Recently I spent some time in the library of a stately home, which was lavish, ostentatious and sublimely beautiful.
Wool, velvet, leather, gold, mahogany, silk, style and design.
Yes, it dripped wealth too, and I realise that there's an elitism to quality which tarnishes it's gleam, but I don't think it has to be about expense and status.
Being surrounded by some 15,000 books full of experimental knowledge and intellectual searching spanning 500 years was genuinely awe-inspiring.
And it left me with a hunger for quality.
I am as susceptible to hunger as the next woman, I want that beautifully soft cashmere jumper, I want those brown leather boots, I want a jewel encrusted gold ring and a metal-bodied Macbook Pro.
Some of that is pure discontent. Getting those things doesn't actually quell the hunger because it's actually something internal I'm seeking to nourish, something within my spirit or psyche.
However, there is something enriching about quality that's not to be discounted. Quality food, quality textiles to clothe the skin and quality inspiration to feed the spirit and psyche.
While I was there, I was reading D.H. Lawrence's 'Lady Chatterley's Lover' (a ragged secondhand paperback copy, not some vellum-bound first edition), which was fitting while spending time in 'the big 'ouse'.
There's been a lot of hype about recent best-seller '50 shades of Grey' by E.L.James, and a lot of criticism towards it.
Now I haven't read it, so I'm in no position to give an opinion either way, but I've heard a lot of comments relating to the quality of the writing and shocked responses to the sexual content.
Lawrence's description of erotic sensation was also shocking when it was published in 1928, indeed it took years before anyone dared to publish it at all, but conversely, it is beautifully written.
Here have a little taste...
"she felt the soft bud of him within her stirring, and strange rhythms flushing up into her with a strange rhythmic growing motion, swelling and swelling til it filled all her cleaving consciousness, and then began again the unspeakable motion that was not really motion, but pure deepening whirlpools of sensation swirling deeper and deeper through all her tissue and consciousness, til she was one perfect concentric fluid of feeling, and she lay there crying in unconscious inarticulate cries.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
Isn't that exquisite?
So, I think what I'm trying to get at is that I aspire to bring quality, I want my writing, songs, voice and music to be of quality, and to inspire and feed.
There is a huge culture of hype motivating the music industry, which does enable quality to find it's way into people's lives, but does also leave a trail of poor quality, insubstantial though very successful and popular hype in it's wake.
I'm not saying I necessarily achieve it in my music, but I aspire to quality.