Writing Zazen

Sunday, 11 February 2007

Earth, Wind & Fire

Filed under: I Remember — Silent Warrior @ 5:43 pm

Sunday 2:58pm 11Feb07

I’ve been goofing off and procrastinating then remembered that they played Fantasy by Earth, Wind and Fire on the radio Friday morning. I thought how nice that they are playing something different when the old stand by is to play September.
I can’t pass an Earth, Wind and Fire song without singing it. Their music was my saviour in my childhood. It’s funny now as I look back at some of the titles of their albums that it makes sense that in my depressions I turn back to their music to make me feel better. Their albums were titled: Head to the Sky, Open our eyes, That’s the way of the world, gratitude, Spirit, Raise! How could I not help but find something positive from those titles.
I remember the first song I loved from E,W and F was “Where have all the flowers gone.”
I was in grade three in British Columbia and we used to have to sing that song in music class but boy the way Earth, Wind and Fire sang it. Oh and Philip Bailey’s voice. Who couldn’t love that falsetto? With each new album everything got better and truly it’s only now that I’m recalling the impact.
They made me want to sing and I spent some part of my day every single day of my teenage years singing at least one of their songs, learning the words, absorbing the meaning , developing some of the things that I would ultimately grow up and believe in.
With I’ll Write a Song for you… it was writing, my writing and what impact it could ultimately have. I wanted to write to inspire, because of that song. My brother used to make me sing that song in front of all of his friends.
“We have a magic box, in which is never locked and I’ll write a song for you, you’ll write a song for me, we’ll write a song of love…”

In Fantasy and Imagination, they reassured my troubled mind that it was okay to live part of my life as fantasy, to use my imagination to see what I could have before I had it. All victories begin in our fantasies. We fantasize about loving someone before it happens, we imagine our self in our chosen career before we do it. Deliberate creating, meditating so many things have to start first in your imagination.
” Every thought is a dream, rushing by in a stream, bringing life to the kingdom of doing… All your dreams will come true, right away … Come to see, victory, in a land called fantasy, loving light of new degree, bring your mind to everlasting liberty.”

Getaway told me that I could disappear in to my head when things got tough. Turn it into Something Good (my ultimate get me out of depression song) told me to take all the pain and sadness and turn it into something good, transform it. That’s energy work.
“You can’t hide forever, just decide to make it better, turn it into something good, remember you can choose, not to lose, find your groove and be a winner… Turn it into something good, remember you can hide or just decide to make it better.”

And Reasons just makes you wish you could sing.

And what they did with music that could make me listen for hours just trying to follow one instrument and listen again following another one. They are to music what Picasso was to art, for me anyway. That horn section alone was slamming!

Almost everything that I am interested in or passionate about can be traced back to their music. They were named after the elements used in Astrology but since air didn’t sound right they went with wind instead.
In the accompanying booklet for their The Eternal Dance box set here are some quotes:
By Alan Light written about Maurice White
“… the lyrics infectiously captured White’s buoyant positiveness.”
“Maurice White acknowledges that the musical evolution of Earth, Wind & Fire follows a logical, linear path — Jazz to r&b to funk to the technogrooves of Raise! and Powerlight — held together by African and Latin rhythms; ‘it all comes back to Africa, man. That’s where it all starts.’ Characteristically, though, he credits a higher power with the group’s progression and lengthy popularity. ‘None of this was planned,’ he says. ‘The universe played a part in the whole thing, obviously. We just took our cues from the universe and kept moving on.'”

and quotes written by David Nathan:
“The message in the music was clearly a reflection of White’s vision for the group” ‘From the very start, I had a commitment to be different in terms of music and what was projected on stage. Coming out of a period of social confusion in the seventies, I wanted EW&F to reflect the growing search for greater self-understanding , greater freedom from the restrictions we placed on ourselves in terms of our individual potential.'”
“EW&F’s mission (is) to communicate a philosophy of harmony and unity…”
“There were people who relied on us for the message: we had a responsibility to our community.”

That’s it, I relied on their positivity to get me through my days and nights and years. I’m still grateful.

SW

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