Mike Oldfield’s To France: By A Spanish Pianist…and Plato?

Mike Oldfield wrote tubular bells, the eerie background music for the Exorcist.  He also wrote To France, a tribute to Mary Queen of Scots escape from England which is covered in the video above.  The song catches some of the spirit of English ballad and traditional folk while dealing with Protestant/Catholic subject matter.

Spaniards have a real interest in Oldfield, and I can’t help but wonder if there aren’t some shared Catholic traditions that spark the Spanish interest in Oldfield’s music (besides all the shared history).


On a related note, an emailer wrote me wondering why I had posts about music, when many other posts contain arguments which are contradicted by an indulgence in music.  I’d say there certainly is a lot of naivete and danger in seeking transcendance through music, which is so easily used by politicans, armies on the march, churches, dictators, …even witch doctors… to soften the mind rather than sharpen it, to incite the passions, and even perhaps to corrupt the spirit.

It’s not anything you won’t find in Plato, or in this essay on Plato, frankly:

This also meant that the artist is two steps removed from knowledge, and, indeed, Plato’s frequent criticism of the artists is that they lack genuine knowledge of what they are doing. Artistic creation, Plato observed, seems to be rooted in a kind of inspired madness.

So, good point, dear emailer. 

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