Red hats we hate: Fred Durst and Donald Trump

Red hats we hate: Fred Durst and Donald Trump

The outcome of the U.S.A elections this year has left not only America in utter shock, but it has also left the entire world in shock, as we all saw former reality-tv star and entrepreneur Donald Trump elected as the president of the U.S. His red hat with ‘Make America Great Again’  written on it will be hard to forget, because it’s left some people in America and even around the world questioning whether he will actually make it great again. Another red hat that we simply cannot forget is frontman of Limp Bizkit, Fred Durst’s red hat. Both of these public figures are entirely different and irrelevant to one another (not even worth the comparison), but people have polar reactions towards them, and they both have red hats.

 

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Fred Durst with his ‘iconic’ red hat

Fred Durst has been pretty controversial, I mean, just listen to a couple of Limp Bizkit songs. Limp Bizkit’s song ‘Nookie’ from their 1999 album ‘Significant Other’ left some people rather offended due to its sexist lyrics (he did it all for the nookie). But this was no surprise, as Fred Durst is no stranger to such extreme opinions in his lyrics. Although you’ve got to admit ‘Nookie’ has a catchy hook, the lyrics are just plain wrong. The music video is rather iconic, and it is the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions Limp Bizkit. Fred Durst can be seen in this music video with his iconic red hat as women walk behind him. The music video just ends with him getting arrested by the police; total badass, right? Ah, this was Nu Metal at its finest, and you either loved it or hated it. The lyrics were usually edging on being sexist and fairly violent, but Fred Durst took that far. Nu Metal was cringy and it felt like a bunch of kids trying to seem cool and edgy, but they just ended up making a fool of themselves.

 

 

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Trump with his own red hat. Could he be doing it for the nookie too?

Trump, a controversial figure, is also somebody doing something that a lot of people feel uneasy about (becoming president of the U.S). He’s getting a lot of hate for it, mostly because he did say ‘Grab ’em by the pussy’ and made fun of disabled people (just to name the minimum amount of things he’s actually said that are plain wrong). People either love or hate Trump, and also his red hat. Nobody knows what he’s going to actually do, and nobody likes change. This is a new era of politics, and you’ve ought to brace yourselves, but always remember to be kind to one another and never invade somebody else’s human rights. Maybe the Donald will surprise his nation and when January comes he’ll be more presidential, only time will tell.

 

Although both of these celebrities are not comparable, people have strong point of views surrounding them. Meanwhile Nu Metal is probably dead, we still remember the slight cringe and wrongness of Fred Durst singing ‘did it all for the nookie’. Despite the fact that people hope for Trump to come out of the other side as a more presidential leader and not undo the progress that has been established in the U.S lately (LGBT, Transgender community, etc), we will always remember his hurtful words throughout his campaign. These words are what has sparked the anger from the people, and here’s hoping that he at least buries that in the past and leads the country in favour of everyone.

Living Fast and Dying Young With Germs

Living Fast and Dying Young With Germs

There’s clear debate surrounding the roots of punk, although from my point of view it certainly began in England, but we can never be too sure. However, the L.A punk scene is certainly a scene that deserves it’s own recognition, and this is most definitely due to Germs and their lead singer Darby Crash.

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Every Germs gig was a hellacious one where things were bound to get super rowdy. Crash was absolutely out of this world with his performances as lead singer, something like a cross-over between Iggy Pop and David Bowie. Crash would dive into the crowd and keep his clothing to some sort of minimum. He would step on stage obviously drugged out of his mind and singing into everything except into the microphone as he would roll on the ground from time to time and provoke the audience into further conflict. It’s safe to say that in order to really get yourself into the spirit of things, you’d have to witness the band performing live. Joan Jett actually got pretty close to bottling this absolute madness into a record called GI, which features legendary punk anthems such as Lexicon Devil, Sex Boy, and Communist Eyes in their utmost prime beauty. 

Back in the earlier days of Germs, there were not many hopes for the band’s future. Their first single Formation came back with a note from the pressing plant saying that this record will give you ear cancer. Probably the only musically experienced member in the band was guitarist Pat Smear who would later on go join Nirvana and Foo Fighters. It was not long until heroin practically consumed frontman Darby Crash at the age of 22, and that’s when Germs were practically over. Even though the band later reformed, it wasn’t the same without having Crash around.

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Crash was certainly a mysterious character to say the least, and an absolute tragedy due to how short his life was cut. A lot of his lifestyle was fuelled by girls who would drive him to places and get him drugs, although his relationship with them was usually rather platonic. In fact, there’s growing speculation that Crash was a closeted homosexual and feared coming out of the closet due to the hatred that he probably thought he would receive as a result, especially at the moment in time during the 70s. When Crash committed suicide in 1980, John Lennon’s death stole the headlines, but there were rumours that Darby Crash was attempting to write “Here lies Darby Crash” on the wall moments before his death. However, in reality he wrote a note to the bassist of Germs, Bosco, “My life, my leather, my love goes to Bosco”. Although Crash lived a very short life, he and Germs have influenced many other punk bands to this day. There are some split views regarding Darby Crash’s talent, as he was usually drugged out of his mind during performances and at times performing with a piece of paper in his hand (he would forget some of the words to the songs). Despite his highly troubled exterior, I’m pretty sure that deep inside him there was a shy boy who was lost, confused and maybe even feeling out of place. However, the songs that he had written during the time he lived are songs that are pure poetry and honesty.

Robert Johnson: The man who sold his soul to the Devil

Robert Johnson: The man who sold his soul to the Devil

One of the greatest Blues musicians to walk the face of this earth, he was a true pioneer, but we know very little of the King of the Delta Blues, Robert Johnson. His death remains a mystery and his songs such as, ‘Me And The Devil Blues’ feel eerie in their lyrical essence, making us question whether Johnson truly sold his soul to the Devil.

Robert Johnson was born in Mississippi on May 8th, 1911, and some recall he was relatively well educated, considering his background. He often moved between cities and performed his music to crowds, but he never achieved much fame, most of it was achieved posthumously. As far as we know, Johnson could’ve been a ladies man with his apparent charismatic charm, which could justify his death. Some have claimed that he could’ve been poisoned by a jealous husband/boyfriend of a woman that he had flirted with earlier, others believe that he could’ve died of syphilis.

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There may be certain things we will never know about this young man that suddenly died only at the age of 27. But there is a theory, which is that Robert Johnson sold his soul to the Devil. His music certainly does make us lean towards this theory, although we can only lean on to it to a limited extent, because they are just lyrics after all. The myth goes that Johnson was so determined to become a successful Blues musician, that he took his guitar to a crossroads near Dockery Plantation at midnight. At these crossroads he met a big black man (the Devil) who tuned the guitar and played a couple of songs on it before he gave it back to Robert Johnson.

In the song ‘Me And The Devil Blues’ he says:

“And I said hello Satan

I believe it’s time to go.”

There is a lot of space for interpretation here, and he might’ve not literally sold his soul to the Devil as some might like to believe. Blues historians have argued that perhaps he was referring to himself as the child of Satan, since he was a Blues musicians and the Blues were the work of the Devil. Others have argued that this was due to his roots as an African- American, where ‘selling’ your soul to the Devil, was actually making some sort of pact with trickster African God Legba, who just like the Devil is also associated with crossroads. The fact that Johnson mastered the guitar in such a short amount of time with scarce resources to do so, indicates us towards this theory, however, it is a weak one.

“Me and the Devil 

Was walkin’ side by side” 

Perhaps the most believable theory that I stand by (although the theory of him literally selling his soul to the Devil sounds the most interesting) is the fact that when he mentions the ‘Devil’ he is actually talking about white people. Evidently there was racial segregation in the 1930s, and Johnson would not be allowed to directly say that he doesn’t like white people, therefore they were the ‘Devil’. It makes the most sense to go with this theory.In fact, it is probably safe to say that the reason he didn’t reach much fame during his lifetime was because he was black.

We will never know the true circumstances regarding Robert Johnson’s sudden death. Could it have been poison? Syphilis? Legba? Or… the Devil himself coming to claim Johnson and send him for an eternity to the promised land, Hell?

“It must-a be that old evil spirit

So deep down in the ground

You may bury my body

Down by the highway side

Baby, I don’t care where you bury my body

when I’m dead and gone”

What it’s like being an all-girl punk band in conservative Spain

Up until the year 1975 Spain was ruled by Fascist dictator, Franco. This transition period that soon followed was coined as La Movida in Madrid, and it resembled the British new wave with its outrageous aesthetic that made you think of the New Romantics in the U.K. This was a time of freedom, rebellion, and most of all, loads of punk rock! Meanwhile La Movida was happening in Madrid, the Basques started their own thing, and it was more hardcore than the stuff they were doing in Madrid.

Within the arrival of punk as a definitive form of expression for the youth, we had the first all-girl punk bands emerging. Of course, you were already bound to get into trouble as a punk, because Spain still had a conservative mentality and continued to mourn Franco’s death. Bands like Eskorbuto, La Polla Records, and Cicatriz grew in popularity. Eskorbuto were certainly one of the most controversial, as they sang songs such as the legendary ‘Ya no quedan más cojones, Eskorbuto a las elecciones’, which translates to, ‘there’s no more balls, Eskorbuto to the elections’ (a very rough translation). That song literally criticised the Spanish government and how it has no balls, stating that Eskorbuto should run for president instead, because they’d make some changes for sure. Despite its sexist connotations (one of the lyrics in the song basically says that he’d like to find a female cop and “fuck” her all the time- using it as a metaphor to go against the hand of authority, but in my opinion it’s an unnecessary metaphor), it’s a brilliant song, but there was a lot of political trouble that soon followed the band due to this song and a couple of other ones. With these dominating male punk bands that were getting crowds super hyped up and ready for anarchy, it was a tough panorama if you were an all-girl punk band.

In the summer of 1982 Las Vulpess formed, and they were bound to shock Spain out of its misogyny and conservative politics. Hailing from Barakaldo in the Basque Country, they roared onto the TV programme Caja De Ritmos with their ‘Me Gusta Ser Una Zorra’ (Which translates to: I like to be a bitch/whore/slut). The song was a cover of The Stooges’ ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’, and they pulled it off spectacularly. As you would expect, there was a huge uproar following their performance, which actually lead to a court case. Their short but sweet career really made a jolt of a start since then. They released ‘Me Gusta Ser Una Zorra’ straight after that scandal. In the documentary Rock Radikal Vasco: La Gran Martxa de Los 80 one of the girls from Las Vulpess recalls their experience in gigs and touring. She recalls how people used to call them ‘whores’, ‘bitches’,’sluts’, and even spit at them. It got to the point where they couldn’t bring their partners to their gigs because they couldn’t stand seeing them being treated in that manner and lack of respect. Some would say they were asking for it by releasing such ‘outrageous’ songs, but I think they weren’t asking for it, they were just expressing themselves as young women, and as human beings. They had the ‘cojones’ to actually tell everyone what they really thought, and I find that aspect most inspiring. If it weren’t for girl bands such as Las Vulpess (who in hindsight remind me a bit of L7, another band I completely worship) I think I’d still be in my shell and continue being that shy girl I used to be when I was younger. I’m glad I discovered these Riot Grrrls, and I’m happy to be one too.

Here is the ‘outrageous’ performance from 1983.

Sadly they only have one album out there, but it’s a memorable one for sure. Their fierce approach to the lyrics is something that is worth admiring, even to this day, they were really ahead of their time, and extremely underrated.

Have a listen to the whole album over here:

 

CLICK HERE FOR DRUGS! Check out Formation’s latest interactive music video

CLICK HERE FOR DRUGS! Check out Formation’s latest interactive music video

In this tech-savvy society that we live in we are constantly bombarded by advertisements and information, to the extent where it becomes second nature to find some kind of sponsored ad whilst you’re surfing the net at some point. Something stood out in my social media feed today, and that was a curious link telling me to click there for drugs. Now I know what you’re thinking, but it didn’t look sketchy, I mean it was being sponsored by Facebook. Curiosity crept onto me before I could even rationalise my choice to click (I mean, there obviously weren’t going to be any drugs- the description of the video made it sound so broad, I knew that it was bound to be some artsy project). That little rational choice allowed me to discover this band ‘Formation’, who make music that is definitely worth tuning yourself into.

The video was a compilation of VCR taped videos that you had to click through to apparently get these so-called “drugs”. It showed various images that captured the mood and emotions, which crept in with drugs, it also obviously showed drugs. This concept of drugs extended itself in such a philosophical manner throughout this experience of clicking through all that VCR footage whilst the band’s song ‘Drugs’ played. You can call it whatever, but that’s smart advertising. This interactive music video could possibly broaden the horizons of marketing and evidently the making of music videos, especially for the millennial and upcoming generations that are raised on electronics.

The song shines a light on London’s cocaine scene, but it also shines a light on today’s consumer society, with drugs or no drugs. It’s a relevant choice of subject and of visual art, because we live in a society fuelled by drugs (including legal drugs), we’ve got a remedy for loads of things. The millennial generation does not only have the empowering desire to know it all and solve everything, but they also like to dig back to the old stuff and give it a revamp (thus the VCR footage). This can be observed in the rapidly emerging trends of the 2010s, all of which millennial parents may sit there wondering why their children are wearing their old high waist jeans, sweaters, sneakers, and dresses from when they were younger in the 80s-90s. Not only do we see this happening in fashion, we also see this happening in music, for example, vinyls have become largely popular again. Isn’t it strange how you’d expect such a tech-savvy generation like that of the millennial generation to advance in such things, but they don’t really seem to care for that stuff? Some may wonder it’s strange, but it is quite understandable. This music video somehow corresponds to that, and makes you wonder such things, that’s what makes it so relevant.

The song ‘Drugs’ by Formation is a pretty good song with a catchy chorus that features lyrics relevant to the individual, and a rhythm section that is bound to hook you onto the rest of the song. CLICK HERE FOR DRUGS… who knows, you might find just what you’ve been looking for all this time…

 

The Day The Music Died: The Death of Ritchie Valens

February 3, 1959 is marked as the day that music died due to the death of musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, J.P “The Big Bopper” Richardson and pilot Roger Peterson in an airplane crash that occurred near Clear Lake, Iowa. The event was referred to as ‘The Day The Music Died’ after Don McLean’s widely known song ‘American Pie’ mentioned it. It was a dark day, because these men who were legends and still with a great portion of their lives and careers remaining, had their lives snatched away in such an instant moment. Ritchie Valens was the youngest in the accident to die, being only 17 years old, he had an entire career literally just setting off.

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This came about the other day when I was figuring out some chords from Ritchie’s rock’n’roll version of the Mexican folk song ‘La Bamba’. I’ve always somehow come across Ritchie Valens’ music one way or another, whether it was this song, or his extremely catchy and charismatic song ‘Come On, Let’s Go’ or the romantic hit ‘Donna’ that was dedicated to his girlfriend. They were all songs that certainly did give birth to a new side of music that we hadn’t seen much of before, Chicano rock and Latino rock, all due to Ritchie’s unique blend between his ancestral Mexican roots and his love for rock’n’roll that is clearly reflected in his music. However, as I was figuring out the magic behind ‘La Bamba’ I grew in curiosity about the artist behind this masterpiece. There really isn’t much out there about Ritchie Valens, he had a very short career and life. All that is left are these extremely successful songs that catapulted him into instant fame, making him a total pop genius in his own right at a very young age. It’s sad how there’s only just that, he wasn’t given the chance to make anything more…

There’s a film out there starring Lou Diamond Phillips as Ritchie Valens called ‘La Bamba’, which was released in 1987 depicting the life of Ritchie Valens from ages 16-17 leading up to his death. After watching this film I learnt more about what Ritchie would’ve been like, his personality, talents, and views on life. Ritchie loved music since he was 5 years old growing up listening to a lot of traditional Mexican Mariachi music, R&B, and flamenco guitar, he certainly had a good range of music to take inspiration from. He was actually left-handed but taught himself how to play the guitar the traditional right-handed way, he practically went everywhere with his guitar, he even took it to school with him. Unfortunately Ritchie had a fear of flying, which later on in his life would result to be a bittersweet irony. This was due to the fact that on January 31, 1957, an airplane crashed right into the Pacoima Junior High School yard resulting in some of Ritchie’s friends getting killed. Although Ritchie Valens was not in school on that day, he suffered with the painful consequences of losing his friends at the age of 15 in such a tragic accident, which led him to develop a fear of flying. He got over this fear when he was becoming a successful musician as he had to fly to places like Hawaii quite often, but the damages still remained deep inside.

He was a special guy, one of a kind, a clear indicator that you can do anything if you try hard enough. We remember him through many songs, ‘La Bamba’ being a very popular one that seems to never get old due to Ritchie’s uniquely redeeming approach towards this  song. It’s hard to notice this in this song, but Ritchie didn’t know any Spanish, so he’s practically singing this song in the biggest effort to make his Spanish sound good, probably unsure of the meaning behind the lyrics. He’s giving us hope that you too can sound like a native Spanish speaker if you try hard enough. There’s not denying that music has its own language and ways of communicating itself to people, and Ritchie has shown us this through his means of blending the American culture he was raised in with his Mexican lifestyle and antics that his family brought him up with. As a person who was brought up within different cultures, that at times I find myself in total confusion where I’m from and where I belong, I relate to this a lot, and I think a lot of people can relate to this too. Ritchie Valens was the beginning of a new generation of Americans, of teenagers, those who came from Mexican parents but knew no Spanish whatsoever, even thought they identified with the Mexican culture. He inspired many artists and pioneered Latino rock and Chicano rock, his legacy will eternally live on along with his incredible music.

 

 

 

David Lynch’s Usage of Music In His Films

David Lynch’s Usage of Music In His Films

*SPOILER ALERT FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN’T WATCHED TWIN PEAKS, LOST HIGHWAY, AND, WILD AT HEART!!*

David Lynch is known for many of his cinematic masterpieces due to his eccentric approach and outlook towards them, which sets him apart from many directors. He is able to play with tension and plot lines like it’s nobody’s business, as I tend to find myself sitting at the edge of my seat after each of his films. Lynch makes use of the small things to communicate his artwork to his viewers, one of those things is the composition and soundtrack that he includes. You might be familiar with a few of his works such as the film Mulholland Drive, Wild At Heart (featuring a young Nicholas Cage), or Lost Highway. Better yet, you might be familiar with his successful early 90’s TV show Twin Peaks that is set to come out later this year with a brand new season (I await in anticipation for the airing of that new season!). Throughout his work Lynch tends to make his selection of music stand out a lot, up to the point where it speaks just as much as the dialogue.The effects of such selections will at times make you feel warm and fuzzy, or just cause the hairs at the back of your neck to stand up.

If you’ve watched the bewildering abstract film Mulholland Drive then you will know what I am talking about. The film follows a lot of ambiguous moments, which are part of the film’s charm. These moments are followed by music that adds layers to the overall atmosphere and tension that Lynch communicates in such a perplexing yet psychologically clear manner after watching the film more than once. An example of this occurrence can be found close to the end of the film where both lovers Betty and Rita find themselves in a ghostly empty cabaret place called ‘Club Silencio’ where a man standing on the stage announces “No hay banda (There is no band)! Yet we hear a band.”. Those lines soon follow an a cappella version of Roy Orbinson’s song ‘Crying’ performed by Rebekah Del Rio renamed ‘Llorando’ as she performs the song in Spanish. There is no doubt that her voice is a burst of power and emotion waiting to cut you in half as you watch on in bewilderment, her voice charms you into complete emotional despair and thrill.

You see a similar mood being set up in the TV show Twin Peaks plenty of times, although not as highly abstract as Mulholland Drive is. You see it in those black and white zig-zagged floor scenes that appear in Agent Dale Cooper’s (Kyle MacLachland) dreams, which feel so abstract yet entirely purposeful as we encounter the late Laura Palmer giving cryptic messages to him as he sets out on the mission to solve her perplexing murder case. During such scenes we tend to find ourselves in an atmosphere that has got very simple jazz café music playing in the background in the most subtle manner, whilst we are confronted with Laura speaking backwards (scaring the living daylights out of viewers) who before she disappears says, “I’ll see you again in 25 years.” soon followed by her screaming in a very possessed manner completely disrupting this atmosphere.

It is such juxtapositions in scenery that battle with our logic as viewers, which actually draw us into the story further. In Mulholland Drive you’ve got the message of ‘Silencio’ (Silence) in what seems to be some type of music club, and in Twin Peaks you’ve got this laid back jazzy atmosphere that seems to be conflicted by morbid things such as murder and diabolical possession, or perhaps insanity. It seems almost like David Lynch as a director is subconsciously playing with our minds, and I quite like that. David has been quoted to say, “Lately I feel films are more and more like music. Music deals with abstractions and like film, it involves time. “, he is very right about that, music is abstract and so is film, so why not embrace those two together? Lynch has got some type of background in jazz and he played the trumpet for four years. This seems to be reflected in his films where he often tends to reside to jazz in order to acquire that feeling of disturbance along with the contrasts of lightness that jazz has to offer to its listeners. In his 1990 film Wild At Heart, Lynch still pulls in an amount of bluesy-jazz composition although there is a symbolic amount of speed metal involved in this film due to the nature of the characters present. The plot deals with a young juvenile couple running away together from an insane and over-protective mother. The most notable thing in this film is the way in which David Lynch captures these youths through the correct dosage of jazz and speed metal. You’ve got to love that one scene where Lulu is on the verge of a panic attack as she is driving with her boyfriend, Sailor, whilst she flickers through every radio station she can find. After not finding any radio station with any of the music she likes, she stops the car, runs out and bursts into a panic attack demanding Sailor to put some music on. He then puts on Powermad’s ‘Slaughterhouse’, a song that appears to be the couple’s theme song since you tend to hear it quite often throughout the film with its clear connection to the couple who’s reaction towards that heavy metal power-driven track is to burst into insane non-stop dancing and head banging.

 

That’s just a glimpse into the eccentricity of Lynch’s choice of music. Although, a lot of good things seem to come out of his dynamic relationship with film composition artist Angelo Badalamenti who’s work appears in Mulholland Drive, Wild At Heart, Lost Highway and Twin Peaks (he even won a Grammy for best instrumental performance for the theme song of Twin Peaks). Without Badalamenti Lynch’s film soundtracks and scores would not be the same, he provides the right amount of eeriness and glam into each of Lynch’s masterpieces. They are a couple made in heaven!

Lynch and Badalamenti’s dynamic partnership shines extremely well on the soundtrack for Lost Highway. There is so much to appreciate in this film, from the scene where Pete Dayton comes across platinum blonde beauty Alice Wakefield (Patricia Arquette), which is captured in its most electrifying manner through a Lou Reed song ‘This Magic Moment’, to the scene where Pete finds a bizarre porno film of Alice, playing in the living room as he breaks into Andy’s house to run away with his love, Alice, suitably a Rammstein song ‘Heirate Mich’ can be heard, and when Pete shoves Andy into the edge of his coffee table and he soon gets a nosebleed and searches for some place to go and get it cleaned up,  Rammstein’s song ‘Rammstein’ makes an appearance. Pete finds himself in this nightmare situation where he hallucinates a diabolical version of Alice in the bathroom having sex with another guy. Not only does the heavy metal Rammstein music play a huge symbolical role in the distressed and disturbed mind of Pete who has just morbidly murdered a man who at this point is most likely a pimp and he’s running away with a woman who’s actually a pretty freaky porn star, but it also captures the cold-blood that runs throughout the film, and specifically in this scene. Of course, even this scene doesn’t do the film justice in terms of musical influences. We’ve got a bit of David Bowie’s velvet voice at the very beginning of the film with his song ‘I’m Deranged’, which feels so cold, pretty much preparing us for what is about to come our way with this thrilling and psychologically disturbing film. Let’s not forget Marilyn Manson’s contribution to the soundtrack as well, with both his song ‘Apple of Sodom’ and ‘I Put A Spell On You’ being featured in the film at very crucial points. He even makes an appearance on the mildly disturbing porno film staring Alice that we discover with Pete in the living room of Andy’s huge mansion. Although, there’s a heavy presence of such artists who in their own manner are perplexing and abstract through their own music, there’s still jazz scores involved in the film, and that’s very ‘Lynchian’. The sound of jazz appears to be the mediator between this heavily abstract dream-like appearance that the film provides us with and the reality of it all. What does the film mean? Is it all just a dream…? You tell me.

 

It’s clear that the music present in Lynch’s work is simply a getaway into his elusive dream-like world that we get to experience throughout his work. It’s also very notable his dynamic partnership with Badalamenti who’s hard work and beautiful creativity we get to experience in a lot of Lynch’s work. The film’s music tends to speak to us in ways that the dialogue would fail to do so, and I think it’s that connection between your consciousness and the music in his film’s that makes the difference. In this manner we are given the opportunity to dive into this world of unsolved self-conflicting mysteries that paint themselves in a philosophical light waiting to enlighten us. What a privilege.