I was (finally) reading the October LibraryThing: State of the Thing newsletter, and there was an author interview with Kristen Hersh, who is a musician, and who has also recently released a book called Rat Girl based on her diary from when she was 18. That alone wasn't really enough to move me to check the music, but when I saw her thoughts on her music being based on ambient noise, I had to go there. This is what I read: You mentioned recently that the songs seem to be based on ambient noise. Has knowing that changed the magic of the songs, that they are based on real sounds and not the whispered words angels and demons? Like, "Oh, that's just the heat register kicking in." (You can read the rest of the interview there, too.)
Now, I am having a music moment these days. I want to figure out music, especially sad music. I am trying to prepare for a music theory exam (my first ever). I have started a correspondence with my uncle, a professional bluegrass musician. I am analyzing pop songs with my piano teacher (like Mad World, Love the Way You Lie, U Smile - there are some musical things out there). And so on. Also germane is that one of my all-time favourite cds is Sheila Chandra's Moonsung: A Real World Retrospective from 1999. I keep it near Brian Eno in my collection, and I listen to it whenever I am recovering from anesthetic (happens more often than you might think). It is drone-ish music, based on ambient noise. I think of it when I am in a strange bedroom hearing a different pattern of night sounds (like heat registers and traffic) and try to make music out of my irritation. I also love Arvo Pärt, and have written about him before, because of the sadness, and the drone-ishness, and the modal aspect of his music (link is to Wikipedia if you are interested - it's not perfect, but it's a start). It all kind of goes together.
So...I had to check out Kristen Hersh on YouTube. I love the 'Shock of the New' (I love Robert Hughes, too). I LIVE FOR the shock of the new. And I LOVE the sound of this woman's music. It is odd. It is sad. It is beautiful. It defies easy analysis. Her other songs are cool too. Sundrops is even odder - and to watch her play it live makes me think she composed it physically rather than sonically. Is that possible?
Tell me what you think, please.
The marigold wonders nervously about all the brackets. The marigold LOVES brackets. And all-caps. And irony. Does it give the effect of animated conversation, or is it all a bit too much? And should I even care?