Sic Semper Summa

7 11 2016

I was once asked, which Open Mic do you go to? There really is only one answer to that question, according to Michael Stipe and R.E.M. ‘All of them.’ – no reason to second guess. A blue collar tavern, a vacation musical mecca, or a devotee’s realm of pitch, palate and precision carpentry. Is any musician unbiased? There must be a reason why B.B. King plays ‘Lucille,’ and Willie Nelson continues to play ‘Trigger.’ Though each of these bards have a relationship to their audience, which places B.B. King in threads that Kanye should have worn when he was with J. LO, while Willie wears pony tails and overalls, which probably have been painted in; their choice of guitar signifies the troubadour’s familiarity with each instrument enhances each performance.

While playing to audiences is a hallmark of any seasoned performer, the Millennium Blues pushes aside presentation and reaches instead towards communication with the humorous subtlety of Chris Rock in the first ‘Rush Hour’ -“Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?” While the Blues are about relating to tone and toil of not having power or standing in the community, or society at large, Millennium Blues considers the possibility of balance between the truth of toil and the turbulent troubles of ownership and culture in modern society.

In order for the dialogue of societal change to begin, the topics must be understood. These issues of classism, racism, sexism, and nationalism are played out on a global level through music every day. If you would, a live action version of Hesse’s ‘The Glass Bead Game’ – a cultural response to Funkadelic’s clarion call ‘Let’s Take it to the Stage!’

Since these troubles exist in every nation, and the traditions of music in some areas extend to times when a stronger harmony existed between the land and the people, Millennium Blues holds that the cathartic synthesis of rhythm and melody (thesis) with the lyrical summation of the super-ego struggles of each generation (anti-thesis) is an imperative step in building a foundation of societal cohesion. The group of people adopting these methods, whether they be audience, congregation, or governed, will have a stronger framework of language and commonality with which to dialogue about possible solutions to life’s challenges, thus allowing music to return to its’ roots of celebration, communication and camaraderie with people and environment, and to be among the manners in which our society may arrive at the benevolence foreshadowed in John Coltrane’s ‘A Love Supreme.’