Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Real music, real Magick

Mage Music: Real Magick

A lot of music today … [the] living energy has become sanitized.
~ Jimmy Page, 2009 interview with Neil McCormick

One of the characteristics of stage magic is the use of distraction so you won’t see what’s really going on. While the coin is being retrieved from an ear or a woman is being sawed in half, the magician’s hands are constantly moving, cards are being flipped from a distance to fly through the air, the sexy assistant moves things around the stage. The stage is set in deep shadows and bright lights. Swirling capes and smoke and mirrors mask and distort what you see so that you only see what the magician intends for you to see.

The idea is to misdirect your attention. You aren't supposed to notice that there is engineering used to create the trick that leads to the "magic".

There is nothing Magick about it, of course.

Now consider this: How much of what I have just described would also describe today’s music performances, onstage or video? Spotlights and smoke, explosions and flashing lights. Bizarre hair and makeup, risqué costumes and stage sets that mask and distort. Giant display screens to make sure you are looking at exactly what you should be, so that your attention is directed away from the music itself.

At the very core of this phenomenon is the sorry fact that there's very little Magick to most of the music out there these days. Oh, it's entertaining all right. There might even be some catchy tunes. But is it great music or is it the aural equivalent of junk food?

The full quote from the Jimmy Page interview of 2009 is this: " A lot of music today, they work electronically, tidying everything up, but that living energy has become sanitized. In Led Zeppelin we managed to do some of those major albums in three weeks. People today can't understand that. It's beyond them."

When it comes straight from the soul, creativity can flow from the musician with no need for the help of visual diversion. When you, the audience, eliminate the bells and whistles, the lights and distractions, does the music you listen to have the living energy - the Magick - that will make it worth listening to for the next fifty years?

A steady diet of junk food will eventually kill you. I'm pretty sure a steady diet of sanitized, junk music will eventually shrivel your soul. How's that for food for thought?

Neil McCormick interview of Jimmy Page 2009

Neil McCormick in May 2014:  Do you really need me to tell you how good they are? We’ve been listening to this music for more than 40 years and it never gets old.

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