David and I settled in to watch the Grammy Awards last night. We were both looking forward to watching the performances. Every year, the music world tries to outdo itself with odd mixtures of musicians playing together. I love that and I also love the breaking new artists that either sink or swim on the show. I sometimes imagine myself performing and wonder if I would rise to the occasion or if my nerves would get to me. I felt nervous as each artist got up to play, like I could feel the person’s energy right through the screen. The whole show had me in suspense, much like it might be watching a murder mystery.
I loved Lorde’s performance at the Grammy’s last night on so many levels. Her voice sounded fantastic, hitting the notes right on pitch, full of nuance and emotion. The spare backing musicians, the track she sang along with, were creative departures from the CD. I love that she took her hit song and changed the intro and then played with her vocal rhythm. I was struck by how she didn’t wear provocative clothes or make up. She was 16 when she recorded and now she is 17. Young! A teen. Bucking the mainstream and showing up at the Grammy’s in pretty frumpy clothing and performing in a kind of body-jerk movement-as she was mesmerized by the music. I was mesmerized by her. She looked perfectly at ease on stage, like she was performing for a few people, not at all fazed by the millions who were watching. Like she was in her own world.
Listening to the song over and over on the radio (I have an 11 year old daughter-need I say more?), I had envisioned a very different person than who Lorde is. I imagined a waif, like many of the young Disney singers, maybe a blonde Selena Gomez, but instead I saw a strong woman following her own path singing on the Grammy’s with such poise, grace and style.
Lorde’s inner strength totally inspired me. I could feel the pulsing of her conviction as she performed. I felt myself come alive in response to her. I felt my own joy and passion for music stir and dance. I am so proud to be a musician, and invigorated to go create some more songs.