Music

Seconds of Pleasure

March 26, 2019

In a previous post called, “Favorite Means Favorite”, I wrote this about Lizz Wright, my favorite singer:

“There are great singers everywhere, vying for my (or any potential fan’s) attention. They get my attention, sometimes, temporarily. But no one tugs at my heart strings or resonates with my musical taste and sensibility like Lizz Wright.

For example, she does a cover of Nina Simone’s song called, “Seems I’m Never Tired Loving You”. It’s my current favorite.

It’s a simple but beautiful song about unconditional love between two people. But in her arrangement, Lizz added church-style piano and a choir, which makes it sound like a Gospel song, adding a second underlying theme of unconditional love between God and humanity. The lyrics are neutral enough to easily be read or viewed either way.

I don’t know if she intended to create that effect or if I just see it that way. But, nevertheless, the arrangement adds an extra dimension to the feeling of the song, and I think that was intentional. And it’s congruent with something she said in an interview I heard once, where she was talking about the act of balancing between the sensual (our humanity) and the sacred (our spirituality). So I think she did manage to balance both, within the song, by conceiving and doing that arrangement.

To me, her music is the kind I don’t want to just play in the background. It’s the kind I want to just sit and listen to, closely, without any interruptions. That’s why traveling to see and hear her sing means so much to me. To just sit and listen to her is a privilege, joy and honor.

It’s all in the details. The song. The musicians. The mixing. The arrangement. Her inimitable style of singing. The way she crescendos or decrescendos. The way she holds a strong vibrant note and then turns it into a whisper. The way she breaks her voice at the right moment, etc. I could go on and on.

It’s discovering these little things that she does in the song, that always seems to fit perfectly at the right time and in the right place in the song, that bring moments of joy, pleasure and awe, to me. These moments only last for seconds, in the song, but they stand out and illuminate her genius.

There’s an artistic energy and restlessness inside her which produces these fabulous results.

All these things are why I prefer her over others.”

I get hours of pleasure listening to her sing.

The more I listen to her, the more I like her. And the more I like her, the more I want to listen to her. It’s an unending cycle of reverence and joy for her music and her voice that keeps growing stronger within me. I guess that’s why I talk about her a lot. All of her songs are beautiful, inspiring and enjoyable.

I get seconds of pleasure listening to every little detail in her songs.

This is the normal way I listen to music when it is something that really moves me. I want to hear every detail just to see how the parts relate to and create the whole effect.

I remember when I was six years old, listening to Elvis for the first time, I did this too. I thought it was so cool how he would break his voice, sing a strong and powerful note and then in a nanosecond he would decrescendo to a gentle, soothing sound. I saw some characteristics in him that I wanted to emulate too.

When the Beatles came out, I did the same way. I was blown away by their sound and creativity. I wanted to hear every little thing they did, know all the harmonies, and read their album covers to learn as much as I could about them personally. I always wanted to understand what it was in them that “separated them” from the whole world of artists/musicians out there. What it was that made them stand out above the rest.

I feel that way about Lizz, too. I want to know all about her. I want to have every song she sings. I don’t want to miss out on anything she records. I want to go see and hear her sing as many times as possible while I still can.

There are certain things she does in a song either gives me the chills or makes me pause and think about it. And when I hear those “seconds of pleasure”, I think to myself, “She’s so cool!”.

Then I hear Mr. T ‘s voice in my head saying, “She’s Too Cool To Fool!!”, and that cracks me up.

Then that makes me think of two playlists I created for just Lizz’s songs. One was called “Quivers and Eros” and the other was called “Chills and Quivers, Thrills and Shivers”.

Then after that, I put all those songs onto one playlist (having two seemed a little redundant) and I changed the title to “Chivers and Thrivers”.

But then I thought about changing the title to “2K2F” (2 Cool 2 Fool).

But in the final analysis, I decided to call it “Seconds of Pleasure” (Sighsmic Activity).

You might ask, “Why so much effort over this?”.

Well, number one, it is fun to me. LOL 😀 . But the main reason is because her music is so special to me it inspires this kind of creativity in me and so I want to honor her music in this little way. The title to my playlist is not important to anyone else but it is important to me.

In a previous post called, “Let Them Talk in Vancouver, B.C.”, I highlighted a song called, “Let Them Talk”. I found it among the other Lizz youtube recordings and videos. I hadn’t seen or heard the song before. But that song really gets to me and resonates with me.

So I checked on iTunes and Amazon to buy and download it, and when I got there, I found all of these tunes available there too. Just click on the highlighted links below (Go for the Gold) and you’ll soon see what you’ve been missing:

“Let Them Talk”

“Narrow Daylight”

“Nobody’s Fault But Mine”

“I Feel The Earth Move”

“Circle Around The Flame”

” ‘Om Sweet ‘Om”

“This Song In Me”

“Til Then”

“Stillness: Winterhouse”

It was like finding a new CD by her, but not.

And it was like waking up to a freshly fallen snow. That feeling of elation you get by the beauty of it.

So I added those tunes to my “Lizzles” playlist (81 songs) and to the “Seconds of Pleasure (Sighsmic Activity)” playlist (70 songs):

 

 

 

“Lizzles” includes all of the songs I have of hers. “Seconds of Pleasure (Sighsmic Activity)” includes all of those songs, minus the songs with a star ⭐︎ beside them.

Here are a few of the songs she has recorded that I have either seen on her FB page or at one of her shows, but I don’t think they are available anywhere. I hope someday she records them and makes them all available on a new CD or Amazon or iTunes:

The Nearness Of You

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

Dreaming Wide Awake (The duet version with Kenny Banks, Sr.)

A Change Is Gonna Come

If You Leave Me

Painted Sky

I’ll Be Your Water

I could only find five of them to which I made a link for you to click on to listen to them. (Just go for the gold). All of these are heart-melters! She really gets to me! Listen to the little things she does with her voice and you’ll experience the seconds of pleasure I’m talking about.

Listening to her gives me a SOULGASM!!

That’s not my word. I can’t take the credit for that. I saw it on Emelia Sam‘s website, emeliasam.com).

Emelia crafts thoughtful truisms and shares them with everyone. She’ll take a single subject or thought, boil it down to its very essence. Then carefully and succinctly craft the message in the fewest words possible. Then she reduces it even more into a simple tweet.

Anyway, so every morning I go to work I’m listening to “Lizzles” or “Seconds of Pleasure” (Sighsmic Activity). I get out of the car, put my iPhone in my front pocket with it on, but turned down low so as not to impose her music on anyone else (unless they ask me to turn it up). But if they get close to me they can hear it.

My supervisor and I talk frequently before I actually go out and start my day of work. He didn’t say anything to me about it for a few days but just silently observed me.

One day he said, “Dennis, you listen to Lizz’s music all the time, don’t you?”.

I said, “No. Sometimes I listen to other stuff.”

Then he said, “Where’s the music coming from?”

I said, “I had her music surgically implanted into my body. I blink left for “on” and blink right for “off” !

He just looked at me and shook his head.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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