dis, quand reviendras-tu?

it's been rather cold in yyz for last couple days. but the upswing of it is that when it's really really cold like now, as soon as the sun comes out, the whole city is glowing, with super sharp edges. the wind makes your nose run, your eyes are half closed or squinting the whole time because it is so bright, and top of your ears are... well, frozen. and yet, it is possible to enjoy the crispness of it. just like the ice particles under one's feet, walking from/to a place to another, hard, super-focused wintry sensations.

last couple posts have been somewhat introspective if a touch depressing. however, like most things in life, i feel that things are on the move again and that it's another cusp point to upward. just like how i imagine the young bulb shoots must look like back in english home.  little green tips pushing through the cracks of the dark soil. what a hopeful sight.

i recently bought a recording- of my two favorite aritists, anne sofie von otter and brad mehdlau.  the first of the two cds contains a new song cycle, collaborated between them.  in the interview on youtube, von otter says the whole thing so simply: well i like all kinds of music and (so does he).  after all that concerts and big names she worked with, it's always back to the core of things- it's beautiful and it can be any kind of music.  i have promised minnow that i will save the teasdale song cycle but i had to break out the second cd, recording of- what we may call a set of standard french chansons and some english songs.  why do i hesitate to call it a standard set? well, because it's not ordinary.

one of my favorite singers of all time is jacques brel.  and not just because he's a fantastic singer/performer but also because his songs can b so honest and empathetic.  and in this cd, von otter and mehdlau takes one of the brel numbers: chanson de vieux amands.

Mais mon amour (but my love)
Mon doux mon tendre mon merveilleux amour
(my sweet, sweet, my beautiful love)
De l'aube claire jusqu'à la fin du jour
(from dawn till end of the day)
Je t'aime encore tu sais je t'aime
(i love you still, you know i love you)

it's a killer tune and killer text. and i have been enamoured with von otter's singing ever since i saw a dvd of her doing carmen.  i like the purity of her voice, the way it is not thick but almost endless at times- like violin's high e string, thin, singing metal.  and mehdlau- well there isnt many who play so intimate, without guile in my opinion (if you have other suggestions, please do keep them coming).  i love the way he weaves the pitches, always moving, but in gentle arcs, surrounding the thoughts around themselves. a note is never without its pre-post event. but writing about music is quite a difficult if useless task. i think that above link will clear many things- than my clumsy writing.

the text is bittersweet and i wonder if i could dare listen to it when i am in a bit more fragile state. but at the moment, being in the upswing of things and all *plenty of love, yay, i think the melancholic quality is even more highlighted.  what a common theme- of old, tired lovers, but of what beauty!

it's easy to pursue fresh beauty, especially in these days. newer is always equated to better- until one realizes that shiny new shoes mean a new set of blisters. that new bag makes you worry because its leathery surface is so new- yet to receive a scratch.  the new wallet that doesnt quite fit the pocket..  so sometimes, though tired, old things, like well-worn gloves, can form around one another with great beauty and grace.  it is a luxury to think of such real things of life, especially inspired by such beautiful performance. and even with tired pairs, like the one in brel's, i am sure there are days where both parties have such spring in their steps- as it says so eloquently in no. 9 of the cd, 'dis, quant reviendras-tu?' a barbara tune.

Dis, quand reviendras-tu (say, when are you coming back?)
Dis, au moins le sais-tu (say, at least you know)
Que tout le temps qui passe (that all the time that passes)
Ne se rattrape guère (does make up much)
Que tout le temps perdu (that all the lost time)
Ne se rattrape plus, (do not make up for more)

and with such riches in my ears, i felt as if im gliding on the wintry streets of yyz.  as if i can spontaneously break out in a parisian waltz. haha, probably never.  but it's another point of my life- of clarification. things that has been disturbed have found their centres again, much like dusting. i am once again sure of people i love and care for. of the things that matters to me. of the sublime beauty that exists in the smallest cracks of the daily grind.  so with that lovely refrain, i bid everyone a good day and much love.  and yeah, go buy this recording. it will bring another mind above the treacherous slippery winter steps, so that one may float above the wet pavement- along with the flow of things that are ephemeral, like... love.  im so hopeless at times.

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