Vickie, that last post of yours made me laugh out loud!
And of course you know your journey has but yet begun! Glad your new headphones sound truly excellent!
With studio songs not played in concert there are possibly 33 not counting the last two studio albums. You know, all of the songs from the Dear Heather album were not played in concert either, with the exception of the last live track Tennessee Waltz which was played in many 1985 concerts. Probably varying reasons for some songs to make it live and others not. A few of thoughts immediately come to mind are that LC considered the words and/or musical arrangements weren’t suitable to the concert environment or they were just too personal for him to sing to a large audience ....Or he didn’t like them ....
And seeing as you like LC quotes, here’s a few more on the subject of how he feels about the meanings and understanding of his work. The first two sentences below relate to that last quote in my previous post - those four lines you will hear for yourself, apparently very clearly and very soon
“I think the truly write of poetry transmits a certain kind of wisdom that we don't have, but to which we are only the way. When I penetrate into the slow and painful writing of a song, there are certain realities bigger and better than me that manifests and I don't command anymore. The rest is only my personal, foolish and chaotic life.
I don’t think my writing has got personal enough yet. I think it has some way to go before it gets really personal. When it’s really personal everybody understands it. There’s a middle ground which is just unzipping and self-indulgence but when you really tell the truth people immediately perceive that.”
Cohen says he abides by only one maxim in his writing - to always honour the difference between just a cry and a piece of work:
"A cry of pain in itself is just that; it can affect you or you can turn away from it. But a piece of work that treats the experience that produced the cry of pain is a different matter altogether. The cry is transformed, alchemised, by the work by a certain objectivity which doesn't surrender the emotion but gives it form. That's the difference between life and art."
“If I didn’t have a large public, I would still sing, because I think that everybody understands the songs. We don’t understand perfectly what we say to each other in words, but we always understand each other. And it’s the same way with my songs. The texts are sometimes difficult, but even when you sit with somebody and you listen to them speak about their lives, you can’t follow the meaning from word to word or from sentence to sentence. But something else comes through; something of the person himself or herself comes through. And so it is with my work, although the meaning of each line may be obscure.”
The interpretations placed on Cohen's songs vary from listener to listener. What people make of his songs often surprises him:
"But the songs are empty, and you can put into them what you want to put into them.”
I’ve also heard him describe his words as ice cubes
Vickie wrote: You mentioned you are an artist. I'd like to hear more on that, like for how long and what style/subject matter attracts you the most?
Ah Vickie, I was born with a crayon in my left hand! Ever since I can remember I have drawn or painted. Also I have been professionally involved in the art industry most of my working life. I’m since retired and now playing the violin is competing with my artwork for my attention! Because I’ve been doing art for so long it doesn’t matter what style or subject matter I do. The effect I want to create usually dictates how and what I use to get that. I have an eclectic taste with art as I do with music. I have been an art teacher, art consultant, bought and sold original art (including my own), prints, art materials and framed of all types of works of art so that may account for it. But I can say that the latest art I have completed are my portraits of Leonard that I’m incorporating into a book I’m very slowly compiling, some shown here and some still works in progress for the internal pages: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=36625
Since I joined the forum, for LC’s birthday most years I gave him a portrait of himself. One of those, a pencil portrait, was fortunate to be chosen for the back cover graphic of a several pages “Thank you LC” card given to him for the 2008-10 tour. The card pages included personal thank yous that many members wrote to him for all the concerts etc. viewtopic.php?f=3&t=23296&hilit=thank+y ... 75#p260491
Still on that same “subject matter”, I was fortunate to win (shared with two others) first prize in the logo design competition to celebrate the 20 years anniversary of The LC Files. Mine is the first one in order, the oval design: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=36235
I am so grateful for this and I treasure the special gift with personalised words Leonard sent to me for being one of the winners. Such a comforting feeling to me now when I look at it and read those words.