I just finished the novel Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami. After reading the last sentence, I closed the book (a real one) and sat there – absolutely speechless. I love these moments; sometimes seconds, sometimes minutes or even hours. Brilliant artistic work can make that happen. And all my life, I’m searching for these moments. It’s hard to describe, but extremely wonderful to experience. It’s kind of the first raw and intuitive reaction of your inner self after a new terrific exploration. Cheap entertainment is easy, getting truly touched needs something special. That’s the difference of art and great art for me. Be it a song, a photograph, a movie, a theater performance – if it makes me speechless, it’s a winner and won’t leave my memory ever again. The aproach can be completely different. Sometimes it’s the emotion overwhelming you, sometimes it’s messing with your brain showing you ideas you’ve never thought of. I think, it’s about going further, about art being brave, not in a sense of being abstract just for the strangeness sake (that often fails anyway), rather than unfolding a deep connection of artist and his/her work. If somebody puts all his/her unique skills, ripe thoughts, deep feelings and personal dedication into a project, you are able to experience it. And in the best case, it leaves you in awe breathing the enchantment that just struck you. Again, I love these moments, it’s like a drug that makes you try to constantly find better songs, better movies, better books. And the good news, they are out there waiting for you to get discovered.
Of course, it’s always a matter of taste. And the stuff I love could be something you totally hate. But I also believe that some of these masterpieces out there reach beyond the borders of taste and have got the power to inspire everyone equally.
For me as a performing artist this topic is even a double sided win-win medal. Directly after a show, there is sometimes a short silent gap between the end of my performance and the applause. For a tiny moment, the audience is spreechless. Emotion is continuing to have an effect, coming back to reality takes a little while. This moment is pure magic and means as much to me as the cheers afterwards, which then – in reverse – make me speechless. Or to loosely quote The Lion King: It’s the circle of love. And believe me, that’s quite some motivation to create even more beautiful works.
Since good stuff needs to be shared, please tell me your favorite artistic creations? What made you speechless, touched you deeply, stole your breath and fucked your brain? Here is an example that gets me every single time I listen to it: James Blake’s The Wilhelm Scream (brilliant name for all in the know). Quite reduced, yet extremely personal, extremely sad & extremely beautiful. Enjoy.
After reading this post, watching the video and leaving a comment (which wouldn’t make me speechless but very happy), please get yourself a copy of Murakami’s book I mentioned at the beginning. Taste aside, it’s incredible. Trust me.