Archived entries for music

If ears could cry

Teardrop, by Massive AttackJust when you thought the most harm I could ever do to you on cyberseraphic was to assault your eyes and mind with pictures and prose, I’m taking my affrontery to the next level and introducing… dun dun duuuuuun… audio. But before we get to “the goods” let me first set the scene by saying that this post is me making good on a promise to fight the tide of too much awesome – my squeaky ode to ordinariness, if you will (although you may well substitute other, more derogatory words for “ordinariness”).

For my musical debut, I chose to mangle the song Teardrop by Massive Attack (I warn you now, you’re probably better off not clicking that link until after you’ve finished reading/hearing this post…) The unassailable magnificence of this emo anthem lies in its impenetrably vague lyrics. Everybody that hears it has their own unique interpretation – whether Elizabeth Fraser is singing “feel the sunlight, pray” or “feathers on my breath”, and whether the song is about abortion, futility, grief, etc. – you name it there’s somebody out there arguing passionately that theirs is the One True Meaning.

In addition to the instruments I already own (a violin and a cello), I bought the sheet music from musicroom.com (~$3.55 in Aussie Dollars) and the GigDaddy Multitrack Mixer app for iPhone for $3.99. And this is what I came up with after about half an hour of stuffing around:

[audio:http://www.cyberseraphic.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/teardrop.mp3|titles=teardrop]

Feel free to donate towards an autotuner, and maybe some lessons.

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For the record, here’s what I think the lyrics are. It’s not a common interpretation:

Love, love is a verb
Love is a doing word
Feathers on my prayer
Gentle impulsion
Shakes me, makes me lighter
Feathers on my prayer

Teardrop on the fire
Feathers on my prayer

Nine night of matter
Black flowers blossom
Feathers on my prayer
Black flowers blossom
Feathers on my prayer

Teardrop on the fire
Feathers on my…

Water is my eye
Most faithful mirror
Feathers on my prayer
Teardrop on the fire
Of a confession
Feathers on my prayer
Most faithful mirror
Feathers on my prayer

Teardrop on the fire
Feathers on my prayer

You’re stumbling in the dark
You’re stumbling in the dark

Singing in the rain

Marius and Eponine in an emotional scene from Les MisérablesAh… what a gloomy day it is in Sydney today. The weather’s been funny – one day it will be hot as hell, then the next cold and wet. It’s almost like we’ve turned into Melbourne!

It’s been a while since I last wrote about music lyrics (here and here) so today I’d like to write about one particular lyric from a song called ‘A little fall of rain’ from the musical ‘Les Misérables.

Éponine:
Don’t you fret, M’sieur Marius
I don’t feel any pain
A little fall of rain
Can hardly hurt me now
You’re here, that’s all I need to know
And you will keep me safe
And you will keep me close
And rain will make the flowers grow.

Long story short: Éponine loves Marius, Marius loves Cossette, Éponine dies to save Marius – your typical love triangle slash unrequited love scenario.

The beauty here is in the lyric ‘A little fall of rain / Can hardly hurt me now’. On the surface, one could take it to mean that because she’s dying, Éponine is simply saying that Marius’s efforts to keep the rain off her is unnecessary, because all that matters is that he’s holding her. But I like to think that ‘rain’ is Éponine’s metaphor for his tears – in that moment, she comes to the bittersweet realisation that he’s not crying for her because he loves her, and because she’s dying, it no longer ‘hurts’ her to know it. She’s comforted by the knowledge that because of what she did for him, she will forever have a special place in his heart.

F*** what I said, it don’t mean s*** now

Some of you may be quite surprised to know that I take a very liberal stance when it comes to swearing. It’s a difficult topic to write about, considering that most of you will probably disagree with my point of view. But really, ask any high school-aged person what the f-word is and I’d say that all but the most prudish would be able to tell you (and even then, the prudes probably know but just can’t bring themselves to say it). In and of itself, that proves nothing. But you’ll find that as these words get more and more accepted into the general lexicon, their offensive value will begin to diminish. There are many words in general use today that wouldn’t have passed the mouths of any except the most filthy, vile dregs of society a few centuries ago.

Swear words have meaning. Sometimes, it is just more convenient to use a swear word rather than a longer word or phrase. For example, “bitch” is a word that is fast becoming widely accepted. Most people now wouldn’t bat an eyelid if they hear it (even radio and TV don’t “bleep” it out any more), and few would be able to think of an alternative way to describe a vindictive woman other than to call her a bitch. Of course, to say it to her face would be offensive, because people may not accept or recognise their own personality flaws. The point here is, swear words lose their potency over time, and what we find offensive now may not be in the (near) future.

Swear words convey the extremes of emotion. When was the last time that you felt “bummer” was an appropriately satisfying utterance for when you stubbed your toe against something so hard that it bleeds? It is an extreme situation requiring a suitably emotive response. Most would probably use a euphemism such as “shite” or “fudge” but it is essentially said with the same spirit, so should it be considered any less offensive? The great thing about language is that words can have intensity, eg. excellent => good => average => mediocre => poor. Why shouldn’t we use words of high intensity for intense situations? Being able to use the full spectrum of language only helps to colour the world that we live in.

Of course, where would we be without a song? Today’s post comes to you courtesy of the heart-broken Eamon, and his song “Fuck it (don’t want you back)”:

[chorus]
Fuck what I said, it don’t mean shit now
Fuck the presents might as well throw ’em out
Fuck all the kisses, they didn’t mean jack
Fuck you you ho, don’t want you back

How much less would the impact of this be, if instead he had used these lyrics:

[chorus]
Ignore what I said, it don’t mean naught now
Forget the presents might as well throw ’em out
Stuff all the kisses, they didn’t mean much
No way you tramp, don’t want you back

Hooray, I’m musical again!

Roland EP-97 Digital PianoToday I bought myself a Roland EP-97 Digital Piano, thus ending a very long musical drought. When I was living in Adelaide, there used to be a piano in the house, but after I moved to Sydney, I no longer had access to any musical instruments (not counting my two recorders). There was a brief period towards the end of last year where I was playing on a crusty old upright piano belonging to one of my housemates, but he sold it before I had half a chance to practice a tune. I’ve also borrowed violins for various gigs in church, but had to return them soon after the performance. Its not like I’ve ever owned a violin before anyway, so no great loss there.

Its hard to say why I missed having a piano. I guess I’ll find out soon. Now, to figure out where to put the darned thing…

Go shorty, it’s ya birfday

Yep, today was my birthday. As you probably didn’t notice, its been a while since I last wrote. Between work, and two weeks holiday in Adelaide, and procrastination in general, I just haven’t found the time nor inspiration. In fact, after I finished reading Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, I was in a state of catatonia for about a week, having been so completely and utterly blown away by this literary colossus amongst tiny inconsequential book things. It was so great that it has taken away from me any sense at all that I will ever be able to write a great book. In comparison, I feel like my writings are like the vapid dribblings of a nobody. You must read this book (the individual volumes are called Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass. I can only hope to achieve near-greatness through emulating him, and one day I might even try…

My obsessions with lyrics continues… the title of this post comes courtesy to you of the poet 50 cent (I used to think the lyrics were “go shorty, it shivers eh? Gonna party like it shivers” – it probably makes more sense if you’ve heard the song…)

Lastly, thanks to all who contributed to my birthday today – through SMS, phone calls and my birthday dinner. All the kind wishes, gifts and good intentions were very much appreciated. If you haven’t gotten me anything yet, its not too late! Cheques should be made out to… hehehe…

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For those of you who are wondering what the heck is up with that stupid Solo poem below, that was just me being very silly and wanting to see what it would look like to post pictures on this page. Pictures are supposed to speak a thousand words, but that one must have been feeling a bit off, ‘coz it could only inspire me to muster together 33 (and one of them isn’t even a whole word).



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