Sunday, November 15, 2015

This Week's Music Experience: The Magic of Africa and Breakin' A Sweat

****UPDATE 11/15/15 10:07 AM EST****

I wrote this post a few days before the attacks on Paris and debated on whether to post it today, as planned. I decided to go ahead because some music experiences are dark, but life goes on.

I dedicate this week's Music Experience to all the music lovers who attended the Eagles of Death Metal show at the Bataclan in Paris last Friday evening, November 13, 2015. 

May your hearts find peace.


Music is not just an interest of mine; in the words of The Doors, music is my special friend. I have many special friends to hang out with, too. Take a look at my Spotify playlists.

Music and the artists who create it often lead me down rabbit holes reading articles, watching videos, and chatting about what I found with friends. These music experiences are more than listening to tunes; they're consciousness raising.

I realized that a lot of my music experiences might actually be interesting to other peaceful warriors. So here's this week's Music Experience, as experienced by this truth seeker:

Do you believe in magic? Ever had a dream about a loved one that's passed on? Ever have a strange experience that leaves you wondering what the hell kind of magic is this Universe made of, anyway?

I do. I have. And oh hell yeah.

It's why I write fantasy, sci-fi, and paranormal.

Okay, so this actually happened last year but I just had to tell the story. I was listening to Skrillex live at Complex House 2014 in the background while I wrote. The music was thumping and then I hear the strains of Africa by Toto. "Ya all know Toto, right? Come on," Skrillex says.

My head snapped up, my fingers froze on the keyboard, and my heart about leapt out of my chest. I rewound the video and watched that last bit with the hair on the back of my neck standing on end.

I know this needs some explaining...

When I was a three, my folks divorced.  For various reasons I didn't see a lot of my dad. Eventually, when I was 11 years old, he started picking me up for weekend visits on a regular basis, but tragically he died only one year later. Life-altering stuff. But one day during that all-too-brief year, we were hanging out while he was building a breakfast bar and Toto by Africa came on the radio.

He stopped what he was doing to turn it up. With animated gestures, he told me this sound--the electronic sound created with a GS1 / GS2 (1980), 1st FM synth of Yamaha and a Yamaha CS-80 --was going to be big one day. "This is the music of the future and it'll revolutionize how we experience music."

Keep in mind that those stage pianos were brand spanking new in 1980 AND that Africa was a HUGE hit in 1982 AND still becomes a favorite of the new generations.

Fast forward to Skrillex playing Toto's Africa at the end of his set. I know he was doing that at his shows for a brief period. Don't know if he's doing it anymore, but holy hell! You can understand why I started watching every Skrillex video I could find, him being the Electronic Dance Music genius. He literally develops most of his music on a laptop with headphones. Amazing.

When I came across the making of Breakin' A Sweat, which is coincidentally the song that introduced me to Skrillex, a.k.a. Sonny Moore, in the first place, I wept with joy.

You know that sample of Jim Morrison talking that Skrillex uses in Breakin' A Sweat? Yeah, I bet my dad heard that quote at some point, too. I have no doubt.

*big deep breath*

 Anyway, I was already an avid Skrillex fan, but this experience took it to another level. I mean, we're all connected, right? One big web of life and who abounds.

My dad and Jim Morrison are gone, but the music lives on and so do I.  And this was a really special music experience for me, too, Sonny Moore. Full circle indeed.

Thanks to Skrillex, the Doors, Jim Morrison, and the members of Toto.  Because of you my heart is full and my faith in magic reaffirmed every time I hear these songs. Enjoy the vids! :-)

Peace out.

The first three videos are restricted for sharing so I'm linking instead of embedding. Sorry for the inconvenience.

All rights reserved to respective owners. See copyright notices in respective vids.

Africa by Toto

Regeneration Music Project: Skrillex and the Doors - Making of 'Breakin' a Sweat' 

Breakin a Sweat Official Music Video 

 What kind of music experiences have you had? Would you like to share? If so please consider submitting your music experience here for possible publication on my blog OR if you just can't wait, share in the comments below.

You will retain all rights if your story is accepted. Not all submissions will be published, but I'll try to post as many as I can.

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