Wearing a Purple Armband
We have lost the artist known as Prince.
Prince's music has served so many different functions for me over the years. My love of his music began with a 7" single of "Kiss" that my dad brought home one day after work. I must have been 9 years old at the time and was fascinated by the sound. Through the years, I went in and out of tune with the Maestro's music yet was always enticed back by a new facet that had previously remained hidden; the music that Prince made resonated deep inside me. His recent recordings (I'm thinking PLECTRUMELECTRUM and ART OFFICIAL AGE) displayed an ability to stay true to himself while remaining relevant to the greater body of his listeners.
I never did make it to Paisley Park however I was fortunate to see him perform two times: once at the Tacoma Dome, where his band was in full theater mode (thank you, Cliff), and once at the Showbox with his funk n roll quartet 3rdEyeGirl. Prince played the best wah wah solo I have ever seen anyone play live at that show.
When I heard that Prince had passed away, it occurred to me that the best possible response to the death of anyone great or small is to do our most important work right now. We are allowed the opportunity to listen and to remember that we are here. Sure, tribute concerts are good. By playing the Artist's songs we might enable a deeper understanding of his music. However the better tribute to someone who has inspired us with their life work is to live with a full heart and focused intent.