Sunday, April 3, 2011

Wooooow. Just had the most surreal online adventure. For some reason I suddenly remembered once seeing someone perform on the glass harmonica. This, in case you're not familiar, is an "instrument" consisting entirely of glasses, filled to various levels, with water. The musician then runs his finger around the edge of the glass to make in "sing" and does this is whatever pattern to create whatever song. It's brilliant. I saw this guy open for a friend of mine years ago and it was seriously beautiful. So first I went looking to see if I could find a good video, there are many and I must admit I only watched one which was great but didn't exactly express the originality of the performance I saw, before getting distracted. Because then I remembered Gwen, who I was there to see perform, and started to look for videos of her music.
I was hoping for, perhaps, some bit of an old live performance. I would assume she's still playing but bands change over time and you never know who they'll be next or what they'll be called. I'm going to make a long story short because I have a feeling it's not all sorted out in my head yet. So here it is:
Once upon a time I knew this really wacky girl named Gwendolyn (listen to samples of songs, look around the site...). Really imaginative and fierce and crazy talented. She played something like freak folk ages before anyone that phrase was coined or anyone else seemed to play it. Her influences seem to be totally unrelated to her sound.... always a sign of brilliance (yes, I used it twice) as far as I'm concerned. We both grew up around the same city, were involved with people in the same, huge crowd. All my friends back then were musicians and film students, it seemed, and most of my social engagements were going to see bands play or screenings of somebody's short films. There was a lot of variety, it wasn't a crowd where everyone was doing the same thing, everybody had their own idea's and sounds. It's been a while since I found such a group of original, eclectic and inspired people.  Anyway. It seems Gwendolyn went on to form a band that performs music for children. I remember hearing this somewhere years ago but didn't really process it entirely because to me her music had always seemed like it was sung for children and even a lot of the content seemed appropriate. Gwendolyn and the Gooodtime Gang, however, is truly for children. (Go check it out and then come back, no really.) So? Oh my god! Isn't that FASCINATING? It's just me, isn't it? But I'm just so impressed with her for her confidence in following what she loved and using it to create something that she enjoys and that supports her (notice also, she scored music for the show Weeds).
Most of all I'm totally impressed and happy for her for creating for herself the kind of life I'm sure she wanted, although I'm sure it's not exactly what she thought might happen because that's how life works. And what hit me second was: that's all I need to do. It's not that hard just don't be discouraged or worry too much, just do what you need and want to do for yourself and it'll turn into SOMETHING.

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