Looking back, the artists who have influenced me the most in music are Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. I listened to their Greatest Hits album (à la cassette) over and over…
My favourite for a while was “For Emily, Wherever I May Find Her.” I loved that it was just one guy singing and another guy playing guitar. I wanted to know, who was Emily? Was she a real person? And did he really cry when he woke up and saw her there?
I no longer have the cassette, but I don’t need it. The songs are in my head. I love the precision of their harmonies, like two perfect roses growing side by side.
All the hours spent listening to their harmonies helped me understand how harmony works. After some time, I added my own harmonies to what they were doing. Holed up in my room with the door shut, we were a trio.
I didn’t understand all the lyrics, but they sounded beautiful together. They were a lot like the poetry I was reading in school.
I also loved how Art Garfunkel would sit on a stool and just sing. No guitar, no fancy stuff. He would simply sit there and let his beautiful, pure voice soar.
Here they are singing one of my favourite songs of all time. Garfunkel is standing for this one, they both are, but Paul has no guitar. They hide behind nothing. This is what music is all about.
I would have figured out the harmony thing eventually. But it sure was fun figuring it out with Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel.