Monday, May 31, 2010


Though this may sound a bit obsessive, I've been taking a look at different performances by Sinéad O'Connor during creative breaks throughout the day (which, on a side note, has probably been very un-productive regardless of all the massive amounts of work I need to get done).
I found a video of the day she appeared at the Bob Dylan Tribute the same year of her scandal. I don't think we'll ever know how it must feel to receive such a mixed response from the audience but unfortunately dominantly negative. How can you deal with so much hate towards you? We've all had our shares of negative energy being directed towards us, but rarely this loud and massive. What I salute (my word of the day here) is how she managed to stand with her head held high, expecting her audience to be civil enough to allow her to sing a song in honor of Bob Dylan and yet when she realizes signs of hatred will not cease, she cancels her intended performance in order to quote Bob Marley's WAR lyrics, demonstrating how relevant they are once again.
Here's the clip from that day:


It's crazy how one ridiculous and almost insignificant comment can start off a series of ideas that can actually lead to something important or, at least, thought provoking. A friend of mine will be crossing the border from Israel to Jordan in a few days, and mentioned he was planning on shaving his head to do so. Why? I have absolutely no idea, but I couldn't help but comment he'd be a Sinéad O'Connor look-alike.
This immediately made me go on youtube and search for that ultra-controversial performance of hers on Saturday Night Live back in 1992. I remember being in 8th grade when this happened and how it was a world shocker. Today I payed close attention to the whole performance since the only bit that got broadcast on the news around the world were the last few seconds where she tore the picture of the Pope. I had not realized how powerful the lyrics of the song she sang were and how everything was precise in making the performance come to a full circle.

After all the controversy surrounding the Catholic Church lately regarding the unveiling of stories of pedophilia commited by actual members of this entity, Sinéad's words come as quite relevant and make her look not as crazy as she did back then. Don't get me wrong, I was the only person in my grade not wanting to crucify her, probably because I was an atheist since then (though I was baptized in the Vatican and even have a picture with John Paul II). I actually thought it took some (pardon my French) BALLS to go up and do that on LIVE television, especially at TWENTY-THREE! Talk about standing up for what you believe in. Following is the LINK (embedding is disabled unfortunately) to the full performance of that night, 18 years ago, and then a short but very interesting news report on her before it all happened.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Watching the video at the end of this post reminded me of the following:
When I was in second grade I played Für Elise in front of my school at the auditorium on one of our weekly assemblies. I don't remember why there were musical numbers involved in this particular one, nor how I dared to have to the guts to go in front of an audience and play this piece by ear (our elementary school music teacher, Ms. Proctor, mus have convinced me). I had not had formal piano lessons yet but I had a very kind older sister who was willing to teach me how to play it, and so, I learned it. I never quite mastered my left hand on the second half, but I managed pretty well through the whole ordeal.
Later on, I began to take lessons, but I wanted things to be faster than they were, I had no patience and this whole Chopinesque-phase ended when my piano teacher stormed out the door saying : "Your son has no discipline!" (Please imagine that in a Russian accent).
I have often regretted not putting more effort into those lessons, having more patience, and realizing the importance of practice. After watching the following video, I am in absolute awe. This sixth grader has managed to give me goosebumps. I love the way he's given his own spin on the original GaGa song and the passion and confidence of his performance. It is absolutely inspiring. Please watch and enjoy.