As I mentioned from an earlier journal entry, Vienna commands a radiant, quiet charisma. Like most natural-born introverts, Vienna comes to her own in private settings away from the din of noisy clubs - and I found myself enjoying her extended explanations on the inspiration behind specific songs (apparently, one of my favorites, Drought, was about writer's block of all things. Ha!). There is a wholesome earnestness about her presence (both musically and conversationally) that's refreshing - especially by way of contrast to the crush of overhyped, dolled-up female musicians that dominate the airwaves.
Also discovered last evening her online journal - offering thoughtful musings on the creative process and moments of touching vulnerability:
I'm still not sure how I would feel about that fickle creature providing my sole source of income. Does inspiration come more readily when one works with music full-time? It's where I'm placing my bets, where all artists do, but I really don't know. It's rather surprising, really, that more of us don't have shrines to our personal gods of creativity. It's one thing to wake up every morning and remember your bar chords, as you certainly should after so many years of practice, and quite another to wake up ready to add something new and good to the world. Some kind of prayer is in order for the latter.
On a deeper, more ambivalent level...it's a funny thing for me. I rebel against the music industry's current emphasis on the Image -- it creates an environment where only young, physically attractive (or at least exotic-looking) artists can succeed, which is a silly prerequisite for success in an art that people listen to. I'm on the cute side of plain-looking, I think, and I am young -- I could go for the touched-up sexy-ingenue look if I wanted to. And that's exactly why I don't want to. The idea of using my looks to sell my music is not appealing to me in the least, particularly since it would only contribute to the discrimination against older, less-than-gorgeous, amazingly talented musicians.
I suppose I'm returning to a recurring theme in this journal, but...artists really are indebted to their fans. People who buy the CDs and show up at concerts constitute a new performer's entire livelihood. Later on in the game it's more about advances and points and radio play royalties, but for the kind of career I'm after (i.e. one based on genuine appreciation rather than hype), ultimately I'll always depend on individuals and the fact that they love what I do. An interesting truth, that. In my current day job, I get paid because my company needs me to do what I do in order to ensure its own success. I'm comfortable with that arrangement. But with music, it's purely an act of love, really. Almost of charity, sometimes, if I think about the principle of "supporting the arts," the fact that they often flounder financially when left to their own devices.
Not sure how I feel about being dependent on the love of strangers.
- Needing Love
With this being the third journal entry on Vienna Teng in a month, I suppose a few readers might start wondering if I picked up a second job as her publicist or something. Ha ha ha - no such luck. Just a very enthusiastic listener whose interest in live music was rekindled from a serendipitous encounter.
Photo from Eric's house:
Some internet loser, Eric, and Raymond
Now, for comic/ironic effect, I shall proceed to blast Falco's Vienna Calling from my laptop ...