Upon entering the studio that the concert would be performed at, I was already impressed right off the bat. The room was very dimly lit with a few hanging light bulbs above the stage area. The seating was set up in rows of a “V” formation, so each person would be facing the stage, which to me was a very good idea. The lights dimmed further as the show was about to begin, which signaled Mr. Barr to enter the room.
The music was loud right from the start, making ear plugs a necessity. It began at quite a fast tempo as Barr bobbed his head to the sounds he was creating. After a few minutes of listening, it seemed as though these types of sounds could be played in some sort of horror movie, perhaps during a scene in which someone would be chased by an enemy of some kind. I decided to keep my eyes closed during most of the time he played, in order to mimic our deep listening meditation sessions. As the music went on, I couldn’t help but find myself thinking negative thoughts or creating fictional negative scenarios in my mind. I wasn’t originally sure why this was happening, but after thinking about it a bit more, I couldn’t help but wonder if the sounds Mick Barr created had something to do with this. It made me wonder if he perhaps did this on purpose or if in fact there are other ways in which music can influence our thoughts. After reflecting a bit more, I started to believe more and more that music can indeed influence our thoughts. Half of the time I don’t even realize it, but I am put in such a better mood when I am walking around campus listening to one of my favorite songs from my music collection.
Around 10 minutes or so into playing, Barr decided to add another creative touch to the listening experience. With the fast paced guitar sounds still in full force, Barr then began screaming into the microphone on top of the music he was playing. At first, I couldn’t really understand what he was saying, and more so noticed the very creepy and eerie feeling that this created throughout the room. I tried to listen harder and still couldn’t make it out, which makes me wonder if he was really screaming words at all or just sounds. Either way, what he was doing definitely got his point across, as it definitely went along well with the mood of the performance.
The rest of the concert was played in a similar tone. As it went on, I couldn’t help but think that if I was really a fan of guitar music, then what he was playing would put me in some sort of trance. I was however more so fascinated and intrigued, by how he was playing. I watched as his fingers moved at an extremely fast pace up and down the guitar strings, wondering how many hundreds of hours it must have taken for him to be able to do such a thing. Towards the end of the show, I started to hear more of what sounded like words being created from the sounds he was playing. It is a tough thing to describe, and it might have just been my imagination, but it was as if the guitar music was actually creating words that would normally be sung. Either way, it was a really cool effect, whether Barr meant for it to occur or not.
All in all, I was greatly impressed by the show Mick Barr put on. I would definitely recommend attending one of his performances to any of my friends. I didn’t really expect much going in, not being really a fan of this type of music and all, but it was definitely more than just a good show, but rather a listening experience. The music really influenced my thoughts and moods throughout the show, which to me was really amazing. The fact, that sounds from our environment can affect our feelingsc is fascinating to me, and Barr did a great job of expressing this point.