A Genius at Work

I saw “This Is It,” over the weekend. With all the buzz and advertising hoopla which was stamped with a two week expiration date, I felt compelled to see the movie and I’m so glad I did. Watching this film was like peeking into the laboratory of a mad musical scientist and getting a rare glimpse of a genius at work.

MJ touches nothing in his lab and we are quickly reminded that he doesn’t play any instruments. But he doesn’t have to. God gave him an honorary PhD in music. His understanding of tone, sound, rhythms and timing are far more precise than his musicians who have no doubt studied for years. MJs comprehension of sound is more than intellectual. It is instinctive as well. He doesn’t just think music, he feels it in every cell of his body.

I watched Michael move from one song to another telling the director and musicians exactly what he wanted and what he feels. He gives direct orders and his only demand was that everybody keeps up with him. Because he’s focused and he’s quick and he seeks perfection. Yet he is kind and compassionate towards the other artist who shares his stage.

After rehearsing a solo near the end of the film, the dancers ferociously applaud Michael’s performance. I would have too had I been at one of Magic Johnson’s Theaters. The applause of the dancers was met with sheer humbleness as he said, “I love you guys,” as if he had no clue he was one of the greatest artist on earth. It is here that I am awe struck by his lack of ego.

Michael didn’t appear to be ill at all. In fact, he seemed quite healthy, practicing his famous dance moves, keeping up with the youthful dancers and sparing only his voice and often forgetting to do that. MJ didn’t look 50 years old. He looked 50 years young.

Given the multi-million dollar budget (they were making elaborate videos to screen in conjunction with the concert) the show would have been a smash hit in London. However, I value the opportunity to witness his extraordinary raw talent as he created musical magic. Without all the lights, cameras and costumes, you see Michael Jackson in his truest form: a pure spirit of music creativity.

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