Where the magic lies

Posted on: 7th April, 2015

Category: Music

Contributor: Mark Holland

Hunky Dory Music Shop In Clonakilty stocks a huge range of instruments, accessories, CDs and vinyl. Contact Mark on 023 8834982 or pop in to have a listen.

My one and only brother is a metal sculptor, which puts me in the lucky position that sometimes I get to ‘look after’ the odd piece for him, three-dimensional works of art.  It invariably happens that I first get to judge it —like/don’t like — then I get to ignore it for a while, as it sits or hangs there around the house, and then, after I become familiar with its surface details, it starts to reveal its hidden depth or secrets, as any work of art will, or should.

If you have ever had the pleasure of living with a work of art, no I don’t mean your Mr or Mrs, wonderful and all as they may be, but any piece of visual art, not necessarily an original, we don’t all have the spare sponds to fork out for a Picasso, but a good copy of a nice piece, time after time you will see something new in it, something that just didn’t seem to be there before!  But that thing you cannot see in a hurry — I certainly can’t — seems to come from behind the layers of what is more obvious.

Again, it’s different for everyone; I can only tell you how it is for me, I love few things more than watching a well-made film a second or third time.  To me, the concept of the surprise or twist at the end of the film to make it all worth watching is only one gag, the value of it is in the storytelling, how the actors inhabit the characters, the believability of the scenes or settings and the mood set by a good score. Once I know how the story goes, I feel like it almost frees up my imagination to appreciate the scene-by-scene play more — how the film is being set up to ultimately resolve itself, does it add up, is it believable?

I don’t do poetry, I’m not clever enough; maybe recorded music is our modern day version of it, but highly educated people can spend years disseminating lines, words, in search of its essence, often to the surprise or chagrin of the poet him or her self.

And that, for me, is where the magic lies in a piece of music. In the ‘95’ years now that I have been listening, it has always and invariably been the albums that I have had to dig deep into (with the extreme exception of Massive Attack/Tricky) that have provided the richest rewards!  As a band sets about the conceiving, writing, playing, recording and polishing processes of producing an album, they have not only listened to it but lived and breathed it so many unbelievable number of times that the nuances of the tunes that they are hearing take dedicated application by the listener to fathom, if the album is any good.

The Strypes came down to DeBarra’s folk club in Clonakilty two weeks ago to show us all how it should be done. I do need to get out more often, certainly need to make the effort to see more live music, but I can honestly say I have never seen a better show, and I have seen some.  They didn’t play it safe either, trying out new stuff from their forthcoming album and some difficult stuff too which pushed us and them. Get on that ship before it sails, it should be great fun!

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