Tuesday, 17 November 2009

A night at the Opera House - Tori Amos

Finally, the night I'd been looking forward to for months arrived yesterday. I got to wear my Myrtle Leaf shawl to the Sydney Opera House to see my long time love, Tori Amos.

Sydney Opera House and Shawl

This photo was taken by Ailsa of Knitabulous, just before we went in and it's my favourite. The shawl and the Opera House.

Here's another one that turned out well, this time with the Harbour bridge. This feels a bit like a Tourism board post but what the hell, if you can't make the most of the venue and have a bit of fun then there's something wrong!

Harbour Bridge and shawl

Earlier, when we were on our own, Sean took a few full length shots. The forecourt of the Opera House is a bit of a construction zone at the moment, probably because of Australian Idol.

Dress and shawl full length

He didn't get the shoes in but I was wearing my favourite red heels. All in all, I loved having something so elegant to wear to such a spectacular venue. What fun to dress up! I don't do it often enough.

So, about the show. Probably there aren't many readers who know or even love Tori Amos like I do but if you love music, or if you've followed an artist's work for a long time, I'm sure my feelings and thoughts will resonate for you. By her own admission, she's like anchovies. She's not popular. But if you get her, it's an incredible ride.

I was struck while listening to Tori, who is touring the country solo, that when you've loved an artist for the better part of eighteen years, sitting through a two hour performance is really an exercise in reliving those years, and your own story, sonically.

Tori has been the cornerstone for me, in terms of music, since I was twenty. Finding her first album, Little Earthquakes, was one of those defining moments. In 1992 I was struggling deeply with Christianity and trying to work out all sorts of stuff about navigating my way from adolescence to adulthood. Little Earthquakes, I'm certain, showed me some of the way. I don't think it's overstating the case to say that. She's a writer and songs can be as illuminating as any writing.

Her voice, the piano, the artful storytelling all combine to make a musical experience that has kept me riveted for many, many years. I think deep loyalty to an artist means that you commit to growing with that artist as she grows, even if sometimes her work goes in directions that seem baffling. You can't ask an artist to still be writing the same songs she was writing when she was in her twenties. The songs she's writing now are lightyears from what she wrote in the early nineties and she's an amazing example of how women can grow older and still be creative, passionate and evocative forces in modern music. She continually provides vision, strength, honesty and ultimately sublime music all wrapped in one amazing package.

And that, really, is why I cling to her. She's been there through all the important phases in my life, sharing the stories, expressing just what I need to hear at just the right time. There was the faith crisis, the difficult pathway into adulthood, the relationship breakups, the journey to self awareness, the miscarriages, the yearning for motherhood, and the artistic development. I'm not a song writer but I'm creative and she remains for me a symbol of what it means to embrace your creativity and in the words of Joseph Campbell, how to follow your bliss.

It was wonderful to dress up, go out with Sean and some friends and spend an evening in a truly amazing concert hall in the presence of a great and, to me, incredibly inspiring woman.

Flickr set with more photos here.