Monday, January 26, 2009

Nothing on my Tongue but Hallelujah!

My anxiety began at work on Saturday, at around 1pm. I was going to see one of, if not THE most influential artist/s of and 'on' my life and my own art. Nothing was going to stop me from fulfilling this dream now!

I arrived home 3pm, where C was getting ready. I don't think he'd seen a smile as big as mine for quite some time - not on my face anyway. I had waited a long time for this. Actually, for many years I was convinced I would never have the opportunity to witness the presence of this remarkable man. His words, poetry and music have lived inside me for years, and I had resigned myself to the fact that that alone would have to suffice. And for many years it did. Mr. Cohen has had, and continues to have, an extraordinary influence of my life, my writing and my art. In my mind - he is something else. He is not just a poet, he is not just a musician, or a wordsmith, or an artist, or a wise old soul - he is all these things and a whole lot more.

His books, his poems, his lyrics and his music have both moved and challenged me. They have pushed and pulled and stirred up emotions of every kind - even some I was unaware of until I was aware of him. He has done all of this without ever knowing me. For this - I thank him.

C and I took the motorbike which proved a smart transport option, as the traffic was near a stand still for a large stretch of the road that lead to the estate where he would perform.

The sun was shining over the vines as we entered the winery - on what seemed a perfect afternoon... could it get any better? I was about to see Leonard Cohen... LIVE.

The great man was due on stage at 7:30 but casually strolled out around 15 minutes early - as though he could not wait any longer to grace the stage and do what he was born to do. It had been a long time between tours for him - and even longer since he had performed in this country.

In Cohen's own words - It's been a long time, about 15 years since I was on stage - I was 60, just a young kid with a crazy dream. and now - this 74 year young kid was making one of my dreams come true.

He opened with 'Dance me to the End of Love', his baritone voice resonating through the 7000 plus crowd. His voice was everything I had imagined it would be - only better - and his presence was something else. I was moved to tears several times and as silly or corny as it may sound, my heart hurt a little when he skipped off stage for the final time at the end of his 3rd encore.

I did not want the music or the night to end.

Set 1
1. Dance Me to the End of Love
2. The Future
3. Ain't No Cure for Love
4. Bird on the Wire
5. Everybody Knows
6. In My Secret Life
7. Who By Fire
8. Chelsea Hotel #2
9. Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye
10. Anthem

Set 2
11. Tower of Song
12. Suzanne
13. The Gypsy Wife
14. The Partisan
15. Boogie Street
16. Hallelujah
17. I'm Your Man
18. A Thousand Kisses Deep [recitation]
19. Take This Waltz

Encore 1
20. So Long Marianne
21. First We Take Manhattan

Encore 2
22. Famous Blue Raincoat
23. If It Be Your Will
24. Democracy

Encore 3
25. I Tried to Leave You
26. Wither Thou Goest

The set list was one I could have only dreamed of. If I had to pick highlights, Hallelujah! and a sublime recital of A Thousand Kisses Deep would be up there. Just seeing the man was a highlight - hearing him sing, and everything else was just a bonus.

Thank you Mr. Cohen. Thank you for making the night a gift.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Humbled in Love

I want to thank Mr. Cohen for such a fabulous performance last night. He is truly a master and I believe, truly a gentleman.

I could, and most likely will, say a lot more when next I write - when I am not so tired. For now, I am still digesting all the thoughts and emotions that Leonard conjured up inside of me last night.

I am just so grateful and elated to have seen him perform.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Every Breath We Drew...

Two years ago, on this day, Jeff Buckley's rendition of Hallelujah had a profound effect on me. I'd heard it many times before, but from that day on, my thoughts wandered to a special place whenever it was played.

My connection to the song itself was always evident, only now it runs deeper.

It seems only fitting that I may hear it sung, live, by its creator tomorrow evening.

We are all beautiful losers in some way...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mii, Myself and I

It's a little bit sad that the most creative, or artistic, thing I have done lately is create a Mii for me on the Wii. I'm having serious paint brush withdrawals.

I also created one for C. I had to laugh at the likeness - in both cases.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Blog and Block

I have a water logged ear. It's been blocked since Tuesday morning. It's now Thursday evening and still no change of tide in the canal. It's annoying but not unbearable. I dare say I will have to have it looked at if it stays like this for longer than another 24 hour period. Just when I think it's going to go 'pop' and make that sound of water draining somewhere into or out of my head, it remains stagnant. I can only imagine how nice it will feel when the water 'breaks'.

And all because I went to the gym, (+pool), for the first time in around 6 months - that'll teach me for wanting to get fit! Now I truly know why I no longer make new years resolutions.

Is this all I have to blog about? Pretty much yes. I dedicated a good 70+ hours to work last week - unfortunately none of it was of the artistic kind - hence I've really not much inspiration to ramble on about anything much.

It's getting closer to our house moving date and I am getting a little excited at the prospect of setting up a new studio space. I've a feeling I may not paint until then which will be hard in the short term - but possibly all worth it in the long run. It's almost time for me to start packing my art materials and all other possessions into cardboard boxes anyway.

Moving house is a big thing in a number of ways. Sometimes it's not always desirable or positive - but in this instance, for me, it is both.

On the subject of art however... or subjective art perhaps - this article on the front page of The Age caught my eye today. I am too tired right now to express any thoughts on the matter but it is something I may come back to at some point. Or not.