Saturday, July 7, 2007

California Classic

Beautiful Music, Vienna Teng

Ever had the moment? You're watching television and some music plays... BAM, you're pulled straight out of the show. You have to know the song.

Two points. First, the music editor made a bad choice. Music should pull one into the show, not out. Second, music that jerks your head around, pulls you out of the show or whatever the hell you were doing and forces you to listen -- this is music which resonates (literally) with your body and life. It sings to you. If a singer/songwriter has got music which turns enough bodies around, which resonates with enough people that powerfully... that's called a hit.

Vienna Teng turned me around two years ago. Was laid out on my bed watching a prime-time soap on DVD. My head spun around. The most beautiful song I'd ever heard was playing. Spent hours tracking it down, so I could buy it, so I could order it, so I could hear the whole damn thing. Because the TV show (on DVD or broadcast) only played maybe sixty seconds of the song, most of which was under dialogue, sound effects, or transitioning to other scenes. I had to hear the full cut. For days I was crazy till the brown box showed up on my doorstep. Sweet relief.

The moment I heard the whole song -- and listened to it ten more times -- I promptly wrote a scene in the screenplay I was writing, just so I could lay the entire song in. A totally novice thing to do for many reasons. One of which is, composers deal with score and songs, screenwriters deal with story. *shrugs* It was my first screenplay. Yes, Vienna's song is still there. I figured out a way to justify that particular song from a story point of view. Don't mess with my muse. Grrr.

Check out this introduction -- Dreaming Through the Noise:

Vienna tours regularly. I get email notice every time she plays a local date. She said she's willing to go anywhere if it pays her rent and makes two people happy. She laughs about the gigs where they hold a raffle in the middle of her set; gives her a good story for the rest of her tour.

Want to download some of her songs? I recommend The Tower and Gravity.

That first song of hers I heard? Lullabye for a Stormy Night. Vienna wrote it at seventeen to avoid writing an English paper.

Vienna Teng sings to me. Her music turns me around.