*** were you thinking?” when people listen to the music that inspires my work.

I love anything I can dance and sing to at the same time. I need a strong regular beat and clear words, like in my latest piece of music I’m obsessing over – Poker Face by Lady Gaga http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdpSmNMg1is . I need music that gets deep into me and makes it so I can’t sit still. The sort of music that makes you change your stride when you’re walking with your headphones piping it directly to your brain. My heart seems to match the beat and I just sink into it.

But people hate my music, they call it simple, they call it “popular” (like that’s a bad thing). They say it lacks sophistication and thought. You might as well call me simple, tell me being popular is a bad thing and that I lack sophistication and thought, because songs like that speak to me above all others. They put intense images in my head that I have to attempt to get out in art-work – I haven’t perfected this skill yet but I intend to.

Singers like Lady Gaga get intense respect from me, because I’ve seen her sing live on the telly – ie not studio pre-recorded stuff. And to me, that is brave, and that is pure, and far too rare. I’ve read people criticise her for her long face and weird wigs, like hello..? What the hell is wrong with these people. She’s given you the gift of music for your ears, she’s poured her talent and emotion into something for your entertainment. She should be adored not criticized for her looks. She’s coming to my city in May with the Pussycat Dolls (who I also adore) and I am determined to get tickets whatever it takes. They will sell out within hours (or minutes maybe) of their release of course but I’m going to try to be one of the people that gets in online to grab them up. Just the thought of seeing music live again makes my heart race, it’s been a decade since I saw a big live act (and people made fun of me for being passionate about that last group too *sigh*).

Ah well, each to their own. My music makes me happy and I should stop letting other people’s opinion of it make me hide my tastes and passions.

By the way, I like Britney too.

I heard that Prad, shaddup.

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SupplicantI have a friend who feels like they’ve lost their inspiration lately. I have no doubt they’ll get it back, these things are just a matter of time. It got me thinking about what inspires me; I thought it best I record it for future reference in case I find my own well run dry anytime soon (would be a really bad time for it to happen right now). Through all the little things that feed my art two stand out above all others:

Music. I listen to the same radio station everyday at some point – usually during tedious chores or while out on equally tedious walks. Everytime I manage to get exposed to music which makes my heart beat faster, or my eyes water with emotion, or makes me want to run instead of walk with the sheer uplifting joy of it all. Music is my primary inspiration – I write down lyric lines which capture my imagination or play my latest favourite tune over and over while working on a piece of art; it’s a constant factor.

Relationships. This second category is a huge one that captures so much. The relationships I have with people – love, lust, close friendship bonds, family-ties. Each relationship I have with a person causes different emotions which need release or expression through my art, it helps me understand both them and myself better.

You’ll often see me cite a piece of music which inspired my work but far more rarely you will see me directly acknowledge the relationship I had in mind when I was making it – and it’s often not the actual person shown in the picture either. For most of my pictures I can look back and say who inspired what and why, because the picture has captured it for me.

So right now while I’m trying to churn out a lot of new art-works – hoping for those really good pieces I wouldn’t mind submitting to a gallery to add to my existing choices – I am very strongly aware of this sense of almost trying to “force” inspiration. It’s not the most comfortable or pleasant experience, but at the same time it feels really good to be working towards a goal. I suppose there’s a trade-off going on there. I’m just grateful that so far my inspiration hasn’t left me.

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BreakableFor me, art is an outlet – all those emotions and frustrations that I can’t or refuse to put into words, come out in my pictures. So it makes sense that after an emotionally draining day that left me feeling lost and unsure of a few things, that I ended up going on a personal art spree. I took and processed many pictures while listening to two songs in particular – over and over (I’ll add their lyrics below). And after all this art, and all this music, I felt much better and ready for the next day.

Art doesn’t judge my emotions, it doesn’t try to understand me, it just is, and it takes everything I put into it without hesitation or regret. I’ve always felt the need to create artistically – acting, music, art, and at this point in my life my SL art is performing that function for me. I am very grateful for it, and so want to just briefly thank two people for it: Prad, as ever, the most important and inspirational influence in my SL life; and Kimber, who reminded me what my art could do for me. Thank you.

Burn” by The Cure ❤

“Don’t look don’t look”
the shadows breathe
Whispering me away from you
“Don’t wake at night to watch her sleep
You know that you will always lose
This trembling
Tousled bird mad girl… ”
But every night I burn
But every night I call your name
Every night I burn
Every night I fall again

“Oh don’t talk of love”
the shadows purr
Murmuring me away from you
“Don’t talk of worlds that never were
The end is all that’s ever true
There’s nothing you can ever say
Nothing you can ever do… ”
Still every night I burn
Every night I scream your name
Every night I burn
Every night the dream’s the same
Every night I burn
Waiting for my only friend
Every night I burn
Waiting for the world to end

“Just paint your face”
the shadows smile
Slipping me away from you
“Oh it doesn’t matter how you hide
Find you if we’re wanting to
So slide back down and close your eyes
Sleep a while
You must be tired… ”
But every night I burn
Every night I call your name
Every night I burn
Every night I fall again
Every night I burn
Scream the animal scream
Every night I burn
Dream the crow black dream

And “Breakable” by Fisher.

Do you always have to tell him everything
On your mind?
You know that too much honesty can be
So unkind
And every time you throw him to the floor
Why are you surprised to see he’s breakable?
You always try to find what’s holding him
Away from you
But do you ever see your anger standing there
Right between you?
And every time you throw him to the wall
Why are you surprised to see he’s breakable?
Tell the world that he’s breaking your heart
Go tell the world nothing’s ever your fault
Go tell them all
And every time you throw him to the floor
Why are you surprised to see he’s breakable?
And every time you push him to the wall
Why are you surprised to see he’s breakable?

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You’ll always be able to tell that I’m writing late at night if I get soppy or frilly with my language or just a little too close to the poetry line. It is 15 minutes to bedtime and I am in one of those moods. Tonight I just want to share the lyrics from a song that I’ve always liked in it’s own right, but that also sums up a lot of how I see myself – in RL and SL. I’ve more than once called it my “theme song”. A lot of my SL art is directly inspired by music so these lyrics are going to end up in a picture of mine soon enough. I tell people the name of the song and they say “nah, you can’t be a song called that”, which though very sweet, is missing the point. See if you can find that deeper message in the words (it’s not exactly well hidden :p)

“Bitch” by Meredith Brooks:

I hate the world today
You’re so good to me, I know
But I cant change
Tried to tell you but you looked at me like maybe I’m an angel underneath
Innocent and sweet

Yesterday I cried
You must have been relieved to see the softer side
I can understand how you’d be so confused
I don’t envy you
I’m a little bit of everything
All rolled into one

I’m a bitch, I’m a lover
I’m a child, I’m a mother
I’m a sinner, I’m a saint
I do not feel ashamed
I’m your hell, I’m you dream
I’m nothing in between
You know you wouldn’t want it any other way

So take me as I am
This may mean you’ll have to be a stronger man
Rest assured that when I start to make you nervous
And I’m going to extremes
Tomorrow I will change
And today won’t mean a thing

I’m a bitch, I’m a lover
I’m a child, I’m a mother
I’m a sinner, I’m a saint
I do not feel ashamed
I’m your hell, I’m your dream
I’m nothing in between
You know you wouldn’t want it any other way

Just when you think you got me figured out
The season’s already changin
I think its cool you do whatcha do
And dont try to save me

I’m a bitch, I’m a lover
I’m a child, I’m a mother
I’m a sinner, I’m a saint
I do not feel ashamed
I’m your hell, I’m you dream
I’m nothing in between
You know you wouldn’t want it any other way

I’m a bitch, I’m a tease
I’m a goddess on my knees (<— my favourite line, how cool is that)
When you’re hurt
When you suffer
I’m your angel undercover
I’ve been numb
I’m revived
Can’t say I’m not alive
You know I wouldn’t want it any other way

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I should warn you: This post is long, it is complicated, and for some it will be offensive. It’s one of those things I don’t expect many people to read, and even less to understand. But I’m writing it anyway cause hey, it’s my blog.

I have a firm set of principles by which I live. The fundamentals never change. They are based on almost a solid decade of full-time university study of both law and philosophy, backed up by over 7 years of tutoring and lecturing in the same, and of course my lifetime of experiences and observations. At all times – all times – I am measuring the truth and success of my principles. All life is my data. And SL drives me nuts.

SL is full of people judging and condemning other people for minor happenings – for social interactions that disturb them, or someone using one too many swear words – so much that means so little. These things, they may bother us, upset us, but they are only reasons for or against continuing to have the individual in question, in our lives. We must collect and examine such data when it appears, and act upon it, analyse consequences, etc. And SL drives me nuts:

Because the things that really matter, the real things that offend directly the principles that inform and shape my life, are the nothings to so many people in SL. If you understand the right to life, then you are half way to understanding property rights as the necessary corollary to the right to life. So fundamental, so absolutely essential, and yet. In SL, theft, of people’s creations – their software, their music, their art, it’s everywhere. It is constant. Thieving the product of others’ effort, of others’ genius. And people laugh it off, they make excuses, and they keep on doing it. I listen to people complain about stolen art and in the next breath joke about ripping off music and software. Integrity.

Someone cheating on an SL partner or telling lies or saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, these might be character flaws or something to be worked upon; they are never things you should simply “judge” though because human relationships and communications are infinitely complex and require as much information as possible to reach any meaningful conclusion on. And with people, with their emotions and history, you will never have all the information you need to out-right condemn people for such things. This is part of why I give intense loyalty to certain people in my life – because at some point you just have to say “you know what, this is someone I like and want around and I’m going to stand by no matter what, cause no one is perfect and I’ll never have the full story, but this person I shall choose to believe and support when it comes to the crunch.”

So despite all the relationship and communication ups and downs, I get on with life – I forgive, or I don’t, and that’s just a choice we have to make sometimes. But theft? Theft shocks and upsets me, it damages my opinion of someone more than them cheating on an SL partner ever would. It taints my image of that person until they openly say “you know what, I was wrong, and I’m not going to steal anymore”. Even at that point I want to tell them to pay the person who’s music they’d stolen up to that point, pay the software developer they ripped off – buy the item they’ve been enjoying for free for so long before they realised what they’d been doing. But they don’t, and I’m just happy for the fact they reached that understanding of the immorality of theft; happy for that small blessing.

I think such attitudes are a reflection of not having thought about the consequences of their actions, of the “everyone else is doing it so why shouldn’t I”, and of – most fundamentally – not having reflected on the basic rights that all humans beings are entitled to by virtue of their humanity, and the rules of property which it necessitates.

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