I can't help myself!!
Monday, April 26, 2010
Yes, I absolutely love living in the centre of Cape Town. Close enough to the buzz to feel like a part of it, but far enough to just be in the city. I live in a beautiful apartment block with fantastic view of the mountain, and from the rooftop pool I get 360 degree views of the city, but sometimes, just sometimes, it's great just to get away
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Music is my life
As much as is it said that music is a universal language. If we all love music, no matter the artist or the genre, why is that often I experience music lovers as an exclusive club where I feel like an outcast?
Fans only area
I recently discovered that some of my favourite tracks were actually produced by the late great J. Dilla. If I had made this little confession amongst my friends in hip hop circles I would be socially castrated. Now I’m all for being introduced to new music or being schooled about legendary music, but what I can’t really get with is being judged for my ignorance. This judgment is one of the reasons I struggle to listen to music with groups of people. Mind you, I have nothing against the die-hard fans, the guru’s, aficionado’s and all sorts of superlative experts, I do, however, loathe the holier than thou-ness of their God-like knowledge which they will not impart without the need for Godly praise.
A friend once said to me, in response to my aversion to a listening and crit session, that I hate music. That statement knocked me out completely, and I started thinking. I forgive him for his misunderstanding and verdict but it made me realize that my appreciation for music is different from some of my peers. Unique, however, it is not. Many a quiet confession has been made in concurrence to this apparently atypical way in which I relate to music.
Is it Hip Hop or Jazz?
“Hip Hop is the unwanted bastard child of superior forms of music such as jazz…” – Smoking Aces 2
It is said that jazz gave birth to certain genre’s of music such as hip hop, but my understanding of the ‘hip hop’ is that is a movement, a lifestyle with many factors including graffiti art, beat boxing etc and that ‘rap’ refers to the music genre. Then I ask, what is RnB? Growing up I thought it stood for rhythm and blues, lately I have hearing people say it is rhythm and beat? I can easily classify classical music, but I wouldn’t know how to differentiate country from rock. So now begins my dilemma when asked, “So, what kind of music do you like?”
My love for music cannot be boxed into any particular artist or genre, not only because I have no idea of either the artist nor the genre but because I ingest the music, not the genre or artist. I don’t much care for who it is, if they’ve been to jail, how many awards they’ve won, who they are sleeping with or any sordid acts they got caught up in , I only care about the craft. Case in point, I didn’t know what Bilal looked like until I met him when he came to Cape Town for the Jazz Festival. I love his songs, but I know nothing about him.
I don’t just listen to music, I feel it, I experience it and its movement through my soul. Music has to invoke emotion, paint a picture and tell a story in order to be rated as good in my ear, or even remembered. It’s not just the lyrics, beats, harmony or rhythm; it’s what all of that makes me feel. Otherwise I am unable to interact and enjoy it, no matter how celebrated the creators are.
My final confession, which will probably ensure the nail on my coffin as I will be dead to the gurus of the world; one of the reasons I never got into rap music is the great effort it takes for me to fully pick up lyrics. Worse is that sometimes you need to know the rappers back story to understand some of it. I won’t say I don’t get pleasure from the metaphors and word play (when I do actually catch some of the lines)
This difficulty isn’t solely experienced with rap – other genres and non-rappers catch me out. The nineties were plagued with humming through sentences I didn’t know or mimic the sound of the lyrics because I had no idea what the singer was actually singing. It was never as entertaining as the idols contestant who completely butchered Mariah Carey’s ‘Can’t Live’ [Ken Lee – you can thank me later]
Not only the actual words of the songs but the meanings behind the lyrics get me a little lost. Let’s take ‘Scribbled Paper” by Little Dragon – I absolutely love this song, it is 6 minutes of heaven, tugging at my heartstrings. It is a well produced eargasm, but I cannot for the life of me understand what is being said, but I still sing along and try paint my own picture. Worry not; I’m still deciphering some Sade lyrics from the first album.
I love music. Music to dance to, music to sing to, music to write to, music to walk to, music to live to – music is my life.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
You sit in front of the computer day after day and stare at the perfectly placed letters on the keyboard, gently depress them and watch as the black soils the white background, willing them to form words, words that will form sentences, sentences that will form paragraphs, willing those paragraphs to become pages upon pages of a masterpiece. A story that might touch you, a story that may make you laugh, a story that could make you question, a story that should make you think, an unforgettable creation.
Now, what if you didn't have a story and had only the desire for inspiration. You try to ignore the pearly white document, shut your eyes and hope that the letters you so need would magically fill the page. Open your eyes and yet again you are greeted by blankness.
You want to busy yourself with something else because you think you don't have a story to tell; the frustration building. The mind closed to all imagery, the heart refusing to bleed the words, your soul not willing to share. A flicker of inspiration, an explosion of imagination is all you long for. Where would you go to find that inspiration?
This was my problem when I was asked to contribute to the travel issue of Studio_83. This shouldn’t have been a problem right? Unpacking all of the memories and encounters I had lived over 13 months. With so many places to choose from, I could just pick a location and let my mind soar through it, find it’s moment and release its load to share moments in time of a traveling woman. Letting you follow my footsteps across the planet.
Traveling in wonderment through history, creative splendor of man made structures, magical myths, buzzing metropolis, mother nature’s blessings, gifts of musical talents and of course the passion of life.
But where would I let my mind wonder to first? I’ve created a list of top places with emotionally charged memories.
A LITTLE TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE
The streets of Salvadore, Brazil packed with gorgeous people enjoying the carnivale; a clebration of culture through music and dance over a week of non-stop everything. Chanting along to traditional and modern Brazilian songs of love and passion relaying desires, lust and motivation to get down and dirty. One such yearning ode:
Beija, Beija / Ta Calore Ta Calore / Mas eu nao quero so beija / Tambem quero amor.
This kiss, this kiss / It’s hot, It’s hot / but I don’t just wanna kiss / I also wanna make love
Getting lost in childhood memories of the imaginative myth that was the Lochness monster in Scotland, while walking down Princess Street in Edinburgh with castles in the midst and kilted men, cleverly not allowing the wind to share too much skin. English coming out of the Scottish mouths sounding more foreign than hearing languages no longer spoken anywhere in the world.
Wherever one would go to retrieve that ever-illusive muse and no matter how we get there, we all have a tale to tell.
In every day life, on every street corner, every moment worth experiencing should be inspiration to explore. Sometimes, it is in these very moments that there are no words but the desire to live, not just the will to survive.
Last week Thursday, 15 April, I went to the opening of "100 years of African Art" at the South African National Gallery in Cape Town titled "From Pierneef to Gugulective. Local artists showcasing their talents. The exhibition takes place in the entire gallery, so there is a lot to see.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
You have to try these two wines
Skattie is where Malibongwe gives us his opinion on style and fashion. Great to read and laugh along to. He gives praise to icons, reprimands the faux pas and gives us a glimpse into a Cape Town you rarely see in mainstream media
Tumelo, a new blogger on the scene, finally lets out her love for music, fashion and creativity on Mixed Tape Diaries. Well written, full of life and honest. Hard not to love it.
An old favourite, Tiisetso aka Urban Mosadi a budding photographer fills the pages with colour, passion, energy and vibrant images. A peak into the life of a nomad who loves fashion, street culture, music and fun.
Another honest, entertaining and informative offering from fashion writer Miss Milli. No holds barred accounts and fearless thoughts on local and international fashion industry. Love!