Music Savior Rick Rubin

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Music Savior Rick Rubin

A NYT Magazine story asked this question a week ago:

Can Rick Rubin Save the music business?

On the cover a bearded, guru-like man sits wrapped in a white messianic robe¢â‚¬¦

The article focuses on the rapid decline of sales in the Contemporary Music business–

It observes that new technologies have affected music distribution and sales and then goes on to say something I’ve been saying–today’s new music isn’t very good. It has been driven by marketing and sales considerations, not by an ear for well-crafted and original music.

Enter Rick Rubin, a young man whose first consideration is the music.

He says “the most important thing we have to do is get the art right.”

He listens for balance the way an artist looks for scale¢â‚¬¦

He wants to hear a melody, a novel concept in today’s world lacking in musicality.

He has produced records from all genres and his artists include old timers like Johnny Cash and NEIL DIAMOND¢â‚¬¦to bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Aerosmith and U2.

What really caught my eye about Rubin was the theme of “spirituality.”

His office, we are told, “is lined with floor-to-ceiling books, most of which are of a spiritual nature, whether about Buddhism, the Bible or new age quests for enlightenment. The library and house are filled with religious icons mixed with mementos from the world of pop.”

In Rubin’s world, we are told, music and spirituality collide.

Natalie Mains of the Dixie Chicks explains: “that’s why they call him a guru¢â‚¬¦Rick’s spirituality has mostly to do with a sense of self…”

HMMMM¢â‚¬¦ I say to myself¢â‚¬¦INTERESTING

Here’s a guy who wants to produce better music¢â‚¬¦

Believes he is doing it from a spiritual place¢â‚¬¦

And that spiritual place is¢â‚¬¦the self¢â‚¬¦

The Apostle John urges followers of Jesus to “not believe every spirit, but to test the spirits to see if they are from God.” (1 John 4:1)

Rubin’s spiritual world is obviously an eclectic one¢â‚¬¦

–He has always been interested in magic and has not been unwilling to produce albums exploring the dark side–

–Yet his first album with Columbia records will be by Paul Potts, an operatic singer whose voice is so beautiful Rubin weeps when he hears it.

–And when Rubin worked with Johnny Cash, we are told they formed a deep spiritual kinship¢â‚¬¦during the final days of Cash’s life they took communion everyday¢â‚¬¦even though Rubin was born Jewish and considers himself to not have any specific religious orientation.

So what can we conclude about Rubin’s spirituality?

As I read about Rubin I thought of the Apostle Paul who visited Athens, saw pagan idols everywhere and concluded there was a genuine spiritual hunger there.

Rubin, like so many seekers today, reveals our universal spiritual capacity.

His passion for identifying beauty, craft & authenticity gives evidence of a spiritual nature yearning for art that resonates with the human spirit, yet transcends it.

He is a creative with a restless Spirit who is seeking the beautiful, but seems not to have discovered the ultimate truth—the living, creator God who is the source of all that is good and beautiful and true.

His spiritual capacity exceeds his actual experience with God.

So I resonate with his human spirit and pray for him¢â‚¬¦

One can only imagine what might happen if a soul with such a God given capacity for the good, the true and the beautiful¢â‚¬¦
knew God personally and deeply, and then connected artists and their art to the giver of every good and perfect gift¢â‚¬¦

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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    Posted in Staublog in September 5, 2007 by | No Comments »

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