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Ines Adam performs “Sound and Vision”

Add this one to the growing list of videos I came across from this project featuring a musician I never before knew about, doing a really good job. Ines Adam seems to have a small following, but I hope it grows. She, and an unidentified collaborator take ownership over “Sound and Vision.” I also came across a video of her singing, “Oh, You Pretty Things,” which I might post later.

When I came to “Sound and Vision” in my 2016 song-a-day tribute, I simply wrote that it’s the best song ever about writing block. That was the joke— a one sentence commentary about a song about writing block. Bowie’s version, originally on Low, is not a celebration of an artist expressing sound and vision, but of someone sitting alone in a blue room waiting for inspiration to strike. Given its setting amidst the anxious and often disjointed songs on Low, along with an entire album side of music without words, the song, in context is kind of dispiriting.

That said, “Sound and Vision” has taken on a life of its own that I think is kind of like, “Heroes,” in that the title and words, “sound and vision” seem to imply something more optimistic. Bowie titled his 1990 greatest hits tour and accompanying retrospective box set, “Sound and Vision.” I don’t think that was supposed to signal to fans that they would have to be waiting for Bowie’s artistry. It might have been a faintly disguised in-joke though, as Bowie was not actually highlighting new music (aside, from the song “Pretty Pink Rose” and his revamped version of “Fame”). So Bowie himself was once again waiting for sound and vision to come to him.

All that, other than the actual words and music, are missing from this optimistic version by Ines Adam. She and her friend are having fun with it. Two young singers with two guitars making beautiful music. There’s a kind of irony in that this performance demonstrates how Bowie’s music has inspired young musicians. If they were waiting for sound and vision, they found it in Bowie’s music.

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