the song remembers when

Sometimes, meanings are found in unexpected moments. I’m writing this because I found myself turning into the 63rd Grammys broadcast. Over the years, I have lost enthusiasm for awards shows as a whole. I feel that in many ways the soulfulness of art form has been removed and replaced by something we can’t even see. What used to be reasons such as beautiful clothes, glamour, and undeniable talent and accomplishment have been replaced by self-absorbed expression and over-exaggerated opinions that lack good taste and basic manners. That being stated, I made a mindful decision to tune in. I arrive in at the exact moment when Luke Combs sets up the performance on how he came to appreciate Tracy Chapman and her music. Tracy Chapman’s, “Fast Cars” first made the scene in 1988. Put this into perspective, when this song debuted, Luke Combs was 3 years old. It was through his father this beautiful folk singer became a part of the fabric of his life. This is art to me because it speaks to my belief the “song remembers when”.

Tracy and Luke performed a simple yet deeply affecting performance that not only demonstrated significant influence but also, how her lyrics of 36 years ago seem to profoundly speak to an artist of a new generation, a different genre, together with the crisis of our current times.

Nearly a decade after suffering a brain aneurysm, Joni Mitchell, 80, made a brave debut seated in a satin armchair positioned with her back to the audience for the duration of the first bars of the music positioned as if to resonate to those who know how great this moment could be. As her chair slowly pivoted clockwise, surrounded by chandeliers she gently sang her signature tune, “Both Side Now” Her delivery was delicate and intentional. It was a stirring performance of an all-time great song – and not that I am an expert but, I would think this performance will go down as one of the very best moments in Grammy’s history.

I also felt a heart pull and understanding for the legendary Billy Joel as he returns to the piano after years of not finding passion in his work. Through an unsuspected chain of events and an influencing fan, he finds the courage to write and record his track “Turn The Lights Back On”.

While there were many accomplished artists these seemed to resonate. I write this because many of the performances started my thinking that the noise was left out for the most part and the art of the music remained - where grateful artists "thanked their fans" and expressed "genuine gratitude" thereby understanding the weight of the moment and also its brevity.

As an artist, I often struggle with all of the many questions the work demands. This particular subject cannot be resolved within a few paragraphs. It is an ongoing conversation that I have with myself and fellow artists in a number of industries who share similar perspectives. It speaks to the essence of our experience as artists.

Throughout my creative journey, I have encountered the existential predicaments that often plague artists and everyone, it's called LIFE. Life is a profound struggle that revolves around questioning the purpose whether it be through our art, our professions, our families' personal interests, the meaning of our existence, and our role in society in general. Joni Mitchell speaks to this calamity as “clouds” and these clouds (snow and rain) on all of us - triggered by personal setbacks, creative blocks, or a lack of recognition and validation for our work, leading us to question whether we should continue.

Art, for me, is not merely a means of making a living. It is a powerful form of articulation through which I form joy and beauty. Finding a balance between the need for artistic expression and anything that brings delight. The demands of everyday life, often consume every aspect of our existence. Finding the time, energy, and resources to create while also juggling the practical realities of earning a living, caring for loved ones, and navigating the complexities of modern life can be incredibly daunting.

In conclusion, I was happy that I tuned in to the 63rd Grammys, grateful the politics and false outrage were downplayed so we viewers could once again be reminded and inspired by the artists that continue to carry the torch - and also to those who desire to become artists like the aforementioned - essential, profound, and transformative for the world to aspire to and enjoy.

Again… sometimes true meanings are found in the unexpected moments and often - in an all-time great song. - Carrie

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