Friday, August 20, 2010

Understanding nothing, Feeling everything else

I've acquired a taste for French music. No, I do not speak French.

I was raised with a father who was famous for his liberal selection of music. I would climb into the car to be greeted by Native American wooden flutes, traditional Chinese folk melodies, Scottish bagpipes, Italian opera--any branch of music from any region of earth. I loved it. I loved the places the music would take me. I loved the sense of adventure my ignorance seemed to excite. I would listen to the music unaware of literal meaning; I did not comprehend the lyrics but counted it as no great loss.

I am finding myself in the same boat as a matter of personal choice. It began with Carla Bruni and "Quelqu'un M'a Dit." Innocently, I listened again and again and again to the easiness of the guitar, the whispering quality of the voice, the almost conversation-like exchange between the two. The lyrics are purely French and convey absolutely no meaning to me whatsoever. But that's what I love about it. No literary message; no boxed-in meaning; no complacent, categorical, stereotypical forum from whence a calculated measure of opinion finds voice. No solid meaning for me whatsoever. The song becomes what I want it to be; the song adapts with me. Everything becomes less fixed, less determined. With fluidity, it holds my fickle flavors in a day: hope, melancholy, reminiscence, acceptance, easiness, excitement, anticipation, unease, determination . . . .

Sometimes words seem to only get in the way. More French music it is.

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