RE-VISION RADIO MANIFESTO

& VISIONARY RECITAL

 

“Our High Romantic Argument”

 

 

RE-VISION RADIO’s TOWER OF SONG is a Musical & Philosophical-Literary program broadcast from an imaginal window on your radio dial from the TOWER OF SONG. It’s hosted by the Gypsy Scholar and Bohemian Essayist, with a flower in one hand (or name) and a sword in the other. TOWER OF SONG is a “Soul-making” program, because it’s essentially an “underworld perspective”—a seeing below surface appearances to the occult or symbolic truth of things. Thus, Everybody Knows, TOWER OF SONG is truly Underground Radio.


The RE-VISION RADIO’s TOWER OF SONG program—“not for everyone, but for madmen only”—is underwritten by its ancestral tutelary deities: Hermes-Mercury—Trickster-god of those radio communications and connecting synchronicities—and Our Dark Lady of the Romantic Tower of Song—Goddess-Muse of Eternal Wisdom & Wit and ancient lonely-tower libraries. TOWER OF SONG program is co-hosted by the Angel of Imagination & Music, along with its “twenty-seven angels from the great beyond” in hyperspace, where Ushahina, angel of the hours between midnight and the dawn, gets you on her wavelength.


The purpose of the RE-VISION RADIO’s TOWER OF SONG program is to help guide its listeners—“in the middle of the night”—in searching for, by following the song (the “song-lines” of the planet), and entering into that long-abandoned Romantic “Lonely Tower,” situated in that alternative mental dimension—the “invisible landscape.” “Oh let my Lamp at midnight hour / Be seen in some high Lonely Towr, / Where I may oft out-watch the Bear, / With thrice great Hermes.” (Milton) Because TOWER OF SONG is broadcast in the midnight hour from this ancient Tower of the (Romantic) “Visionary Company,” where “the poetic champions compose” (those Romantic “ringers in the tower”), you can hear “those funny voices” sing out: “You can call my love Sophia, / I call my love Philosophy.” And, since the beginning of real Philosophy is the “sense of wonder,” Everybody Knows that the “sense of wonder” with radio is all in the mind’s eye—radio as Theater of the Imagination—, making RE-VISION RADIO the alternative radio concept that lets you see what it means. And what it means, by way of the Romantic “Arts & Sciences of Imagination,” is that Golgonoozan “artifice of eternity”— The TOWER OF SONG.

 

 

RE-VISION RADIO’s Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack, because it engages music in a meaningful way (utilizing music’s “intellectual value;” music giving “insight with a flash of understanding;” music as “a force of mental life;” music “bringing on revelations;” music’s “connection with the inner life of the mind;” music’s “personally associative quality”), practices the Orphic magic of transporting listeners completely into the Song. Thus, Everybody Knows that the goal of Gypsy Scholar—always in search of the “Great Song”—, in utilizing his Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack, is beyond just listening to a song; the goal is to have listeners enter completely into a Great Song  (not just listen to it from the outside), which, metaphorically speaking, means to find and enter completely into the TOWER OF SONG. (This is similar to what the “Orphic Scholar,” Nietzsche, envisioned for the future of what he called “Dionysian music”—what the Gypsy Scholar recognizes as Sixties and post-Sixties folk-rock and rock music—, which leads “beyond listening:” “. . . this state of mind would have to be described in similar terms: we want to listen, but at the same time we long to go beyond listening. That striving towards infinity, that wing-beat of longing even as we feel supreme delight in a clearly perceived reality, these things indicate that in both these states of mind we are to recognize a Dionysiac phenomenon . . .”) Yes, when the listener goes “beyond listening” to a great song he or she has magically arrived—in a Dionysian state of consciousness, a state of ecstasy—in TOWER OF SONG! (Again: “The purpose of the RE-VISION RADIO’s TOWER OF SONG program is to help guide its listeners—“in the middle of the night”—in searching for, by following the song, and entering into that long-abandoned Romantic “Lonely Tower,” situated in that alternative mental dimension—the “invisible landscape.” “Oh let my Lamp at midnight hour / Be seen in some high Lonely Towr, / Where I may oft out-watch the Bear, / With thrice great Hermes.”)  Having arrived there—“in the middle of the night”—, the “beyond listener,” now “outside” themselves (i.e., ec-static) may be confused as to their identity. “I live my life in growing orbits which / move out over things of this world. . .  /  I am circling around God, around / the ancient tower,  and I have been / circling for a thousand years, and still / don't know if I am a falcon, or a storm, / or a great song." (Rainer Maria Rilke) And, thus, Everybody Knows that RE-VISION RADIO’s secret key to both Song and the TOWER OF SONG is that they both partake of a metaphorical or symbolical reality. After all, the “beyond listener” must ask themselves: What is a “song” anyway? “Song refers not particularly to the field of music, but to the intangible yet determining and effective element of creative moments illuminated from within by the lamp of spiritual meaning. It serves as a broad metaphor for inspiration in its many forms—poetic, artistic, moral, political, spiritual, intellectual, philosophical, and so on.” (A.E.)

 

 

The experimental format of RE-VISION RADIO’s TOWER OF SONG program is a seamless remixing of Argument & Song, dialectics & music, or logos & mythos; in other words, philosophical-literary essays are put to music, producing the Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack. Thus Everybody Knows, since there’s a song hermetically hidden in an essay and, conversely, an essay waiting to be revealed in a song, that RE-VISION RADIO puts its philosophy best in song—as the lyric goes: “That’s why I’m telling you in song.” (Van Morrison) And Everybody Knows that what takes pages of text to explain a song can express in a few powerfully meaningful verses; that is, a song can condense and concentrate an essay. In mixing and remixing the noetic texts of Philosophy with the poetic texts of Song, RE-VISION RADIO offers its listeners an Orphic soundscape; an eclectic medley of the esoteric and the popular, high academic culture and low pop-culturehigh argument & deep song—not from the Ivory Tower, but from “that tower down the track:” the TOWER OF SONG. Because Everybody Knows that to really grok the meaning of a song context is everything, RE-VISION RADIO’s musical essays contextualize its songs, and, conversely, its songs compose its essay, adding layers of meaning. Thus Everybody Knows that because of RE-VISION RADIO’s Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack songs aren’t just played willy-nilly; songs are showcased. In the same way, this dialectical relationship between Argument & Song means that the prose essay contributes gravitas to popular song and, alternatively, popular song gives wings to the essay, composing a Musekal Philosophy through the Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack. Thus, the dialectical relationship of Argument & Song and their juxtaposition in RE-VISION RADIO’s Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack works through the strategic shifting of argument to song, from song back to argument; a dialectical interplay where the essay/argument sings the song and, conversely, the song speaks the essay. This yields a looking at the essay/argument from the prism of the song and vice versa, which should result in a multifaceted range of meaning the essay speaks and the song sings. Therefore, one of the interesting ways of understanding the content of the essay/argument is to become aware how each song slightly alters the perception of what is being said in the essay; i.e., another shade of meaning registers on the attentive listener’s consciousness. It’s as if (looked at from the point of view of the musicality of the essay) each successive song is a window (or frame of reference) through which the theoretical landscape of the essay’s argument is then recognized and thus re-visioned.


Everybody Knows that RE-VISION RADIO’s the fusion of Song & Argument is the rhyme and reason for the Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack, which, juxtaposing argument with song, makes for melodious (aesthetic) ideas and discursive notes—a kind of Philosophical Concert and, conversely, a kind of Musical Essay. This dialectical inter-textuality creates a novel radio art-form: scholarship as performance art (William Blake’s “Mental Studies & Performances”), which is a Romantic way to “associate ideas in a state of excitement” and to “rave on words on printed page.” (Van Morrison) RE-VISION RADIO’S musical inter-textuality, because it reads metaphorically between the lines of Philosophy & Song, becomes the imaginal hyper-textuality of a “radio-text,” or a Soul-text—a soul-inflected montage of spoken word, music, and image.

 

 

Thus, Everybody Knows that RE-VISION RADIO’S experimental “radio-text” makes for a postmodern radio “theater of the imagination,” because it introduces visual images into the aural radio medium, hence the integration of the aural-space of radio with the cyberspace technology of the internet. In this way, the concept of “RE-VISION RADIO” means that the Gypsy Scholar’s “Tower of Song” website serves not just as another common ancillary (off-air) cyberspace of reference (merely a place to put the “playlist”) but rather an active cyberspace of (on-air) images (a storehouse of images, akin to the ancient memoria) that go with—are integrated with—the Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack, giving graphic representation to its ideas and themes in the real time of the broadcast. In effect, TOWER OF SONG program, by letting the “listener” see what it means, creates a synergistic interaction between spoken word, music, and image—an artistic “collage of ideas”—, which further allows the radio “listener” to have an audio-visual, synesthetic experience. Thus, the Gypsy Scholar, in the role of the amateur scholar-artist on radio (scholarship as postmodern “performance art”), who is distinguished by his ability to synthesize and play with knowledge, seeks to “create a collage of ideas or intellectual mind-jazz.” (From his imaginal radio window in the TOWER OF SONG, the Gypsy Scholar looks back to the “freeform” midnight radio of the 1960s. “Freeform radio is an art form. The airwaves are the empty canvas, the producer is the artist, and the sound is the paint.” –Julius Lester “. . . but it was a staple of the underground format. There was a sense of accomplishing something mighty creative. Not just disc jockey work, but weaving songs together in progression to make a statement or a theme. –Ed Shane) Thus, Everybody Knows that RE-VISION RADIO’s TOWER OF SONG program, by going back to the early concept of radio and letting the “listener” see that it means, is truly a postmodern “Theater of the Imagination.”    

 

 

And Everybody Knows that in RE-VISION RADIO’s TOWER OF SONG, the weaving together of Argument & Song (scholastic rhetoric and popular song) produces an imaginalradio-text” haunted by song (“you hear these funny voices”). Thus, most appropriately, the Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack is inspired by the legendary Orpheus, the archetypal “divine rhetorician and singer of love songs.” Questing back—“way, way back”—in search of the magical power of music, with the archetype of Orpheus as its guide, RE-VISION RADIO’s TOWER OF SONG program broadcasts a Musekal Philosophy (by way of the ancient “Sicilian Muse” of the English poets), which is the perfect union of words and music broadcast through the Orphic Essay-with- Soundtrack—the Orphic synthesis of what has been called the “Infinite Conversation” and the “Endless Melody.” This perfect union of Argument & Song is the Romantic ideal of the synthesis of “poetry and thought,” “a union of fact and imagination;” “not Poetry, but rather a sort of middle thing between Poetry and Oratory.” With this Romantic union of poetic furor and critical reason, the Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack becomes “our high argument;” elevated discourse or “oracular voice”—“reason in her most exalted mood.” (“Argument mixed with music alone, when it is present, dwells within one possessing it as a savior of virtue throughout life.” –Socrates, Republic “Let us bring to bear the persuasive powers of sweet-tongued Rhetoric and . . . let us have as well Music, the maid-servant of my house, to sing us melodies of varying mood.” –Boethius, Consolation of Philosophy)


Thus, with the 19th-century “Romantic Essay” as its model, RE-VISION RADIO’s Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack is a novel revival of the lost “Art of the Personal Essay” where “Soliloquy bridges the gap between high art and popular song.” The Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack is designed to communicate a musical sense of philosophy, one that can be understood as “Speculative Music,” from one point of view and, from another, “Philosophy in a New Key.” (“Music has depth and attempts philosophical thought and meaning with discussion of infinity, eternity, and mortality.” -David Gilmore of Pink Floyd) Thus, Everybody Knows that the Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack’s Musekal Philosophy is also a (Romantic) “philosophy of music:” a Musekal Philosophy that issues not in a strictly discursive but in a lyrical knowledge. And, in seamlessly remixing Argument & Song through “Mental Studies & Performances” (Blake), Everybody Knows, too, that RE-VISION RADIO’s scholarship as performance art is designed to make philosophy sound more musical and, conversely, music sound more philosophical. Thus, in the TOWER OF SONG, philosophical essays aspire to the condition of music; to the condition of music translated into words: The Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack, which approximates what the Romantics envisioned—the end of philosophy as poetry, or song.
(“Philosophy, which has always been the pursuit of my life, and is the noblest and best [highest] form of music.” –Socrates, Phaedo)

                                                                  
Going back—“way, way back”—RE-VISION RADIO’s Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack (or the Essay in Argument & Song) would pick up the fallen standard of the nineteenth-century Romantic Essay, which sought to transcend the boundaries of prose and non-prose and conjoin philosophy with poetry. (This is in keeping with the Romantic penchant for mixing genres.) The Romantic Essay has been described (based upon its development by Wordsworth and Coleridge) as a “conjunction of Reason and Passion that did not draw particularly sharp lines of differentiation between ‘poetry’ and the ‘impassioned, eloquent, and powerful prose.’” For Coleridge: “The love of truth conjoined with a keen delight in a strict, skillful, yet impassioned argumentation, is my master-passion.” Following in this Romantic genre, the Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack is conceived of as “the perfect union of words and music.” Thus, the Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack, like the Romantic Essay, begins with an “impassioned, eloquent, and powerful prose, following from a fairly strict following of traditional ‘public’ discourse to modes of prose requiring the virtual abandonment or annihilation of such discourse and often quite literally disappearing into poetry or into the silence of contemplation and vision.” The Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack exists in a liminal radio space between Argument & Song; between criticism and lyricism, finding the ancient muse where prose and music meet on the border between prose and poetry—a philosophical lyricism that is sophisticated, literate, poetic, and soulful.


Because of its Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack, RE-VISION RADIO’s TOWER OF SONG program is both a Philosophical and a Musical program. Thus, Everybody Knows that it’s about the ideas in the music and, conversely, the music in the ideas; a Musekal Philosophy committed to the romance of ideas (eros plus logos; the heart’s desire for ecstasy and the head’s requirement for clarity: “a simultaneous knowing and loving by means of imagining”), and which issues not in a discursive but instead in a lyrical knowledge. And Everybody Knows that the Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack is thoroughly song-haunted. With lyrical lusters in snatches from song furiously breaking out between the lines of prose and musical echoes reverberating throughout the text, a steady stream of correspondences between the ideas and the music manifests as a synchronistic sub-text. In reading between the lines of dialectics and song, moving/segueing back and forth between the prose and the music, a Soul-text of Musekal Philosophy emerges—allowing the Gypsy Scholar, in heightened speech (i.e., “associate ideas in a state of excitement”), to “rave on words on printed page.”


Because of RE-VISION RADIO’s “sympathetic magic” (vibrations of musical tones produced in something as a result of similar vibrations at the same frequency) of playing off the Argument with the Song, the Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack’s dialectical interplay of the musicality of the Essay and the philosophy of the Music means that the Argument adds rigor to the Song, while the Song adds lyricism to the Argument. In other words, the music adds the raw energy of Rock to the formal essay and, conversely, the formal essay contributes philosophical meaning to the music—“Three-cord rock merging with the power of the word.” (Patti Smith) Thus, Everybody Knows the Essay hermeneutically informs the music, while the music ecstatically transcends the prose, giving emotional or imaginative heightening to the Essay—the discursive Argument is supercharged by the Song(The Essay is, as the Dionysian philosopher, Nietzsche, would have it, “energized and raised aloft, as it were, through the spirit of the music.”)


RE-VISION RADIO’s Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack attempts to overcome the dichotomy between the prose written word and the lyric that is embodied in song. Given that RE-VISION RADIO posits a dialectical relationship between Argument & Song, this similarly means (when the Essay is about the Song and vice versa) that Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack seeks to overcome the dichotomy of the analysis of the song (“linernotes”) versus its performance. Thus the Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack (as an Orphic radio-text that is structured by Argument & Song) is designed to allow the listener to dialectically re-cognize the Argument in the Song (as in the past with the “message” lyrics of the songs of the Sixties and today in the “rhythm and rhyme” rap lyrics of Hip-Hop) and, conversely, to hear the Song in the Argument. So completely would the Essay-with-Soundtrack mingle Argument & Song that the song speaks the essay, and, conversely, the essay sings the song. In another sense, the Argument’s ideas create a philosophical feeling and set the contemplative mood, which is then amplified by the Song. In other words, the Song becomes the introspective meditation through the philosophical Essay and, conversely, the Essay becomes the performance of the Song through its heightened ideas. (“Don’t we know that all of this is a prelude to the song itself . . . the song itself that dialectic performs?” –Socrates, Republic


Thus, Everybody Knows that in RE-VISION RADIO’s Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack Song underscores and aestheticizes the Essay and, conversely, the Essay contextualizes the Song and opens it to hermeneutical interpretation, allowing it to be heard in a new way. And because rock music provides the primal energy for the rhythmic pacing of the Essay, the Essay reciprocally adds philosophical gravitas to the Song. (This is in keeping with the philosophical weight that a pop-song can carry in the songwriting of the Orphic poet as rock-musician, such as Bob Dylan or Leonard Cohen: “Here was a man, who inside of a pop-song . . . you know, puts big ideas, big dreams. It reminded me of Keats or Shelley or, you know, they were poets I was reading as a kid.  I said this is our . . . Shelley, this is our . . . Byron.  You know, there was an otherness to the language.  It was just a sensory overload of the language that first got to me.” –Bono on Leonard Cohen) And because it’s been said that Romantic Mind is “the union of deep feeling and profound thought,” RE-VISION RADIO, in programming a mix of rigorous intellectual argument and an elevating musical sensuousness, strives to unite reason and imagination, intellect and feeling, head and heart. (“When Life does not find a singer to sing her heart she produces a philosopher to speak her mind.” –Kahlil Gibran) In other words, songs in the Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack are designed to connect the heart and the head—both feeling and intellectualization—, issuing in a surging, luxuriant soundscape that is both viscerally powerful and intellectually beautiful. (“Thus much of music, which makes a fair ending; for what should be the end of music if not the love of beauty.” –Socrates, Republic) Thus the Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack, assaying back and forth between the intellectual and the musical, brings into play a paradoxical reuniting of the head and heart—-a Romantic commingling of a “sensuous reason” and a “feeling intellect,” thereby synthesizing the left and right brain. (“In music one must think with the heart and feel with the brain.” –George Szell) Thus Everybody Knows that this thoroughly dialectical relationship of Argument & Song manifests in a Romantic inversion of psychic function: “If my heart could do my thinking / And my head begin to feel / I would look upon the world anew / And know what’s truly real.” (Van Morrison)

 

 

RE-VISION RADIO, in practicing its own type of the Romantic “Arts & Sciences of the Imagination” (Blake), delights in remixing what the Romantics poetically combined—“high argument” & “deep song” (of “the Mind, / My haunt, and the main region of my song.” (Wordsworth) RE-VISION RADIO’s Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack, assaying back and forthwith seamless segues—between high academic culture (argument) and low pop-culture (song), takes its cue from the great Romantic composer, Beethoven, who, it is said, “took great delight in juxtaposing the exalted and the commonplace,” making his music “a union of sensuous and rational.” (“Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.” –Beethoven) Because the Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack utilizes folk-rock and rock music of pop-culture in order to bring together the Ivory Tower and that “tower down the track,” it looks back to the great American “Orphic Scholar,” Ralph Waldo Emerson, who dared to proclaim: “I embrace the common, I explore and sit at the feet of the familiar, the low.”  (“At the same time, it became important . . . to argue that popular culture representations were as potentially complex and worthy of interpretation as the ‘great’ canonical texts of European literature that were always being used to demonstrate the poverty of popular culture and of youth culture in general.” –Carla Freccero, Popular Culture. “The idea of changing culture is important to me, and it can only be done in a popular medium.” –Joss Whedon, screenwriter, director, producer, comic book writer, composer.)


Thus, RE-VISION RADIO’s Musekal Philosophy of the Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack broadcasts its meaning in two modes: Wordsworth’s “high argument” and Lorca’s “deep song.” (“. . . they have climbed, / on high with song that is more sweet, more deep.” –Dante, Divine Comedy.) This is none other than what the “Orphic Scholar” so desired: “Music that can deepest reach.”(Emerson, Essays) And, broadcast on radio, this seamless segueing of going back and forth between “high argument” and “deep song” is really a gas! (“So the words dissolve into the music, and the music dissolves into the words, and a refreshment is produced, kind of oxygen.” –Alan Watts) Everybody Knows the Musekal Philosophy heard on RE-VISION RADIO’s TOWER OF SONG program means that a Song is as good as an Argument/Essay. In fact, because of the Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack’s design, they are in a complex dialectical relationship, which means that there’s a Song waiting to be amplified out of an Essay and, conversely, there’s an Essay waiting to be unpacked in a Song-lyric. Like the Prose-Poem, the Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack (written with music in mind) has “the technical or literary qualities of poetry (such as regular rhythm, definitely patterned structure), but is set on a page as prose.” It is a work in prose that has “poetic characteristics such as vivid imagery and concentrated expression.” (“Prose, especially if it is ‘musical’ in the sense of employing rhythmically balanced phrases, or if it is notable for its clarity . . .”) Thus, Everybody Knows, the intent of crafting the Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack (inspired by song) is to turn a phrase until it perfectly catches the color of the music.

 

 
And Everybody Knows that the aim of RE-VISION RADIO RADIO’s TOWER OF SONG program, through its Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack, is not only to entice the listener to hear the familiar pop-Song (empowered by philosophical meaning) anew, and to see the meaning of the academic-Essay (amplified by song) but also to seamlessly weave together Argument & Song so that the listener feels like the song was actually tailor-made for the essay. In another sense, the goal of the Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack is to mix and remix the Argument & Song so seamlessly that listeners won’t know if the popular Song exists for the philosophical essay, or (more amazingly) the philosophical essay exists for the music; that is, whether the Song provides a meaningful interlude in the reading of the prose Essay, or whether the Essay is secretly an hyper-extended “lead in” to the main purpose of playing the song—i.e., showcasing the song. (Here—since the GS has modeled his Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack after the manner in which a soundtrack functions in a film—a good analogy would be the art of filmmaking, where the director loves the pop-Song so much that he or she either names the film after a song itself or loads the film up with a myriad of songs for the soundtrack—or both.)


Therefore RE-VISION RADIO’s Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack dissolves the boundaries between scholarship and art, critical analysis and poetry, rhetoric and lyric; between, that is, Argument & Song—so much so that it is designed so that the listener can’t make out where the Argument leaves off and the Song begins, and vice versa. This boundary-dissolving effect of the Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack means that both aspects of the psyche are given their due: reason and imagination, scholarly/critical intellect and intuitive/artistic heart, academic research and mystical insearch; both secular hermeneutics and sacred hermetic/kabbalistic interpretation, both scholarly rigor and poetic reverie, both Apollinian contemplation and Dionysian ecstasy, both philosophical questioning and romantic questing; both ideas (noetics) and love (erotics). (Thus spoke Nietzsche: “Hence, it was here, where the Apollonian is energized and raised aloft, as it were, through the spirit of the music, we had to recognize the highest intensification of its power and, therefore, in the fraternal bond of Apollo and Dionysus the highest point of both Apollonian and Dionysian artistic aims.” Nietzsche—that “Troubadour of Knowledge”—, who also looked back for inspiration to the twelfth-century Troubadours, and hence discovered their concept of gai saber,” or, as Nietzsche translated it, “The Gay [Joyous] Science”.) Thus, the romance of ideas that animates the Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack unites dialectics and love in “flowers of discourse,” and has, among others, Dante as its guide, since the Florentine poet looked back to the Troubadour’s “Dialectic of Love” and desired only to write about the “Love that discourses in my mind” (The Divine Comedy).

 


RE-VISION RADIO, then, questing—“way, way back”—carries on, in popular form, the great Platonic synthesis of logos and mythos (i. e., between the earlier mytho-mystical, as it was transmitted through the Greek Mystery Religions, and the newer rationalist development in Philosophy that had broken away from it: “Intellectual rigor [i.e., logos] and Olympian inspiration [i.e., mythos] no longer stood opposed.” Because Plato’s dialectic became—“after it has risen, with an incredible impulse, through the mania [madness] of Eros to the heights of philosophy”—mantic (poetic-prophetic) vision, RE-VISION RADIO’s Orphic Essay- with-Soundtrack would energetically channel “Philosophy” back through the powerful medium of radio, where it rises, with Orphic wings, to the heights of enraptured song—“soul music.” (“Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul.” –Plato) Remembering that “Philosophy” for Plato is a “care for soul” and begins in “wonder,” the Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack spans both logos and mythos: both the critical analysis and the enraptured intuition, both the down-to-earth investigation and the flight of poetic inspiration; the fusion of scholarly rigor with poetic reverie; the fusion of philosophical aptitude with musical amplitude.

 


Thus, RE-VISION RADIO’s Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack (given it has been said that “Eros redefines reason in its own terms”), in mixing Philosophy & Song (dialectics & music), replaces the “murders to dissect” (Wordsworth) mode of academic (Protestant) scholarship with service to Eros
insight, synthesis, contemplation, and celebration; “reason in her most exalted mood”  (Wordsworth), which, in service to Eros, through the Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack, becomes what that Prof. of the “Joyous Science,” Emerson, envisioned as a higher reason: “the living, leaping Logos.” RE-VISION RADIO’s reunion and fusion of Philosophy & MusicMusekal Philosophy—makes the ideal philosopher (according to Socrates and Plato) a “fervent musician,” or a “musical man.” Moreover, because Philosophy is a form of “play”—an artistic endeavor—, it makes the scholar of philosophy a scholar-artist-musician (i.e., an Orphic Scholar), who is distinguished by his or her ability “to play with knowledge and create a collage of ideas or intellectual mind-jazz.” RE-VISION RADIO’s ideal of the Orphic Scholar is about spontaneous prose; of speaking from your heart and bellowing it out as if you were a crazed jazz man. (Cf. the Orphic Scholar, Nietzsche: “For we easily forget that what the poet as wordsmith could not achieve—the attainment of the highest intellectualization and idealization of myth—he could achieve successfully at any time as a creating musician.”)   


Thus, RE-VISION RADIO’s Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack is broadcast through what Blake called “Mental Studies & Performances.” In other words, the Gypsy Scholar attempts to make scholarship a performance art. Therefore, the Musekal Philosophy of RE-VISION RADIO’s Orphic Essay-with- Soundtrack finally leads not to ponderous academic desiccation, but to ecstatic Dionysian celebration—to the “Joyous Science” (of the Troubadours and Emerson and Nietzsche). This means RE-VISION RADIO’s TOWER OF SONG program offers a mood of trance, enchantment, and ecstasy. “All our reasoning ends in surrender to feeling.” (Blaise Pascal) However (listeners be warned), it is not brain-dead, new-age spaciness, but rather, because Mueskal Philosophy is both logos and mythos, what the Romantic poet, Wordsworth, said was “reason in her most exalted mood,” which issues in what that “Orphic Scholar,” Emerson, longed for: “music that can deepest reach.” And because Everybody Knows that the ability to express complex philosophical ideas in lyrics of song is the gift of Orpheus, RE-VISION RADIO’s TOWER OF SONG program broadcasts what one sixties singer-songwriter said the music of that creative and revolutionary era promised: “A deep ecstasy that can be had.” Therefore, RE-VISION RADIO’s Orphic Essay-with-Soundtrack, via its Musekal Philosophy, turn out to be—metaphorically and literally—what one modern philosopher envisioned as “Philosophy in a New Key.” (Susanne K. Langer)



“The soul which has seen most truth shall come to birth as a philosopher, or beauty lover, or fervent musician.”  –Socrates, Phaedrus

 

 

 

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Gypsy Scholar

September 22, 2004