Sound has the ability to travel right into our souls. You don’t need to think. The power of music gets us drunk, attractive, sad, joyful, depressed. It’s both spiritual and accessible and it glues together so many art forms. Music: Without You I’m Nothing.
I can most definitely describe myself as a person who gets my primary inspiration from and through music. Both the sound, rhythm, lyrics and the ways in which certain artists present themselves in photos, album covers, music videos and at live concerts connects their musical vision with their aesthetic vision. All this could be said to be essential parts of the musical experience.
The combination of sound and vision makes us open up to nostalgia and memories. We open a vault to our bank of feelings when we see our band posing in pictures or on stage because we remember how we felt and what our lives were like when we listened to them. This is especially true with artists we grew up with or who helped to form our identities. When I tore up my clothes, dyed my hair black and yellow, put on mascara, black nail varnish, chain smoked cigarettes and screamed at my parents that they could go and fuck themselves this was in part due to the influence of music.
Lately I have seen and heard artists who’s music and visual personas fascinate me. I’ve been to the Patti Smith photo exhibition at Kulturhuset, the Anton Corbijn photo exhibition at Fotografiska and a live concert at Cirkus with my old rock heroes Placebo.
Patti Smith showed photos of memories she writes and sings about. Cafés in New York and Paris. Graveyards and gravestones where her old favourite poets lies buried. At the Corbijn exhibition music is ever present in all the iconic photos of the portrayed rock bands he followed during the 80s and 90s. The Placebo concert threw me back to my youth and my coming of age goth period and I revelled in the music and conscious aesthetic.
These connections and observations are of course quite banal but also every so meaningful. It’s important to remind oneself that music, besides having the power to seduce us with sound, also has the power to connect and inform our interest in other art forms.
When Brian Molko from Placebo sings together with David Bowie in the song "Without You I’m Nothing" I suddenly remember how it feels to long for someone, to feel misunderstood and how I felt when I tried to put on that damn nail varnish and make up in a way that wouldn’t make me look too much like a tramp. I usually failed.