Where the Magic Gets Made

After many years of trying, an experienced rock and roll groupie finally managed to sleep with Mick Jagger.

When her friends asked her how the legendary rocker had been as a sexual partner, she replied,  “He was good — but he was no Mick Jagger.”


That sweet coo

I couldn’t help recalling this story as I read The New York Times recent profile of Kuk Harrell, Justin Bieber’s vocal producer — who also produces sound tracks for Jennifer Lopez and Rihanna.

I’d thought that vocal production meant fancy echo chambers and audio air-brushing.    But no, that’s not it.

As I learned in the article, being a vocal producer involves making singers “sound as engaged and alive as possible  . . . making them sound even more like themselves.”

In order to do this, it’s the vocal producer’s job “to preserve and highlight what’s distinctive about each voice:   Ms. Lopez’s blend of husk and flirt, Rihanna’s petulant purr, Mr Bieber’s sweet coo.”

Ah, that sweat coo.   The one that makes the magic happen.   That sweet coo that  can launch a very young woman’s dreams.  That one.


The sound studio of the erotic

Vocal producer.   Magic maker.   Hmm.   You know, that pretty much nails Eros.

His eyes.  Her breasts.   The haunting details that launch dreams.  It’s all magic, isn’t it?

Husk and flirt, petulant purr, or sweet coo.   Just your inner vocal producer, sprinkling magic dust.

Freud marveled at it.   He was amazed at how Eros established erogenous zones in parts of the body which ordinarily serve much more boring purposes.

Since he grew up in the 1800’s, he was stuck with 19th Century ideas.   He saw the mind as a steam engine.   Today we have better metaphors.

But it’s all still magic.

Take away the magic, and Mick Jagger is just Mick Jagger.


stephen snyder md author photo Stephen Snyder, MD

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