Melody Gardot Quotes
The first time I ever had to go overseas for music was to play the Royal Festival Hall in London, singing in a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, and that week was insane: Thursday I rehearse with the orchestra; Friday I sing two songs in front of 2,500 people, which I have never done before; and the next day I go to Abbey Road to record with Herbie Hancock; and then I am playing a pub in south London somewhere, and nobody cares because London have lost some sporting match; and then I go home and Im standing in front of my washing machine, putting my unmentionables into the dryer, and in that instant, I just looked at myself and said This life is going to be strange.
I had an affinity for music and could play anything I heard on the piano, but I wasn’t scholastically advanced in any way. It was more of a habitual tendency. I would work on weekends at piano bars playing jazz when I was an art student, but the music wasn’t mine – it was covers: everything from Radiohead to really old jazz. But other than that, the only training I had was piano lessons from when I was nine until I was eleven.
The honest truth is that every day was new, every day was a challenge, every day was starting from a fresh place, and as time went on, over the course of about two years, things became better and better. But I dont think that there was for me anything like, Ah, this is taking too long, because long didnt exist. So I see it as a blessing. I have to laugh. I mean theres no other way to look at it.
I learned to play guitar on my lying back while I was bed-ridden. I only thought to record the songs because sometimes I would I couldn’t remember what I had just done. Eventually I started singing, because I thought if I sang it that would help to remember even more. But I wasn’t trying to sing. And then one day-this is really weird -I just wrote a song. It came out at a rapid rate and I recorded it and I listened back to it and was like ‘Wow, it’s a tune’.
One of the problems of people who live with pain is that they spend the whole day thinking about it, and it’s exasperating. But even when I am having a bad moment and I can’t get myself together, I get on stage and for an hour or two the pain becomes super-small. It’s about controlling the mind, telling the pain to step aside. Music does that. It’s the most fantastic drug in the world.
It became a kind of a game, to remember the things that had happened five minutes ago. I would start making notes about the things I was doing, on an instrument that was foreign to me, the guitar, so it was just a fun way of doing cognitive therapy. I was none the wiser to it until I began to improve and my ability to speak began to come back.
For a long time I hated my body, because I was constantly suffering. But now I look at it like an old Mercedes with chrome bumpers. It costs a fortune to repair, it breaks down all the time, you can only use it once a week, the seat leather is starting to crack but nonetheless its mine.