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A creative mind examines a creative talent
on 7 January 2011
A perceptive Kate Bush fan will tell you that fans of KB are as varied and eclectic as Kate's individual songs. Opinions and theories about Kate and her music are richly varied. Some of them you may agree with completely. Others may send you howling from the room. But whether or not you agree with them, I am certain that a true Kate fan would appreciate the fact that Kate's music inspires her listeners to create, dream, construct and above all, FEEL. Kate's inspired and loving music is a Muse within itself that sends us off in different directions to write, to paint, to dance, to sing, to emote. And let's face it -- for many of us, Kate's music is a deeply rooted and highly prized gift. It is often a focal point in many lives. Thus, Kate's music -- and often, her very ESSENCE -- can be a touchy subject that won't have everyone in one accord.
Ms. Withers has created an unusual and thoughtful book. I happened to have found it exciting and confirming many things that have come to my mind when listening to the Bush catalog. But I realize that may not be the same with everybody. The question you have to ask yourself is this -- Will you be able to read another's opinion about Kate and accept those possible differences?
Everyone knows that Kate Bush lives on Planet Kate. As one reviewer put it, "She is an individualist who wears her creativity without shame." Well, Ms. Withers happens to live on Planet Deborah, and this is how one individual looks at Kate's music. Honestly, which passionate Kate fan out there DOESN'T have a specific set of words and feelings to describe her music? And who doesn't love comparing one Kate fan's opinion with one's own?
From Kate's first creation, The Kick Inside, right up to Aerial, Ms. Withers is an interpreter of Kate's music, videos and dancing. With a PhD on the subject, one could easily imagine her book to be a dry and lifeless text filled with bloated, intellectual overload. As one of Bush's songs declares -- "Not This Time!" It is breezy, refreshing, funny way that Ms. Withers looks at, in her own words, "The polymorphously perverse Kate, the witchy Kate, the queer Kate; the Kate who moves beyond the mime."
Dubbing the essence of Kate's music as the "Bushian Feminine Subject," or, BFS, the author weaves the BFS through gender and cultural studies, music and history into a tapestry that is thoroughly Kate. Seeing Kate's musical progression as a cycle of birth, transition, fruition and eventual rebirth, Ms. Withers' theories on Kate's creative evolution will have you reacting and thinking -- and maybe even contemplating the reader to bring to life their own Bushian theories so that others may enjoy reading them. This is what I'd like to stress -- this book is an inspiration, through Kate, to express and create.