I’m completely unqualified to write a book about music. I’m not letting that stop me. I’m just being honest. I don’t play an instrument. I have only the most rudimentary understanding of how the essence of music theory translates to the sounds I hear. I largely depend on Gusty and Matt to answer my questions and keep my talent for making a fool of myself in check (nevertheless my abilities often out strip theirs).
Yet, I do feel qualified to write about music’s effect on the listener because I don’t need any technical understanding to do it. Music, particularly live music, is a dynamic experience between everyone present in the time-bound moment when it’s happening.
There is artistry in learning to play an instrument and in composing and arranging the parts. However, live music is not art. It’s not a symbol or representation– though it can be turned into one.
Live music is a doorway to a kind of collective consciousness, awakening us to ourselves and each other. Sharing musical space bests the arbitrary confines of language and social structure, giving us the impression of a common nature and common cause.
It helps us feel for each other no matter what we think. There is no more necessary magic than that.
A lot of the material comes from the Angus Mohr and Mohr Fire posts on this blog, as well as interviews with industry professionals, crew, and of course the family of fans who follow Angus Mohr. It’s also led me to some incredible books including Milner’s Perfecting Sound Forever, This is Your Brain on Music by Daniel Levitin, and Alex Ross’ Listen to This.
Mostly it’s given me the excuse to make the time and space to think deeply and indulge in more experiences of that which moves me in such a fundamental way.
More to follow…