Started my day with a beautiful music from legendary musician and decided I have to write about her, hoping that her music will make your day better as it does mine=)
Joni Mitchell (born Roberta Joan Anderson; November 7, 1943) is a Canadian musician, singer songwriter, and painter. Mitchell began singing in small nightclubs in Saskatchewan and Western Canada and then busking in the streets and dives of Toronto. In 1965 she moved to the United States and, touring constantly, began to be recognized when her original songs (“Urge for Going,” “Chelsea Morning,” “Both Sides, Now,” “The Circle Game”) were covered by notable folk singers, allowing her to sign with Reprise Records and record her own debut album in 1968. Settling in Southern California, Mitchell and her popular songs like “Big Yellow Taxi” and “Woodstock” helped define an era and a generation. Her more starkly personal 1971 recording Blue has been called one of the best albums ever made. Musically restless, Mitchell switched labels and began moving toward jazz rhythms by way of lush pop textures on 1974’s Court and Spark, her best-selling LP, featuring her radio hits “Help Me” and “Free Man in Paris.”
Joni’s father was an amateur musician who loved swing records and played trumpet in marching bands, and Joni would join in town parades with her father’s band and other children. Many of her childhood friends were taking music lessons, and she would tag along to their performances. Mitchell briefly studied classical piano between the ages of six and seven. She said:
“I wanted to play… I wanted to do what I do now, which is to lay my hand on it and to memorize what comes off of it and to create with it. But my music teacher told me I played by ear which was a sin, you know, and that I would never be able to read these pieces because I memorized things… I didn’t fall into the norm for that system, so I dropped that.”
At the age of eight, Joni contracted polio during a 1951 Canadian epidemic, the same one in which singer Neil Young, then aged five and living in Ontario, also contracted the virus.As she later described, it was during her time in hospital that winter that she first became interested in singing. She told the story later:
“They said I might not walk again, and that I would not be able to go home for Christmas. I wouldn’t go for it. So I started to sing Christmas carols and I used to sing them real loud… The boy in the bed next to me, you know, used to complain. And I discovered I was a ham.”
Mitchell was drawn to art, but “growing up just at the time before arts were included as a part of education… at that time I was kind of a freak.” Also, before she suffered polio, she had been more athletic herself than artistic, but once she recovered and realized she would no longer be able to compete with the fastest swimmers or runners, she found her compensation in arts.
In seventh grade, she had “one radical teacher… a reverer of spirit… He criticized my habit of copying pictures. No one else did. They praised me as a prodigy for my technique. ‘You like to paint?’ he asked. I nodded. ‘If you can paint with a brush you can paint with words.’ He drew out my poetry. ‘
She said, “I was good in composition, but I wasn’t good in the dissection of English… I wasn’t scholastically good in it because I didn’t like to break it down and analyze it in that manner, and I liked to speak in slang.” Mitchell said, “I finally flunked out in the twelfth grade. I went back later and picked up the subjects that I lost.” She said, “My identity, since it wasn’t through the grade system, was that I was a good dancer and an artist… I made a lot of my own clothes. I worked in ladies’ wear and I modeled. I had access to sample clothes that were too fashionable for our community… I would go hang out on the streets dressed to the T… I hung out downtown with the Ukrainians and the Indians… When I went back to my own neighborhood, I found that I had a provocative image. They thought I was loose because I always liked rowdies… But there also came a stage when my friends who were juvenile delinquents suddenly became criminals. They could go into very dull jobs or they could go into crime. Crime is very romantic in your youth. I suddenly thought, ‘Here’s where the romance ends. I don’t see myself in jail…'”
Mitchell’s wide-ranging vocals and her distinctive open-tuned guitar and piano compositions grew more harmonically and rhythmically complex as she explored jazz, melding it with her influences in rock n roll, R&B, classical music and non-western beats. Mitchell’s experimental run of jazz-inspired albums, including 1975’s The Hissing of Summer Lawns and 1976’s Hejira, confused many and hurt Mitchell’s sales at the time, but they are acclaimed today. In the late 1970s, she began working closely with noted jazz musicians, among them Jaco Pastorius, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny and Charles Mingus, the latter of whom asked her to collaborate on his final recordings. In her later work Mitchell turned again toward pop, embraced electronic music, and engaged in political protest. Mitchell was also the sole record producer credited on most of her albums, including all her work in the 1970s. With roots in visual art, she designed her own album artwork throughout her career. A blunt critic of the music industry, Mitchell quit touring and released her 17th, and reportedly last, album of original songs in 2007. Now based in British Columbia, she describes herself as a “painter derailed by circumstance.”
Mitchell has been deeply influential on fellow musicians in a diverse range of genres, and her work is highly respected by critics. All music said, “When the dust settles, Joni Mitchell may stand as the most important and influential female recording artist of the late 20th century,” and Rolling Stone called her “one of the greatest songwriters ever.” Mitchell’s lyrics have been noted for their developed poetics, addressing social and environmental ideals alongside individual feelings of romantic longing, confusion, disillusion and joy.
I said it many times before, I am fan of old times, the times even before my time and Joni is one of those fabulous things from before my time. Starting the day with the sound of her smooth voice and beautiful guitar melodies, just makes the day seem very easy and more bright=) I don’t even notice always the great lyrics behind the voice, but it’s one more reason to love Joni’s music. I agree, she’s one of the greatest artists and I admire her full dedication to her art, she puts all of her into it and you get to know her, as a musician, as a person, as an artist, you listen what she has to say. It wasn’t easy road nor was it very exemplary, considering the rebel moments and smoking from age 9, but that was all necessary for her to find herself and be herself and be as great as she was. She is very familiar to me soul, who doesn’t like to follow standard rules and be defined by social standards.
She’s been in the industry over 40 years and I believe at some point you all have heard at least some songs of her, I know I did, but it’s a bit sad that only now I came to the big appreciation of her music, but I guess better later than never, I had to grow into it=) I believe there will be more people like me that even long after her time will discover her again and again and her legacy will continue….I hope my post her will help to do that at least with some of you today=)
So listen, explore more about Joni and enjoy the beautiful sound of music that she created=)
See more about Joni Mitchell on her website, LastFm. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
Buy her music on Amazon=)
Now here are only few of many of her songs, I hope you’ll like it and have a nice day!=)
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