2016年6月8日 星期三

At 74, Paul Simon is arguably producing the best work of his career. Songwriter Paul Simon speaks about beauty and the ‘infinity’ of pleasurable pursuits

BBC Culture
At 74, Paul Simon is arguably producing the best work of his career – and he's not alone.
Many musicians find it’s better not to shut up and play the hits, writes Jim Farber.

The Today Programme
"Oddly enough, the older you get, the happier you get."


Songwriter Paul Simon speaks about beauty and the ‘infinity’ of pleasurable pursuits
由蘇珊·岡薩雷斯 2016年4月6日

(Photo by Michael Marsland)
There are some lessons that musical artist Paul Simon has learned through his songwriting career that can also be applied to any other endeavor in life, he told a packed audience on April 5 in Battell Chapel, where he took part in a conversation with his niece, Yale senior Emma Simon, as a guest of the Chubb Fellowship at Yale.有一些經驗教訓,音樂藝術家保羅·西蒙通過他的作曲生涯了解到,也可以應用到生活中的其他努力,他告訴座無虛席4月5日在Battell教堂,在那裡,他參加了一次談話,他的侄女,耶魯大學資深艾瑪西蒙,作為耶魯大學的獎學金丘博的客人。
Addressing the throng of students in his audience, Simon said that one of those lessons was that doing whatever gives personal pleasure has more sustaining benefits than doing anything for the monetary rewards, the accolades, or critical acclaim.解決學生在他的觀眾人群,西蒙說,這些經驗教訓之一是做什麼給個人的樂趣比做的金錢獎勵,讚譽或者如潮什麼更持續的利益。
The 12-time Grammy Award-winner said he still cannot say how he was able to write one of his earliest hits, “The Sound of Silence,” when he was about the age of many of the students in his audience. Then, he said, he really had no idea where his musical path might lead, and certainly never thought that anything he was composing would still resonate with people 50 years later.12次格萊美獎得主表示,他還不能說他是如何能寫出他最早的歌曲之一,“寂靜之聲”,當他正要許多學生在他的觀眾的年齡。然後,他說,他真的不知道,他的音樂之路可能會導致,當然從來沒有想到什麼,他在創作仍與人們產生共鳴50年後。
“I was really too young to know that there are times when — I don’t want to sound silly — but when you are plugged into the universe and all of a sudden something comes through you, and it’s yours but it isn’t yours,” he said. “It comes out and you don’t know where it comes from. I don’t know why or how I wrote that song when I was 21 or 22 years old. It was certainly beyond me. I thought I had a nice melody. I thought it was maybe a little corny. But people liked it.”“我真的太年輕,知道,有些時候 - 我不想聽起來很傻 - 但是當你插入到宇宙一下子來的東西通過你,它是你的,但它是不是你,“ 他說。 “它出來,你不知道它從何而來。我不知道為什麼或如何我寫這首歌的時候我21歲或22歲。這肯定是超越我。我想我有一個很好的旋律。我認為這是也許有點老土。但是,人們喜歡它。“

Sometimes, he told the audience, “you don’t know why you’re doing what you are doing, but you follow it because it feels right. And for the most part, it’s not going to meet with that kind of inordinate success [as “Sound of Silence]. But it feels like what you should be doing, and if that’s the case for you, you’re on the right track. You should continue to pursue that and see how far it takes you or where it takes you. I can tell you this: It takes you to infinity. It never stops.”有時,他告訴觀眾,“你不知道你為什麼這樣做你正在做什麼,而是你跟著它,因為它感覺不錯。而且在大多數情況下,它不會以滿足那種無節制的成功[為沉默的“聲音]的。但是,感覺就像是你應該做的事情,如果是這樣的話你的,你在正確的軌道上。你應該繼續追求這一點,看看它能走多遠需要你或者你花。我可以告訴你:這需要你到無窮遠。它永遠不會停止。“
Simon entered the stage in Battell Chapel to loud applause and quickly joked with his niece: “I’ve got about five minutes. So what’s your question?” He then spent more than an hour and a half on stage answering her questions as well as several from audience members. He also played recordings of two songs from his new album and closed the event performing “America,” a popular song from his Simon & Garfunkel days, earning a standing ovation.

Emma Simon introduced her famous uncle as “Uncle Paul, the man whose house I go to on holidays; the guy who carves the turkey on Thanksgiving; the giver of great Christmas gifts; the inventor of my most fitting nickname; the ultimate Yankees fan (besides me), who dresses up in a banana costume on Halloween.” She said that she grew up listening to his songs and dancing at his concerts and that her uncle was her first musical inspiration. She also cited his philanthropic work as the co-founder of the Children’s Health Fund, a national mobile medical outreach program for indigent children, which recently visited Flint, Michigan. The Yale student, who is majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology, is also a pianist and singer/songwriter in her own right.艾瑪·西蒙介紹了她著名的舅舅“叔叔保羅,他的房子我去上假期的人;誰雕刻在感恩節火雞的傢伙;偉大的聖誕禮物送禮者;我最恰當的綽號的發明者;最終洋基風扇(除了我),誰在萬聖節服裝香蕉裝扮。“她說,她從小聽他的歌,並在他的演唱會的舞蹈和她的叔叔是她的第一部音樂劇的靈感。她還引用了他的慈善工作,為兒童健康基金,為貧困孩子,其中最近訪問密歇根州弗林特的全國移動醫療推廣方案的聯合創始人。耶魯大學的學生,是誰在生態和進化生物學專業,也是她自己的權利的鋼琴家和歌手/作曲家。
She opened the conversation with her uncle by asking him if, at her age, he knew what he wanted to do with his life.她問他打開了她的叔叔談話,如果在她的年齡,他知道他想要的東西與他的生活做。
Simon answered by recalling how, after graduating from college as an English major, he thought he might become a lawyer.西門回答回顧如何,大學作為一個英語專業畢業後,他覺得他可能成為一名律師。
“A group of my friends took the law boards, so I took them too and scored very highly,” he said. “So I thought, ‘I guess I’m supposed to be a lawyer.’”一群朋友拿著法律板,所以我把他們也和得分非常高,”他說。 “所以我想,”我想我應該成為一名律師。“
However, he admitted, from the age of 12, there were really only two things that interested him: music and baseball.不過,他承認,從12歲的時候,有真的只有兩件事是他感興趣:音樂和棒球。
He recounted how his father, also a musician, had taught him the chords to songs of the 1950s, and how he was impressed by the doo-wop, rhythm and blues, and rockabilly songs he heard on an AM radio station, including the music of Ray Charles, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and R&B singer Ruth Brown.他講述如何他的父親,也是一位音樂家,教他和弦到20世紀50年代的歌曲,以及他是如何被doo痛擊,節奏藍調和鄉村搖滾樂歌曲,他聽到一個AM廣播電台,其中包括音樂印象深刻雷查爾斯,貓王,約翰尼·卡什和R&B歌手露絲·布朗。
In high school, Simon recalled, he and Garfunkel were invited to perform a song called “High School Girl” on “American Bandstand,” but then the two parted ways for college. He reunited with Garfunkel after writing “The Sound of Silence” in England, where he spent some time during law school (he eventually dropped out). A record producer overdubbed electric guitars and drums in “The Sound of Silence,” which became a number-one hit. By then Simon had written more songs, which launched his career as part of a duo with Garfunkel.在高中時,西蒙回憶說,他和加芬克爾被邀請進行所謂的“高中女生”的歌“美國音樂台”,但後來兩人分手的大學的方式。他在英國,在那裡他法學院期間花了一些時間(他最終放棄了)寫作“寂靜之聲”後團聚與加芬克爾。唱片製作地overdubbed電吉他和鼓的“聲寂靜的”,這成為了數字一命中。屆時西蒙寫了多首歌曲,它推出了他的事業與加芬克爾二人的一部分。
“I certainly didn’t think I’d be doing it 50 years later or that the songs would last for 50 years,” Simon answered his niece. “In fact, I was very uncomfortable with the term ‘artist.’ I didn’t feel comfortable with it till my middle 40s, when I said, ‘Oh, I am an artist.’ That doesn’t mean you are a good artist. It just means you are a certain personality type that keeps making things up all the time. I’ve been doing that since I was a child.”“我肯定沒有想到我會50年後做,或者歌曲將持續50年,”西蒙回答了他的侄女。 “其實,我是非常不舒服的術語”藝術家。“我不覺得舒服,直到我40年代中期,當我說,'哦,我是一個藝術家。”這並不意味著你是一個好藝術家。它只是意味著你是保持胡編所有的時間有一定的人格類型。我一直在這樣做,因為我是一個孩子。“
In the years since, Simon said, whenever he struggles with songwriting, he reminds himself that he has a choice.自從這些年來,西蒙說,每當他寫歌的鬥爭,他提醒自己,他有一個選擇。
“I think, ‘You know, you don’t have to do this. This is a decision a 12-year-old made … : You’re going to be a songwriter.’ But yeah, okay, now I’m 70. Well, what’s 70? So I can tell you this, that if its interesting and you follow it, no matter what it is you’re following, it ends up leading to infinity and it ends up leading to some extraordinary mystery that you’ll never find the answer to and that we should all be grateful for because we can’t know the answer, and it’s incredibly exciting and enriching. But nevertheless, you keep learning bit by bit and it starts to come into shape and you learn more things.”“我認為,'你知道,你沒有做到這一點。這是一個決定,一個12歲的發...:你會成為一名作曲家“但是,是的,好吧,現在我70.那麼,什麼是70?所以,我可以告訴你,如果它的有趣,你跟著它,不管它是你什麼之後,它最終導致無窮大,它最終導致一些非凡的神秘,你永遠也找不到答案而且,我們都應該是因為我們無法知道答案感謝,這是令人難以置信的令人興奮和充實。但無論如何,你不斷學習的點點滴滴,它開始進入形狀和你學到更多的東西。“
He described how he felt barren of ideas for his last album, which he said came together slowly, causing him to feel depressed, annoyed and “just like a grown-up temper tantrum.” Then, he said, “something happens — a couple of chords come together. You say, ‘Oh, that’s nice, maybe that will be something, or this rhythm. I like the sound of flamenco music when they clap. I like that rhythm: Maybe I’ll see where it goes.’ And then you’re off. Then you’re not sulky anymore." He continued in a more humorous vein, “And without so much as a ‘thank you, Lord; glad that’s over,’ it’s ‘Here I go. It’s all about me again.’”“就像一個長大了的發脾氣”他描述他的感受思想貧瘠他的最後一張專輯,他說走到了一起慢慢地,使他感到沮喪,懊惱,然後他說:“發生什麼事 - 一對夫婦和弦的走到了一起。你說,'噢,那是不錯的,也許這將是東西,或者這種節奏。我喜歡弗拉門戈音樂的聲音時,他們鼓掌。我喜歡這樣的節奏:也許我會看到它去'然後你就要去。那麼你就不會再幹嗎不高興。“他繼續以更幽默脈”,並沒有這麼多的一個。“謝謝你,上帝,我很高興這已經結束了,”這是'我走了這又是關於我。'“

In the process of crafting a song, Simon said, “You make up more interesting questions as you go along. And each time you make up a question, it seems to be beyond your capacity to answer the question. And then, if you have patience and can go through the discomfort, you begin to perceive an answer to the questions that surround a certain piece of work. And you’re finished and you sort of mentally go to sleep for a while and whatever is underneath the soil is growing, and it’s winter and you can’t see it. It’s just buried. But something is happening but you don’t know what it is. Then you get all moody again because you don’t know what it is, till you realize, ‘Oh, it’s just a pattern. …You start to remember it’s just a pattern. Calm down. Don’t let your emotions get in there. The less ego there is, the more efficient your thinking will be. Don’t judge it and don’t listen to what other people judge.”在製作一個歌曲的過程中,西蒙說:“你做了更有趣的問題,當您去。而且每次你​​做了提問時間,這似乎是超出你的能力來回答這個問題。然後,如果你有耐心,可以順利通過的不適,你開始一個答案察覺到周圍一定的作品的問題。而你完成,你那種精神去睡覺了一段時間,無論是下方的土壤越來越大,它的冬季,你不能看到它。這只是埋葬。但事情正在發生的事情,但你不知道它是什麼。然後你又得到所有喜怒無常,因為你不知道它是什麼,直到你意識到,“哦,這只是一種模式”。 ......你開始要記住這只是一種模式。冷靜。不要讓你的情緒在那裡得到的。少自我有,更有效的思想將。不要評判它,不聽別人的判斷。“
Simon said that regardless of all of the many honors he’s received — including the Grammy Awards, a Kennedy Center Honor, and being named one of Time magazine’s “100 People Who Shape Our World” in 2006 — he believes it ultimately doesn’t matter how others judge his work.西蒙說,不顧一切他獲得了許多榮譽 - 包括格萊美獎,肯尼迪中心榮譽和被命名為時代雜誌的“100人塑造我們的世界”在2006年一 - 他相信它最終並沒有多麼別人判斷他的工作。
“The world is filled with artists, so the culture is always being nurtured by artists,” he told his audience. “So if it’s not you or a particular menu or dish you made, well, it’s too bad for you, but everyone is still eating and it’s fine. That’s the way it is in the arts, and even for people who are not in the arts: It’s in their world, too. That’s the way it seems to be.”“這個世界充滿了藝術家,所以文化總是被藝術家熏陶,”他告訴他的聽眾。 “所以,如果這不是你或特定菜單或者菜你做,好了,這太糟糕了你,但大家還是吃的,它的罰款。這是在藝術,甚至人誰在藝術不是這樣:這是在他們的世界,太多。這就是它似乎是這樣。“
In his own work, Simon said, he strives for beauty — which he believes, for the most part, to elicit a universal response.在自己的工作中,西蒙說,他爭取的美 - 他認為,在大多數情況下,引出一個普遍的反應。
“I think there are constants in what is beautiful, and you find it all over the world,” he said, citing the drone — the use of repeated notes or chords throughout a piece of music — as an example. “It’s a sound you hear all over the world in different cultures. People love the sound of a drone.”“我覺得有什麼是美麗的常數,你會發現它在世界各地,”他說,理由是無人機 - 整個一首樂曲的反复使用音符或和弦的 - 作為一個例子。 “這是你聽到遍布在不同的文化世界的聲音。人們喜歡無人駕駛飛機的聲音。“

He lamented, however, what he sees as a current cultural tendency — in both music and beyond — to shock and disturb.然而,他感嘆,他所認為的當前文化傾向 - 在音樂和超越 - 衝擊和干擾。
“So I think there are constants in beauty and the denigration of it is part of what is making the world so restless and sad …,” he said. “It feels like our culture has a kind of pall over it. It feels like it’s tense. There’s a dissatisfaction. You see it in this presidential race. It’s just become so surreal —this level of dissatisfaction and the level of ugliness that we seem to have accepted. So in my particular art, I like beauty.”“所以我認為有美容常數和它的詆毀是什麼讓世界如此不安和悲傷的一部分......,”他說。 “這感覺就像我們的文化有一種鮑爾在它的。這感覺就像是緊張。有一個不滿。你看它在這個總統競選。它只是變得不滿和醜陋的,我們似乎已接受的水平,這樣超現實的 - 這個水平。所以,我特別的藝術,我喜歡美女“。
Simon added, however, that there are musical concepts that are arbitrary — such as the Western European notion of 12 tones making up an octave — and described how he has recently become interested in the work of American composer and music theorist Harry Partch, who composed music for a 43-tone octave and built unusual instruments on which to play his music. Simon said he incorporated some of Partch’s tonal elements in his new piece “Insomniacs Lullaby” — one of the two songs he shared recordings of with his audience. The audience was also treated to the title track of Simon’s newest album “The Werewolf.”西蒙補充道,然而,有一些是任意的音樂概念 - 如12音調組成一個八度西歐概念 - 講述了他如何在最近成為感興趣的美國作曲家和音樂理論家哈利Partch,誰組成的工作音樂為43音八度以及其中扮演他的音樂不尋常的內置工具。西蒙說,他加入了一些Partch的色調元素在他的新片“失眠症患者搖籃曲” - 他分享了與觀眾錄音兩首歌曲之一。觀眾也被處理西蒙的最新專輯的主打歌“狼人”。

The musician on stage with his niece, Yale senior Emma Simon. (Photo by Michael Marsland)與他的侄女,耶魯大學高級艾瑪人妖在舞台上的音樂家。 (由邁克爾Marsland照片)與他的侄女,耶魯大學高級艾瑪西蒙階段的音樂家。 (由邁克爾Marsland照片)
Asked by his niece to describe his songwriting process, Simon did a line-by-line synopsis of how he wrote the song “Darling Lorraine” for his 2000 album “You’re the One.” The song — about a mismatched couple, Frank and Lorraine — describes how Lorraine decides she wants to leave the relationship, but the two later reconcile. After a fight, however, Frank, fearing Lorraine will leave, says, “I’m sick to death of you, Lorraine.” After reading that line, Simon said, “As soon as I wrote that, I said, ‘Oh my God, she’s going to die.’” After reading the lines about her death, and Frank’s regrets, Simon continued, “I had no idea that was the story when I began. I literally gasped.”提問人的他的侄女來形容自己的詞曲創作過程中,西蒙做了他是如何寫的歌“親愛的洛林”為他的2000冊頁一行接一行大綱“你的那一位。”這首歌 - 關於一個不匹配的夫婦,弗蘭克和洛林 - 洛林介紹如何決定她要離開的關係,但兩人後來調和。吵架後,然而,弗蘭克,擔心洛林會離開,說:“我生病你死,洛林。”看完這條線之後,西蒙說,“只要我寫的,我說,'噢,我的天啊,她會死。'“念叨她的死線後,和弗蘭克的遺憾,西蒙繼續說道,”我不知道那是故事時,我就開始了。我簡直倒吸一口冷氣。“
A student in his audience asked Simon if he has ever not done something because of fear, to which the musician aanswered: “Here’s what I have to say about being scared: There’s good scared and there’s bad scared. Bad scared is ‘You really need to take a biopsy of that.’ The rest of it is good scared. So I’m scared, so what? That doesn’t mean I’m not going to do it.”在他的觀眾一個學生問西蒙他是否曾經沒有這樣做,因為害怕的東西,哪個音樂家aanswered:“這就是我要說一下被驚嚇:有好害怕,還有糟糕的害怕。壞害怕是'你真的需要採取的一個活檢。“它剩下的就是好害怕。所以,我很害怕,那又怎樣?這並不意味著我不打算這樣做。“
He was scared the first time he sang before 500,000 people, he said, but then he went on and performed before 750,000 people. The next time he was before such a large audience, he recalled, he was in Rome, performing in front of the Coliseum. As Art Garfunkel sang to his accompaniment, Simon remembered looking out over the crowd and thinking, ‘I wonder what those apartments are going for?’”他害怕他第一次前50萬人唱,他說,但他隨後又和以前75萬人進行的。接下來的時間,他這麼一大群觀眾面前,他回憶說,他在羅馬,表演在體育館的前面。作為藝術加芬克爾唱歌給他伴奏,西蒙想起俯瞰人群和思考,“我不知道這些公寓都去為?'”

“You’re scared, then you’re not scared,” he said, to the laughter of his audience.“你害怕,那麼你不害怕,”他說,他的觀眾的笑聲。
Asked by another student if there were any social or political issues he thought should be addressed in today’s music, Simon answered: “I have no opinion. Everybody writes what’s on their minds. I think that every artist has no responsibility other than to be as good as they can at what they’re doing.” He said he has never written his own music with a particular point, and that his only mission is to be entertaining.提問人的另一名學生,如果有,他認為應該在今天的音樂來解決任何社會或政治問題,西蒙說:“我沒有意見。每個人都寫什麼在他們的頭腦。我認為每個藝​​術家都有其它概不負責,而不是好,因為他們可以在他們在做什麼。“他說,他從來沒有寫下了自己的音樂與一個特定的點,而他唯一的使命是成為娛樂性。

“If it’s boring, you’re not going to listen to it all. So even if I have a point or something to say, it’s going to go right over you’re head. Which is why I think beauty counts for a lot, because if it’s beautiful, the heart opens up. You’re willing to listen to something, then if it’s something meaningful to you, it could change your life.”“如果這是無聊的,你不會聽這一切。所以,即使我有一個點或話要說,它要去就在你頭上。這就是為什麼我認為美計數了很多,因為如果它的美麗,心臟打開。你願意聽的東西,那麼如果它是有意義的東西給你,它可以改變你的生活。“
After Simon’s solo rendition of “America,” the young students and older guests all rose in the audience to their feet for a sustained ovation, to which Simon responded with a bow, later stretching out his arms toward the audience to clap his own thanks for the conversation.西蒙的“美”的獨奏移交後的青年學生和以上的客人全部上漲在台下他們的腳持續鼓掌,到西門回應弓,後來伸出雙臂向觀眾鼓掌了自己的感謝對話。
Simon’s last performance at Yale was at the university’s tercentennial in 2001. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Yale in 1997.西蒙在耶魯最後一場演出是在大學的tercentennial在2001年,他於1997年獲音樂學位的榮譽博士學位從耶魯。