This is a musical exploration into the concept of masculinity. I introduced the idea in this email to a group of people. Amazingly, I received replies from the majority of the men, and some great ones from some of the women too. Temporarily, I felt a little less crazy than I did just after clicking SEND.
Now some months have passed, and I feel that I have dropped the ball with these good people. The project faded and was overridden with a preoccupation, and then another. Masculinity works, and recharges to a point. But how far can one go without the feminine? In my case, not too far.
Since writing that email, I marked a moment or season in my life with a CD called Peach out of Reach. It was a temporary escape from a preoccupation with masculinity.
However, just when I began to despair at the thought of dropping forever this masculine thing, a new song crossed my path - from a Trilok Gurtu CD wisely and kindly purchased for me by my dear children. It showed me once again just how much music can move me. Just the sound of this song (Witness to Marriage) propelled me immediately back into this pursuit. What was also noteworthy to me was that this song was by the same person who performed Tuhe, which was the first song to inspire this masculinity project.. Hmmm - somethin' about this guy. So at this point, without yet having the whole track-list finalized, I'm leaning toward beginning and ending the CD with these two songs by this excellent musician. More on them later. Here are some links and pics in case you're interested in Trilok Gurtu.
So, the project and CD are incomplete. I've chosen to make this page accessible because I feel that I owe that to the good people who responded with their great thoughts on the topic and with their music suggestions. I think I managed to collect at least one recording that each of you suggested, and along with my choices, I now have the happy task of boiling these down to what will fit onto an 80-minute CD. Believe it or not, we could make a double! But I think one CD must be enough - how much masculinity can one take?? Seriously - it could become painful! But, from what I've heard, I think it'll be bearable, with moments of greatness.
So, here's the page, incomplete. I'll toss things onto it as they come. If you're contemplating giving (more) input into this, please do so! I'm struggling with coming up with the most sensible method of accommodating that, technology-wise. For now, email me. And if you have ideas about what kind of forum makes sense for this sort of thing, I'm listening!
It's Kenner, it's weird
Masculinity can be offensive, and leave one lacking, looking for more.
What is it? I don't know entirely. Sometimes I'm very sure, and then, entirely I don't know.
Maybe to the extreme, it's what I'd do without a care for and about any woman? Because some of what men do is offensive to women... and to men too.
And sometimes that kind of behaviour appeals.
James Brown, "... I don't care..." - that kind of masculinity, in its rawness, that commands respect and attention. James Brown packages it in something, something that goes down, something that makes it go down.
So, is masculinity just... no. It's not JUST anything!
But, is it dominance and impositions? Dear God, I hope not. Yet sometimes, so it seems. And most often, the music I tend toward is somewhere in the middle - or maybe better described as - having *both* the masculine and feminine apparent: Annie Lennox, Sting, Alanis Morissette, Peter Gabriel, Clapton.
Why the *!? am I, of all people, putting thoughts to paper about masculinity, as if I've been formally educated in this, as you might have been. On the other hand, I think it's been made pretty plain so far, that I'm just a raging lunatic at the journal. Whoever you are, beast or bird, who has wandered this far, I am both appreciative and intrigued. Well, I would be if I knew you were here. I'd love to hear from you!
Sometimes when I have some time alone I love to just drive, with a good stereo, music and a journal close-by. Now (Oct. 12, 2002) on Douglas, near Chinatown.
Is masculinity at once, that offensive thing that repels even men, while being that thing that rages in the blood of all these young men downtown, who are with or are looking for young women?
Fun to recall those days, and to affirm what is these days. Life is good.
Well, it's January 12, 2003, and I'm thrashing around at 2AM, trying to get something happening here. I transcribed some stuff above from my journal, but now what? Probably makes sense to go back to what is at this moment the most essential song on the list, and write a bit about what's there.
Trilok Gurtu, Witness to Marriage
It's dark, but not necessarily evil.
There's no apparent effort to appear masculine,
Yet, neither is there (to me) an obvious effort to appeal to the feminine.
I return to this song frequently, to be recharged. There's a perfect power and energizing ability to it.
For me, it leaves nothing laughable. It is fierce, but under control, and is shrouded in mystery and beauty.
Clapton and Mum
Crosby and Dad
Eric Burdon, John Mayall, Jimi Hendrix, Steve Winwood, Carl Wayne.
Thanks Winfield, for help with the names.
Here were three influences on my impressionable pre-teen years: Eric Burdon, Jimi Hendrix and Steve Winwood, in one picture.
Can anyone help me with finding the origin of the photo, and its owner? For me it's a massive picture.
Eric's Music Page
© 2005 Eric Porcher
Page created: November, 2002
Updated: June 08, 2005
I am benefited by your forwarding something of this to a friend.