01 September 2010

Music As Magic

Cover art for the CD I released back in 2007. No big deal.
That's me at the Palais des Papes in Avignon, France.
As I state in one of my songs, I am not a prophet by any stretch of the imagination. I suck at divination, I certainly don't have prophetic dreams--or if I do, they're lost to the recesses of my subconscious since I rarely remember my dreams in the first place--and I'd hardly consider my dabblings with tarot "prophetic." However, I have noticed something that tends to occur with me. My music helps to manifest my will. Whether that's magical or not, and whether there's any precedent for this historically, mythologically, or otherwise is a topic I would like to explore. I’m not anticipating many voter responses on my poll (I won’t delude myself with visions of an eager following, haha), so this may serve as my focus for the fall. My long-term goal is maybe to create another Witchvox article out of my findings as they relate to my experiences, whether in support of or against my theory (if such a half-formed notion as I currently have could bear the title of “theory” with any accuracy). Regardless, here’s what I’m thinking:

I play three instruments moderately well, and if I had the time and resources to invest in them, could potentially play them quite well. As it stands, twelve years with a guitar will make you good despite your best efforts to be otherwise, and even playing once or twice a month, which is sadly all I have time for, will keep your fingers relatively accustomed to the chords and scales and what-not. I found a group of musicians who would also like to increase their playing time, so hopefully by scheduling days to play together we’ll each reach our goals of improvement. As for the flute and the piano--the other two instruments I claim a level of proficiency in--my skills are mediocre at best, and I am regretfully (and grossly) out of practice. Regardless, just take me at my word that while I could be much better than I am, I’m still a pretty decent guitarist. Another musical talent I am blessed to possess is the ability to sing, and that is also a skill that I get to practice every time I take a shower, ride in a car, or perform delightfully drunken karaoke. Singing is also, incidentally, a skill that does not appear to fade with time. Thus, I feel comfortable claiming to be a fairly musical person. Heck, I have my own website where my music is posted, I released a CD my senior year in high school, and I’ve written at least a hundred songs (although not all of them made it beyond the lyrics + melody stage, and certainly not all of them have been performed before more than a mirror). I would link to the website where my music is posted…but it’s posted under my real name, and I just don’t feel comfortable leaving that open for all the creepers of the world to find. I have a hard enough time keeping my classmates from stalking me, thank you very much. I don’t need to deal with anonymous cyberstalkers as well.

Here’s where the opening about divination comes into play. My songs come true.

Sometimes in my writing, I take the poetic liberty of just…writing. I don’t always think about what I’m putting down; as long as it fits the flow and rhymes at least in the vowels of the words, I’m happy. In contrast, some of my lyrics are deeply personal and based entirely on my true experiences. Nevertheless, some of my songs just *come to me* like words that get stuck in my head, attached to a melody, and then written down in spite of my conscious self saying, “I don’t have time to sit and write right now. I should be reading for my Military History class, or going for a run, or doing anything else but serving my musical ego.” Sometimes I can’t tell if the words scribbled from pen to paper are ME actively thinking about them, fishing for the part that comes next, or else there is some force external (or perhaps so deeply internal that I can’t detect it?) that is making the ink flow. It’s my hand, but is it me? Does it matter? I can’t tell the difference half the time. And yet, sometimes even when I know I’m actively writing the song rather than merely letting it be written, the words I produce have not yet come to pass. I’ve wrote about breakups and heartache long before I even had a conscious trickle of insight into my ex’s intentions of dumping me before I left for Russia. I wrote about embracing a streak of independence (See: “Amazon” on my lyrics page) long before I even knew I wanted to embrace that side of myself and adopt a more Amazonian approach to life. Indirectly, that song is the reason I started this darn blog, and the song was written over a year ago. These are just a few examples of more recent and general musical predictions, if one could even call them that, but my *theory* is more based on having written songs when I was 10 and 12 that I completely did not understand at the time, and yet, sifting through the childish lines, I keep finding ways in which those old words apply to my life now.

I’ve also noticed that the songs I tend to play and perform more often are also the songs that tend to become truer, faster, and so I’m wondering if there’s a connection there as well. Again, this is still a half-formed, likely crazy notion that, upon closer examination and research into potential precedents, I will dismiss. However, I still think it’s something worth looking into for me, especially since it’s something that--if the pattern indeed exists--could alter the way I look at both music and magic. Perhaps my claim that I don’t really perform spells is not as true as I thought. We’ll see. I’m looking forward to delving into this deeper, and I hope you’ll join me on my journey!

In the off chance that anyone who knows anything about music or magic or just thinks I’m an idiot (if an overly-educated one who likes to talk too much), reads this post, then please please PLEASE tell me what you think!

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