the wind kisses the skin
for the earth prince to dream
with eyes open
The lines from a haiku I wrote one stormy night reveals the power of the wind to teach us a lesson.
The wind kisses us in many ways but its most enduring kiss is the one that’s carried through the airwaves: MUSIC.
Wind Kiss was the title I gave to a concert that featured a young violinist. Calling her performance a kiss was perfect as the classic gentleness of her music went so deep into the senses. It’s the classical and the jazzy that truly feels like a kiss. And we had so much of this classic touch of the wind in 2004. (Thank God, it wasn’t totally lorded over by Britney!)
I discovered the impact of these 2004 wind kisses not from an FM radio or MTV Top 10 but from the bathrooms in student dormitories and in boarding houses. Most memorable are the Nora Jones hits introduced to me by Saree of Sampaguita Hall.
Nora Jones, chosen by Time Magazine as the most influential artist of 2003, brought back the coolness of fresh sounding songs. My favorite Don’t Know Why seems to keep getting better and better each time I listen to it. She sings: “ My heart is drenched in wine but you’ll be on my mind forever….” I wasn’t surprised then when, from among her many songs, Don’t Know Why was given the Grammy for technical arrangement.
The No. 2 wind kiss for me is the music of Josh Groban. His The Prayer, which is performed in almost all Invocations in school programs, dominates all else. But it wasn’t actually this song that grabbed my attention but Groban’s version of Don MacLean’s Vincent.
Vincent brings to life the story of my favorite Impressionist Van Gogh, made more intense like a solid brushstroke with Groban’s classic style.
And when happen to pass by as my friend Giovanni sings Vincent, it’s like listening to Groban performing live.
Among all of Groban’s songs, I have memorized Aléjate simply for its sentimental flow – never mind that the lyrics sounded strange at first. I became prouder of my choice when I learned that this Spanish song is the favorite of the cool Dr. Mervyn Misajon and his son Joshua. And when the former Silliman University President admitted that he did not understand any line in the lyrics, I excitedly translated at least for him the chorus for him:
Aléjate, no puedo más
Ya no hay manera de volver el tiempo atrás….
Olvídate de mí
Y déjame seguir a solas con mi soledad
Aléjate, ya dime adios
Y me resignaré a seguir sin tu calor
Y jamás entederé que fue lo que pasó
Si nada puedo hacer, aléjate
Go away, I can’t bear it anymore
There is no way to go back in time
Forget about me
And let me go on alone with my solitude
Go away, go on and tell me goodbye
And I will resign myself to go on without your love
And I will never understand what happened
If there's nothing I can do, go away
Jazz is almost an ‘endangered’ music tradition to the Britney Spears generation, until I had this kiss from Diana Krall. From a website, I learned that it was on June 29, last year that the Grammy award-winning superstar Krall gave a career-defining performance to over 15,000 fans at the 25th Annual Montreal Jazz Festival.
Her ‘presence’ in our University Town was confirmed when a dormitory sophomore beauty Gaily sang the 1977 hit Just the Way You Are with a jazz beat. I asked who’s version she was she singing since I remember Billy Joel singing it. And that’s when Gaily told me that it’s Diana Krall’s, from the soundtrack of the film The Guru.
My wind kiss music defines a sharp contrast from the favorites of my secret bodega friend Jaja – rock. Listen to Incubus’ Pardon Me with the usual explosive lyrics:
Pardon me while I burstA decade ago, I never thought I would be.A twenty three on the verge of spontaneous combustion
Woe is meBut I guess that it comes with the territory.An ominous landscape of never-ending calamity.
and Bamboo’s Mr. Clay …
So now you got the fires rockinBlood and hateThen you got the people talkingLegacyYou will never be forgottenYour place in historyA black mark in timeA black mark in time
JONES, GROBAN & KRALL. made waves in 2004 even without the scream of INCUBUS or the noise of BAMBOO. Their offering of the intelligence of jazz and the coolness of the classics will definitely conquer 2005… and even beyond.
It’s peace with a wind kiss!