Music

Eurovision 2015: Sweden wins!

The winner of the Eurovision Song Contest of 2015 is… Sweden!

 

For those who don’t know what the Eurovision Song Contest is, I would sum it up as being a contest where members/countries invited submit a song that will be performed on live tv and radio, before voting for other countries to determine the best/most popular song in the contest. What’s more, the contest is broadcast every year.

A friend told me about the Eurovision contest for several days, but the idea of watching it didn’t cross my mind even once. I admit forgetting about it until I went on Youtube and saw that I could watch the live. I am not particularly interested in music but since it seemed to pick the interest of many people, I decided to give it a try.

I was quite surprised by what I saw.

Imagine being transported in a world shaped by music, a world that changes its colours depending on the song you would sing. That’ s what the Eurovision contest made me feel like. Each country sang their song one after another, turning the scene into an empty world that would be shaped by their performance — different use of colours, different special effects, different use of effects.

However, if the scene in itself was a piece of art, what truly made the difference was the song each country chose. All the singers were pretty good, but some of them were astonishing. Not only did they have a powerful voice, but they could reach the heart of the audience and fill it with a wave of feelings — both sad and happy.

At the end of the 27 songs displayed during the contest, the votes took place. Even if Russia, Italy and Sweden were fighting for the first place, Sweden ended up grabbing the victory proudly — they were declared winner before the votes were over.

On the other hand, we had countries who didn’t get many votes, or didn’t get any vote at all. But does that mean they should be disappointed? No. Being able to perform in the Eurovision contest is already an accomplishment in itself. Going to the Grand Final is an even greater accomplishment. Being on the stage in front of 40 countries is an accomplishment in itself. Representing your country is an accomplishment in itself.

Eurovision Song Contest 2015 is the first Eurovision contest I watched, but I will definitely watch the next one in 2016, hoping to come back into this wonderful world shaped by singers: the world of music.

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Three important songs: On the path of evolution

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The three most important songs in my life have to be Flowers for a ghost by Thriving Ivory, Shattered by Trading Yesterday and Stop Crying Your Heart Out by Oasis.

The main reason why they are the most important in my life is because I have been through a lot in my life, and those songs were able to cheer me up and even more, to help me improve myself, when I was about to give up on myself.

Flowers for a ghost is certainly the most important among the three of them — as well as the one I listen to most of the time. The song is quite sad, and can even be considered as depressing — which is what attracted me at first. The song is split into two parts: the first part is a sort of monologue where the singer expresses himself, while the second part (my favorite) is the emotional part where sentences are reduced to four powerful words — I am only human.

What I love about the second part is that there was no need to use long and exaggerated sentences to be catching and heartbreaking. I am only human are the four words that had the biggest impact in my life. To be honest, I love to watch the news around the world, but it hurts me when I see how much pain and sadness people spread around them.

It came to the point where I started to want to change things, to make of the world a better place for everyone, where people would not have to hurt each other any longer, where wars would be reduced to nothing and where conflicts would be solved through talking around a big table (which is something that is already done in our era but often ends with more conflicts leading to wars).

But I know I can’t do it by myself, and it makes me sad. However, when I hear the beautiful and powerful I am only human, it makes me realize that I may only be human, but humans are born to improve, to evolve!

Humans have been trying to improve themselves throughout the centuries — through education and technology — but they still have a long way to go before truly evolving. What about me? I decided to try and take the first step, to evolve in order to be able to change the world. I sure took the long and hardest path, but the reward at the end is worth the try.

The second most important song to me is Shattered. The lyrics of this song are simply wonderful and the melody is delightful. This song is also split into two parts — yes, it seems like I love songs with two parts — where the first part is rather calm while the second part is more dynamic. And just like for Flowers for a Ghost — it must be a sign I tell you — my favorite part is the second one (listen to the second video to have the second part, because its lyrics are missing in the first video).

I may only be 19, but I have been through a lot during my childhood. When your parents work a lot and don’t spend much time together, you can feel something will happen — even a child can be aware of that. My fears were confirmed when my father started cheating on my mother with many women, but I was too young to understand that concept. They ended up getting separated… and divorced afterwards.

What they didn’t think about, when all those things happened, was that I existed. Seeing those things hurt me a lot, and since I was a child I cried who knows how many times. Add this to a lot of others problems — having to leave my friends over and over again after moving from one place to another, as well as not fitting anywhere — and you have as a result an identity crisis. More than once did I try to find who I was and failed miserably, to the point where I wondered why I was alive. And one day, I found the song while listening to music on Youtube.

I liked the first part and wanted to follow it until the end (was it by curiosity?), but when I heard the second part, it was what you call ‘love at first sight’. I could relate to it so much that it ended up making me stronger. Not being able to fit anywhere made me realize something: if I can’t fit anywhere, that simply means I have to create my own personality, without following the steps of anyone, without having a model to follow. Goodbye common people. Goodbye routine.

The last most important song in my life is Stop Crying Your Heart Out. I admit I found this song through The Butterfly effect — a wonderful movie about time travel that you should watch by the way — but that’s not the reason why I ended up liking the song (even though they used it perfectly). This song is one of the rare ones I expect a lot of people to have in their song list, especially those who have given up on life, as well as depressed and suicidal people. The song may be sad — it SOUNDS sad — but the lyrics are great to cheer up people and give them some hope in a world where we all need it.

The song teaches you that no matter how hard life can be, no matter how many obstacles you have to face and no matter how many times you fall, stay strong and ‘get up’ as many times as you have to. Never give up. As I said before, I have been through a lot when I was a child — so many that I can’t enumerate all of them — but I never gave up and always got back on my feet after falling.

Now it doesn’t mean that you have to handle hardship by yourself — you know there will be a moment where you will break down; we all have limits. But being strong doesn’t always mean ‘being strong by yourself’. When you feel like you cannot face hardship by yourself, ask for help. What you cannot do by yourself, do it with others. I personally have a wonderful person who helps me going through hard times and I will always help her when she can’t face her own obstacles.

I think I said too much, so I will leave you with this comment: Now matter what kind of music you like, what matters is that it makes you happy.

Different types of musicians; different types of worlds

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Street musicians are present everywhere and entertain people by playing wonderful melodies. They are not playing music to annoy people; they are playing music to make the world more lively.

The main reason to play music in the streets is to earn some money. However, money won’t come to you if you are not talented: that’s what truly makes a street musician different from a regular musician.

The regular musician plays for people who want to listen to him; the street musician plays for everyone. The regular musician plays for those who paid to watch them play; the street musician needs to work hard to earn even the slightest penny. The regular musician satisfies the expectations of their audience; the street musician surprises the public. The regular musician creates a world with their music (they play in buildings); the street musician uses the world to beautify their music.

The biggest difference to note is that regular musicians are dependent of their audience, while street musicians are independent and so play what they want to play — regardless of whether the public will like it or not.

Now it must be noted that regular musicians “create” new songs in order to impress the audience. That’s a fact. Their songs are recorded, and sold into CDs, mp3 files, etc. More than that, they can happen to hear the music on the radio. It can be an advantage as well as a disadvantage. They earn money from CD and digital sales and more, but they have to carry a burden in exchange: they will need to create new songs if they want to keep their fans, because they will carry their expectations.  On the other hand, street musicians do not have to write any new song, or to ask someone to do so for them. Most street musicians are not expected to be good or talented — expect in rare cases where people will help the street musician turn into a regular musician.

Street musicians usually sing famous songs or songs they like. To make it entertaining and new, they sing those songs by adding their own style — change in rhythm, change in tempo, change in the instrument played.

You may be wondering by now who are those regular musicians I’m talking about, right? I consider regular musicians as being people who play for an audience in a specific place determined beforehand, and earn money in many ways other than waiting for a charitable person to pass by and leave a penny, a dollars, a euro, in an old-fashioned hat (and thinking that there is a possibility they will end the day without having earned anything).

But what about Indie bands?  Indie bands are more than street musicians; they are less than regular musicians. They are in-between. Indie bands can start in the streets to show their skill to people and create their own image, to play for fun, or to give a preview of their future performances. The wish for money is less stronger than for street musicians; the wish for fame takes over.

Once they become famous enough, they get closer to the status of regular musicians. But the difference can be observed in the fans. Regular musicians’ audience is composed of a great number of people living in the country or overseas; Indie bands’ audience is usually restricted to the country, and sometimes does not go farther than the cities in which the bands play.

Indie bands do not transform existing songs into their own (like street musicians do), but they create their own music to fascinate the public (like regular musicians do). However, unlike regular musicians, Indie musicians will stick to a theme or type of music, even if it may disappoint some fans or prevent them from having a bigger audience.

Escaping reality…

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Reality… We all have our own different point of view concerning reality, but I think we can all agree about one thing: Reality is harsh! Sometimes, some people may not bear reality or they can be bored with it. And so as a result of this, they may want to escape reality. I will answer 4 questions concerning this thought of escaping reality throughout this article.

Who would try to escape reality?  The answer to this question is quite simple: Anyone. Anyone would try to escape reality and everyone has their own reasons: it can be someone who thinks that the world is harsh and horrible and so wants to imagine a better world, it can be someone who lost everything that was dear to them, it can be someone who has no luck in life, it can be someone who does not like their life, it can be someone with issues at school, and way more.

Why do they try to escape reality?  As I said before, everyone has their own reason to escape reality. But if I had to sum up the whole idea, I would say that people want to escape reality because they are not happy with it. Because we are all different, we all have different desires concerning the form reality should take. Because our vision of reality cannot be fulfilled, we decide to create the kind of “reality” we desire through our imaginary world.

When do they try to escape reality? People usually try to escape reality when they possess something that would allow them to do so, when they find a way to escape reality, even if it is only for a short period of time. They can also try to escape reality when their problems become unbearable, when they are bored, or even when they do not want to listen to someone. There are so many moments where people want to escape reality that I can’t write every single moment.

How do they try to escape reality? There are many ways to escape reality, just like the number of moments where they would try to escape reality. Some of the most common to get disconnected from reality and the real world would be to listen to music, to watch a lot of series, to watch anime, to read books or even simply to go on the Internet, to the point of not even caring anymore about reality. But those are what I would call the “soft ways”. Yes, there are “hard ways” that are used by some people to escape reality, and those ways are the sad ways of trying to escape reality. Two of the “hard ways”  I am talking about are alcohol and suicide. However, I will not talk about those two in details through this article because I am going to write specific articles about them later. But what I can say is that when life becomes too unbearable and when problems are overwhelming us, we usually tend to disregard the soft ways and immediately jump on the hard ways (alcohol is a way to forget our problems, that is to say to forget a reality that only brings problems, while suicide is a way used by some people to escape a harsh reality for good).

 

Whatever your way of escaping reality, you should never use one of the hard way to escape reality, because those ways are similar to the notion of “running away” from your problems. If you try to escape reality because of a problem, you should face it with courage! That is the true way to change reality.  Now if you’re not escaping reality because of a problem, then you should just be careful not to completely disregard reality.

 

 

When music is more than just a form of entertainment

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Today’s article will be about music, which is something that became almost vital for many of us. Music is a form of entertainment before anything else, just like television and its various shows, or anything that is able to entertain us: that is to say we listen to music because it allows us to get rid of boredom (at least a little bit).  But if music has always been a form of entertainment, it also became a part of our everyday lives. I shall now explain what I mean by that.

To begin with, music is before anything a form of art, and so is also a form of expression. Even if now some people would consider a lot of songs to be nothing more than a way to make profit, music was initially a way for people to express themselves, to express their feelings. That was and still is one of the charming points of music. But if music was a way to express our feelings, then music was already more than just a form of entertainment.

Now if music can be used to express our own feelings, it can also be used to express the feelings of other people, which is something that happens a lot in recent songs. As a matter of fact, when writing a song, you may want to target a certain category of people, and so to please them, you will write lyrics that are directly related to them (whether it is about a common feeling they share, a sad event, etc). The fact that the lyrics will be related to them will have an impact on the way they listen to the song. In some cases, you may see some people who listen to the song because they feel like someone finally understand them, some people may share the song with someone they know to show how they feel (in that case, it usually happens because they can’t turn their feelings into words). Not only it will bring closer the band/singer who played the song and the listener, but the song will also become a part of their respective lives (on the one hand, the singer/band will be known to have sing this song and on the other hand, the listener will create a memory with the song).

Another reason why music is more than just a form of entertainment (a sadder one this time) is the fact that music can “bring back the dead to life” for a short moment. What do I mean by that? When you lose someone dear to you, you can never really forget about them (which is something many people try in order to forget their pain) but you manage to deal with the pain of losing that person. However, it becomes harder because of music. Indeed, you might happen to come across a song that will remind you of the lost one,  and that song will not be a form of entertainment anymore, but will instead become a way to remember the deceased.

The last reason I am going to talk about is a more cruel one: Music can stop becoming a form of entertainment when it becomes a need. What can those needs be? Let’s take the example of someone who can’t fit in our society. When that person is in a crowded place and feels insecure, the person will try to find something to get rid of that insecurity: Sometimes, this “something” can be found in music. Indeed, people are able to ignore their environment and to create their own world when they are listening to music. It may not be seen as a problem at first, but creating your own world is simply escaping from reality, which can become a problem later on when you will have to face the harsh and darker side of life.

So music, which is a way to entertain yourself, can be more than that depending on how you are going to use it and for what purpose. But if I have to give you a more personal opinion about music, I would say that it is okay for music to be something other than just a form of entertainment as long as it doesn’t become a “need” for you.