Friday, February 13, 2009

Hey Jude a la Nippon

I've heard from various sources that many (adult) Japanese rock musicians play western pop hits absolutely perfectly, but they don't understand the words they are singing. They simply seem to have this engineering-like ability to duplicate something 100%.

Which is interesting, because I've sometimes observed that some people who have a very powerful creative talent are unable to duplicate something others have made, they always make a hash of it, or change it significantly.

It may be that the two kinds of ability are virtually mutually exclusive.


Anonymous said...

It may be that the two kinds of ability are virtually mutually exclusive.

I agree, I have come across this phenomenon often in my life. I would like to add a special personal experience:

There are a few guitar players I love very much, for example David Qualey (you may have a look at, it is in German as well as in English).

So, I have listened to him very often, in concerts and on many records I have, and of many of his records I know every little detail (playing live he is always playing differently, improvising out of the moment).

A few notes heard somewhere by chance and I know immediately, that's David Qualey ... he is simply unique, expressing his soul in his playing. (Mostly he plays own compositions, but there is also a very enjoyable adaptation of Beatle songs, and also playing Bach e.g.)

Years ago I met a guitar player, who was technically fantastic - he could play all, just give him the notes. He also had notes from David Qualey pieces, so he played them ... and it was really 100 % exactly like the records I knew, BUT it was like empty - there was no soul in it.

I don't know how to describe it better. Anyway, it was an amazing experience ...

Anonymous said...

I am like that when cooking. I can never follow a recipe exactly. I always use them as guidlines and do my own way with them. I can't recall ever making a recipe exactly as it was written. I don't even measure herbs or spices, I go by smell and taste. Everybody loves my cooking too, BTW.