When it comes to rain, nobody pours like my Lady Day. The way she expresses the word shine in Harold Allen’s “Come Rain or Come Shine” sounds like a tiny candle glowing wearily in a dark corner and eventually blown out by her naked wind of emotion. I have listened to various rendition of this song (Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Gayle Moran, Eric Clapton and B.B. King), yet none could drag the sadness out of it like she does. When she phrases, “I’m gonna love you like nobody’s loved you,” her desperation has become uncontrollable, and the pouring rain outside added a bone-wrenching sorrow to her singing. I had to stop listening to Holiday because she commends full attention and I needed some sleep. With my Billie’s collection, I am sure I could listen to her for two days straight.
I switched to Hong Nhung’s Thuo Bong La Nguoi for something soothing and relaxing to lull me into my night. I dropped the volume down to an almost mutable level so that the arrangements ease back and rain could cascade into her voice. The result turned out to be unexpected. Trinh Cong Son lyrics came to life. In “De Gio Cuon Di,” Hong Nhung’s delivery froze me when she croons, “Hay nghieng doi xuong nhin suot mot moi tinh / Chi lang nhin khong noi nang.” Trinh’s wordplay is amazing. He was able to tilt life and look at her in a different perspective, but only to observe quietly without a word. He had to be a lover of life to have such a beautiful soul or “tam long” (Is it “loving-kindness?”) as he suggested, “Song trong doi song can co mot tam long. De lam gi em biet khong? De gio cuon di” (To live your life you need a loving-kindness. Do you know what it is for? To let the wind twirls).
The experience of listening to music with the sound of rain in the stillness of the night is incomparable, but it also contributed to my insomnia. Although my brain doesn’t function too well today, my works tend to carry more emotions when I am half asleep. I am in a perfect state of mind for designing but not coding.