Sound And Vision

A great piece of music isn’t something that is arranged in a good manner, or makes you feel light, or sounds suitable for radio. It’s all of those things and much, much more. You can see the sounds form out before your eyes. The very rhythms, the drumbeats and the high pitches from the violins surround you. They create a bubble that encapsulates you. Only a true lover of music can understand this. When you close your eyes, you can see and hear where the sounds are. You see that the piano is on the top right side, the lyrics channel through from one ear to the next. While the guitar solo is bashing on the bottom left side of your face.

Idris Muhammad understood this perfectly. The song right from the very beginning, takes you somewhere else. Particularly within the song, Piece of Mind, 1974, instruments built upon one another. Yet singularly they are significant and hold so much power in themselves. You are able to feel where they come in, the superb melodic charm provided by the piano, with the trumpet being the leader all throughout the song. Then as the violin gently breezes in the background, we can hear the harsh beats from the drums.

You can take so much from this song; it floats perfectly in the background while you’re able to groove on by.

The pulsing sounds from every single instrument hold you tight, gripping you like an action film for the next sound. The sheer soul and power coming in from the trumpets or the excellent timing. Somehow managing to merge the rapidness and improvisation of jazz with the sheer groove of funk with a 60s psychedelia. Creating beats that draw the listener in further and further.

This is what music does.

A brilliant piece of music doesn’t just sound good.

A good piece of music sets of every pulse and feeling in your body.

So much so that everything that is important structurally is taken out. Where you focus on being able to see where the instruments are. Dissecting the song to understand and hear every single instrument all at once.

Or there’s Buffalo Springfield, Expecting to Fly. This song is a perfect representation of sound and vision. From the second you hear the song, from your right ear directly to the left ear, a scientific sound evoking a classicism that has a modern effect. Starting off low and dim, then working its way up with violins leading in volume to the point where it flashes to the left ear. Violins then float around you, from the very back of your ears around your face, it’s ridiculous but it has a real warmth. The start of the song all the way throughout is unlike anything from Buffalo Springfield. It has an element of Death and Transfiguration by Strauss, the sense of building and building. With an airy dreamlike quality to it that presents a fantasy effect. With the breaking point being the acoustic guitar that eloquently melts the classic fantasy like quality with the American folk element. With a natural, raw voice welcoming you into the next chapter of the song. You can see every word floating past your eyes while another guitar is strummed on the left side of your face. The electric guitar brings in the scientific classicism, while the violins create a melancholy, a sense of focus.

It’s a sweet tune that has depth and natural quality to it. Something that when listening with headphones quite literally transports you. It’s not folk, or classical, or psychedelic. It’s a whole other ball game.

The brilliance of music, good music is when you can feel and see it at the same time. You imagine where the noise is surrounding you through your ears. Someone like Idris Muhammad did this perfectly and sitting alongside is Buffalo Springfield like many others.

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