A few weeks back I posed the question, “Why do we create music or Art for those who are unworthy of our affections?” I managed to rustle up an adequate answer, steeped in a trash can spirituality of my own making. We do so in the hopes that the object of our affection will deem us worth as we, at our core, believe we are unworthy of their love…blah blah! For a second I forgot that I am an artist. I transported myself into the soiled yet slick black boots of a critic, a mere observer. Instead I will offer a plainer truth, one devoid of mystery or magic. I write music and sing because every time I do …I am within arm’s reach of the rarest kind of temptation. And it is one I cannot bear, no dare not, refuse. I yield to that temptation every single damn time – unapologetically and without an ounce of regret. Does that reek of snobbery or romanticism?
Consider the words of Henry Miller, in his book To Paint is to Love Again…
“One must not only be in love with what one does, one must also know how to make love. In love self is obliterated. Only the beloved counts. Whether the beloved be a bowl of fruit, a pastoral scene, or the interior of a bawdy house makes no difference. One must be in it and of it wholly. Before a subject can be transmuted aesthetically it must be devoured and absorbed. If it is a painting it must perspire with ecstasy.”
You guessed it! I am in love – from the tips of my strange looking toes to the last split ends of hairs on my head. When I awake in the morning, while slightly intoxicated, when bored, agitated – the thought of that love consumed me. I am a romantic, I confess! All musicians are…and we are in love with what we do. Love is the only enduring, faithful Muse any musician could ever require.
Jeanette Winterson posed a very relevant question, one that should be investigated at length. “If we say that art, all art is no longer relevant to our lives, then we might at least risk the question “What has happened to our lives?” Yes, what has our lives been reduced to? Cheap thrills, indifference, apathy, fear…all masquerading as normal…or acceptable?
It is not that I am incapable of writing happy music. I simply choose not to. The things and people who bring me the greatest joy and pleasure are not always found in the lines of a song. One has to be selfish and maintain an air of mystery! It is the privilege of the Artist, is it not? The music I write and listen to must ask the question “why?’ or “why not?”
“We all learn as much as we wish to and no more. We learn in different ways, sometimes by not learning…. My way is by trial and error, by groping, stumbling, questioning.” I had to question myself after reading Henry Miller’s quote.
How do I, Auriol, learn about the puzzling world I find myself in? Why I sing of course! I sing in order to know myself, to know others, to free myself, offer sanctuary, seek redemption, to remember, to forget, to breathe, to let go, to give in – to feel alive. Would you not risk your skin and bones to feel truly alive and free? Would you be able to walk away, resist a temptation of that kind?