Friday, August 22, 2014

No Backtracking: A-Yue Chang Chen-Yue and "No Way Back Out from the Beginning"

Today's random tune has the intriguing title of No Way Back Out From the Beginning. I'm trying to wrap my mind around that. This is a title that's translated from Chinese, so it may be an approximation, but it still has me thinking.

When I look at it, I think I see it as conceptualizing choice. In other words, in making choices, we stand usually at a metaphorical meeting of many paths. These paths stretch off into the distance and we can only clearly see what's just in front of us. Afterwards, it gets hazy and foggy until we can't see anything at all, just our path disappearing into the mists of the future. And that's all we have to go on when making our choices. This is the beginning referred to in the title.

But then, there's the concept of backing out which is negated in the title. The title says that there is no way to get away from the beginning. In other words, once you get there, you are stuck. The past is closed to you, and the future is unknown. I suppose that every minute of our lives is this way. There we stand at an infinite number of beginnings, with an infinite number of choices to proceed, some clearer than others for the short term, but all unclear in the distance. And every choice we make entails some risk. And then we choose, and start down the path, and another choice comes up. As I type, I am at the beginning, and every letter that appears is a choice, and then another choice is made and a new letter appears.

And there is no backing away. We always move forward, never back. Time does not allow us to reverse our steps or go back down the path whence we came. It's always forward into the mists and risk, the good choices followed by bad choices, followed by good ones again. When I think about it, our lives are sort of like living in a scary forest with frightening sounds behind us closing off the path, and the only way ahead is through the gloom and darkness as we seek light and safety. Most of us navigate it all right, but we all go through our uncertainties and fears.

Kind of amazing that a simple title of a song by a Taiwanese musician would cause so much mental gymnastics! Today's random tune is by A-Yue Chang Chen-Yue (also known as A-Yue and Ayal Komod), a Taiwanese aboriginal (Amis people) songwriter, singer, guitarist and dance music DJ who also goes by the name of DJ Orange. From 2008-2010 he was a member of Superband, but now he fronts his own band, Free Night (also known as Free9). He is multifaceted, and recently crossed over into hip hop on a song with rapper MC HotDog and then a subsequent album. He is also an actor, and his 1998 film Connection by Fate was shown at the Venice Film Festival. He has released fifteen albums over his career. No Way Back Out From the Beginning is from his 2004 album Useless Guy.