Friday, 19 June 2015

The man with the child in his eyes. . .

I've written about Kate Bush in a previous blog post (see Woman's Worth).  This track is from her debut album. The attached video is from a Christmas special in 1979 that she recorded.  There is an official music video that you can watch but I wanted to focus on her vocals by including this video, as she has a unique sound that I haven't heard emulated by other female artists since.

I hear him 
Before I go to sleep
And focus on the day that's been
I realise he's there
When I turn the light off
And turn over

Music is a huge part of my life.  I don't think I can remember my earliest memory of it because I honestly believe that sound has been a part of my life and my consciousness before I was even aware of what it was called.  Before you go to sleep, are there are some rituals that you perform?  It's those little things that you do, on auto pilot, almost like a process of shutting down your computer at the end of the work day, you go through each stage, turning things off, then take one last sweeping glance before you leave.  I always reflect on the day that has been, think about my reflections on those days and think about how the week has been.  I always listen to music before I go to sleep.  Song selection is important because those songs play out in dreams when my eyes are closed.

Nobody knows about my man
They think he's lost on some horizon
And suddenly I feel myself listening
To a man I've never known before
Telling me about the sea
Oh his love is to eternity

I've been listening to a lot of men that I haven't known before in recent weeks.  It's always great to come across artists and bands that I haven't heard before and really listening to their music.  I guess you could say the same for when you meet new men and have a real listen to what it is they're trying to say.  You could say the same for when you meet new women and have a real listen to what it is they're trying to say too.  I think trying to say is wrong, because they're not trying, they're actually saying it.  When I sit and listen to people talk about their passions and what they obsess about in their own lives, it's fascinating to me.  When people tell me about projects and ideas, but mostly their own insecurities that float about in their minds but haven't really been able to express until they've said it out loud, it does make me think - why are you telling me?  I must have a sign over my head saying - bear your soul to me.  But then I've been told I'm a good listener, I can take what people say to me and act as a mirror or sounding board - and bounce back/reflect what they're saying to me.  I guess this process helps give people assurance (or reassurance) that they are making the right decisions, because they trust your judgement, based on the successful judgements that have evidenced themselves as success in your own life.  Wow. . . just realised that's what I've been doing this whole time.

He's very understanding and he's so 
Aware of all my situations
When I stay up late
He's always with me
When I feel I hesitate
Oh I'm so worried about my love

Even when you can't rely on people to be what you need them to be, what you want them to be, you seriously need to consider the things that are constant and can sustain you when people can't.  It might not even be their fault that they can't be there with you - there are extenuating circumstances beyond their control that prevent them from staying up late with you.  For me staying up late doesn't necessarily just mean in the literal sense, but someone who, when they are able to stay up late with you, it means that they are there for you when you need them the most.  Music has always been that main constant for me, when people haven't.  I can instantly rely on a song that I can lose myself in and help to shift my mood to where it needs to go.

Back to the context of this song however. . .

They say, "No, no it won't last forever
And here I am again my girl
Wondering what on earth am I doing here
Maybe he doesn't love me
I just took a trip on my love for him

The realisation of the mismatch of emotions - when someone doesn't love you as much as you love them.  It's not unrequited love, because that means the other person doesn't even know you exist or wouldn't even consider you on an equal footing in a relationship.  Instead we're talking here about the imbalance of love in a relationship.  It's how we choose to react after that knowledge rises to that surface that maps out how we will proceed.  I would say, take a trip on that love anyway.

I really like this song because I think the orchestral arrangement really complements the piano.  Those subtle melodic motifs that feature solo instruments like the cello, flute, oboe, French horn and trombone during the verses highlight particular feelings that are wrapped up in their tones.  It's probably one of the main things I loved about exploring instrumentation while studying music in high school.  We would spend hours a week listening to different pieces of music and learn to pick out specific instruments as we became familiar with their timbre.  This made me appreciate a conversation I've had recently with a friend who sadly didn't have formal music education in Samoa, in the way that I just described about my own experiences.  But he persisted with his love for music, despite the lack of resources in his home country.  I could see the child in his eyes then.

Oh he's here again
The man with the child in his eyes
Oh he's here again
The man with the child in his eyes

I hope that we never lose the child in our eyes wherever we find ourselves in our lives.
I hope I never lose the enthusiasm, passion and desire to express what I love about what the world has taught me, what it continues to teach me, sometimes what it hasn't taught me, even when it hurts me.  When I look at the world with my child-like innocence, I can be as resilient as I want to be. . .