That’s what the angel-watcher promised, and now that I have caught sight of glory, I know enough to believe. - MJ
Earth Song: Inside Michael Jackson’s Magnum Opus by Joseph Vogel (Blake Vision, 2011) - A Book Review by Elizabeth Amisu
This article was first published on the Michael Jackson Academic Studies Journal, 15 August 2014.
The cover of ‘Earth Song: Inside Michael Jackson’s Magnum Opus’
'Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson' (Sterling 2011) was a huge and well-researched text, which will doubtless become a staple in schools, universities and colleges the world over when the level of Jackson's genius is finally accepted on the international academic stage and given the respect and study it deserves. Vogel's other book on Jackson, 'Featuring Michael Jackson: Collected Writings on the King of Pop' is targeted more towards lay-readers, giving a simple but effective series of published articles from publications like 'The Atlantic'. 'Earth Song: Inside Michael Jackson's Magnum Opus' completes the triumvirate of groundbreaking studies in Michael Jackson's art by academic, Dr. Joseph Vogel.
The sense of “the world is in me” is how I always want to feel. That one in the mirror has his doubts sometimes. So I am tender wit him. Every morning I touch the mirror and whisper, “Oh friend, I hear a dance. Will you be my partner? Come.” - MJ
#Jacksonism Week 5 - Set Task: The Way He Makes You Feel
(c) 2014 E. Amisu
This will be the final week of the free online Jacksonism course this year. Please subscribe to elizabethamisu.com and the Michael Jackson Academic Studies journal to keep up-to-date with all the news and posts.
Set Task - The Way He Makes You Feel
‘One sparkle from a little girl’s gaze contains the same knowledge that Nature implants at the heart of every life-form.’ - ‘Wise Little Girl’ by MJ
Over the last four weeks you have been challenged to think about Michael Jackson’s personas, his earlier music and his later musical catalogue. You have been encouraged to read about and ruminate on his lyrics and his short films, now is your opportunity to put everything you have learned to good use.
This week requires you to create.
- Choose a medium that defines your artistic preference. This could be music, writing, painting, film-making or any other art form.
- Using simply the title 'Feel' create a piece of art that sums up your emotions relating to the first four weeks of your study.
- You may choose a single theme, album, song as a focal point but the work must fit on one sheet of A4 paper or be no longer than two minutes.
- After you have completed the work, post it online with your name, the date and the hashtags #Feel and #Jacksonism.
- You may also share it with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to see what you come up with.
For those of you who can’t wait to continue your studies in Jacksonism we have designed a short Additional Reading List for you. Enjoy!
Week 5 (and beyond) Additional Readings:
White, Armond, Keep Moving: The Michael Jackson Chronicles (Resistance Works, 2010)
Michael Jackson’s Dangerous (33 1/3) (Bloomsbury, 2014)
Jones, Quincy, Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones. (Doubleday, 2001), Chapter 27.
Swedien, Bruce,In the Studio with Michael Jackson (Hal Leonard, 2009), p. 46 (Off the Wall), p. 56 (Bad), p. 87 (Bad).
Stillwater, Willa, M Poetica: Michael Jackson’s Art of Connection and Defiance (Kindle, 2011, 2013)
People may die but love never dies. - Elizabeth Amisu
#Jacksonism Week 4 - Music II
c) 2014 E. Amisu
Chapter 2 - Music
‘Music is a teacher/That can teach you right from wrong/If you listen closely/There’s a lesson in the song’ - The Jacksons
Last week asked you to start a deep reading of Michael Jackson’s solo works. Due to the limited time frame of twelve weeks we won’t be able to delve into the earlier albums created at Motown and Columbia, but they are still very important because they give an excellent sense of context to Michael Jackson as a child prodigy who transformed himself into an accomplished composer.
There is a musical plumb-line which links ‘I’ll Be There’ with ‘You Are Not Alone’ and ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ with ‘Threatened’ so if you do have time this week, I suggest taking a trip down memory lane and listening to all the Jacksons’ and Jackson 5 albums. A list of relevant works can be found here: http://michaeljacksonstudies.org/comprehensive-references/primary-sources-albums/
There’s no such thing as closure. You just become accustomed to the icy draft from the door they left open. - Elizabeth Amisu