|Numinous The Music of Joseph C. Phillips Jr.|
The Numinosum Blog
Today I received a needed and refreshing reminder of excellence and what to strive for in my own work ("you need a certain dose of inspiration, a ray from on high, that is not in ourselves, in order to do beautiful things..."-Vincent van Gogh wrote in a letter to his brother Theo). I heard the new NPR series this afternoon, You Must Hear This, where musicians recommend music that inspires them. This is a companion to the NPR series, You Must Read This where writers recommend books that have inspired them (that series lead me to reading Cosmicomics which I reviewed yesterday).
Featured today on You Must Hear This was one of my favorite albums of all-time, Prince's Purple Rain. Here is what I said as a comment on the NPR website about the story:
Prince has always been an influence and inspiration to me and my music. At his best, he filters all of the obvious references that Adam Levine mentions into a unique voice that is all and more of the assembled elements; something that becomes just Prince and great music rather than rock or funk or whatever label people try to put on it. I do remember when both the movie and record of Purple Rain came out and then as now I think any artist would love to create work that wonderful, true, and original.
Now it is true that sometimes it seems as if Prince needs an editor; some albums as a whole can be quite uneven and uninspired (Parade: Under the Cherry Moon), but there are always individual gems to be found on any of his albums, even Parade (Kiss, Venus de Milo). But on albums such as Purple Rain and Sign 'o the Times, for example, he is truly breathtaking in his musical acumen. His natural synthesizing of various influences and spitting them out in a truly amalgamated and dynamic way has always been one of my goals as a composer; and hearing Purple Rain again, was that "ray from on high" that helped remind me of it.
POSTED BY NUMINOUS AT 6:16 PM
To all things that create a sense of wonder and beauty that inspires and enlightens.