One line is my sins, the other forgiveness for these sins – part 2

~ Arvo Pรคrt

Read part 1

If there is a line of my sins, then there should also be a line of forgiveness. A few days ago, I felt its roots. Suddenly a part of me decided that the guilt I spoke of was exaggerated. I admit that I’m to blame as well, but this was one single event, one single time, and I’m convinced it’s not all my fault. So this strong-willed part of me was fed up with the guilt and decided to let it go.

I’m still doing my best to accept, to believe that there are no other consequences than me feeling somewhat bad about it. The only damage is a hurt ego. Whatever the damage was though, there is no point in reminding yourself of your guilt over and over. I did something stupid. I did something stupid.

But I only did it once, and at least I know it was wrong.

Normally, it doesn’t take long for me to find my crown again. When you wear a crown, you have a straight back. When you have a straight back, you are strong. I’ve always felt a certain pride, a certain self-respect when someone hurt me. The fact that this time, I stupidly took part in something that hurt me, made it difficult to feel this. It is, though, always the way out. If I have my crown, all will be well. If I wear my crown, it means I have forgiven myself.

It doesn’t happen just like that, but I felt the line that’s forgiveness, and that is good. Something will eventually distract me and classify this under ‘things I did when I was young’. I’m not the only one doing stupid things. And it could have been worse. I will never think of it as ‘good’, or even as a ‘good lesson’, but it shouldn’t haunt me anymore. It should be what it is: history. And only that.

Do you want to hear what it sounds like, sin and forgiveness? I think I can hear it here:

Once upon a time in a coffee bar

Once upon a time, when I still lived in Poland, I was working in a very atmospheric little coffee bar close to my home. The coffee was very good and very cheap as well, in comparison to my country and other cities. Of course I didn’t live in Warsaw. There were bikes hanging at the wall, even better, bikes cut in half. The menu was taped on vinyl plates. It was a great and quiet place, perfect for work.

So I sat there, trying to do something useful though I couldn’t focus – nothing new. Then I noticed that the music was getting quite 80s. There is some special beat about this music, which makes it easy for me to put songs into categories. It’s such a “danceable” beat, you know. Take any 80s song and you’ll know what I mean.

So they put on this cd with the unmistakable 80s beat, and modern as I am, I shazamed it. (For those who are like I once was: shazam is an application that recognises music. Sometimes. Anything but classical in my experience.) It turned out to be SoKo.

SoKo? I’ll kill her SoKo?

Exactly. Apparently she has this 80s inspired cd now, which was just perfect to put on when I was packing all my things on the rainy last day in Poland. The catchiest (apparently this is not a word, but I’m keeping it anyway) songs are Who wears the pants? , My Precious and Temporary Mood Swings. Then I stumbled upon the white raven, as we say here. One of the songs on the cd wasn’t like the others. It was a quiet, sad break up song. I played it almost on repeat.

From then on, I have been stumbling on more songs of her, which without exception were played almost on repeat. I don’t know what it is, but something about those songs catches my eye, or rather, my ear, and makes me addicted. After Keaton’s song, as described above, there was Don’t you touch me, which has this beautiful sad anger about it. It beautifully builds up to a climax. Great song when you are struggling with liking someone who doesn’t like you back.

On a quiet, not peaceful evening before the exam I still had to take here, I put on I’ve been alone too long, and immediately had a new target to play on repeat. It fitted the situation a bit. I was almost all alone in the city of my university, where I dramatically didn’t want to be. As soon as I arrived in that city, I felt everything overwhelming me. Everything I had been through there flushed over me and fucked my mind up. I was happy to stay over at my brother’s place there, so I wouldn’t be confronted with more memories. While revising, I put the song on repeat. It has this calmness that I need when I revise.

The exam went well, and I spent a great day there, with friends, beer and sun. I crawled out of the wave of memories, luckily.

I’m still not free, because I have to finish my bachelorpaper. Since I write on a computer, modern as I am, I play music all the time. It’s extremely boring when you work without music, isn’t it? So I clicked on yet another SoKo song, Why do you treat me like you do? , which is a cover. It has a sort of country thing to it, although it’s not country. Lovely to sing along, I can tell you that. Catchy, but in a very different way than the 80s style songs. But catchy still!

Right now, my latest crush is Treat your woman right, which is an equally sad song about loving someone who doesn’t like you back. (Okay, I may have issues, what about it?) Above all the haunting humming makes this so very touching for me. It’s hard to explain what it is, but it has this feeling to it, this atmospheric sad feeling. I try not to kill it by playing it too much, but that’s hard. I could hear it all day. And I am hearing it all day. I can’t stop it.

This is a serious music crush, as you can see. I like the way this music is intertwined with my life though. It’s not important whether I relate to the lyrics or not, although I do for a part of course, because the music in itself is enough to make its way into my head and heart. Next to that it reminds me of the time spent in the coffee bar, of the rainy day I spent packing, the strange evening spent in the city of my university, and everything that came after. Life is unexplainable and unpredictable. And life needs a soundtrack. For the moment, mine is SoKo.

For good results, add violin

We have this saying here that there’s a fair going on in hell, when it’s raining and the sun in shining at the same time. Isn’t that a wonderful saying? A little while ago it was hailing over here, and yet the sun was shining. A strange sight. And then it started raining too…

But hey, no worries, I’m safe inside.

This intro has absolutely nothing to do with the point I want to make here, but it was too good not to mention. So now to the actual post, that has something to do with the title. You may know that I like violins and strings in general a whole lot. And though I like to say that I’ve got a slightly alternative music style, I have to confess that every once in a while I still have to give in to something popular.

Oh man. I hope you still like me when I confess that I kind of like Katy Perry’s song E.T. …

But the truth is, the song has an awesome rhythm to dance to! It’s so catchy! It’s not the best song ever and not highly poetic, but it makes me want to dance. On a sidenote, even Iron Maiden sometimes makes me want to dance. So okay, I kinda like that song, but there’s always room for improvement, and that’s where we throw in the violins…

There’s this Aston band, which covers well-known songs in a more classical way – with strings, a piano, a guitar and so on. They turn the song into something very good and it still makes me want to dance. A great bonus is that you can listen to this song without people disliking you for listening to Katy Perry. Yay!

 

Please note that I don’t care that much about what people think of my taste in music. I will never immediately say that I like ET by Katy Perry, but hey, I listen to whatever I want still ๐Ÿ™‚

To Dance Or Not To Be

One of the first things most people get to know about me, is that I am a dancer. It’s one of those most present, obvious things about me, apparently. NBI the dancer.

But I’m not taking dance classes anymore. I didn’t enroll myself, because of a few reasons. The first one, obviously, is that I believed I would be in Russia now. When I decided to stay, I only had one more week to enroll myself. But I also suddenly had to start my life in Belgium over again. The second reason is that I didn’t want to pay for a whole year while I could only attend classes for three months. And last but not least, they would be preparing a show, which I couldn’t take part in, because I will be abroad then.

Long story short, I’m currently not taking dance classes.

But how I miss it, how I miss it… Mentally, physically, I think I underestimated this. I don’t mind not getting up at 8 every Saturday morning, but that’s about the only bright side so far. I just really want to dance, I always feel the need to dance, but now I lack the space to properly do exercises. Every Saturday, every, every Saturday evening, I do dance in my room at home. It’s something. There is not enough space to do all the fun stuff though. No real jumping, no going from one side to the other while turning, no such things are possible.

There is also no good teacher who makes up new exercises, who corrects me, who makes good choreographies. What I do every Saturday evening is mainly to do something physical, to stay in shape a little, to not lose my technique and flexibility. Also, I do it to move. I still feel good when doing ballet exercises, even when space is limited.

I’ve come to realize that dancing makes me deal with things as well. It’s a form of meditation. You think of the music, the steps, all that, but you don’t really get the chance to think of the assignment you still have to do, that one thing you said to that person, what you still have to buy for dinner. And sometimes, when you’re really struggling with some issue, it helps to dance it out a little. Therapy in the dance studio. Yes, I know I’m getting cheesy.

I don’t just miss it mentally though. I’ve never had back aches so often, and I think I now where they come from : I move too little. The best cure for back aches so far for me, is to use my back, bend it, dance. It helps. Backs should be used often, and when you sit for too long, it will protest.

So you see, I’m made to dance. I’m not made to dance professionally, but my body screams for moving when I hear music. I still can’t go from point A to B without throwing in some arm movements or kicking legs. That’s what I’m made from still, that’s what I’m made for still. So I can’t wait to take dance classes again, to be in a dance studio again and to move, and to sweat, to feel elegant again.

I don’t want it. I just need it.

(To breathe, to feel, to know I’m alive – bonuspoint for anyone getting that Tool reference.)

Of course, no post on dance without a good video. This dance duet is so powerful, so beautiful, so heart crushing and impressive (all those lifts!). Warning: may beat you up mentally. But trust me, it’s worth it.

 

Is there something you cannot live without? What defines you for most people? Do you love dance? I promise not to hate on you if you don’t, however hard that will be ๐Ÿ˜‰

Music Crush : Warpaint

Major Music Crush. I have more music crushes than I ever had crushes on people in my entire life. That’s the bitter truth! But you see, this time I really want to share it, because a) it’s not a Russian song for a change, b) it’s such, such a good song and c) this one has a sort of story behind it all.
Well, story is probably a big word, but let’s take a look.

Three years ago we had to write a paper for our Latin course. I chose to write about sirens, the mythological creatures who sing so well that seamen are lured towards them, leading to their death. You could say they are femmes fatales avant la lettre. While writing on this topic, I came across a video on YouTube, a scene from the movie ‘Siren’ (I believe). In this scene, the siren sings a song, which I liked, so I decided to listen to the original song.

This song was Elephants by Warpaint, and inspired me to write this.

About two weeks ago I was eating in the kitchen of our student house, on my own, with the radio playing. Suddenly there was this song, and I thought by myself: this sounds like Warpaint. I was done eating, I was alone, and I started kind of dancing, because I felt like it. Ooh, how I liked it. Randomly dancing in an empty kitchen to a good song.

I decided to give Warpaint another shot and that’s when I stumbled upon this song (see the video below – or better, listen to it). Those guitars! That voice! Those sounds! This kind of guitar sounds is what I call raw, and it reminds me of the 80s guitars. Give me 80s guitar and I melt. Together with those lyrics, it just all fits. Not so much because of what the lyrics mean, but because of the sound of the words. I don’t often say this, but the dark ‘o’ sounds fit so nice here. (Does anyone remember the literature classes in which the teacher suddenly stated that ‘o’ is a dark letter? Turns out he’s right after all!) It has this power and groove and all to it.

You see, it’s a major music crush I’m having. What do you think? Any more fans of this kind of 80s reminding music?

 

Hunted down!

Great news: The Indecisive Eejit has hunted the music down! Wonderful, wonderful. I would like to thank everyone who has commented and tried to help me. I knew that asking help here would lead to something, like it has done before already. I can now present you the one and only piece of music used for the Simple Things pas de deux:

Silouans song!

 

You see, the harder it gets to find something, the more you want to find it. And now Juls has helped me out, I can listen to this music without the coughing and background sounds. I like this piece of music a lot. If you know some of Arvo Part’s music, you can immediately recognise it as his work. I’ve never known any other composer who works with silence like him. He builds in these quiet moments, where you almost want to hold your breath. And strings, how I love strings. It’s such beautiful music and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do, especially now it’s got a name!

Thank you so much, Juls ๐Ÿ™‚

Treasure Hunting # 8 : The Hunt is On

It’s been a long time since I took out my gun to go on a hunt. The hunt for music, that is. I think I kind of forgot this more or less series. But I need your help. Recently I stumbled upon a video of a danced duet including my favourite ballerina (Ekaterina Kondaurova, if you’d like to know). I immediately recognised the music as being Arvo Part’s work, but I couldn’t figure out what it was exactly. Even after using my high tech systems (Shazam, Google music recognise thing) I couldn’t find it. I’ve searched on YouTube for a while, but this piece of music seems to be hidden away.

So now I would like to ask your help. Do you recognise this? Do you know a way to find out what it is? Pretty please?

I think I have found the choreographer on Facebook, but I find it a bit weird to send him a message asking what that particular piece is. He’s Russian though, so it would be good to send him something in Russian. Still I’d first like to try it this way. The last time I asked your help, it worked, so I have good hope that this time you will hunt the treasure for me.

The music I am searching for starts at 2:03 and ends at 7:24. Meanwhile you can watch the interesting pas de deux. It’s a good pas de deux if you ask me – especially with such music!

The Thing and I

The Thing I’m speaking off is the smartphone I purchased a little while ago. You may rememer that we had a difficult start… And that was the top of the iceberg! Two or three days after I got that Thing I discovered that I had paid a whole lot for just using our own Wifi. Apparently though, when your own Wifi signal isn’t strong enough, the phone changes to another signal and then you can start paying.
Thanks for telling me that when I bought the Thing.

Then, a few days after this had been solved, something else came up. Of course. I wanted to typ a text message, but the keyboard wouldn’t show up for longer than a second. I managed to typ the message, but it looked like a drunk text. You can imagine how happy I was. Putting it off and on didn’t work, but removing the battery and sim card for some reason solved it.

Now everything seems to be normal. *knocks on wood*

Even better, I start to enjoy the possibilities this Thing offers me. Yesterday I couldn’t remember where the Olympics were in 2012. Then there was the Internets on the Phone and I quickly found out again. Also, I downloaded an App that recognizes music. Isn’t it brilliant that such a thing exists? I fall in love with a song every now and then, but it can be very sad when you don’t know the song. When I like a piece of music, I want to listen to it over and over again, or at least have the possibility to find it again. I do have a great memory for music, so the pieces I want to find are already somehwere in my mind. That’s not enough though. I want to know their names. There were some pieces I really liked but never knew what they were. These pieces were used at the performances of our dance school. I still recognise all the music that’s ever been used in a performance, because we’ve heard them so often, and I have the dvd’s. Now, after eight years, I finally tracked the music down.

I found it!

I’m so happy. This music has the memories of the performances attached to it, but next to that it triggers my entire body to dance to it. Some music has that, a way of making everything in me wanting to move. And now I know where to find it. Wonderful. I will share one piece with you already now, and the other might follow another day!

For those interested, the App I used is Shazam.

The 80s Revival

When I was 17, I was actually a pretty cool kid.

I might not have realized it back then, though I think I kind of did, since I didn’t want to become 18 then. I loved being 17. It meant freedom, free to do what you want because you’re young, and not yet the responsibilities that come along when you’re an official adult. So I guess I kind of knew that this age was brilliant. I don’t know though if I realized that I was pretty badass.

You know, I had the guts back then. I was the girl who wore fish net stockings to a catholic school. No doubt I was the only girl there in at least six years that did that. Supposedly people didn’t approve of that, but I just didn’t care. I liked the way it looked and I still like it, but don’t wear it anymore. Back then I was different and didn’t mind it the least. More the opposite. I’ve always wanted to be unique. The thing is, I just was unique over at my high school. Some people would call it weird – I can’t really disagree.

It took a long detour, but via other stuff I got in touch with 80 music back then. It was a discovery. A

What "gothic" has become for the people. Source

What “gothic” has become for the people.
Source

treasure I opened. It all started with the ‘gothic’ groups Within Temptation and Evanescence and a lot of drama. Oh my god I am so gothic. Life is tragic. I must be a fallen angel. That kind of stuff. But then I discovered what real gothic was and like that I dived into a world of good beats and mohawks. Thanks to a forum, appropiatly called ‘The Batcave’ (this was also the name of a club in London where a lot of new wave and 80s groups performed), I got to know more and more about it. Yesterday I wanted to go back to that forum, but apparently it’s been shut down due to lack of action. It made me a bit sad. It was the first time I put myself out there on the Internet. I didn’t have a blog or Facebook back then, so this was my first public account. Exciting. It made me admire a good mohawk (it’s a rarity still), it made me listen to a lot of good music. Music barely anyone knows by now. Along my discoveries: The Cure, Joy Division, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Cocteau Twins and more obscure things. Oh, and it made me like piercings. A whole lot. We all know that this effect never really left me.

80s

This makeup. YES. Source

Since those days I’ve always liked a good 80s beat and a good mohawk. You barely see that in the streets these days. Such a pity. I’m certainly way more open-minded than other people seeing what I have listened to (the best names to mention: Sex Gang Children, Alien Sex Fiend, Virgin Prunes) and what I like. I’m not the one who should judge… At all. So I don’t.

A proper mohawk

Then I turned 18, inevitable, and though I never stopped liking this music, I stopped listening to it so frequently and found new groups and new genres and it all stapled. I cannot stick with one specific kind of music. It’s only now, three years later, that all of sudden I started digging in that genre again. And oh, how I love it! It’s like talking to an old friend again. I missed these things without realizing it! All these songs that stuck with me when I was 17, suddenly I found them again and it was awesome. I’ve been having a little 80s party the last few days. I know I should be studying, but doesn’t that go better with some badass background music?

Mohawk meisje

Both proper mohawks via this site. Just discovered, such a great collection!

Certainly one of the best parts of this ‘re-discovery’ is that I realized I truly like this music. I didn’t listen to it just for the sake of being unique and different, I listened to it because it’s my thing. That’s good to know. In my opinion it makes the younger me even more awesome, for just doing what I liked instead of trying to fit in or trying to standout. Maybe I don’t have to try to stand out at all. Maybe I’m just naturally the weird kid. That’s fine with me ๐Ÿ˜‰

PS: I never died my hair black (I want to be blonde until I go grey), nor did I sport a mohawk. I’ve got four earrings and that’s as far as piercings go. I did wear a lot of black though, which I still do. That’s a tough one to eliminate.

Last but not least, one of the first songs that drew me into this kind of music and which I will always like. Plus, it’s the Sex Gang Children. Now you can tell everyone you know them.

That Europe thing with the songs

Don’t go running away! I guess my fellow Europeans already know what this will be about. But remember the last time we talked about this? It wasn’t all that bad at all!
It’s true, I want to write another post on the Eurovision Song Contest. I didn’t expect all too much of it, because last year it was extremely boring. Everyone had the same song and a similar ‘singer’. This year though, there was much more variety. Good thing number one. Of course there were still a lot of songs that were not good, and some that I didn’t like at all though others liked them. Next to those there were actually some songs that had something that made me want to write this post.

And honestly, did I ever post about bad music?

Of course you all know the bearded woman has won. Conchita is in fact a guy, the long hair is a wig. Many people claim that she’s just won because of the beard, though you have to admit she’s got a great voice. This was a Bond song, it seemed. And if you watch the video (after all you can’t not include the winner!), then watch the background! At a certain moment there are these flames that move like wings and it makes her seem like a real phoenix. That’s very well done. Overall it was a good show, with a glamorous feeling. Was it the best song? Well, that just depends on your taste. I do think though that we shouldn’t pay so much attention to a beard…

 

The song that got second place, is Calm after the storm from the Netherlands. Now this was a good one! A simple background, simple clothing, simple setting. Between all the laserlights and crying this was so peaceful. Next to that the female singer has an interesting expression, and you can see how much they’re enjoying themselves. That’s so nice to see. They are genuinely liking what they are doing. Europe did like it a lot, because for such a country it got a lot of points. And while we, Belgium, weren’t selected, suddenly we became a part of the Netherlands. One of our commentators literally said ‘we’ve got 12 points’ or something along these lines. That’s probably the only time this will ever happen!

 

There was also a song with meaning, from Hungary, called Running. At first I though ‘this is just the regular please-tear-upsong’. And then the dancers started to dance. As you can figure out I completely fell for it. They really depict what he’s singing about, and especially that last move, where he protects the girl, got me. Sometimes I’m like the princess who wants a brave knight to save her from the dragon, you know. We don’t often have a song that’s not about love in this contest, so it was very special in it’s very own way. Apparently it was based on a true story as well. I kind of liked it.

 

Of course there were other songs that caught my eye, but these three are especially worth mentioning- whether because it was the winner or because it was a good show. Either way, feel free to share your favourite song in this contest!