John Legend Up Close
A Certain Sense of Intimacy
John Legend has a way of writing songs that create a sense of intimacy. The Grammy-winning soul singer recently performed at one of NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts. The performances are exactly what they sound like: just a musician in a cubicle with an audience that's really, really close — no frills, no fuss.
-- Rachel Martin, interview with NPR (@NPR2013).
At The Tiny Desk Or A Sold-Out Arena,
John Legend Delivers
Special thanks to NPR Tiny Desk series for making John Legend's concert, and so many others, available to the world. Click here to go to Tiny Desk concert webpage.
Made to Love
What is the sense of intimacy that you feel when John Legend sings in a live performance? John Legend himself says that he wants to feel a connection with us, and us with him. Whitehead would say that, when we feel these connections. we are feeling the feelings of others. The whole idea that we human beings are trapped inside our skins, cut off from each other by the boundaries of our skin, is a myth. Built into our very existence is a feeling of the feeling of others, or at least a capacity for such feeling. This is what it means to be made in the image of God. Philosophers call it inter-subjectivity; Whitehead adds that inter-subjectivity involves shared emotion. Yes, John Legend is right: we are made to love.
Feelings are 'vectors'; for they feel what is there and transform it into what is here...Thus a simple physical feeling is one feeling which feels another feeling. But the feeling felt has a subject diverse from the subject of the feeling which feels it....
"This song I recorded for the film 12 Years a Slave...I went to go see it a few months ago and just was moved by the beauty of the film, the storytelling, and just the powerful, powerful depiction of such an important part of American history that has never really been told at this level of authenticity and power....It's a tough thing to watch, I tell you that. It's important for us to understand this part of our history because, unfortunately, it was such a foundational and formative part of our history.".
A feeling bears on itself the scars of its birth: it recollects as a subjective emotion its struggle for existence; it retains the impress of what might have been, but is not…The actual cannot be reduced to mere matter of fact in divorce from the potential
All of Me
"Cause all of me
Loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections
Give your all to me
I'll give my all to you
Your my end and my beginning
Even when I lose I'm winning
'Cause I give you all, all of me."
Love neither rules, nor is it unmoved; also it is a little oblivious to morals. It does not look to the future, for it finds its own reward in the immediate present.
by STEPHEN THOMPSON
Interview with NPR on November 17, 2013 2:00 AM
Performing to Feel the Connection
MARTIN: Does it ever get too uncomfortable to connect with someone when you make eye contact?
Having My Roots Exposed
MARTIN: I understand Solomon Northup who authored "12 Years a Slave" - he's the main character in the film - that your family has a history that parallels his.