inspiration collector

inspired?  
I tend to get freaked out by things I don’t understand. By things that are bigger than me. I have a longstanding fearful relationship with space. When Google Earth came out I used to get freaked out when panning out to the image of the Earth. The thought of being on a planet, floating in space has always been too much for my tiny little brain. I often wonder whether I am alone in this. Perhaps I think too much. I’d be interested to hear of others with this… issue.
In his TED talk - Will our kids be a different species? - Juan Enriquez speaks of how our children and grandchildren may be a different species to us, much in the same way that Neanderthals are different to Homo-sapiens. This is an interesting theory - and was a very interesting talk - however this, too, makes me feel uneasy.
I feel some real discomfort with the idea that the rise in incidences of ADHD may show that the brain is ‘evolving’ to deal with the sheer amount of information that it now has to digest. From computer games, social networking, TV, advertising… Everything is so fast. We want everything now: food, information, music, films. Even when we relax we are not slowing down. Call me old, but TV programmes, films and games seem like they’re created for an ADHD generation. Concentration levels just can’t keep up, so we introduce recaps every few minutes, plenaries, reminders.
It feels like a sense of doom, that humans could now, essentially, become super-beings with super-fast brains. But this does not necessarily result in more intelligence. Nor more understanding. And certainly not higher levels of emotional intelligence.
I am no scientist, and I guess this shows by the fact that my own brain finds it difficult to fathom changes in genes: that a skin cell can be moulded into an organ by the ‘magic’ of science. Is this moral? I don’t know. It could save someone’s life. But then we enter the moral maze of how much humans should do to maintain life. It brings into question the survival of the fittest philosophy, resuscitation, euthanasia. It makes me wonder at which point we should say ‘no more’ to a life. At which point immortality becomes moral.
I guess that’s the complexity of being human. We can emotionally cling on to the humans we are, like a fond memory. We can move forward into a world of super-beings. But, at some point, the Earth will cease to be. I love big storms because it makes me realise just how small I am. How insignificant in the grand scheme of things. But that doesn’t freak me out at all. Aren’t humans complex..?
Picture courtesy of Sweetie187.

I tend to get freaked out by things I don’t understand. By things that are bigger than me. I have a longstanding fearful relationship with space. When Google Earth came out I used to get freaked out when panning out to the image of the Earth. The thought of being on a planet, floating in space has always been too much for my tiny little brain. I often wonder whether I am alone in this. Perhaps I think too much. I’d be interested to hear of others with this… issue.

In his TED talk - Will our kids be a different species?Juan Enriquez speaks of how our children and grandchildren may be a different species to us, much in the same way that Neanderthals are different to Homo-sapiens. This is an interesting theory - and was a very interesting talk - however this, too, makes me feel uneasy.

I feel some real discomfort with the idea that the rise in incidences of ADHD may show that the brain is ‘evolving’ to deal with the sheer amount of information that it now has to digest. From computer games, social networking, TV, advertising… Everything is so fast. We want everything now: food, information, music, films. Even when we relax we are not slowing down. Call me old, but TV programmes, films and games seem like they’re created for an ADHD generation. Concentration levels just can’t keep up, so we introduce recaps every few minutes, plenaries, reminders.

It feels like a sense of doom, that humans could now, essentially, become super-beings with super-fast brains. But this does not necessarily result in more intelligence. Nor more understanding. And certainly not higher levels of emotional intelligence.

I am no scientist, and I guess this shows by the fact that my own brain finds it difficult to fathom changes in genes: that a skin cell can be moulded into an organ by the ‘magic’ of science. Is this moral? I don’t know. It could save someone’s life. But then we enter the moral maze of how much humans should do to maintain life. It brings into question the survival of the fittest philosophy, resuscitation, euthanasia. It makes me wonder at which point we should say ‘no more’ to a life. At which point immortality becomes moral.

I guess that’s the complexity of being human. We can emotionally cling on to the humans we are, like a fond memory. We can move forward into a world of super-beings. But, at some point, the Earth will cease to be. I love big storms because it makes me realise just how small I am. How insignificant in the grand scheme of things. But that doesn’t freak me out at all. Aren’t humans complex..?

Picture courtesy of Sweetie187.

— 2 years ago with 1 note
#space  #human  #adhd  #species  #morality  #philosophy 
As the years go by friendships change and grow. As a child I had best friends. While I moved around, my friendship groups changed and morphed. As a teenager I had a few close friends, and boyfriends. I grew older: friends became housemates and uni mates. A couple of stragglers I met in Australia became true friends. I married my best friend, and his friends became mine.
We are now entering something really interesting which I had never considered before. Friends have married and moved out of London, and have had children. Suddenly the group is huge, as second children and third children are born. You go to visit and there are babies to amuse, who like you or dislike you or are indifferent. Who may give you a kiss or a hug when you leave, may cry, or may not care. You have known the parents for years and you are now building a relationship with a two year old.
You think back to your own childhood and hope that you are not that aunt who always wanted a kiss and smelled like mothballs and left a greasy lipstick mark on your face. You don’t want to be too cool because you don’t want to make them cringe as you rock up with your guitar, singing Hey Jude. They’re not your children but, because they are your friends’ kids, you want to like them, to love them like you love your friends.
This may seem like a sentimental post, and I guess in a sense it is, but this is an inspirational realisation of the changes in relationships that no-one ever told me about. Perhaps it didn’t happen so much in my parents’ day; maybe having children was so normal and expected that no-one paid much attention to these changing relationships. Or maybe it’s something that parents don’t really talk about because they’re too busy changing nappies and pureeing vegetables.
One day these children of mutual friends will be friends with one another. Or hate each other. Parents joke that their children might fall in love with one another - and warn their offspring with a laugh. We’ll all get older as the children have children, and the group grows again.
Of course, this is not always the case; we have friends who have divorced shortly after having married. Friends who can’t have children, friends who have lost children. It’s not all happy, clappy, cheery life. But these changes in relationships as one gets older are fascinating. Even more so as the changes were so unexpected - to me, at least.
Conversations change. If anyone had told me five years ago that talking about ‘poo’ would become a social norm I would never have believed it. Chats turn to interest rates, and extensions, and mortgage deposits, and gardening. You suddenly feel very grown up. Like your own parents. Parents you never thought you would emulate. But it feels ok, not at all as you imagined. Reassuring, even.
Nurturing friendships is something that makes growing older a good thing. It seems that turning 30 was not such a bad thing after all.
Photo courtesy of Arindam Ghosh.

As the years go by friendships change and grow. As a child I had best friends. While I moved around, my friendship groups changed and morphed. As a teenager I had a few close friends, and boyfriends. I grew older: friends became housemates and uni mates. A couple of stragglers I met in Australia became true friends. I married my best friend, and his friends became mine.

We are now entering something really interesting which I had never considered before. Friends have married and moved out of London, and have had children. Suddenly the group is huge, as second children and third children are born. You go to visit and there are babies to amuse, who like you or dislike you or are indifferent. Who may give you a kiss or a hug when you leave, may cry, or may not care. You have known the parents for years and you are now building a relationship with a two year old.

You think back to your own childhood and hope that you are not that aunt who always wanted a kiss and smelled like mothballs and left a greasy lipstick mark on your face. You don’t want to be too cool because you don’t want to make them cringe as you rock up with your guitar, singing Hey Jude. They’re not your children but, because they are your friends’ kids, you want to like them, to love them like you love your friends.

This may seem like a sentimental post, and I guess in a sense it is, but this is an inspirational realisation of the changes in relationships that no-one ever told me about. Perhaps it didn’t happen so much in my parents’ day; maybe having children was so normal and expected that no-one paid much attention to these changing relationships. Or maybe it’s something that parents don’t really talk about because they’re too busy changing nappies and pureeing vegetables.

One day these children of mutual friends will be friends with one another. Or hate each other. Parents joke that their children might fall in love with one another - and warn their offspring with a laugh. We’ll all get older as the children have children, and the group grows again.

Of course, this is not always the case; we have friends who have divorced shortly after having married. Friends who can’t have children, friends who have lost children. It’s not all happy, clappy, cheery life. But these changes in relationships as one gets older are fascinating. Even more so as the changes were so unexpected - to me, at least.

Conversations change. If anyone had told me five years ago that talking about ‘poo’ would become a social norm I would never have believed it. Chats turn to interest rates, and extensions, and mortgage deposits, and gardening. You suddenly feel very grown up. Like your own parents. Parents you never thought you would emulate. But it feels ok, not at all as you imagined. Reassuring, even.

Nurturing friendships is something that makes growing older a good thing. It seems that turning 30 was not such a bad thing after all.

Photo courtesy of Arindam Ghosh.

— 2 years ago
#friends  #children  #inspiration  #growing older 
You never stop learning. Curiosity is what keeps me sane. I learn something new every day: at work, on my way home, from books, magazines, the internet, TV… These little pieces of information are a source of wonder. Some things have me heading straight for Google, others inspire me to make a bigger commitment to my learning journey.
I have committed to learning Japanese. When I told everyone a year ago that I wanted to learn a new language, and that I had chosen Japanese, the most common question I was asked was ‘why?’ But not ‘why?’ in a curious way, more in a ‘what the hell are you thinking?’ way. I have always been fascinated by Japanese culture, Japanese food, by a language that is so different in terms of sounds and grammar and an unfamiliar writing system.
I went to Narita Airport once and found it really difficult to communicate. My friend told me that this is because Japanese people do not want to make a mistake in English and so are reluctant to try to speak it. I don’t know whether that’s true, but I decided that, if I am going to go to Japan, I want to be able to speak to Japanese people. I refuse to be a ‘Brit abroad’ and so this is one reason why I chose to learn Japanese.
'Isn't it difficult?' they would ask. I refuse to accept that I should not learn something because it's difficult. I believe that if I put my mind to something and keep plugging away, I will learn what I set out to learn. People would tell me to learn Italian instead. Spanish. Anything but unfamiliar Japanese. Of course, that made me even more determined.
I have been learning Japanese for, I think, 25 weeks now. My hiragana is pretty good. My katakana less so. My kanji..? No comment. I have loved learning the kana, and I impressed myself with how quickly I picked up hiragana. Writing in Japanese is truly enjoyable, and it feels like a real skill. It has inspired me to want to try calligraphy.
Speaking Japanese is tricky. The grammar is tricky. The sentence structure is… tricky. It is difficult. But it works my brain in a way that my day job doesn’t. It has awakened a part of me that I forgot existed, opening so many doors that I thought were closed to me. 
Learning is exciting. Learning is inspiring. And I don’t intend to stop anytime soon.
Picture courtesy of Vectorportal.

You never stop learning. Curiosity is what keeps me sane. I learn something new every day: at work, on my way home, from books, magazines, the internet, TV… These little pieces of information are a source of wonder. Some things have me heading straight for Google, others inspire me to make a bigger commitment to my learning journey.

I have committed to learning Japanese. When I told everyone a year ago that I wanted to learn a new language, and that I had chosen Japanese, the most common question I was asked was ‘why?’ But not ‘why?’ in a curious way, more in a ‘what the hell are you thinking?’ way. I have always been fascinated by Japanese culture, Japanese food, by a language that is so different in terms of sounds and grammar and an unfamiliar writing system.

I went to Narita Airport once and found it really difficult to communicate. My friend told me that this is because Japanese people do not want to make a mistake in English and so are reluctant to try to speak it. I don’t know whether that’s true, but I decided that, if I am going to go to Japan, I want to be able to speak to Japanese people. I refuse to be a ‘Brit abroad’ and so this is one reason why I chose to learn Japanese.

'Isn't it difficult?' they would ask. I refuse to accept that I should not learn something because it's difficult. I believe that if I put my mind to something and keep plugging away, I will learn what I set out to learn. People would tell me to learn Italian instead. Spanish. Anything but unfamiliar Japanese. Of course, that made me even more determined.

I have been learning Japanese for, I think, 25 weeks now. My hiragana is pretty good. My katakana less so. My kanji..? No comment. I have loved learning the kana, and I impressed myself with how quickly I picked up hiragana. Writing in Japanese is truly enjoyable, and it feels like a real skill. It has inspired me to want to try calligraphy.

Speaking Japanese is tricky. The grammar is tricky. The sentence structure is… tricky. It is difficult. But it works my brain in a way that my day job doesn’t. It has awakened a part of me that I forgot existed, opening so many doors that I thought were closed to me. 

Learning is exciting. Learning is inspiring. And I don’t intend to stop anytime soon.

Picture courtesy of Vectorportal.

— 2 years ago
#learning  #Japanese  #inspiration  #language 

If you have only an hour to write: write. If you have a day: write. There will be many reasons not to - identify them, be friends with them and say goodbye to them. Then find the reason that makes you write. Be in love with your story, with your characters. This is a relationship that you go to bed with at night. It will have to endure much. Stay committed.

       Sarah Winman       author of When God Was a Rabbit
Photo courtesy of Mohammed Moosa.

If you have only an hour to write: write. If you have a day: write. There will be many reasons not to - identify them, be friends with them and say goodbye to them. Then find the reason that makes you write. Be in love with your story, with your characters. This is a relationship that you go to bed with at night. It will have to endure much. Stay committed.

       Sarah Winman
       author of When God Was a Rabbit

Photo courtesy of Mohammed Moosa.

— 2 years ago with 2 notes
#When God Was a Rabbit  #Sarah Winman  #Inspiration  #writing 
The funkiest guide around is le cool-est. With paper guides to Barcelona and London - among others - as well as a weekly selection of fab places to go straight to your inbox, le cool has it covered when it comes to sampling the best a city has to offer.
This week in London? From Hackney’s five course Wild Food Kitchen Pop Up to Museums at Night (as they say, ‘It’s common knowledge that geeks rule’); Independent Label Market at Old Spitalfields Market to double bills at Leicester’s Square’s Prince Charles Cinema. If you fancy yourself as a bit of a (wo)man about town, there’s nothing like a bit of le cool to help you fake it.
I’ve been to some truly great musical events thanks solely to le cool. Every time I open their weekly email I am inspired to go to another. To turn my back on the chains and actually open my eyes to the wonderful places that are around me.
Be inspired.
Photo from lecoolbook.com.

The funkiest guide around is le cool-est. With paper guides to Barcelona and London - among others - as well as a weekly selection of fab places to go straight to your inbox, le cool has it covered when it comes to sampling the best a city has to offer.

This week in London? From Hackney’s five course Wild Food Kitchen Pop Up to Museums at Night (as they say, ‘It’s common knowledge that geeks rule’); Independent Label Market at Old Spitalfields Market to double bills at Leicester’s Square’s Prince Charles Cinema. If you fancy yourself as a bit of a (wo)man about town, there’s nothing like a bit of le cool to help you fake it.

I’ve been to some truly great musical events thanks solely to le cool. Every time I open their weekly email I am inspired to go to another. To turn my back on the chains and actually open my eyes to the wonderful places that are around me.

Be inspired.

Photo from lecoolbook.com.

— 2 years ago
#le cool  #Barcelona  #London  #Prince Charles Cinema  #inspiration  #events  #geeks 
There isn’t much that is better than freewheeling downhill, the wind in your hair. It almost makes riding uphill worth it. When I am not riding I miss it, I think about the next ride as soon as I’m home, and that alone is inspirational. 
I am far from being a fitness freak, in fact, I would think of myself as mostly lazy. However, cycling is the one thing that has kept my interest, is something I love. Pushing down the pedals, the gears shifting, the chain revolving…
The bicycle is a perfect mode of transport: quicker than a London bus, than walking; it keeps you fit; it is fun. Getting to work after a bikommute I feel proud and, let’s admit it, smug. My lungs thank me for it.
London is not Amsterdam, far from it, in fact. But even with the lack of bike lanes, the cyclist hatred, the pot holes and the bus fumes, cycling is the way to go. Being on a bike inspires me and is something I must certainly do more of.
Photo by teodorik on instagram.

There isn’t much that is better than freewheeling downhill, the wind in your hair. It almost makes riding uphill worth it. When I am not riding I miss it, I think about the next ride as soon as I’m home, and that alone is inspirational. 

I am far from being a fitness freak, in fact, I would think of myself as mostly lazy. However, cycling is the one thing that has kept my interest, is something I love. Pushing down the pedals, the gears shifting, the chain revolving…

The bicycle is a perfect mode of transport: quicker than a London bus, than walking; it keeps you fit; it is fun. Getting to work after a bikommute I feel proud and, let’s admit it, smug. My lungs thank me for it.

London is not Amsterdam, far from it, in fact. But even with the lack of bike lanes, the cyclist hatred, the pot holes and the bus fumes, cycling is the way to go. Being on a bike inspires me and is something I must certainly do more of.

Photo by teodorik on instagram.

— 2 years ago with 1 note
#bike  #cycle  #inspiration 
There is a little place called Headspace where I like to go to get some. Headspace that is. I’ve been meditating on and off for years - mainly through yoga - and I’ve always found it really therapeutic and relaxing. It makes me happy and balanced, but for some reason I don’t continue with it day after day.
Discovering Headspace was like a breath of meditative fresh air. Like even more fresh air. Andy Puddicombe trained as a monk and so really knows his stuff, and has created this inspirational site and app that makes meditation really accessible and super easy to fit into your everyday life.
Now, to claim that I am now meditating every day would be a complete lie. However, Headspace truly has made me meditate more, and has made me realise that (even though yoga is inspirational in itself!) I don’t need to be a yogi to enjoy ten minutes of clear-mindedness each day. Not only that, the app reminds me to be more mindful in lots of ways: when I am eating, walking to the station, washing my hair…
And that feels really good.

There is a little place called Headspace where I like to go to get some. Headspace that is. I’ve been meditating on and off for years - mainly through yoga - and I’ve always found it really therapeutic and relaxing. It makes me happy and balanced, but for some reason I don’t continue with it day after day.

Discovering Headspace was like a breath of meditative fresh air. Like even more fresh air. Andy Puddicombe trained as a monk and so really knows his stuff, and has created this inspirational site and app that makes meditation really accessible and super easy to fit into your everyday life.

Now, to claim that I am now meditating every day would be a complete lie. However, Headspace truly has made me meditate more, and has made me realise that (even though yoga is inspirational in itself!) I don’t need to be a yogi to enjoy ten minutes of clear-mindedness each day. Not only that, the app reminds me to be more mindful in lots of ways: when I am eating, walking to the station, washing my hair…

And that feels really good.

— 2 years ago
#meditation  #Headspace  #Andy Puddicombe  #yoga  #inspiration 
I have a little obsession with food. Food can be delicious and imperfect and beautiful. Or it can be dire. But I love food of the former, inspirational type. The type that you smell and think, ‘wow’! Like my little tomato plant up there. Or the seasonally beautiful pink rhubarb I cut for the crumble I made this afternoon. It’s those little things that inspire me, and are the things I vow to be more mindful of in my day to day life.

I have a little obsession with food. Food can be delicious and imperfect and beautiful. Or it can be dire. But I love food of the former, inspirational type. The type that you smell and think, ‘wow’! Like my little tomato plant up there. Or the seasonally beautiful pink rhubarb I cut for the crumble I made this afternoon. It’s those little things that inspire me, and are the things I vow to be more mindful of in my day to day life.

— 2 years ago
#food  #rhubarb  #tomato  #seasonal  #inspiration 
I am old enough to remember the tape. Not only old enough. Since being an adult I have created mix tapes. On tape. Mix tapes were tricky little blighters. Pressing pause at just the right moment, allowing enough white noise between songs. When I met my now husband, this had moved past minidiscs to CDs, and now we are onto the playlist. Less fiddly, but no less enjoyable.
Oh Comely, oh magazine of inspiration, I praise your monthly ‘what we listened to: the songs that made the issue’. Sometimes I recognise many of the songs, sometimes none, but with my rediscovery of Spotify, I can now enjoy the music that made the magazine before deciding whether to build upon my bulging CD stash.
The beauty of the playlist has always inspired me. From the days of my love for all things Simon and Garfunkel, Buddy Holly and Dire Straits to my new love of the Sunday morning playlist - mentioned in my previous post - a premeditated combination of songs created, not by a record company à la Now 81, but by a human being, never ceases to fill me with wonderment.
Which takes me to Hubbub, a former Victorian chapel now cafe bar and restaurant, which is a feast to my ears as well as my stomach. Every time I go in for lunch, they play a series of songs that melts my heart. This time it was:
- Ben Howard’s ‘Keep Your Head Up’ - Gotye’s ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ - Echo and the Bunnymen’s ‘The Killing Moon’
What a combination.
We have come a long way since the mix tape. I can Shazam a song before coming home and playing it on Spotify then downloading the song on iTunes or buying the CD through Amazon. It is so easy now. But the memory of the mix tape lives on, and that remembrance of someone sitting down to create that mix of songs just for you is pretty inspirational.
Photo courtesy of Jinxi Caddel.

I am old enough to remember the tape. Not only old enough. Since being an adult I have created mix tapes. On tape. Mix tapes were tricky little blighters. Pressing pause at just the right moment, allowing enough white noise between songs. When I met my now husband, this had moved past minidiscs to CDs, and now we are onto the playlist. Less fiddly, but no less enjoyable.

Oh Comely, oh magazine of inspiration, I praise your monthly ‘what we listened to: the songs that made the issue’. Sometimes I recognise many of the songs, sometimes none, but with my rediscovery of Spotify, I can now enjoy the music that made the magazine before deciding whether to build upon my bulging CD stash.

The beauty of the playlist has always inspired me. From the days of my love for all things Simon and Garfunkel, Buddy Holly and Dire Straits to my new love of the Sunday morning playlist - mentioned in my previous post - a premeditated combination of songs created, not by a record company à la Now 81, but by a human being, never ceases to fill me with wonderment.

Which takes me to Hubbub, a former Victorian chapel now cafe bar and restaurant, which is a feast to my ears as well as my stomach. Every time I go in for lunch, they play a series of songs that melts my heart. This time it was:

- Ben Howard’s ‘Keep Your Head Up’
- Gotye’s ‘Smoke and Mirrors’
- Echo and the Bunnymen’s ‘The Killing Moon’

What a combination.

We have come a long way since the mix tape. I can Shazam a song before coming home and playing it on Spotify then downloading the song on iTunes or buying the CD through Amazon. It is so easy now. But the memory of the mix tape lives on, and that remembrance of someone sitting down to create that mix of songs just for you is pretty inspirational.

Photo courtesy of Jinxi Caddel.

— 2 years ago
#mix tape  #playlist  #Oh Comely  #Hubbub  #Spotify  #Shazam 
The day after my epiphany, Oh Comely appeared through my letterbox. An inspiration in itself, I am sure that a later post will be dedicated to this wonderful magazine. However, what caught my eye in this particular issue was a stunning photo of a musician named Andrew Bird. Testament to the wonderful writing of contributors such as Victoria Watts, it was the headline that grabbed my attention:

if no one else breaks your heart break it yourself
andrew bird talks about social anxiety and nature’s feedback loops

At the time of reading I did not realise that the first part referred to one of his song lyrics from the gorgeous Break It Yourself album. But it was the reference to social anxiety that struck me. The way it was written in such a matter-of-fact way making it sound so (dare I say it?) normal. It was refreshing. We are all familiar with the notion of the tortured soul creative. But this struck me as something different. Something more accepting. In fact, on reading the article it suddenly made sense. 

He says that a journalist recently told him he was self-conscious during an interview. “I thought, ‘You fucking do eight interviews in a row and try not to be self-conscious.’”

That explains it then.
I mentioned in my previous post that my epiphany came from a TED talk by Tavi Gevinson. Reading on, I discovered that Andrew Bird also did a TED ’talk’ called ‘Andrew Bird’s one-man orchestra of the imagination’ - opening with a hypnotic musical piece on his very own (perhaps more complex) wee bastard pedal.
Note the joined up nature of my inspirations.
Having read about Bird’s new appreciation of clichés, because

there’s a reason why they are clichés: they make sense

and the writer’s promise of a ‘vulnerable album’ there was only one thing to do: download instantly.
I was not disappointed. It’s beautiful. The violin complements Bird’s almost haunting voice perfectly, making sense of his quote

The violin is just the easiest way I have to express what’s in my head. I’ll just fully, unconsciously do whatever it takes to make that sound happen.

And the lyrics - not overly clichéd, it must be said - are stripped back to produce a Sunday morning album reminiscent of Beirut. This is my favourite kind of album and be assured that this morning Bird’s latest album will feature in my waking music.
In my inspirational endeavour, I thank Andrew Bird for his observation that

reckless curiosty is what the world needs now.

Long may my inspirational musical journey continue.
Photo courtesy of Yenna.

The day after my epiphany, Oh Comely appeared through my letterbox. An inspiration in itself, I am sure that a later post will be dedicated to this wonderful magazine. However, what caught my eye in this particular issue was a stunning photo of a musician named Andrew Bird. Testament to the wonderful writing of contributors such as Victoria Watts, it was the headline that grabbed my attention:

if no one else breaks your heart break it yourself

andrew bird talks about social anxiety and nature’s feedback loops

At the time of reading I did not realise that the first part referred to one of his song lyrics from the gorgeous Break It Yourself album. But it was the reference to social anxiety that struck me. The way it was written in such a matter-of-fact way making it sound so (dare I say it?) normal. It was refreshing. We are all familiar with the notion of the tortured soul creative. But this struck me as something different. Something more accepting. In fact, on reading the article it suddenly made sense. 

He says that a journalist recently told him he was self-conscious during an interview. “I thought, ‘You fucking do eight interviews in a row and try not to be self-conscious.’”

That explains it then.

I mentioned in my previous post that my epiphany came from a TED talk by Tavi Gevinson. Reading on, I discovered that Andrew Bird also did a TED ’talk’ called ‘Andrew Bird’s one-man orchestra of the imagination’ - opening with a hypnotic musical piece on his very own (perhaps more complex) wee bastard pedal.

Note the joined up nature of my inspirations.

Having read about Bird’s new appreciation of clichés, because

there’s a reason why they are clichés: they make sense

and the writer’s promise of a ‘vulnerable album’ there was only one thing to do: download instantly.

I was not disappointed. It’s beautiful. The violin complements Bird’s almost haunting voice perfectly, making sense of his quote

The violin is just the easiest way I have to express what’s in my head. I’ll just fully, unconsciously do whatever it takes to make that sound happen.

And the lyrics - not overly clichéd, it must be said - are stripped back to produce a Sunday morning album reminiscent of Beirut. This is my favourite kind of album and be assured that this morning Bird’s latest album will feature in my waking music.

In my inspirational endeavour, I thank Andrew Bird for his observation that

reckless curiosty is what the world needs now.

Long may my inspirational musical journey continue.

Photo courtesy of Yenna.

— 2 years ago with 6 notes
#Andrew Bird  #wee bastard  #inspiration  #music  #Oh Comely  #TED  #Beirut