Ihsahn: he’s real, y’all

I think one of the positive distinguishing features of an influential and versatile musician or artist is that they expand the horizons and taste of those listeners they touch. It is always fortunate when the most talented of any genre or sub-genre branch out into new styles of their art and in doing so bring many music listeners across stylistic gaps. Examples off the top of my head would include Shawn Lane and his forays into Indian classical music, Marty Friedman with Japanese Enka and J-pop, or Ulver with dark wave and ambient electronics. When one of these artists takes the listener with them into a new influence, and the new influence works seamlessly with their new music, it sparks the realization that musical genres do not actually possess any limits on substance and musical quality. This is the most simple of artistic internalizations. What one must eventually recognize in art and music is what is real: to distinguish the real from the false, or those limited by material expression (if this makes sense at all, d00dz).

That being said, it is strange to me that more Emperor fans are not big on Peccatum. Peccatum is the project formed in the mid-90s between Ihsahn (from Emperor) and his wife, Ihriel (Star of Ash). The earlier Peccatum albums are a bit too artsy to really find as immediately accessible, but the last full album “Lost in Reverie” and their final LP “The Moribund People” are full of really classy, well-developed songs. It is always a treat to see someone as versatile and inspired as Ihsahn utilize his musial talents from another angle. Ihriel, of course, is quite talented herself.

My friend made the comment the other night that Ihsahn is one of those artists that really makes a person realize just how good and enjoyable music has the potential to be. That before you listened to his music and let it grow on you and reveal itself over time, you didn’t have such an ability to perceive the quality of music by merely hearing a few notes. And I think it is partially because this music has the potential to teach you how to feel the music, and not just hear it, as lame as that may sound. You don’t really form an opinion of this music. Rather, people resist the idea behind it with their ego because it has such a palpable substance and flavor to it. It is like a bastion of truth, or an idea in the universe unraveling itself because it is necessary to exist at this time.

Perhaps some people might not learn the ability to “feel” music by indulging in the works of people like Ihsahn, Marty Friedman, Elliott Smith, Dead Can Dance, Susumu Hirasawa, Amorphis, or whomever else expresses a “poetic genius.” This is understandable as all people learn different things at different rates. But many instead confuse the ability to sense innate talent or charisma with the weak yearning to be either too close to their idols, or to be just like them. This is dangerous and quite a different thing from knowing real music and quality art for yourself. It’s basically the difference between being manipulated and seeing into the creation of (artistic) things.

Use of interpretive dance = legitimacy.


~ by chaosrexmachinae on August 15, 2007.

One Response to “Ihsahn: he’s real, y’all”

  1. […] yo, what are up with the tricked out Ihsahn-esque melodies that professionally build up the dark setting and won’t let you relax until […]

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