Saturday, February 16, 2019

a muse

1970: I graduated from university, living in an urban commune, doing mescaline (with “In Search of the Lost Chord” between my ears), reading Joyce, Sartre, Husserl (mygod)....

Tonight, I saw the video of “Joni Mitchell Live at the Isle of Wight Festival, 1970,” new for me, as someone who “worshipped” her, from circa 1971 through the mid-‘80s. [Insert biography of Gary, 1972—1985 in terms of Joni Mitchell songs.]

At the Isle, she’s not the jaded jazz voice, tending toward tonally oblique experimentalism. She’s the girlish folk singer (not looking 27 years old). The camera is commonly on her tightly when she’s at the piano (much closer than the photo here, performing for a crowd of 600,000!), though from a physical distance that would make the intimacy unknown to her, immersed in her songs. The camera’s intimacy feels almost invasive.

I see a woman who’s very introverted out there in honed performance, yet somehow not seen but by the camera’s intrusive facebook. She’s a young, incredible voice whose life is basically alone in the integrity of her art that lovers abandon. She’s been very pained, but saved by her music.

She seems to be my age, truly a member of my era—or I hers—a voice I’ve so loved, as if I’ve always been searching for her—though I have not.