Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Yes, I did get back from holiday...

Sorry, did I not say?

Well, I did get back alright. Greece was absolutely breathtaking. Despite the inevitable money troubles that have followed, I wouldn't change a second of it.

Not only that, I have just returned after TWO SIX hour coach journies, to and from Newcastle, where I got to see the beautiful Russian herself, performing. Obviously I'm talking about Regina Spektor. Despite the heavy rain on the day, and getting massively wet while finding the hotel, it was a great experience and well worth the trip. It was very sad though, as they ultimately dedicated the concert to their recently passed cellist, friend and band-mate Dan, who drowned in a swimming pool leaving behind a wife and daughter. Visit Regina's various fan-pages for ways you can help. There was a very real collective mourning in the concert hall as they left the stage last night, and I know I spared a thought or two for Dan and his family as I lay in bed in the dark. Still though, I have been listening to Regina since her first record when I was about 14, so I was just chuffed that I finally got to see her perform. If anything, the sombre atmosphere made me feel closer to her, and I definitely felt I could relate to what they were feeling. I was grateful that they would still perform under such testing circumstances, and share their grief with us.

The performance was still unbelievable though, which leads me on to something that's been rattling around my head for a while; inspiration, and where it comes from.

It dawned on me recently that my writing on various projects had bogged down, and I realised I was lacking motivation and inspiration. You find yourself making excuses not to write, or finding other things to do. I started digging around for magazines, searching the internet and re-reading favourite books, trying to find that inspirational source that would fuel my writing. It didn't come.

But as I watched Regina doing her thing on that stage, it came to me. I remembered why I love writing, and why I do it. It's the creating of something unique, that I know came from my head and my hands, that I want to share with other people and hopefully bring joy, or sadness, or whatever the piece demands, out of them. That's what Regina did to me last night, with her astonishing performance of many self-written fictitious songs. She took me through a range of emotions, and left me feeling inspired. I thought about how much love and effort she must put in to just one of her compositions; it's such a breath of fresh air to watch a real musician perform with her band. On my way home today, I had an endless pool of energy to draw from, and a fresh perspective on many ideas that I thought I had forgotten about. Inspiration can literally come from anywhere, it doesn't have to be relevant to what you're hoping to create. Next time you're stuck for ideas, or feeling like you just want to watch TV instead, think outside the box for inspiration.

Before going, I just want to say how much I appreciated Regina playing, along with her band, despite their loss. I know she won't ever read this, but I wanted to say it anyway. Not many would have done it, so I think they deserve recognition. Spare a thought for Dan and his family tonight.

Finally, check out her supporting artist, Nicole Atkins. What a voice!

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