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What makes a piece of music (or art) psychedelic?


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#1
tuculuxu

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Hi,

 

I've asked this question to many people who gave me many different answers.

 

Would you have your own?



#2
tuculuxu

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Nobody's interested? Too bad! I though it would be a subject worth investigating. :-)



#3
MattIshq

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Hi,

 

I've asked this question to many people who gave me many different answers.

 

Would you have your own?

 

Its a very complicated question ! which i cant personally answer but good food for thought.Its probably best to say its the viewer or listener that makes the work psychedelic in some sense as on psychdelics even non psychedelic music sounds psychedelic ? i am confused.


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#4
timeisart

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wow this is actually way harder to come up with a definition than I thought it would be. I would say it's anything that inspires the imagination to go places it wouldn't normally go. to me this is why I mostly enjoy music that doesn't have lyrics, because once words are included it narrows the possibilities down to just the single meaning of the words instead of allowing the listener to make their own interpretation, or their own personal trip. that's not to say lyrics can't be beautiful too though.


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#5
psy_blue

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No lyrics is definitely a plus for me as well in qualifying a track psychedelic, at least in the electronic music camp - psychedelic rock might be a different question but I suppose the OP was not referring to that. Timeisart I think you hit the mail on the head by referring to a trip to a place were "you would't normally go". To me this is a key element - I used to listen to John Williams, John Barry, etc. (orchestral soundtracks), which did take me places: to the "world" of the movie. But that's not very personal, does not come from your imagination, but kind of already laid out for you. So I'd expand your "definition" with "inspires the imagination to construct and go to not yet explored places".
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#6
yiannis

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I like the definitions that have come up, but for me it's not the unexplored realms effect I look for; it's just a certain feeling I get, which can be very familiar and cozy. The best I can do to describe it is it feels like I'm in time beyond time as it were. As if time has stopped or is somewhat stretched, moments last longer. This can happen independently of psychedelics I might add, but the music plays the most crucial role. Having said that, I can't pinpoint the exact elements that trigger the feeling, I just experience it.

 

Also I agree with timeisart and psy_blue's views on lyrics. Or at least lyrics I can understand. ;)



#7
tuculuxu

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I like your answers guys!

 

To me, it's about going to places using a magic carpet, like flying  high in the friendly (or not so friendly) sky, allowing exploration, bridge making in my brain.

 

About lyrics, that's a problem for sure, with downtempo electronica they usually annoy me (indeed for lyrics I can understand mostly, like an Indian or Arabic etheral voice is alright). However, I don't feel it's the case with other styles of psychedelic music. See for instance free your mind and your ass will follow or the rest of Funkadelic music, or many psychedelic rock bands from the late 60s, even though the effect is not the same.

 

The focus for now has been on what is the consequence of psychedelic music, like what are the effect of it. I also wonder on the technical side where the frontier between psychedelic and non psychedelic music lies. When I listen to something, I can almost instantly say, hey that's psychedelic, or that's not psychdelic, even before boarding the magic carpet.

 

Would you have an idea on what can create that difference? I don't know anything about music making!



#8
YuriNondual

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Lyrics can be very psychedelic!
https://ishq.bandcam...m/track/forever

So that is not true.

I noticed that for me there are various effects that i identify as psychedelic.

- One of those effects is when multiple melodies are layered on top of other, your brain tries to focus on all of them, which creates a dissociated  effect simmilar to binaurial audio/hemi-sync I guess.
- And any effects that creates an image of spiralling, or fractalness, or put's me in a certain space (reverbs).



#9
tuculuxu

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Alright, lyrics can be psychedelic, but very often, when I'm listenning to an album or something, when I stumble upon lyrics (especially that I understand) I get very annoyed and I feel the urge to skip! :-)

 

I think you've got the right point about the multi-layers effect. Brain trying to fit all the signals into a usual one resulting in strange things happening.

 

I guess I would understand better if I tried to make some music :-). Would more easily see the difference.


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