As this is still most definitely the case, I will present this entry as, rather than a critical essay as many in the past have been most like, a small collection of notes and thoughts that could prove thought-provoking or useful, to me, you, or some combination of us.
First, a quote.
"It's difficult to talk about these songs indepth. That's why they're songs."
This statement was made by Eric Clapton, in his recently published "Clapton; The Autobiography." I have to admit, I'm not really a Clapton fan at all, so I haven't actually read the book. Ironically, it comes to me by way of another artist that I'm not exactly a fan of, Stephen King. He printed the quote in his review of the guitarist's book, "Slowhand; Clapton remembers his life and his music" in the October 28, 2007 edition of the New York Times Book Review.
It's a pretty simple idea, and really boils down to the same concept as the old "writing about music is like dancing about architecture" cliche, but for some reason it struck me as a more direct and poignant way of expressing the concept. (If I remember right, that quote was referenced within the same review as well. No, I don't have it in front of me at present.) Part of me always wanted to argue about the older quote; the stubborn quixotic part of me that was thinking "Sure, I guess you hypothetically could "dance" about "architecture"... define "dance" and define "architecture"... hell, define "about," for that matter. Clapton's version leaves little ambiguous space for the over-analytical among us to pull these sorts of punches (oh look, another dead metaphor.).
This is no new idea, I'm well aware, but merely one of those sound-bites that struck me as an aptly expressed summation of something that was in need of a more forcible finger upon it. Reading it was one of those "That's it" moments for me, helping to grasp why so many of us are tangling ourselves in our quests for artistic expression by way of so many different simultaneous mediums, and critically fascinated by the interplay, interreliance, and interdependence amongst them. Each medium expresses a different aspect of the thought or concept, and each is self-sufficient in the same ways and for the same reasons that it is dependent on expressions from other angles. When I'm at a loss for the tone of particular scene of a work of fiction, for instance, often only changing my creative mask to "poet" or "songwriter" can appropriately capture what I'm looking for. From there, the resulting mediums must either be combined (in often expirimental ways that wouldn't have been readily thought of by any other means or for any other reasons) or utilized as ladder-rungs to understand the appropriate creative voice that the initial piece requires to be composed in.
Not a bad snippet, overal, especially courtesy of two artists that I don't particularly care for.
In a bit of housekeeping news, I am considering adding a side-bar to the site with links to the blogs of others that I read or find noteworthy or relevant to the topics at hand. If you run a blog or post to a collective site and are interested in pointing me in the direction of your content or swapping links, please be in touch. After a weekend in the Boston area that turned out to be timed with the final couple games of the World Series sweep, a site pertaining to that sort of thing seems knee-jerk appropriate to me right now. See the right column, right below my bio.
On the note of my recent trip home... rest in peace, Memere. You'll be missed.
Lorraine L. Provencher, December 25, 1929 to October 26, 2007