Music: Moments of Epiphany, by Rishi Deva

One of my most treasured experiences with music is that epiphany, that a-ha moment when all my body hair stands on end and I am overwhelmed with emotion. The first time I experienced this at a live concert was when Eric Clapton was performing at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. The concert was great fun, with Clapton playing all of his classics, but then something magical happened. Mark Knopfler walked onto the stage and they started to play the Dire Straits song “Brothers In Arms”. Within moments of the first notes coming out of Mark’s guitar, my neck hair stood on end and my heart opened like a blossoming flower. Tears started to stream down my face. When I became self-conscious that I was emotional I immediately felt ashamed and tried to cover up that overflowing feeling of love with a macho act. But I realized that night that the energy of music, and the connection between artist and audience, have tremendous potency.

Having come to understand how rare that moment was, I no longer push away those feelings out of fear of being revealed and vulnerable. I have come to realize that musical epiphanies are not an everyday occurrence and are a celebration of the gift of being alive. I now spend my time looking, waiting and predicting when the next big epiphany will hit. It is most likely similar to an avid surfer travelling the world studying the ocean tides and places that will likely lead to that exhilarating connection to the very source of life that makes us feel so very much alive.

Sometimes when I expect an epiphany I find that it does not happen. The Hurricane Sandy Relief Concert (12-12-12) included a line up that would go down in history as one of the best musical events in the history of rock n’ roll. I couldn’t wait until Paul McCartney came onstage replacing Nirvana’s front man. But not only did the concert disappoint me, I found it flat. I came away with the feeling that some superstars are more concerned with themselves, their image, their legacy, than the betterment of mankind.

I couldn’t help but think that the amount of money that went into the pyrotechnics of Paul McCartney’s finale could have rebuilt a new community center. I kept thinking that if each of the musicians donated money instead of performing then New York would have been financially better off. The amount of “Look At Me” energy overshadowed the desire to serve. I was amazed at how uninspiring and transparent the musical benefit concert was. In fact, all I could see was that it was benefiting the artists, the sponsors and music fans, not necessarily the people who need the most support. In this case, the epiphany was not one of extreme joy but one of sadness at the values of business and certain musical artists.

I do not wish to leave the benefit concert on a sour note; I did appreciate the mastery of Sir Paul’s musicality. He seemed to perform without any musical monitor, was pitch-perfect, played guitar and piano flawlessly and demonstrated that his songwriting is timeless, complex and incredible.

In the next article I’ll discuss some of the musical greats who left us in 2012.

Rishi Deva (Rishi Gerald) is the CEO of Kupid’s Play Records. He describes Kupid’s Play like this: “Kupid’s Play is the Sound of the I Am Revolution. As an international record label devoted to raising global consciousness we bring awakened artists to the commercial mainstream. Our vision extends beyond a traditional record label. We know impossibilities are not real and build non-traditional revenue models by embracing new technologies in the current economic landscape. We know music is everywhere. Kupid’s Play actively seeks out creative opportunities to get its artists’ music to their fans in new ways ensuring that the Sound of the I Am Revolution is heard.” With two decades of experience in the music industry, Rishi has been nominated for numerous marketing awards and earned a Gold Record in the music industry for management.