One thing I used to do on a fairly regular basis on this blog was tell you what I was listening to.
I notice I have been so busy showing off what I’ve been recording and writing that I haven’t posted a list for a while. This is a little remiss of me really because I am possibly as much influenced in my work – audio as well as visual – by songs as anything else.
(A note about inspiration: much as I love going round the Big Galleries, I don’t often come away inspired, more informed and instructed perhaps, occasionally admiring, but not often inspired. Is this a dangerous confession for an artist to make? Especially one looking to make a living, gain funding, and exposure in those same galleries…? Shot myself in the foot maybe? But I’ll bet I’m not the only one. I hasten to add, that the artists I have actually met, I find tremendously inspiring, but it is more about who they are and how they think about life, than how their work eventually looks in isolation on the gallery wall. As I type this I am wincing…. have I gone too far? The Open Studio is more exciting to me than the PV.
I find inspiration in the more mundane places. I find inspiration in the junk shops…. overheard conversations… the way other people go about their lives. I think it is because I like art about life rather than art about art. For me, my response to the world around me, and other artists’ responses to their world is what holds me. If I see the hand of the maker, and a strand of thought, I’m hooked. If I see a different approach to ties in my own little bubble, that is what is inspiring.
I have made links through the conversations I hold here and elsewhere to other artists that will keep me going for years I am sure. That’s the real stuff.
However (trying to dig myself out of the hole) I retain the right to change my mind about those Big Galleries should one of them ever invite me to hang work in their hallowed spaces.)
The songs then…
The songwriters that I know – and I know a few – don’t write songs directly in order to get a song sung by One Direction, get to number 1 and be rich. It would be good if they made some money, but that isn’t what it is about. They write songs because they have to. A response to the world. Not much different to us visual artists… making a living would be the icing on the cake. Dan Whitehouse was heard saying recently “What’s the difference between a musician and a large pizza? A large pizza can feed a family!”
I can tell I’m rambling now… I hope this makes sense when I read it back…
So I think I need two lists here, a list of songs by songwriters I know, and a list of stuff I’m listening to by people that I don’t. If you are not familiar with these people, especially the first list, please click on the links and go to listen to them. They are talented people who deserve a wider audience.
First up then…my friends list:
Has to start with Dan Whitehouse. He is the one that got me started, built my confidence, showed me a few tricks, developed a few of my skills, expanded my knowledge. For this I am forever grateful. He is an extraordinary and talented man, and seems to be surrounded by wonderful generous people.
He’s got a new album out… trailer here:
Paul Liddell: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFFl0H4I4ME I love this song so much… but he has loads of them! He is brilliant live, he’s based in the North East of the country, but has been known to venture south, if you can get to see him, please do, he’s funny, very entertaining, and very clever.
(I make no apologies that both of the above songs use loops, as I am working on a song myself at the moment that might do the same… if I can figure out how to do it!)
Anja McCloskey: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG3KBtI8XVk Anja writes songs that defy being put into boxes. I am a convert to the sound of the accordion, just because of Anja.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sbb1H6YBQH0 Chris helped me finish off my song “Numb” and played on the live recording that lurks around on sound cloud somewhere. He has a unique guitar playing style that I just love.
I will post more links at some point, but that’s enough for now.
As for the other stuff I’m listening to:
The Whitest Boy Alive
…you can find those yourself very easily if you feel so inclined!
I don’t listen to much classical, jazz, RnB… none of the hippety hoppety stuff if I can help it. So in the wider sense I’m not very knowledgeable. But I know what I like! Hahaha!