Adrian von Ziegler

New discovery!!

Musically speaking, of course.

I don’t even remember what I was listening to, when I stumbled upon a very talented Swiss artist who composes Gothic, Celtic, Metal and film music. The atmosphere he creates in his compositions is really magical and inspiring.

When I listen to this, I picture myself in a Tim Burton movie, or in a fantasy PC game such as Trine.

I couldn’t find much about him on the internet, so I’m going to post some things I found on his facebook page:

  • Born: 25 December 1989
  • First musical experience: drum player in a local Psychedelic Rock band
  • He recorded demo songs under the name “Indigo” during 2007-2009 and replaced the guitar progressively with keyboard and orchestral arrangements.
  • In 2010, the songs “A Celtic Tale” and “Your Dying Heart” brought him great recognition, which inspired him to release an album later that year. The album was called Requiem.
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AC/DC Live at River Plate

Imagine the following situation: a great concert is announced, you desperately want to go and you are broke. Long story short, this happened to me quite a lot before I got a job.

Over the past years, many bands/artists came to Romania. Among the ones I regret not having seen are Chris Rea, Muse, Iron Maiden, Megadeth and The Rolling Stones. When I heard that AC/DC were also coming, my torture was complete. 😀 This time, however, I got lucky, because one of my best friends, Ady, said that he had tickets and asked me to go with him.

The concert was epic and even though I’m usually not very intense about things, I kind of lost my voice after all the singing and screaming. Here is a video that I think is already famous, but which makes me re-live their performance every time.

Once again, thank you very much, Ady, for the wonderful experience. Even though we haven’t spoken lately, I still see you as one of my best friends and hope to talk to you soon.

 

 

 

The Kick Inside by Amy McCann

I stumbled upon a great cover that I want to share with the world (aka my very numerous readers), but before I post the video, I feel that I should express my point of view with regard to the subject, first.

I know many people who say that covers are bad most of the times, or even insulting some other times. And I know that may be right, but I honestly could not care less. I think the fact that a person (or a band) tries to cover a song is fantastic, because this means continuity. It means proof that the artist who wrote the initial version managed to touch someone’s heart with their music, and that the person wants to pay a homage to the initial author by playing a version of their own, as they perceive it.

The fact of the matter is, everyone reproduces the music they like one way or another: by singing in the house, in the shower, on the street (many times to the dismay of the other human beings who were unfortunate enough to be around) or, if they actually have music skills, maybe play it on some instruments and record themselves for their own entertainment.

Now, in my humble opinion, Amy McCann’s version of Kate Bush’s The Kick Inside can be qualified as a ‘not-so-good’ cover only if you live on another planet. That being said, I think I’ll post the video now and mind my own business, satisfied that whoever watches it will agree with me, even if I don’t bother asking for their opinion.

Link to the original: Kate Bush – The Kick Inside

And, in case you were wondering what the song is about, here is what Kate had to say about it:

The song The Kick Inside, the title track, was inspired by a traditional folk song […]. There are so many songs about love, but they are always on such an obvious level. This song is about a brother and a sister who are in love, and the sister becomes pregnant by her brother. And because it is so taboo and unheard of, she kills herself in order to preserve her brother’s name in the family. The actual song is in fact the suicide note. The sister is saying “I’m doing it for you” and “Don’t worry, I’ll come back to you someday.”  

(Kate Bush, 1978 – source: gaffa.org)

Celebrating an Icon. Kate Bush

The fact that I love British music probably isn’t a secret to anyone. Also, what I am about to say might sound weird, since among my favorites are bands such as Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin…  but it’s hard for me to remember the last time an artist really impressed me before Kate Bush. Or maybe I really became hard to impress after discovering Kate Bush. That is debatable.

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A Short Intro

Although she is unknown to many people nowadays, Kate has revolutionized the world of pop music back in the 1970s and 1980s.

Born on the 30th July 1958, Kate grew up in a country-side home, in Welling, Kent. She took violin lessons as a child, but in the end she chose the piano as her favorite instrument.

Kate started writing music when she was very young and by the time she reached the age of 16, she had already written over 200 songs. Her early influences include the music played by her brothers, traditional music and bands which were contemporary at that time, such as Fleetwood Mac, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Blind Faith, King Crimson and Pink Floyd.

David Gilmour appreciated Kate’s potential and took one of her demo tapes to EMI. Shortly afterwards, EMI signed her off and gave her time to mature and to further develop her style. Until then, no record company had been willing to risk so much and invest in an artist as they did with Kate.

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What Makes Kate Special?

One of the most striking things about Kate Bush, apart from her unique voice and musical style, is the fact that she uses mime and choreography in order to enhance the expressiveness of her music. The man who inspired her and helped her develop her mime and interpretive dance skills is Lindsay Kemp –  a British dancer, actor, mime artist and choreographer. As a tribute to her mentor, Kate wrote a song called Moving, which was included in her first studio album, The Kick Inside (1978).

One thing that sets Kate apart from other female artists is the fact that her songs have complex lyrics which deal with political, psychological and philosophical issues. Back then, this was unusual, since it was believed that women should not tackle such serious matters. Kate is also the first female musician who gained complete control of her career.

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Debut

Kate’s debut single, Wuthering Heights, is the first No. 1 hit written by a female musician. The song is based on Emily Bronte’s novel Wuthering Heights and it presents the ghost of Catherine Earnshaw, as she sits outside of Heathcliff’s window, calling him and asking him to let her in. I personally appreciate her dancing technique in the white dress version of this video, her facial expressions, her Tim Burton-ish character look and her apparent insanity.

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Notable Performances

Kate has only toured once in her career, in 1979. The Tour of Life, as it is called now, consisted of 24 songs: 22 from Kate’s first two albums – The Kick Inside and Lionheart (both released in 1978) and 2 songs from the upcoming album, Never for Ever. It was an epic musical and theatrical representation which included dance, mime, magic and readings during costume changes. Kate’s live performances have inspired other artists, making pop concerts what they are today. She was also one of the first performers to ever use a wireless headset.

After the concert, Kate retreated into the studio, to work on her next album. One particular thing that I like is the answer that she gave a reporter after the tour:

Reporter:  “Don’t you have a problem now? You’re just over 21 and you’ve made it. What is there left to do now?”

Kate: “Everything.”

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Musical Evolution

Kate Bush is one of the first artists who used the Fairlight CMI and, as technology began to evolve, she started to experiment, which makes classifying her music just as ‘pop’ a bit inadequate. She also started to use international folklore elements in her music. The Dreaming, which was released in 1982, is what she calls her “I’ve gone mad” album.

The following albums, Hounds of Love (1985), The Sensual World (1989), The Red Shoes (1993) and Aerial (2005) have elements which are less shocking and more commercially acceptable, as her music matures and even still, grows in complexity.

One of her best-known singles is Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God), from the Hounds of Love album:

The last album released by Kate – by far the most mature and the least commercial of them all, is 50 Words for Snow, released in 2011 after an album of remastered songs and a 6 year absence. Since Kate did not want to be a celebrity, she did not appear in the press and fans seldom heard news from her. The joy her fans felt in 2011, when she released not one, but 2 albums, was tremendous.

Kate’s collaborations with other famous artists include Peter Gabriel, David Gilmour, Roy Harper, Donal Lunny, Prince, Jeff Beck and Elton John.

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Personal Favorites

Songs

Some of my favorite Kate Bush songs are: Fullhouse, Breathing, Moving, The Saxophone Song, Get Out of My House, Night of the Swallow, Sunset, Mother Stands for Comfort, The Infant Kiss, Oh England My Lionheart.

Albums

I tend to like her ealry albums more, since they are less digitized and since they contain songs written when she was very young. My favorite albums are Lionheart and The Dreaming.  The Sensual World also has a special place in my heart, because it was released the same year I was born.

Videos

My favorite video is the on-stage version of Them Heavy People. She has a funny choreography for this song and to me, her facial expressions in this video are priceless.

Themes

Some of my favorite themes from Kate’s songs are:

  • The nuclear war, as seen from an unborn child’s point of view – Breathing 
  • The suicide letter of a girl who became pregnant with her brother – The Kick Inside
  • Young men who are obliged to roll into the army, being unable to follow their dreams – Army Dreamers
  • A mother who is so deluded, that she ignores the terrible things her child is doing – even murder – Mother Stands for Comfort
  • A man who is haunted by his dead friend, after being cast to play his role as the Hunchback of Notre-Dame – Hammer Horror
  • The English soldiers who die during war – Oh England, My Lionheart
  • Pedophilia (inspired by the last scene of a movie) – The Infant Kiss
  • Inspired by Stephen King’s The ShiningGet Out of My House
  • A widow who seeks revenge after her groom was shot on the wedding day – The Wedding List

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Conclusion

Most certainly, Kate Bush is one of the biggest pioneers in music history – setting a different standard for female artists and inspiring musicians all over the globe.

So I say thank you, Kate, for your wonderful work. And happy birthday.

The Great Wall of Wisdom

Once upon a time, in a colourful land, filled with pixels, sunshine and intrigue, there was a young lady called Rux. We do not know the real name of this wonderful young lady, for she did not disclose her identity to any soul  in the kingdom of WordPress.

According to the legend, the young Rux did not have much concern for the ways of other fellow mortals, and obeyed only her own rules. She did, however, mingle with the crowd occasionally, as some of the crowd’s activities sometimes attract even the most outcast of outcasts.

After a full moon night, the young Rux decided it was time for the world to see her greatness. She built a wall in the Kingdom of WordPress and summoned two of her faithful allies, known as Meritoriu and Cattta, to take part in the great event and comment upon it, as Rux began writing her marks on the soon to become Great Wall of Wisdom.

The ceremony was so intense and full of comprehensive power, that Cattta’s enthusiasm collapsed, leaving her own wall condemned to an untimely death.

Meritoriu, however, had already gained wisdom inside the Kingdom of WordPress, and she was able to survive the ruthless disease that Rux’s wall was spreading. The wall of Meritoriu stands ’til this very day and it is famous among mortals.

Seeing the effect that her first inscription has had upon her allies, and frightened by the fatality of having a wall such as the least enlightened of mortals, Rux decided to retreat and to abandon her writings.

Not so long ago, the ancient wall of Rux was torn down, leaving no clue as to what disease it had spread, or how many victims it had made.

The hereby wall was built by someone who has no connection, whatsoever, to the legendary Rux, who retreated after her first and only battle against intelligent writings. Who she was and what she wrote is now lost for eternity.