I attended a Kina Grannis concert last night (10.7.10) here in Gainesville. I’ve been gone so long that downtown looked completely unfamiliar. Her openers were wonderful, and her singing was utterly surprising. You see, it’s extremely important to me how someone sounds live. While I was chatting with Tomek in Wrocław about music, we both agreed that the mark of a good musician, especially electronic or any other highly produced music, shows in their bare, acoustic performances. Kina already uses very little adjustment in her records or videos, but I’d assumed many takes and nudges went along with the added harmonies and synths, etc. Well, she sounded nearly identical live. Head voice and inflections: perfect. Transitions, tempo: perfect. She seemed completely drained of energy from the long tour but her voice and her musicality shone in spades.
I waited after the show to tell her I’d sung her single Valentine on streets across Europe and it turns out she’s busked in New Zealand, herself. I think that’s my next continent to conquer. She asked for my blog link – I am absurdly flattered. I spoke with her openers, Matthew Mayfield and ImaginaryFriend while waiting the hour for the line to die away. They gave me encouragement and hope – words of advice that confidence and passion, above all other things, win out. Since being back in Gainesville I’ve been subtly pushed towards taking music even more seriously and I find myself on a bit of a crossroads.
I have this philosophy about the honesty of busking, but the lure of recording and trying YouTube and MySpace is both strong and terrifying. I still want to be a school teacher or art therapist someday, but this fits into my philosophy on teaching, too – what will I have to teach if I haven’t lived? My convictions remain strong – to postpone whatever further schooling in exchange for living and traveling and having something to teach my future charges – too long have I been cocooned in the world of education. I’ve never understood teachers who head straight from their own college schooling to instruction – I believe a teacher has a responsibility to see that which he teaches about, not just read about it. I doubt my world history teacher ever left Florida. And thus my plan-less free lifestyle.
So I ask once again for feedback – and this time it’s incredibly important – as to whether or not I should pursue music in a more commercial vein. For if I am to settle in the States busking will be largely insufficient. I’ve apologized often for the quality of my sound files – I think I’m afraid to record well. If I’ve support, I’ll be sure to find some way to improve that quality in earnest. So tell me what you think?