Saturday, August 15, 2009

Kings of Leon = Alchemy

Scott Payne over at The League of Ordinary Gentleman has penned a multi-layered review of a live KOL concert he attended that presents a thoughtful, deconstructed examination of music in general, but Kings of Leon specifically.

Scott's thesis revolves around alchemy, which he (using a Wikipedia entry) defines as "both a philosophy and a practice with an aim of achieving ultimate wisdom as well as immortality, involving the improvement of the alchemist as well as the making of several substances described as possessing unusual properties."

That's heavy stuff, dude.

The concept that struck a chord with me - pun intended - was articulated in this passage:
As a musician, you can’t really think your way into music that divines wisdom and immortality, it must be a project of feeling and intuition. So too, as a listener, are you incapable of rationalizing the power of a song that cuts to the core of the human emotional experience, it something that, in moving you, must be felt and to which you, if you are to be moved, must open yourself to.

The whole process is one of surrender, on both sides. That surrendering is, when I step back to look at my own experiences, an acknowledgment of the end product to point beyond the processes used to create it and, intrinsically, transcend the parameters of  knowing that define the banalities of life lived by rote. By surrendering you allow an opening of freedom, to taste life lived in a truly creative and novel fashion, which, in part, explains the strength that music displays in our modern lives.

The philosophy of surrendering in order to project your deepest, most meaningful parts into the universe while opening up to receiving what others have sent your way is a concept that I've come to later in life, at least when it comes to admitting and embracing it as a positive thing.

Scott's perspective leads me to wonder if my lifelong love of music was, in some subconscious way, an attempt to connect and reconcile with the giving and taking of emotion, since it was a pretty stunted slice of my upbringing.

Regardless of what it means to me, if you're a music aficionado, an emotional cripple who finds joy and release in melody and syncopation, a concert-goer, or a closet alchemist, you won't find a better way to start your weekend than by reading Scott's entry.

Plus, Kings of Leon rock.

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