Darkness

Regina Spektor’s Musical World and Addressing the Hero – Part IV

Coverage

Hero calling hero!
[Source – Pixabay]

The hero is in hiding, asleep, has forgotten or has been brainwashed because only that could explain the hero’s silence; the dead silence is complementing the darkness ostentatiously.

And no surprise, right? This darkness is overwhelming, too huge, so vast, damn cruel, heartless/soulless, steady and conniving that the heroes have all locked themselves up in the epics, legends and myths.

Dejected and weak they have turned their backs, criticising the critics, they hopelessly work to earn a living, measuring their quiet success every fiscal year, waiting for the golden retirement when they will finally wake up… or maybe they will not.


Regina Spektor is calling out to all the heroes to wake up, rise and fight, to accept the responsibilities of actions they so unconsciously take, to wage a war against inequality one little step at a time.

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Listen to Apres Moi before reading further –

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I (uh) must go on standing
You can’t break that which isn’t yours
I (uh) must go on standing
I’m not my own, it’s not my choice

Be afraid of the lame, they’ll inherit your legs
Be afraid of the old, they’ll inherit your souls
Be afraid of the cold, they’ll inherit your blood
Apres moi le deluge, after me comes the flood…

Regina Spektor

Revolutions, the downfall of monarchies, totalitarian leaders, genocides… mankind’s history is a presence in the absence, it is ever-looming, reminding us of the foundation on which we are now building smart castles (with Alexa or Google Nest Hub or the gadget you prefer).

Apres moi le deluge is a French phrase that means ‘after me, the flood’ and is attributed to Louis XV of France; one of the explanations suggest its nihilistic connotation that says, ‘Ruin, if you like, when we are dead and gone’ and the other links it with Halley’s comet and the impending French Revolution of 1789.

Here, Regina Spektor talks about the far-reaching presence of history and how we cannot ignore it for long.

She sings a few lines of a Russian poem when reaching the crescendo; it is a poem by Nobel laureate Boris Pasternak, titled ‘February’ –

Black spring! Pick up your pen, and weeping,
Of February, in sobs and ink,
Write poems, while the slush in thunder
Is burning in the black of spring.

Translated by Lydia Pasternak Slater, Boris’s sister

An intense song that resonates across and holds your thoughts, it seems as if the song is urging us folks to stand up against the odds without delay, asking us folks not to mellow down.


Listen to Us

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They made a statue of us
They made a statue of us
The tourists come and stare at us
The sculptor’s mama sends regards
They made a statue of us
They made a statue of us
Our noses have begun to rust

We’re living in a den of thieves
Rummaging for answers in the pages
We’re living in a den of thieves
And it’s contagious
And it’s contagious…

Regina Spektor

Thieves are untied clandestinely, inconspicuously, invincibly, heartily like no other group on this planet, working religiously, solely for their profit.

The one charismatic, luring fact, among other things, is the freedom they give to every individual thief, showing no concern for each other, but keeping a check and standing in solidarity if the deal is profitable.

Regina Spektor rightly diagnosed this behaviour as contagious; the song is giving a warning, it is a reminder. Wake up dear heroes, at least to rub off the rust on your noses.


Listen to Small Bills

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His destiny was just too big to spend
So he broke it into smaller bills and change
By the time he’d try to buy the things he needed
He had spent it all on Lucy’s and weed and
He had spent it all on chips and Coca-Cola
He had spent it all on chocolate and vanilla
He had spent it all and didn’t even feel it…

Regina Spektor

May the heroes win the peculiar, surreal, boorish individual battles that they are fighting again and again and again.


Listen to Hero

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Hey, open wide, here comes
Original sin
(Vrrr)
Hey, open wide, here comes
Original sin

It’s alright, it’s alright
It’s alright, it’s alright…

I’m the hero of the story
Don’t need to be saved…

Regina Spektor

Listen to this song when the sky is orange-pink, dimly twinkling, armouring up for the dark night; listen to this song when the sky is whitish-blue, brightly warm, breathing lightly, gently healing the hero.


Read more –

Alex Millar’s translation of the poem February.

Lessons in Creativity I Learned from Regina Spektor by Caitlin Cowan.

R


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Regina Spektor’s Musical World and the Assured Presence of the Antiquity – Part II

Coverage

Peh-peh-peh… a patina trumpeter plays for you.
[Source – Pixabay]

Our shadowy past lives, though hidden in the fog, it lives, and we live off it.

Ancient cities now archaeological sites, history books, paintings, literature, music and ideas remind us of the assured presence of antiquity, our link with what was the truth back then.

Like the tail of a shooting star, our past/ the antiquity makes an equally good show in the darkness, at times even a grand show.

Like a terrific shaman, the past predicts when approached with a true question and predicts without any regret.

Come, let us see, what it predicted when Regina Spektor approached it with some melodious queries.

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Listen to “All The Rowboats” before reading further –

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…First there’s lights out, then there’s lock-up
Masterpieces serving maximum sentences
It’s their own fault for being timeless
There’s a price to pay and a consequence
All the galleries, the museums
Here’s your ticket, welcome to the tombs
They’re just public mausoleums
The living dead fill every room

But the most special are the most lonely
God, I pity the violins
In glass coffins they keep coughing
They’ve forgotten, forgotten how to sing…

Regina Spektor

It seems the antiquity, through this song, shared a message for all those who are listening, which is that the past is not static, so no point in decorating and forgetting it; no point in generalising it and awarding it with a damp stamp.

Feel free to interpret it; relive the change.


Listen to “Samson”

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Samson went back to bed
Not much hair left on his head
He ate a slice of Wonder Bread
And went right back to bed
And the history books forgot about us
And the Bible didn’t mention us
And the Bible didn’t mention us, not even once

You are my sweetest downfall…

Regina Spektor

Delilah, Samson’s lover, actually a spy, had his long hair cut one night, making him powerless; the Philistines captured Samson and tortured him brutally. Samson, blind and weak, still destroyed his enemies by magically regaining his strength. He died along with his enemies after he collapsed the temple of Dagon.

This biblical account doesn’t mention the infinite voices that made Samson, Samson and Delilah, Delilah. Culturally nourished biases have always restricted so many voices and the history books have often conveniently ignored it… until someone dares and explores and talks about the sweetest downfall.


Listen to “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” –

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…I look at you all, see the love there that’s sleeping
While my guitar gently weeps
I look at the floor and I see it needs sweeping
Still my guitar gently weeps

I don’t know why nobody told you
How to unfold your love
I don’t know how someone controlled you
They bought and sold you

I look at the world and I notice it’s turning
While my guitar gently weeps
With every mistake we must surely be learning
Still my guitar gently weeps…

George Harrison

Regina Spektor covered this “Beatles” song for the film Kubo and the Two Strings (a must watch), magnifying the song’s impact so wonderfully. The antiquity becomes fully alive here; it reassures and promises the unfolding of another epic. It is pure magic!


Return in some time dear readers, and continue the tour of Regina Spektor’s musical world here at Chiming Stories.


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Follow The Light

After succumbing to the darkness I sat there quietly for ages. Did the wind play with the kite? Did the dew drop decorate the petals? I saw nothing, I stared at nothing, it was all dark. But I did hear them mocking, complaining, exclaiming, demanding. I said nothing, my voice had become dark too.
Then from nowhere a light emerged, glowing softly, fading now and then, but never dying completely. I remembered then that I can stand up, I realised then that I can walk ahead, I felt then that I am still alive. And I walked towards the light. I could see then, in the light, how dark it was.
I followed and I am still following the light.

Enshrined in Double Retirement

Towards the warm and bright light.
[Image from Pixabay]

I was sitting in my room in a dim mood and light. I didn’t see outside because I was too lost to think anything else. What was happening with me and why was it happening, sadly I had some idea about it, though I was dwelling on the part which was beyond my control. I was feeling cold but I didn’t move. And in some time I felt warm tears on my face. I didn’t rub my face and soon I felt the chill.

More than the failure it was me who made the darkness pitch black. I somehow just wanted to be in that dark tunnel. My room soon transformed into one and I felt cold. I accepted the defeat, I was surrounded by defeat. It was doubled by me.


Later, I felt something warm and bright within. I realised that because I accepted the defeat, it ultimately passed through me. I, at that moment, worked my way back out of the tunnel.  

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(The title is taken from Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre {only the title})


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In The Darkness Full Of Little Lights

In the darkness full of little lights there glowed a sphere. It was marvellous and so bright. Different colours danced in it; blue and white, green and brown, pink and orange and red, along with a subtle sublime shine. Calm and beautiful! The sphere was hypnotising by nature. You could stare for endless time without getting tired. Energy vibrated through the sphere. Everything seemed to be quiet and motionless though the sphere was alive.

Blink!

What a terrifying site! Umpteenth arms that originated form the sphere were destroying the sphere. You couldn’t see much; the blazing golden colour that covered half of the sphere split the eyes and reached for the soul. There was sound too. A deafening, screeching, horrifying sound. It vibrated madly. It looked as if some part of the sphere tried to be all of it.

Blink!

The darkness silently engulfs. Always!