The ingredients of influence
I was recently reminded of an album recorded by my all time favourite singing artist, which was a collection of covers from Canadian singer/song writers from over the years..my idol being kid Lang, a Canadian artist herself.At the same time she was elevated a new album which featured collaborations with two other singers, all new material which they had written together.This got me thinking about how we as artists use so many different influences to create our work recognising that whilst all new work is a gift we bring but that also subconsciously each offering we share is without question loaded with so many different influences. if this was not the case then each of us would have an extremely short career indeed.I am in ore of those out there who continue to work after many years in their feild and still keep producing high quality pieces whether that’s novels, paintings, music, poetry, sculpture photography or anything else that comes under the umbreller of “Art”. I always pay great attention when I see an artist asked the question”what inspires you” hanging on their every word in the answer .
As I was joyfully listening to my favourite track from this album I had a rush of reminders of so many things that evoke certain emotions in me and inspire me some of which I feel like sharing with you.In the first place the song I was listening to was A Case Of You written by Joni Mitchell but I was listening to the kid Lang version.I love the use of the image of being so in love with someone that if that love was turned into wine and you drank the whole case…you still couldn’t get enough of that person…just gorgeous!!! This of course is my own interpretation of the meaning to the song and I acknowledge that others will have another interpretation this is just mine. In addition to the sentiment to the song I’m totally captivated by the tone of Kd’s voice and I liken it to a sort of melted chocolate soft velvet image to describe why I like it so much.My appreciation of her doesn’t stop at the voice,I have enormous respect for the way she holds her own as an artist in a very competitive business.Despite not regularly being in the mainstream top 40 or featured artist regularly seen on MTV, she maintains a strong self belief that she has a valid place out there. She appreciates grately the world wide fan based she has developed over a 30 year career.
Many of her songs have enormous meaning to me from an LGBT perspective, and many of the songs I have adopted as personal anthems which I play when I need an extra boost of confidence .I have read many books and articles/ interviews and documentaries about who she is as a person and my respect for her is endless.
This brings me onto another artist based in UK who has been in the business just as long and has been labelled as being very similar to Kd’s, the artist in question of course is Horse McDonald.
I first came across her work through her involvement with the first L Project single “it does get better “. I have had the pleasure of being introduced to more of her music over the past year, seen her live at least three times and attended a workshop she lead in Scotland.I have gained an understanding of her history in the business and studied her vocal ability and developed huge respect for her ability as a singer.Unlike Kd’s she is not signed to a huge multi national record label but has a huge loyal following and gains more support each year. Again her self belief and refusal to go down the same route as many an artist and do her own thing is both refreshing and totally inspirational to me and like Kd’s many of her songs have personal meaning to me from an LGBT perspective. Her songs which send out a message of emotional strength resonate with me strongly.
Watching her live is as close to an on the go workshop for vocal techniques that you can possibly imagine and she never fails to amaze me just how much physical effort she puts into each song. Her closeness to her fans is a breath of Fresh air .I have even decided that one of her songs will be played at my own wedding as it sums up my relationship with my partner so perfectly. My inspiration doesn’t stop there, it’s well documented that I write about issues surrounding my disability and living in a world where this can create issues.
I also write about LGBT issues not forgetting the individuals who have made so many sacrifices to make living our lives today so much easer and those who create environments for people like myself to have a voice and a place to go and be part of a community which accept me for who I am . Many basic things also inspire me such as watching a beautiful dance performance…my memory of dance has not left me completely and I’m very grateful for that.I recently saw a painting in a shop window that I fell in love with it was of a female dancer in a pose I stared at it for a good ten minutes and all kinds of thoughts feelings and emotions came to me . I was lost in its beauty for a short period but it was an inspiritaional moment.Through dance I have gained a deep fascination with the human form, I love sculptures of figures, and sketches and paintings of naked bodies…not from a sexual point of view either.Images showing various landscapes also fill me with joy and I love to be anywhere near natural water either a lake, sea or river bank there’s something so spiritually inspiring for me about the sea.
In summing up I think you will agree that there are many ingredients to what inspires me and I actively seek out new forms of inspiration. Long may the search continue for those I mention in this blog and long may it continue to encourage me to keep writing.