This series of articles running through January will explore ways of keeping our head above water in physical, mental, emotional and creative areas. There will be creative challenges, competitions and giveaways. For the full background see here.
I’m not sure what this post was going to be about before I heard David Bowie’s new song , released today, from his first album in ten years. David Bowie is 66 years old today and to my mind he is the most creatively inspiring artist in the industry and his influence stands even though he has not been releasing new material.
He first came to fame with ‘Space Oddity’ in July 1969, experimental and eclectic, his androgynous Ziggy Stardust alter ego, was bold, sexy and inspired a cult following and brought elements of visual media to the stage. According to his biographer David Buckley the Ziggy cult was “unique—its influence lasted longer and has been more creative than perhaps almost any other force within pop fandom.” Bowie has continually reinvented himself and experimented and innovated with look and music, from Ziggy to the Thin White Duke, to his ambient music collaboration with Brian Eno, his new Romantic ‘Ashes to Ashes’ to his hard rocking and energetic Tin Machine outfit. He’s also acted in numerous films.
Perhaps it’s not necessary to add to the plethora of articles and the general excitement among fans of Bowie on the day he announces an album many thought might never come. His new song is moving for it’s mood of retrospection and fragility, it’s sense of being a marker for both for something new but also the fading light of a life. Bowie has epitomized life, creativity, exuberance and this song ‘Where are we now?; is a quiet reflection on where he finds himself at now and where we find him amongst his already evident legacy.
Even if you’re not a fan of his music, his stature as a premier influencial and creative figure in the last 40 years or so cannot be denied. I was born months after ‘Space Oddity’ was released but have appreciated so much of his music, many of his songs being among my very favourites. But most of all as I look at this new video and think about what David Bowie means as a performer and creator to me, I realise that he epitomises the creative spirit and that desire of saying things in new ways, that constant reinvention, novel expression and creative restlessness and energy that are at the heart of my endeavours in writing and at the heart of me.