I have been following Tori Amos’s musical career since her first album Little Earthquakes in the early nineties. She has released fourteen albums since that time and I have listened to them all. I have also read both of her biographies. I follow this woman’s career like a drug or aphrodisiac.
Tori does not release 8 or 9 songs per album. She usually releases over 24 songs per album. She is prolific. She says she writes a song a day. Her music has been so inspiring to me that I recently purchased an electric piano and am teaching myself to play.
At the present time I am thoroughly immersed in her latest album Unrepentent Geraldines. Holy smokes is all I can say. Each song has such depth and complexity. I am inspired to study her songs closely, and allow myself to be emotionally moved by the pieces that strike me. Their melodies haunt me and dance through my head. I sit down at the piano and try to pick out the tunes. I am motivated to teach myself how to play by ear by trying to pick out these tunes.
Strangely, sometimes I cannot hear the words of the song until I am ready to. Then one day they reveal themselves to me. I allow myself to be triggered emotionally by both the words and the melodies.
I have listened to just about every song she has written. Some albums in particular have moved me for months, such as Scarlett’s Walk. I spent many months with this album, dancing, singing, and being triggered emotionally. I felt parts of myself return to me in the reflections and the movement I got from this album.
I have read that she sits down at the piano and plays spontaniously for two hours a day. She records this, and then plays back the music to pick out the gems that reveal themselves. This is what she builds her songs around. Her songs often have various delightful tunes interplaying within one song, each one often very different from the other, each telling a specific part of the story she weaves, often in different time signatures. Sometimes it is like being on an emotional rollercoaster that I am happy to allow myself to ride.
I feel so inspired by these tunes that dance through my head, and that motivates me to teach these to myself, and also, to try to mimic her vocal range and the nuances she takes in each song. Absolutely stretching!
Then there are the stories she tells. Stories of Woman and her experiences, stories of relationships and politics and mythology and symbolism, history and archetypes. She is a total learning experience. I learn so much!
And this is what I aspire to. I dream that one day, I may become a songstress too. I put no limits on my learning. It doesn’t have to come in any kind of package, or at any specific time. It don’t have to fit any outer forms. I don’t need to buy into being too old, or feel any shame about the pace of my learning curve. I am motivated by pure desire to learn, and that is the shining path I am allowing myself to follow, at the exact pace that feels right for me. This is the fire in my belly, and I am the one to keep it ignited.
What a gift to be witness to such talent, and also the purity of intent I feel in her work. Totally inspiring. This is what love feels like to me.