Welcome all to 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿, a series of weekly reviews by Charles Connolly - an artist in his own right. Here, Charles delves into the greatest brand new singles brought to you by the best unsigned artists on our electrifying and eclectic set of 𝙉𝙚𝙬 𝘼𝙧𝙩𝙞𝙨𝙩 𝙎𝙥𝙤𝙩𝙡𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩 playlists.
𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙎𝙪𝙢 𝙤𝙛 𝘼𝙡𝙡 𝘾𝙤𝙡𝙤𝙧𝙨 - 𝘼𝙣𝙙𝙧𝙚𝙨 𝙂𝙪𝙖𝙯𝙯𝙚𝙡𝙡𝙞
Charles Connolly cries over hue…
Have you ever had a pet? I haven't. Never. Of any kind. But I suspect this to be quite rare. I suspect that most of you - if not almost all - have at some point in your life had a pet of some sort. Were my parents thoughtless or cruel in not giving me a pet when I was a child? I would say not. The main reason being, that due to my severe eczema and asthma, as well as various allergies, a pet might have finished me off entirely. I am not sad or regretful though, as having never experienced the sensation, I cannot say my eternal lack of animal really affected me in any way. Personally, I was too busy being immersed in music (little has changed). Most children and teenagers have little to do, and so a pet will most certainly give you some sort of sense of purpose. Could a pet perhaps prepare you in life for being a parent? Or even, for being a partner? To naturally be forced to care for someone so early in life? It could be a lesser pet that is simply around, with less of a presence, that your mother (or nanny) looks after, and that you yourself have little to do with. But I will assume that most pets quickly become very much part of the family.
I think it's about time I offended someone. I'm not a big fan of cats. I cannot admire a cat for being intelligent yet selfish. A cat is not so much a pet as a lurker. It is around sometimes, but usually not. Correction, it is around when there is something in it for the cat, be it food or warmth. They are indeed very intelligent. Except when they are faced with a mirror - an amusing sight. But it is this selfishness that I can't abide. It is simply not a decent trait. So you see, all you cat lovers out there, I have deeply offended you to your core. Sorry! Another reason I'm not a fan of cats, is their innate and automatic game of killing. For it is indeed a game to them. This has nothing to do with killing for sustenance. This is killing for fun. And then it will clasp its still victim between its teeth in glee, for praise from its owner. "Look what I did!". Pure evil, I would have said. This is not the natural food chain in the wild. This is a sadistic game in the midst of civilised society. And yet we just say "Oh that's what cats do". While this may be true, it's not something I wish to see at close quarters. It's just not nice. Anyway, cat rant over. You can cough up your furballs in the comments if you so wish.
Horses are to me the wisest, most noble of all animals. Children marvel over the idea of a unicorn. Is it really the singular horn that makes this such a magical image? What if this absurd spike were to be implanted on a cat? Would we still wonder at the magnificence of this great mythical creature? It's rather doubtful. I look deep into a horse's eye and see the magic of a unicorn every time. Horn or no horn. I also suspect that horses might be rather more intelligent and wise than we are. Just because they can't speak doesn't make them inferior to us. So would it therefore be sensible to assume that the horse might be the perfect pet? Well, no. For a start, I think the word "pet" rather puts down this lean beauty. But let’s face it, unless you own an English manor or a ranch in Arizona, it is just not really viable. A horse is just too big and too expensive. Put it this way: I don’t think you’d find a kennel large enough to accommodate such a thing. Besides the horse would be the one taking YOU for a walk…
So where does this leave us? Where have I lead you (with leash in hand)? Well, what is in between a domestic cat and a horse? And don’t say a lion - that would clasp YOU in between its teeth. The answer, is a duck. Sorry, a dog. Man’s best friend. Sometimes, man’s only friend. While a horse might know better, a dog needs your guidance. Your teaching. Your love. Think of a dog as a wise child. A simple enough mind, with the cheek of a toddler, and the heart and soul of an angel. Obedience lies not from fear, but from morals. It knows. It understands. But it also gets the point of life - to have a good time! Look at it bounding up that steep hill, ears cast to the wind, flailing tongue - how on earth do they never puncture said tongue with that set of daggers so close by?? Practice, I suppose. A dog might chase a flock of birds, but it will never actually catch one. It has no urge to do so. For that would be cruel. And so, with all this in mind, I pity those gerbils with their cages and upside down water bottles, not to mention wooden ramps and wire wheels. Both the gerbil and the owner could do better. Gerbil, be free! Person, get a dog.
There is however one problem. We become attached. So attached that this canine friend is most definitely and unquestionably, a part of the family. The older they become, the closer the connection. Dogs can live a very long time - usually somewhere between 14 and 16 years. And one day this beautiful hairy beast will prove its mortality by ceasing to be. It is deeply upsetting and can be debilitating. The constant is no more. What once was normality lies silent in the form of an empty basket. The patter of claws on the hard floor, you had never really consciously noticed until it was gone. The chore of having to take it for a walk, no matter how busy you were. Oh how you now yearn for that tedium. So is it worth it? Having a dog in the first place? It is. To quote Tennyson:
I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
Now, admittedly this was not written about a dog, but I feel the sentiment is the same. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. To love is the greatest feeling - no matter what kind of love.
On this sombre note, I bring you the great New Artist Spotlight member, Andres Guazzelli, who couldn’t help but turn sorrow into art. When the heart is at its heaviest, the quill will take flight. Bianca, was Andres’ prized friend of 16 years. His dog. 16 years is a terribly long time to get acquainted. There will have been nothing they didn’t know about each other. But alas, 16 years spells the sad and inevitable time of passing. She passed. I have known Andres long enough and well enough to realise that he is strong. That is not to say he is unaffected by the happening of bad things - no, no! But that he tends to truck on in a - dare I say - traditionally English way - (the Argentinian won’t like that). But this time, things were different. I have never seen him so noticeably affected. He was quiet and distant. It moved me. But more to the point, it moved HIM. Or rather, he was moved to do something with his feelings. The Guazzelli fingers went home to the ivories, and sang to him. They serenaded him with a lullaby, to soothe and mend this broken heart of his. Or perhaps, to mourn with him. Bianca was named so, because of her coat. Her fleece was white as snow. The Sum of All Colors, refers to light, rather than paint. All colours of paint in equal measure will blend to form a rather nasty shade of brown. But all hues of light on the other hand, will pleasingly appear white. I also like to think of the white light as being the gates of Heaven, opening up to welcome a dog that had done no wrong.
Andres has made a piano piece that to me is his best release yet. It may be simpler than some of his previous pieces, and may even have taken him far less time to make. But it is so often these swift gems that bring what is so special. For example, his favourite of mine is an unreleased piece I wrote in less than half an hour for my girlfriend’s mother, upon the death of the mother’s mother. It seems that death brings something rare in art. The Sum of All Colors is a solo piano piece that starts in the darkness, but only briefly. The sun starts to rise in as little as 16 seconds, and there is hope. There is both a tear and a smile. One runs to meet the other. There is triumph and determination in Andres’ arms, yet the tears can be overwhelming, even for him. He decides not to fight the tears, but rather ride them. Like a gleaming silver surfer. People will naturally either try to shun the tears, or give in to them. Artists instead tend to use them to great effect. The Sum of All Colors (the American spelling that despite causing me discomfort, I will leave alone out of respect for Andres) makes me feel as though I am on board a vast ancient ship, with Andres as our captain. Within 3 minutes, we experience all weathers. All colours. We experience dark and light. Sunrise, sunset. Heavy storms forcing waves to crash and slam on the deck with almighty, thunderous force. But all the while, Andres is at the helm, and in control. He will steer us towards land, and soon, we will be dry and safe. He warns us at first that it won’t be easy. That it won’t be a carefree adventure, but that it is nevertheless a necessary one. His tangled, dishevelled mane of wavy hair glistens with salt water, as his loose thick-weave navy crewneck is sodden and heavy. But none of this takes him away from his current raison d'être as a mourner. It is the least he can do for Bianca, who gave him so much joy over the years. She would be so proud. You maybe can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but she still nevertheless deserves this final doggy treat. Bianca laps it up, as do we.
Thank you, Andres, for knowing what to do with your emotions. A true hue and cry.
A dog is for life, not just for Christmas. Its life, not yours.
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