Friday, September 4, 2009

Gesture: Part 1, Touch


Gesture: the Thumbprint,

I think about 90% of the music I own, or at least the artists in general, I've had with me for say, half a decade. Perhaps this sounds a bit strict, but within these select hours of material, I find a certain resonance in my own work with what these handful of artists did or are trying to do. To break it down in the most basic sense, a song is composed of two elements, words and instruments, as with a painting, there is material and body. And in each relation, at the end, one creates sound, the other image. So in keeping with the analogy, what really takes me there in music is when an artist is able to blur these lines, when the words function as gesture over here, but then material over there, and of course the instruments vice versa. Certainly in this over simplification I've lost alot, but the point becomes about affect. When the words associate more than their pure definition, when the body uses the words, and its not about voice, or what the translation; but, somewhere between those two fixed points(voice and word) comes affect. For example, take Whitney Houston, all she is about is voice, and I don't mean to diss poor Whitney, hell I had the Bodyguard soundtrack back in the day, but face it. Her words are purely a platform to exercise her great pre-crack voice. Perhaps even Celine Dion, hello Vegas. One could make the argument that words without voice could be Bob Dylan, but them are fightin' words. Ah, perhaps Patti Smith (thanks D). Anyway, this being my agenda, my music collection has become a little dramatic. Earlier this year before my Nashville art opening I was trying to create a playlist for the show, I put every upbeat song into one playlist, and out of twelve days of music (thanks itunes), I got a three hour streak of non-dramatic stricken songs.