Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130 is as relevant today as it ever was. In 2012, in a world of high-definition and glossy magazines with Photoshopped models telling us what we should be attracted to and striving for, I think it’s important to remember to look for inner beauty first and foremost.
One afternoon earlier this year, I had an encounter with a young women that brought the above concept crashing to the forefront of my mind. That night I sat down with my complete works and found the sonnet, the opening lines of which had been ringing around my head as I walked home here in Los Angeles. I sat at my keyboard, turned on my memo recorder and in a very “In the Air Tonight” sort of way I just sang it down once, completely improvising the strange chord progression. After some editing, I started piling up acoustic guitars and vocals, I wanted the opening to sound a bit like a secco recitative, the guitars imitating a harpsichord, borrowing a musical idea from the Baroque but marrying it to a modern soft rock sound. The song closes with a climax as the singer comes to the personal revelation that his love is “as rare as any she belied with false compare”, that she is as beautiful as any photoshopped supermodel plastered on a cheap magazine cover. I gave the song the title “Goddess” because Shakespeare has re-defined that word for me in this sonnet. You can download this song for free, Shakespeare in 2012 can follow you from the kitchen to the car stereo; one of the things that attracts me to the sonnets is that they are divorced from theatrical performance, they can and should belong throughout our every day lives. They are eternal, meaningful, beautiful and relevant.View project