Thought I’d do an update on Vienna Teng since I’ve been trolling YouTube for goodies, and it’s been two years since the last post. Vienna is one of my favorite “discoveries” and she is so multitalented, good-humored, and entertaining that I feel it important to share her with you. She is criminally unknown. Let’s just fix that shall we? Here are some performances that I hope you’ll enjoy
Check out this great take on Radiohead’s “idioteque”, with her ace percussionist and partner-in-time Alex Wong and guest Kevin Rice on drums:
Naturally I can’t resist sharing the beautiful “Gravity” once more, this time from the official music video:
How about a study in extremes? These two clips showcase Vienna’s lyrics and astute poetry; the first one a lullaby of comfort for a beloved child, warm and so very tender…
…and the second so cruel and very devastating. Fasten your seat belt, and witness a child despised by an obsessed mother who is lost in her desire for the father:
Damn; what do you follow that with…? We’ll try to work back up out of the depths with “The Tower”:
Let’s get Alex back out here:-) From the Shoe on the Other Foot Dept: “No Gringo” live…
Wow, I spent an hour trying to find a good live version of this next song, “Grandmother Song”, because the stage version is so lively, but either the vocals or the drums were mixed way too far back. Funny advisory/adversarial lyrics xD So here’s the album version to get you up on your feet! Short ‘n’ sweet
…and that should make up for that woefully-short first introductory post
I hope you enjoyed the exposure; if she meets your approval and tastes, please support her by buying her albums
In Letters to a Young Poet, the poet Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) wrote to an aspiring young writer about the vocation of writing and the nature of creativity in solitude:
“What is necessary, after all, is only this: solitude, vast inner solitude. To walk inside yourself and meet no-one for hours – that is what you must be able to attain. To be solitary as you were when you were a child, when the grownups walked around involved with matters that seemed large and important because they looked so busy and because you didn’t understand a thing about what they were doing.
...the snow-bound aerial...
“And when you realize that their activities are shabby, that their vocations are petrified and no longer connected with life, why not then continue to look upon it all as a child would, as if you were looking at something unfamiliar, out of the depths of your own solitude, which is itself work and status and vocation? Why should you want to give up a child’s wise non-understanding….
...shooting into the night...
“Think, dear Sir, of the world that you carry inside you, and call this thinking whatever you want… only be attentive to what is arising within you, and place that above everything you perceive around you. What is happening in your innermost self is worthy of your entire love; somehow you must find a way work at it, and not lose too much time or too much courage in clarifying your attitude towards people.
“… Only the individual who is solitary is placed under the deepest laws… and when he walks out into the rising dawn or looks out into the event-filled evening and when he feels what is happening there, all situations drop from him as if from a dead man, though he stands in the midst of pure life… if there is nothing you can share with other people, try to be close to Things; they will not abandon you; and the nights are still there, and the winds that move through the trees and across many lands; everything in the world of Things and animals is still filled with happening, which you can take part in.”
Certain artists are often considered “abnormal” for removing themselves from the world to create, presumed to be anti-social, mad, or worse. I bristle when I see those thoughtless, insensitive, and dismissive assumptions about creators who generously share with us their cherished creations, and about independant individuals who can see the wisdom in solitude in spite of the conformists who castigate them as simply being “loners”.
“The Loner” is the most misunderstood member of Society. Those who righteously remove themselves from the cacaphony of civilization in order to create (or contribute other talents to the World), often at great expense to their well-being, are rarely forgiven or tolerated by the masses, unless they can be latched onto for some kind of gain. It’s a convenient tag used by the madding crowd to marginalize and diminish what is essentially the most God-like thing we as humans can do: create Something out of Nothing.
That, and Love, which is the simplest, greatest, and most universal Reflection :-)
This series will attempt to shed light on my own personal journey undertaken so long ago, to which path I wish I would’ve stuck to as I stumble blindly down the mountain like the Fool that I am. Step by step… the Sun’s comin’ out
...here we go...
(The Rilke section is provided via Anneli Rufus’ encouraging and provocative book, “Party of One: The Loners’ Manifesto” (2003), highly recommended to those courageous souls who are feeling persecuted by Society’s hostile attitudes towards those who can do without.)
I was actually dreading doing yet another Kate Bush post. There’s way too much too say, and all too often words just do not suffice to describe the more intangible levels and layers of her work and how they affect me. With some relief I read My Kate Bush Page (off of the Menu menu at top), and found that most of the important bits are covered there anyway, so no need to repeat them here. There’s so much that I haven’t said that the prospect of writing another was a bit daunting, but I found myself inspired after watching a few of her vids. Quite a few, thanks to The Timesink That Is YouTube. Kate’s like kandy and a sure cure for the blues whether you want to wallow or escape.
I do feel much better now, thank you
There are just two videos there though (“The Sensual World” and “Lily” official vids), so I thought I’d do this post in reverse. Instead of another “wall o’ words” post of stuff I’ve already said, it’ll be more of a “wall-o-videos” of Kate songs, with minimal text. I hope. You know how I get (Watch these in Fullscreen for maximum enjoyment!)
First up, the official “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” video. Kate composed, choreographed, sang and played, and left some other bits for her mates to fiddle with, quite competently, I should add. Great song, and as always her lyrics are unabashedly honest, heartfelt, thoughtful, deep, and most of all, True:
The wonderful full-length “Cloudbusting” video she made with Donald Sutherland (one of my favorite actors) depicts the relationship between Wilhelm Reich and his son Peter, who had written the book that had inspired Kate, “A Book of Dreams”. Contains one of my most-loved Kate lyrics:
“But every time it rains,
You’re here in my head,
Like the sun coming out–
Ooh, I just know that something good is going to happen.
And I don’t know when,
But just saying it could even make it happen…”
The above clips are from 1985′s Hounds of Love, which ignited a fiery months-long period of discovery that followed the slow burn lit by the first Kate album I bought in ’84, Never For Ever. One of the more haunting tracks from this album is “The Infant Kiss”, here represented by another Kate fan, not-so-oddly named k8fan, who skillfully edited scenes from the film that had inspired Kate, “The Innocents”, against the music, creating a whole that is seamless. Well done!
(K8fan also helps run the superb Gaffaweb with Vickie (among others, I think), home to all things Kate-related; do check it out.)
It’s certainly interesting to see how Kate is interpreted by others visually. There are some other excellent fan-made videos out there, and these next three celebrate the soundscapes of 2005′s Aerial album. First up is the exquisite A Coral Room, probably Kate’s most personal song, and my favorite, I think. It’s so hard to choose! Gives me chills every time I listen to it. The movie scenes it is playing with is (I believe) Swept From the Sea; it and the song fit together so beautfully… “Put your hand over the side of the boat/What do you feel?”
Next up is another fan-made video for “Nocturne”; it’s clearly a labor of love! If you want to get right to the song, it’s at 2:30 following a sort of prelude. Lengthy video, but worth it. ‘cos the music, y’know… is great
Next up is an exhilarating video of a… well, “aerial” performance by the Cirque du Soleil, to the title track “Aerial”:
Due to damnable circumstances far beyond my control, I still haven’t been able to buy Kate’s latest, Director’s Cut, released this May. But while searching the Tube of Yous I came across a few of its songs, and hearing new Kate material really lifted my downtrodden spirits. I’ll get it eventually, that’s for sure! Normally I won’t “preview” any music from albums I intend to own, preferring to have a hard copy in my hand when I’m first hearing it. Resistance to DC, as it turns out, is futile *whine* -I HAD TO TASTE ITTTT!!! Anyway, I found several tracks along with finally allowing myself to hear the 55-minute interview with Mark Radcliffe, and am doubly anxious to get it now. Triply. Great, like I needed that LOL
First up is Kate’s re-imagining of “Never Be Mine”, which I like just a bit more than the original, paired with some very nice imagery and lyrics. I should note here that I don’t feel that one version overwrites another; actually now there are two versions I can have to choose between to listen to, not rank. Lovely, thanks Kate ;-)
Finally, we come full circle (of sorts) with her re-do of “Lily”. Needless to say, I was both anticipating and dreading a new version of the most singular of Kate’s songs (for me), considering its connection with our own Lily. I do believe that I like it better than the original, but I won’t be able to tell until I listen properly: between the speakers, eyes closed, lights out and no other distractions. Who knows when that’ll be? In the meantime, at least, I have this version and the original, with Lily in between; a veritable bouquet of lillies
If curious about Unbound and the story of Lily, this video definitely echoes some of its vibe (as does Kate’s!). While completely unrelated, the two Lilys are connected. Say no moah Oddly (and incomprehensively LOL), this vid features two “Lily-likes“, Charlize Theron’s role from Aeon Flux (or is that another, Kate Beckinsale?), and Milla Jovovich. Inconsequential, I know, but curious as they really have no connection with Kate’s Lily, hm…
STRANGE PHENOMENA, oh yeahhhh…
an aspect of Kate as Molly as Lily
I’ve found a few Kate Lily-like pics as well, not surprising since her Molly Bloom character from The Sensual World is probably more Lily-like than anything else, especially in the video for it (it’s on the My Kate Bush Page). Both of them ”stepping out of the page and into the sensual world…” as it were. Wonder how she’d look with blue eyes, hm… (Not that I’d EVER change a thing about her, especially her eyes!) (<— hastily added)
Hope you enjoyed this very small tip of the Kate-iceberg, and please feel free to leave a comment if feeling friendly, informed, or informative ;-)
(STRANGE PHENOMENA Update & Bulletin Edit:) About a half-hour later after I finished this up I received an official email notification regarding the new album’s imminent release!!! Woo-hoo!!! Isn’t that Strange??? (Actually, no it’s not, All Things Considered, as “everything’s connected”!) The title will be “50 Words for Snow” to be released November 21! Seven tracks running about 65 minutes, titles include (more significance!) “Among Angels” and “Lake Tahoe” which I really find mind-blowing, as that is my favorite vacation spot where I spent many summers while growing up. If I ever have. BUT WOW! During one winter excursion there, I met a sweet girl who showed me my first snow angel :-O
Damn, too excited to sleep now, and it’s after 4AM o.O -But it’s a good damn
on the water
"When early youth had passed, he left his cold fireside and alienated home to seek strange truths in undiscovered lands. Many a wide waste and tangled wilderness has lured his fearless steps; and he has bought with his sweet voice and eyes, from savage men, his rest and food." (from 'Alastor, or, The Spirit of Solitude', by Percy Bysshe Shelley,1815)
For info on our novel UNBOUND, please see our website in the Blogroll!