Tuesday, June 21, 2011
I don't post about music on this blog, which is strange considering how music is pretty much part of my daily life and writing process. I can't imagine a day without listening to a song. I suppose I don't write about it because the reasons I'm attached to certain music and songs often eludes words. But I really feel like writing about it today, so here goes.
When I first started to really appreciate music and forge my own independent taste, I fell in love with Stevie Nicks and Kate Bush. Everything about them appeals to me: their expressions, the tones of their voices, the way they move, their style, the implications and suggestions behind their songs. They seemed so cool to me as a teenager, and they still do now. I love looking at photos of them too: there are no polished faces and silky smooth hairstyles, but a rather endearing frizziness, amateur makeup and fantastically beautiful costumes and clothing. There's a sense of authenticity to them both, even when they're play-acting, dressing up and self-consciously performing on stage.
But what ultimately appeals to me about their music and their voices is something which I have tried very hard to articulate in words in the past, and the only word I can use to describe it now is 'residue'. Stay with me, I hope this makes sense. When I listen to them, I think of photographic residue, the kind that must have surrounded early photography. All the chemicals and smells that must have left their residue on the fingers of those early photographers when they created the first photographic images. Unlike clicking a button on a digital camera, it was a relatively messier process that literally left its mark on the body and the senses. In a similar way, Stevie and Kate have always left a mark on my body and my senses. I listen to them, and my mind pulls out images. Long after their songs are over, these images linger. That's what I mean by residue. I guess we all, to a certain degree, respond to certain music in such a way, which is why the first album or song you loved always remains in your memory like a well-loved photo.
What's your favourite album? Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumours' is at the top of my list, but I have several others. I'm always curious about other people's taste in music, as I am about their taste in books.
P.S. An essay of mine is published in this book collection. Many of the publications I've been working on over the past year or so are finally getting published, so I'm expecting a few more books with my name to add to my collection!
Image credits: all images are from here and here.