Quick question: listening to Moondance by Van Morrison, I suddenly wondered whether hit songs by artists who continually pump out hit songs also depend on 3rd Grav Bods for their success? I ask because I couldn’t identify one in the song, and then I remembered that we only looked at one-hit wonders in the example. So I figured perhaps there was a different formula for repeat successes.
William. (on the right in the photo at left)
Every runaway success – whether in music or movies or literature or food – has a 3rd Gravitating Body. I used one-hit wonders in the initial investigation only because they offered a single variable between the control groups and experimental groups: the same songwriting talent, singing talent, musical talent, etc. was identical in both the hit and the “not hits” produced by each group. So what was present in the hit of each group that wasn’t present in their “not-hits?” Answer: a 3rd Gravitating Body. (Henri Poincare.)
Moondance is an excellent example of 3rd G-Bodies. You haven’t been hearing them in your left brain because you’ve been compressing the rhythm, sub-rhythm and counter-rhythmic elements into a single blur. This is common.
The 1st, 2nd and 3rd GB are traded between different instruments in this song (voice being one of the instruments) like the ball in a rugby game.
Listen to the song again. It’s extremely complex, musically. The 1st GB at the beginning of the song is the staccato rhythm of the piano. The 2nd GB is the wandering melody carried by the lyrics (:07) weaving in and out of the stabbing, staccato piano. At about :22 the staccato rhythm is then traded off to the guitar for a bit while the piano joins the voice rhythm for about 5 seconds, then goes wandering. Notice the flute at :37. Listen to what it does. Notice the muted horn or sax from about :53 to 1:04. It enters the right speaker, messes around a bit, tugging at your attention, then goes away.
Don’t think of the 3rd GB as an instrument. Think of it as an effect created by any distracting 3rd element. In the piano solo that begins at 2:03, notice how (2) the rhythm is carried by a ching-ching rhythm guitar while (1) the bass lays down a groove and (3) the piano goes all Jazz. This goes on until 2:31 when the saxophone (or is that a clarinet or a muted trumpet?) takes over the 1st GB function for a bit.
That’s just one example what happens almost continuously in this song. Moondance is electric with 3GBs! They fly out like sparks and offer very few moments of convergence. In other words, all the bits rarely come together to give your mind a moment to reorganize.
The best way to detect all that’s happening is to pick a “background” instrument and try to stay focused on it. You’ll notice how other “things” – instruments, rhythm changes, etc. – enter in to try to pull your attention away.
Start the song again but pick a different element this time: rhythm guitar, bass, flute, woodwinds, drums, horns, two different things happening on the piano (rhythm and jazz) or the bouncing, belting voice that just won’t let you go. No element but the voice performs a function for very long.
Any time a new element enters in, listen to what happens to the element you were previously following. Try to hang onto it.
Complexity is the mark of every chaotic pattern.