Sunday, February 11, 2007

Would I Like Me?

So I realized the other day that on a certain level it must suck to be the creator of something truly timeless and excellent.

Let me ‘splain-

I was watching a VH-1 Classic presentation of the Making of Dark Side of the Moon, and they had a series of interviews with all four of the Floyds. They discussed everything from technical to emotional aspects of making the record. As usual with these shows, it was quite interesting. Included was a bunch of film from the actual Abbey Road sessions. (These bits were originally interspersed in the movie of Floyd Live at Pompeii, seeing as they were working on Dark Side at the time. How fucking fortuitous is that…) Anyway, toward the end of the show David Gilmour says that on a certain level he was sad because he never got to hear the album for the first time, and how much he wishes that he could have enjoyed it.

Amazing no? It’s something that I’ve never really thought about. It must suck that the members of Pink Floyd never really get to hear a Pink Floyd album, the way EVERYONE ELSE does. I guess that applies to ALL art. Charles Dickens never got to read any of his stories…Picasso never got the visceral thrill of seeing his painting for the first time…Frank Gehry has never been surprised by one of his building’s quirks…

The closest one can come to something like this is by FORGETTING what was in the piece to begin with. I know that I occasionally find live recordings from shows that are YEARS old, and upon listening, I have little to no recollection of that specific performance. Sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised.. This just happened to me this week. My good friend JP (more about our new project in a future post…) just posted some old demos that I had played on about six or seven years ago. I had totally forgotten that we had worked on ‘em. They were really cool! Go figure. (You can check them out HERE…I’m playing on Better Without You.)

Similarly, back in the fall, while we were remastering [sic], I heard some nice surprises. I realized that I hadn’t listened to the record, start to finish, in about 6 years or so. Interesting. I mostly wondered however, how in the HELL we managed to finish the whole thing in 5 days…

[Now, me listening to [sic] after a 72 month respite does NOT come close to what someone would experience if THEY went to CD Baby and bought [sic] for a measly ten bucks and heard it for the first time and dug the tunes which you can do HERE by the way which is so freakin’ easy just go ahead and click already and ALL of my stuff is available there and it all makes a great gift too and… ]

Now in NO WAY am I comparing myself to Mssrs. Gilmour et al, but I wonder what my reaction would be to hearing a George Hrab album for the first time. Would I like it? I mean- would I have the same expectations of someone who didn’t write the album? I know that sometimes a friend will recommend music to me that’s “just like your stuff!” and I listen and it doesn’t quite do it for me… People make specious connections between subjects I’ve written ABOUT, or odd time signatures, or even naked dudes on the cover, and assume that I’ll like it JUST because of that connection.

“…There’s this guy who wrote this song about a fish too!
He’s JUST like you.. YOU’LL LOVE IT!”

“…well no- THAT guy can’t write an interesting melody- he just likes COD…”


“Check him out Geo- He’s naked- JUST LIKE YOU!”

“ummm… yeah- but that guys sings Vietnamese Karaoke…”


WOULD I like my material if I wasn’t so invested in it? I dunno. Maybe after I finish the next record I can have a stroke, go through recovery, and then hear it for the first time.


John Powers said...

Hi George,

Well what your talking about here is like looking in there mirror and still not being able to see what everyone else sees. Worse yet being able to explain to someone else what you are seeing when they can already see it.

It is the beauty in art that we can convey elements of ourselves through mediums that are only achieved by our unique talents.

The act of creating art can be so personally gratifying but conveying that felling is not possible. Nor is it possible to share in the appreciation of art as a spectator and be the creator. I think you just said that though. This is a critical part of the Human experience. Our relationship to everything is a totally unique one. Art is an excellent way to drive that home.

How nice of you to illustrate that for us George.

Diane said...

I know that I occasionally find live recordings from shows that are YEARS old, and upon listening, I have little to no recollection of that specific performance.
That happens to me often with my photography...later on I am looking through my photos and can't remember taking some of the shots. Probably not the same thing but it made me think of that. :-P