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Jon Thor Birgisson,
Orri P. Dyrason,
"The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils." Lorenzo in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice
It's not classical music though I've seen variations of the guitar since the Middle Ages. What I do know from watching the entertaining doc It Might Get Loud is the electric guitar has iconic status rivaling that of three well-known players: Jimmy Page, The Edge, and Jack White. The film is larded with music that favors the instrument but mostly serves as background for these engaging stars.
While director David Guggenheim had it easy with message and star Al Gore in An Inconvenient Truth, here he takes a discursive tack by establishing barely a thematic thread with titles for each segment. The documentary still devolves into a kind of celebratory jam session with comments about guitars and little about the creative process.
As always when I see an artist's life or a portion of one, I crave being in on the creative process but rarely get the insights. Here is no different and even less about U2, White Stripes, or Led Zeppelin, hardly minor players in these artists' lives.
Although I didn't gain much insight into how the inspirations for writing and playing come to these stars, I am just as skeptical about music criticism as well, given how abstract music is and challenging to describe. But the film is about the electric guitar after all and the gods who play it.
And these superstars are as musical as their instrumenst, each different and engaging. Page is the happy patriarch still excited about the possibilities of doing new things; Edge is a methodical practitioner with a romantic flair as he plays to the seashore regularly; White is the young upstart, who yet seeks to learn from his elders.
For a classical music appreciator like me, just being with these rock legends is explanation enough of a world that seems saner to me now, and more beautiful.
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