Sunday, July 09, 2006

not ready for posh

as part of the "grass is greener syndrome" we are all bound to suffer from one time or another, i, as a medical student who deals with nothing but science on a daily basis, absolutely adore the idea of being arty farty.

i mean, i already like writing. literature is something i love. i can live without my *shockhorror* football - i survived an entire year in singapore sans football, although i have to admit to listening to live commentaries on bbc world once in a while - but i cannot function without a good book to at least look forward to.

i also love music. my friends and i were just discussing the types of music we like and they were surprised at how diverse my taste in music is. i can't even describe it. whatever sounds good to me is good, even if it means i like both duran duran's "union of the snake" and beethoven's "pathetique sonata".

however, one thing that bothers me about the art community is how elite it all seems. the art scene in malaysia is promoted as something only the rich can enjoy and the educated can appreciate. it makes me feel as if i have to have something intelligent to say about music or art or literature in order for me to be qualified to enter a jazz bar, art gallery or read a booker prize-winning novel.

last night, a couple of friends and i went off to no black tie for the first time for a performance by the irene soliano & salvador guerzo all-star band.

i have never heard of the name "soliano". i usually listen to jazz when i feel like i've had enough of my chemical romance telling me how they're really not ok (trust me). the first song the band performed was "maz ques nada", a song i've heard before but know best as the current radio hit performed by sergio mendez and the black eyed peas. i didn't recognise any of the other songs or the instrumentals played, though one of my friends mentioned that some of them are well-known jazz standards.

that kinda made me feel a little silly. what on earth was i doing there at no black tie, where the only alcoholic beverage a student can afford is either beer (yuck) or a glass of sangria (or two, heh)? i mean, the place was gorgeous. the music was lovely. and the decor, oh the decor! it was posh. there's no other word for it. as posh as a pre-wags victoria adams (i grew up in the 90s, so shoot me).

but i didn't have a clue about how fab the arrangements were, or whether the fact that the double bassist's fingers were flying around madly was an indication of his skill, neither did i manage to really catch the subtle signs of how each musician gave each other a chance to take the lead and wow the audience with his solo excellence. and i liked irene soliano's voice although my friends didn't.

so really. i felt like how alot of people feel when they talk about the art scene: awkward, as if i didn't really deserve to find the music delightful because i couldn't afford a third glass of sangria and did not have the ability to say "oh, i love this song" the moment an intro was played.

anyway, i love art. i enjoy looking at photographed portraits, funky poster prints and postsecret postcards. when i go for the occassional mpo performance, i like happy tunes with lots of brass. i can't go for too many theatre performances because after a while, all the interpreting of metaphors overwhelms my actually very simple mind.

what looks nice to me is nice. what sounds nice to me is nice. and i believe that's how most people see art as - something that is...nice. it's nice. it brightens life up a bit. that's all. i don't think you should ever be like me and have the impression that you have to be rich or a literature student in order to enjoy art.

but that's the kind of message i keep getting. i sure as hell ain't ready for posh, and it makes me a little, i dunno, upset that that's the one and only thing really preventing me from indulging a little more in something that i love.

lishun at 2:48 PM