The Magical Need of the Artist

It was scribbled in these parts years ago that “it shall be known from here forward that music has the word’s power to communicate quintupled.” It was an awkward way of saying writing can’t connect human hearts the way music can.

Now in NT Times Magazine Wyatt Mason has given word to that thought. He does so writing about Leonard Cohen and by talking with Kendrick Lamar, Beck, and Tom Waits about the magic of finding and making music. (As an aside, this goes to the heart of why whether you’re a fan Miles or McCaslin, Metallica or Mogwai, live music is so precious and lip-syncing such a crime.)

Never mind the irony that Wyatt covers the superiority of music in the written word.

Revel in it.

Revel in the mystery and urgency of artistic inspiration and the creative process.

Revel in the insights into singing and melody making.

Revel in the mechanics of song as it crosses and breaks barriers of time and culture, and delivers us into communion in the present.

This is but a snippet. Read on. To read about it is to be put in awe (a testament to the power of the written word), and to recognize this is what we need more of. Read on, for this is all about our better angels.