Saturday, 23 July 2011
Ars longa, vita brevis...(a thought about Amy Winehouse)
Much will be said about the death of Amy Winehouse. I think of her friends, her family and what we will miss of her genius – of her wonderful voice. Others will take the chance to lecture us on the evils of drugs – to wag fingers and make judgmental statements about Amy Winehouse’s values.
Instead let’s think of just one thing – in her short, painful life, Amy Winehouse left something behind. In thirty years time – maybe longer – people will still listen to her songs.
When I heard the news my first thoughts were of others who took the same path to immortality in death – Jimi Hendrix, Phil Lynott and the incomparable Charlie Parker. And, for all the tragedy of early death, I can turn to my music or visit YouTube and find these great artists’ legacy – captured for all time.
Just as James Dean left a legacy of film and image, as Van Gogh bequeathed the brightness of his painting – these musicians still inspire us with their music. And, as we get up to dance or lean back in our chair to let the sound wash over us, do we think about their tragic life? Or do we just enjoy the bounty they left behind?