Sound for the Soul

Recently I had the pleasure of going to a concert with a friend who I hadn’t seen in person in years. We have kept contact because of various interests, mainly of a metaphysical nature. She brought up that she had been watching Quantum Physics videos on youtube, and had come to the conclusion that the first created form was sound. That, instead of light, the sound created the universe. I like that idea. Of course we were listening to an incredible band playing and in the heart of the birthplace of Jazz, but still.. this concept stayed with me.

I have been wanting to write this blog for a long time as sound and music have influenced me in a lot or ways, especially recently. To start with when I was a child my Godfather was the lead singer of the Doors. (I have talked about that in other blogs and posts so I won’t go deep into that here.) My Mom was from New Orleans and had her own tastes of music, from jazz to classical, and a good classic tune. My Dad liked Khris Kristofferson and Los Lobos, so his tastes were very eclectic to my Euro pop loving friends I grew up surrounded by. My first concert I went to, when I was very young, was a Laurie Anderson exhibition at a college in Los Angeles, complete with a coinciding art installation about her beginnings. She took the simplest sounds and made them sound incredible to me and for a month or so I would walk around the house and school imitating her (I had it down to a science.. Big Science.)

This love of sound got somewhat muted when I fell in love with the cinema and how light played on objects and movement. I am still fascinated with this medium. Being an daughter of two contemporary artists why wouldn’t it. But, when I think about cinema now, and look back at some of my favorites, the sound that was produced for these films, the folly work, and the genius it took to make a character or situation come to life, especially when it came to worlds that only existed on film.

So in essence I have always loved sound. From a quiet but busy bayou that soothes as well as intimidates, to my cat trilling at me to get a head pet, the raucous laughter of a coworker, the created sound for film, to the brilliance of a musician and poet who has in the past five years turned my world around. I took piano lessons years ago, and enjoyed it, but at the time it didn’t seem to give me the immediate gratification of a paint brush or a camera. I fell in love with analog film editing, sliding a reel of film between my fingers and splicing scenes together. Later came the editing to sound and so on.. (note to myself to see if I have that reel to reel in a trunk somewhere).

Music has always helped the mood and thought processes for me, or to drown out an annoying coworker or any stressful situation I may find myself in. It has helped me write scripts as well as meditate and come together in a personal knowing. When I found out of my Lizard King God Father I used to listen to his music and read his poetry from some guidance of my life.

I cannot recall if I told you how a certain musician has saved my life.. but he has in so many ways. Now you get a group of his fans together and they will tell you how he influenced their lives, brought meaning and or got them through tough situations. We all have been moved by this artist. And in the beginning he, like me, loved film; wanted to work in film and be the next Orson Welles. But the film community bullied him and he went in the other direction, into music. He has become the new Orson Welles by his own creation. What an inspiration he is for me!

I am talking about non other than Jack White. I ran across him years ago when I was trying to drown out an abusive coworker and was swept up in the way his guitar actually had its own voice, how his poetry proceeded my thoughts of the future and way of looking at the world. So it was a no brainer when I found out during his Lazaretto tour that he would be at a tiny theatre 45 minutes south of me that I would go. I was in the middle of the second worst year of my life (the first being the year I lost my Mom) and needed some respite, if only for an hour and a half. So we got tickets and my roommate and I went. I had little to live for at this point and really didn’t know of any hope of ever being at the least content with life. We weren’t sure what we were getting into and just knew it was a much needed adventure, a break from the meandering horror that had become my life.

The old lady ushers were quite worried that the roof would come down in the small theatre. And the mosh pit was reserved for the local college students, but that was fine as we had gotten some nice seats somewhat up the aisle from the chaos. He first tuned our ears to some rap music from my old home town, which made me question why we were there. And then he came out.. The way he presented his band and himself, complete with lights and fog.. and brilliance of color that did not hurt the eye or detract from what he was doing.. All of it I immediately fell for. During the first song I was standing in the aisle near my seat and as he sang I could see the fog wafting off his shoulders and legs and some DNA of his floated through the fog and went into me.. changing me forever. It was a religious experience, something I had never felt in any other concert and have not since.. except for any that he is involved in.

That night changed me forever.. from feeling very low without hope to feeling inspired and immersed in song and imagery. No film or other experience has never changed me like that night since. The thrumming of his music, his messages, his very being is inspirational and a light for me. That night he became a priest at one point and he is mine. When feeling down I look to his lyrics for guidance.

I used to want my films to express a change in the way that people see the world and think about things, ultimately changing their lives.. music has the power to do that immediately and intensely. I still wish for my art to help engage and transform this world, and help other artists do the same.

Since that night I formed this company, finished my film degree, got a new job away from the annoying coworker, moved forward with everything i wanted to do and have strived for more. And since then I have let more music into my life, listening to anything and everything for a thought, a prayer, a glimpse of wisdom, and a feeling.. and emotional feeling. Music, like all art forms, can project a certain experience with the audience, whether it be a horror movie, a great book you can’t put down, a piece of art that you moves you to tears, a wonderful plate of food made with love, or a soulful tune that hits you right in the heart or your soul, turning an average or horrible day, into something else entirely. We are put on this plane of existence to experience these things.. and music is one of the all encompassing art forms there is.

I wish all of you, dear readers.. the chance to experience an art form in a way that moves you as music has for me.

by Mercury Rose @ Wickedlydrivenmedia 11/2019