Last night I saw Our Lady Peace in concert for the first time. It was a brilliant show that opened with a complete run through of one single album, Spiritual Machines, from start to finish, followed by a more typical rock show of best hits that ended with their spectacular Starseed. A surprise highlight for me was a rendition of Are You Sad from Spiritual Machines, played here brilliantly live: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pSHxCiZRVo .
This song alone made the choice of Spiritual Machines worth it, although the concept behind the album was an intriguing one. Conceived as a response to the futuristic theories in Ray Kurzweil’s book, The Age of Spiritual Machines, the songs and lyrics are an affirmation of human spirituality, irreplaceable and worth fighting to retain.
Tonight I came across a shining example of that indomitable human spirit in the form of Nick Vujicic, a man who you would think would benefit from such a melding of man and machine that Kurzweil predicts in our future, yet whose spirituality has found such a shining voice precisely because of the lack of such enhancements as seen here:
This got me thinking about a song written by OLP’s lead singer, Raine Maida, for his solo project, The Hunters Lullaby, titled Yellow Brick Road, seen here:
and the print below, a monotype, which I titled No More Yellow Brick Road in response to his song.
The song takes a wistful look at the idealism, promise and simple beauty of youth and is a reminder to savour the moments of our lives. In my print, I reflect on the loss of this innocence and how with maturity comes the realization that our paths are not always clear, continuous or on solid ground.
The print, as with many of my abstract pieces, was begun with little preconceived ideas beyond a simple study in form and color. The wide yellow ‘paths’ were placed first, then the feint blue ones and finally the strong blacks were laid down. The piece was completed with some pastel work to add punches of color and a melding and defining of pathways. The ordering of these steps not only ended up having an uncanny similarity to our paths to maturity in life, but in the intuitive amalgamation of shapes and color to create a work of beauty I hope to express the joy in seeing the wonder and beauty of life as it is and not preconceived.
To paraphrase Raine Maida’s words to the audience last night, we are not machines and death gives meaning and beauty to life and so we must live it fully in the moment.