Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Purest Musical Experience?

I think a lot about music. I especially spend an awful lot of time contemplating the reason(s) music is so attractive to me. It's like a drug, yet it is also a spiritual bath, a revelation and celebration of human nature's highest creative potential, a glimpse at our inner-most Truth, our original Divinity.

And then there is the topic of what music is most rewarding to Psyche or Spirit, which form or format of musical presentation offers the most pure connection to our Inmost Divinity? I believe there is a hierarchical list to answer this question.

The Most Rewarding Music Experiences

1) My own music; created and performed by myself (or with my band), for myself or for an intended audience,  

2) Live acoustic music, non-electrified or non-electrically enhanced, not even amplified or used with a PA system,

3) Live music, with amplified yet untreated or adulterated sound, e.g. with perhaps electrified bass or microphone-distributed vocals,

4) Live, electrified music, performed in a small intimate setting,

5) Analog-recorded acoustic music, delivered through the medium of 100% virgin vinyl,

6) Analog-recorded electronically treated/enhanced music, delivered through the medium of 100% virgin vinyl,

7) (tie) Digitally rendered analog music,

           Digital-recorded acoustic music,

9) Digitally recorded electronically treated/enhanced music,

10) Video-recorded, live concert footage,

11) "Bootleg" recordings,

12) Large, "stadium rock" concerts in which sound and visuals are treated, amplified, delayed, blurred and/or heavily distorted.

The sound coming from the acoustic musician(s) is, in my opinion, most true, most purely representational of that person's intentions, of his desired expression, though a master of an electronic or electrified instrument can, I believe, be as connected and expressive--but the listener/audience member is less able to feel sure of the truthfulness of that note, chord or sound. The more reliant a musician is of technological enhancements the less that sound will be able to forge a soul connection to the listener, in my opinion.
     For example, I feel that my concert experiences with the likes of acoustic John McLaughlin and Trilock Gurtu, Bulgarian National Folk Ensemble, Andres Segovia, Vinx, Pierre Bensusan, Diana Krall, Wiener S√§ngerknaben, The Metropolitan Opera and my daughters' school choirs provided far more uplifting and memorable "peak" human moments than all of the Yes, Genesis, Supertramp, Queen, Todd Rundgren, and Bruce Springsteen concerts I attended--though I must admit that these latter events offered very engaging multi-media and multi-sensory stimuli. Plus large concert experiences do offer the enhanced experience of the "group energy" and "entrainment" phenomena.
     Also, though both analog and digital recording methods capture and deliver but a sample of the full spectrum of musical waves created by any sound, I find the experience of hearing/listening to analog-recorded 100% virgin vinyl (Japanese pressed) far more satisfying that that of ADD or DDD Compact Disc--it feels more "full," "warmer," and more "human" to me than in the CD or digital form.
     However, beautiful, creative, accomplished music finds its way into my soul, finds a way to elevate me into a transcendent state regardless of its medium. (Especially if an audiophile sound-system or top-of-the-line headphones are involved.)