The most difficult things for a man to do are to climb a wall leaning towards you and to kiss a girl leaning away from you.
– Marion de Velder (often mistakenly credited to Winston Churchill)
As I was listening to the latest offering from our own Matt Jenko titled "Himalaya," I began to think about the connotations the track's title carried for me. What came to mind were all the impossible and somewhat idiotic missions I have undertaken during my life. Out of those, the most impossible ones have been trying to love somebody who didn't love me back, at least not in the way I wanted them to. You see this is something that simply cannot be done. No matter how much love and affection you toss someone's way, if you are devoting yourself to the wrong person, you are never really going to get what you want in return...and we all know how easy it is to change people. It’s as easy as climbing a wall leaning towards you or a mountain, if you will, a peak in the Himalayas.
With "Himalaya" Mr. Jenko has gone for a slightly shorter instrumental than with "Clarity" (his previous release) and it works well. With its oriental influences, both melodic and sonic, this track really becomes one with its exotic title. Those of us who've been fortunate enough to experience Asia in its many beautiful forms will notice that the track succeeds well in blending the East with the West. Actually, parts of it sound uncannily authentic. Trust me, once the song is on, you will be dying to see those old pictures of you in front of Taj Mahal - well, that's what happened to me at least.
Obviously, there's more to the track than its ability to trigger memories of the Orient. If you were a big fan of "Clarity," you needn’t be worried. "Himalaya" carries all the Ellipsis trademarks featuring the familiar crescendos and imaginative melodies and counter melodies. In some ways, I prefer "Himalaya" to "Clarity." Perhaps, this is due to the more compact approach or maybe it's the exotic flavor of the track that I find more appealing. In any case, "Himalaya" is another instrumental gem from one of our own and given the title and the mood of the track, I can't help but close with an age-old joke/wisdom you might or might not have heard.
Once upon a time, there was a wise man who wanted to find out the meaning of life. By the time he turned fifty, he had tried just about everything he could think of but felt he was no closer to discovering what life was about than he had been in his early twenties. Then one day, he heard of a guru who lived at the top of the Himalayas and decided to go there. After traveling for months on end, he finally came to a staircase cut in stone that lead to one of the peaks. His feet were bleeding, his clothes were torn and he was incredibly tired from lack of food and drink. On his last legs, he climbed the stairs. As he reached the top, he came face-to-face with an old, long-bearded man. "Oh master, please tell me the meaning of life," our hero said as he fell on his knees in front of the great guru. The bearded man replied, ”The meaning of life is oatmeal.” Our tired traveller looked at the guru and shouted in frustration, ”I came all this way, I’m barely alive and you are telling me that the meaning of life is oatmeal! Are you insane?” The guru looked at the man laconically and asked in return, "Are you telling me you know something I don't?"
The lesson of the story? There is no one universal meaning of life. We all need to find our own. And good luck with your quest. I'm 46 and I still haven't figured mine out, at least not completely. However, what I have figured out is that you don't need to discover the meaning of life to be happy. Happiness is a state of mind that can be achieved (even if only for one fleeing moment at a time) with considerably less effort than climbing the Himalayas. However, if you do decide to embark on a climbing adventure of your own, make sure you bring your earphones with you, so you can hear the new Ellipsis track in its appropriate surroundings. Oh and just so you know, the chances of you coming across a guru somewhere amidst the peaks are not just small but infinitesimal.
You can learn more about Ellipsis here:
About the curator - Tommi Tikka
Tom Tikka is a linguist, poet, professional songwriter, recording artist and a music aficionado. He started playing guitar when he was four and writing songs when he was six. Consequently, he doesn't remember a time when he wasn't playing or writing. It's fair to say, music and lyrics are not just something he loves to engage himself in; to him, they are a way of life.