Pretending to be a virtuoso

I just saw an interview PJ Harvey gave just after releasing White Chalk. She apparently was creatively blocked after Uh Huh Her. What she decided to do was to pick up a new instrument. She’d never played the piano earlier, but ended up writing her next album with a piano. That to me is amazing. How does she do it? She just sits down and pretends to be a virtuoso pianist(!). Then she records herself playing, and uses “what works”. That’s like one of the greatest thing I’ve ever heard. So much plays out in your head when you create something, and if you put yourself in a state where you really believe that you can do something, and forget about criticizing for a moment, a lot of interesting stuff can come out of it.

Ok, lets not forget that Polly Jean is more or less a genius. Or maybe that’s simplifying everything. Maybe she just works really really hard, with a wonderful talent and an unstoppable curiousness. I think that’s what she would have said herself. Calling her a genius would be simplifying her writing process, saying that things just “pour out” of her. I think she has said herself that it doesn’t work like that, that she does work very hard all the time.

I feel so helpless with a guitar in my hands, but maybe if I play every day for a year things would seem less complicated. Polly Jean would NEVER give up.

Am loving her new album so much. It’s been on repeat for weeks. Don’t have tickets for tonights show here in Paris. I’m so immensly disappointed… Hoping to see her next time she’s in town.


All Over The Place

Is going from PJ Harvey to Barbra Streisand to Arnold Schoenberg and then back to Talib Kweli the same day insane? I’m always wondering why one should limit oneself. A friend once said somthing like she couldn’t take my taste in cinema seriously because I could watch both Ozu, Battlestar Galactica, Kubric and Glee in one night. Who cares?? I’m so fed up with all this bloody correctness. Have fun people!


Don’t know HOW they do it, but they do it:

-Steely Dan-

I decline
To walk the line
They tell me that I’m lazy
Worldly wise
I realize
That everybody’s crazy
A woman’s voice reminds me
To serve and not to speak
Am I myself or just another freak

Don’t you know
There’s fire in the hole
And nothing left to burn
I’d like to run out now
There’s nowhere left to turn

With a cough
I shake it off
And work around my yellow stripe
Should I hide
And eat my pride
Or wait until it’s good and ripe
My life is boiling over
It’s happened once before
I wish someone would open up the door

Don’t you know
There’s fire in the hole
And nothing left to burn
I’d like to run out now
There’s nowhere left to turn

Funny Joni Experience On The Metro

Was on my way home from work yesterday (this job I have for a short three weeks where I have to call up people and ask them a lot of questions they have nor time, nor envie to answer), and I often listen to music on my iPod (shuffle) while being bored on the metro. Suddenly this Joni song that I love som much came up. Haha…!!! She’s like directly refering to my life here, check out below. Amazing. I KNEW that I can always count on Joni to explain myself to me:

I deal in dreamers and telephone screamers
Lately I wonder what I do it for, if I had my way
I’d just walk through those doors, and wander
Down the Champs Elysees
Going cafe to cabaret, thinking how I’d feel when I find
That very good friend of mine

Sunday Bliss

Still feeling like a zero and a nobody, but it’s getting less important as the days goes by. Who gives a shit that I’m not a fantastic translator anyway? No one is good at everything. The truth is that I have this annoying need to be a genius at everything I do, but obviously I have to get over this. I’m a singer, not a translator. Yes, true, a singer who haven’t really done a gig for ten years, but there are very specific reasons why it’s become like that.

I want to do my own stuff on stage, and it takes time to write and find ones voice. Since I didn’t think I wanted to do music for a long time, I spent years doing other stuff. Studying literature was great, and I would gladly have spent another four years doing a Phd. Chose not to do it, or rather couldn’t think of a good project to write, so I forgot about it. (Another reason is that I didn’t want to educate myself to unemployment, but that’s another story). Also, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking I want to be involved in movies, although I know I would suck at it. The only thing I can think of doing is writing a script, but I have absolutely nothing to do on a film set. The years have gone by with me being totally confused as to what I’m supposed to do. Now it’s getting clearer to me: I need to sing and to write. Without that in my life, I’m miserable.

So where does the translations come in? Well, everyone needs to earn money, and working freelance is perfect for an “artist”. The backside to it is that you don’t really earn that much, and that it takes a lot of time. Also, it seems like I’m not really good at it.

Too bad. Right now, I’m doing research by telephone for a couple of weeks. It’s kind of demanding (trying to get people to speak to you when they don’t really have time to), and very badly paid. When I get back home in the evening, I’m dead beat. No writing and no singing is being done. My plan is to find a part time job which doesn’t pay to badly, and isn’t to demanding. I think it can be done. The difficult part will be not to be too ambitious when it comes to what I’m doing during the day, but save the ambition for the writing and the music. This is really hard for me. I love working, and I love a challenge. I’ll die if I have to be in a reception every day for instance.

As I have mentioned before, it all comes down to our priorities. I cannot both have a challenging job, and spend time on my writing as well. I know people who can, but I cannot right now. Also, the more I call myself a talentless moron, the less open I will be to inspiration, and the less I will want to do an effort to write every day. I won’t find time to write either, as I won’t know what the point is.

In Argentina I spent a couple of good writing weeks. I remember the feeling – how proud and content I was. I need to get back to that feeling. Today is Sunday, and I’m home alone. A good day to start getting back into it. I’m listening to Judee Sill, and just bought the new PJ Harvey album on i-Tunes. I also have “The Philadelphia Story” with Carey Grant waiting, and was thinking of making some delicious pasta with pesto for lunch. Being creative is not easy, but it’s worth the struggle. At least it’s worth it when you don’t see any other solution than to keep doing it. And the lesson learned: Keep focused. Do not spend all your energy trying to do something else perfectly. The music is the important thing, so to hell with the translating.

Have a splendid Sunday!

– Judee Sill –

There’s a rugged road on the prairie
Stretchin’ all across the last frontier
There a stranger strives solitary
Blessed is the lonesome pioneer
Roll on, roll on, roll on
Night birds are flyin’
Come on, the light is gone
Hope’s slowly dyin’
Tell me how you come ridin’ through
Still surveyin’ the miles yet to run
On the long and lonely road to kingdom come

He can blaze a trail, though the rumblin’
Dims his guiding light to just a spark
When the hour is low, he comes tumblin’
When the moon is high he gives his heart

Roll on, roll on, roll on
Night birds are flyin’
Come on, the light is gone
Hope’s slowly dyin’
Tell me how you come ridin’ through
Gainin’ steady till this round is won
On the long and lonely road to kingdom come

People far below chasin’ pleasures
Offer him directions on the run
Prophets on the path offer treasures
Though she’s mighty hungry he takes none

Roll on, roll on, roll on
Night birds are flyin’
Come on, the light is gone
Hope’s slowly dyin’
Tell me how you come ridin’ through
Blindly faithful but followin’ none
On the long & lonely road to kingdom come

When the sun goes down at the right time
She comes windin’ through the purple haze
Just a feather’s touch in the night time
But it’ll color all my weary days

Shinin’ finer than this earthly sun
On the ragged rugged road to kingdom come
On the ragged rugged road to kingdom come

Got sacked…

…from a translating job. I feel like the less talented and intelligent person on the planet right now. Am trying to tell myself that it’s better to have tried and failed, but it doesn’t help at all. Will re-read the essay “Notes on Failure” by Joyce Carol Oats. It’s not about translating, but I figure that as I suck as a translator, I must suck at writing as well. Hope I’ll feel less depressed after reading it. Am also comforting myself with Judee Sill songs. Try it all you sad people out there – she’s the best!

Bye for now, I’m gonna go lick my wounds…

In the Desert…

Dry period. Can’t get into it again. Don’t feel any desire, nor any inspiration. Will tomorrow be the day where I’m able to get out of this swamp, this desert of…. was going to say meanigless desert, but that wouldn’t be quite right. I’m perfectly “happy” for now. I just now I’ll regret not doing anything in the long run. It has now been almost a month since I last wrote. I haven’t written anything since Buenos Aires. On monday I start working. Will have to change the routine.

Ooops, I did it again….

Trying to avoid it, but it happens very often. I just sat down to work on some of my song lyrics, but got stuck reading about a girl I know who just won a very prestigeous price for her feature film. I’m so impressed, and happy for her!! But it kind of makes me feel a bit small next to all that success. Next time: No internet!!! Beginning to understand many writer’s need to buy old computers without internet connection. Not such a bad idea at all. Still, I am glad to be able to be happy for other people’s success. Important to send out good vibes to get good vibes in return! Now I’m gonna put my vibes into some kick ass lyrics! Juhuuu!