Sunday, February 8, 2015

Tour Kick Off: The Devil's Music by S.L. Klein

Non Fiction

Date Published: August 2014

Certain musical modes, tones, and instruments have been used to represent evil for centuries. From the torturous musical instruments depicted in Hieronymus Bosch's famous "Garden of Earthly Delights" to the dark tones that announce the presence of Darth Vader in the Star Wars films, from the cantatas of Bach and the operas of Mozart to heavy metal, music has been used to represent a gallery of rogues and demons including the devil himself. But can music do more than suggest the presence of evil? Can certain music actually embody evil? Since antiquity many have thought so. And this belief combined with religious and philosophical concepts drawn from Eastern cultures has influenced the direction of Western culture, its mythology, cosmology, theology, and politics, and consequently the structure of Western society itself. This book recounts the history of demonic music and its extraordinary influence on Western culture. 

#1 – Do You See Writing as a Career?
Yes.  I love researching and writing and hope that what I choose to write about will be of interesting to others.

#2 – What was the Hardest Part of Your Writing Process?
Organizing a considerable amount of material within a coherent narrative. 

#3 – Did you have any One Person Who Helped You Out with Your Writing Outside of Your Family?
I owe a debt of thanks to the late Dr. Jean-Pierre Barricelli more than anyone else outside my family.  He liked my original idea regarding the Devil’s Music and encouraged me to develop it.

#4 – What is next for your writing?
I’m thinking of writing a follow up to my first book which discussed the green revolution. It included a coherent rather than piecemeal approach to significantly reducing our dependency on hydrocarbons while maintaining our living standard. As I feared since then (2008) we have not made that much progress toward ending our dependence on hydrocarbons even piecemeal.  It’s frustrating but I’m not surprised given our history.

 In 1973 Libya, Saudi Arabia, and other OPEC members blatantly used oil as a weapon against us. It was a daring attempt to influence European if not American foreign policy and divide the alliance. The result was long gas lines and market turmoil in the U. S. despite the fact that we (unlike the Europeans) imported only a small percentage of our oil from the  Middle East. By the early 1980s, Americans were buying smaller, more gas efficient cars, and the oil producers of OPEC were hurting.  From 1985 through 1999 OPEC dropped the price of oil significantly. Meanwhile, memories of what happened in 1973 and what could happen faded. U. S. legislation supposedly aimed at promoting more fuel-efficient cars included a loophole you could drive a truck through.  With low gas prices, Americans bought gas guzzling SUVs in huge numbers as if the price of gasoline were the only consideration.

We don’t seem to understand the broader impact of oil. Saudi Arabia uses oil money to spread religiously intolerant Wahhabism. Russia has used and will use oil as a weapon against Europe.  Oil also helps fund the Jihadis etc. There are a lot of reasons for going green. Climate change and security top my list. But the price of gasoline seems to be the only one too many of us look at.  As I wrote in 2008 “Moving to end our oil dependency … will take away … (a significant part of ) the money supply that, like blood nourishing a cancer, helps tyranny to grow.  And it is an action that is entirely internal to our country, requiring no army and no bloodshed….”  

As it turns out, we may have a game changer in the offing, one that could propel the green revolution forward, just when we need it most.  Will it succeed?  It may be time to look at how new and improving technology could change the world.

#5 – Do you have an addiction to reading as well as writing? If so, what are you currently reading?
Yes.  I read a lot – nearly every night.  Among of the books I’m currently reading are books on ancient skills - everything from flint napping to fire making without matches to ancient techniques for figuring out latitude and longitude. This study relates to my fondness for wilderness hiking, a life-long interest in astronomy and related subjects, and a long-standing interest in ancient cultures. In the latter category, I recently reread an account of Eratosthenes’ method for figuring out the circumference of earth (c. 200 b.c.e..) – I find it interesting that his estimate was much closer than the one Columbus would use in 1492. More generally speaking, I like subjects that allow me to recreate by experiment what I read. For instance, I’ve created my own fire bow,  loom, and sling, used the North Star and length of day to determine latitude, constructed an “observatory” made from fish line to determine longitude, and employed the shadow method to estimate direction and time.  I also, of course, use modern techniques such as GPS way points as well as maps and compass to keep oriented during long hikes.  Unfortunately, many of the books I’m currently reading and often read are out of print and found only at universities or in private collections. One in-print book is the Air Force Manual entitled Survival, which gives some excellent instructions on determining altitude and longitude using very simple tools.

DESCRIBE Your Book in 1 Tweet:
How an ancient Greek theory of musical discord influenced Western concepts of evil, madness, cosmology, politics, culture, and social order.

This or That?

#1 - iPd or Mp3?   iPd

#2 – Chocolate or Vanilla?  Chocolate

#3 – Mashed Potatoes or French Fries?  Neither

#4 – Comedy or Drama?  Comedy

#5 – Danielle Steel or Nicholas Sparks?  Nicholas Sparks

#6 – Fantasy or Reality?  Reality

#7 – Call or Text?   Text

#8 – Public School or Home School?  Public School

#9 – Coffee or Hot Chocolate   Hot Chocolate

#10 – eBook or Paperback?   Both

February 9 - Deal Sharing Aunt - Interview
February 10 - Welcome to Rainy Day Reviews - Excerpt
February 11 - Counter, Culture, Critic - Guest Post
February 12 - Gothic Moms - Excerpt
February 13 - Texas Book Nook - Spotlight
February 14 - Beppe DM Books Blog - Excerpt
February 15 - Logikal Blog - Guest Post
February 16 - A Life Through Books - Spotlight
February 17 - Andi's Book Reviews - Excerpt
February 18 - Illuminate Caliginosus - Spotlight
February 20 - RABT Reviews - Wrap Up

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