When I hear beautiful music, I can't help but wonder how it came into being. What was the person thinking and doing at that moment?
From all that I read about Michael Jackson, he undeniably believed beautiful music is always there....waiting to be "plucked" out of the Universe's opulent garden of creation. Of course, not just anyone can recognize this delightful bounty. I believe that certain individuals are chosen and through the mighty swirl of cosmic energy, the creator and creation unite to passionately give birth to the symphony of sound. Mr. Vogel, your many interviews and exhaustive research into Earth Song reveal the incredible gift of genius and artistic expression that IS Michael Jackson.
I don't remember when I first heard or watched Earth Song but I do remember being drawn in by the sounds and vivid images and the plaintive opening chords. I immediately recognized Michael's voice so I watched. The song stayed with me for days. In so many ways Michael Jackson is a kindred spirit. What humanity is doing to this precious planet breaks my heart. If you care, you cannot watch Earth Song, absorb the overwhelming music and words, and not feel this man's deep anguish and pleadings for us to wake up from our apathetic sleep and do our part to address the ills of the planet. What makes Earth Song so incredibly moving is that it resonates from his soul. Only a gifted artist, a person filled with emotion and compassion, could bear his soul and become the channel through which God speaks.
Being a part of the entire creative process which conceived and nurtured Earth Song must have been pure ecstasy. I close my eyes and imagine Michael Jackson, singing in the darkness, ignited by the fire of passion, pouring his whole being into the words and melodic expression of Earth Song. I've since listened to it countless times, watched him perform it during many concerts and each and every time I am lifted up and carried to another place, wanting to raise my voice and hands to the heavens and shout...What about us? Every time a majestic elephant is shot by a poacher for its ivory tusks, or a swath of irreplaceable forest is burned in the Amazon jungle to make way for a palm oil plantation, I grieve for the many creatures who lived there and must now search desperately for a new home. He pleads, "Do you ever stop to notice all the children dead from war? Do you ever stop to notice the crying Earth, its weeping shores?" I think about how mankind continues to take--to plunder and exploit--in the mistaken name of progress. I feel the pain and despair that Michael surely felt from the depth of his soul.
This was a man who lived and and breathed compassion and love. Even as a tiny child watching television with his mother, he would cry at images of starving and sick children in advertisements for humanitarian efforts. The gifts he gave us through his unforgettable music and his often overlooked humanitarian efforts in visiting children's hospitals and orphanages, his unselfish donation of millions of dollars from concerts to children's causes, and his soul-stirring images at these hospitals, handing out toys and sweetly holding and kissing babies and toddlers clearly reveal a rare and precious human being. Yet for more than four decades this gentle, kind man was cruelly dehumanized and trashed by an ignorant populace addicted to tabloid lies and sensationalism. Were we all watching the same thing? How could so many get it so wrong?
I tell myself I don't have a favorite Michael Jackson song but I have to be honest--I do. Earth Song IS Michael Jackson! It represents so much of who he was (is!). Imagine life without beautiful music. I can't. The more I study Michael Jackson's life, the more perfectly I understand his heartfelt message of love. He knew that music is the universal language of love; that every human being is moved by, or touched in some way by music.
I count myself so fortunate and privileged to have lived during this time--to experience the music of Michael Jackson, the beauty of his loving nature. I'm so deeply grateful that he lived among us for a brief time. His final arrangement of Earth Song for the ill-fated This Is It concerts is one of his most brilliant musical triumphs. The beautiful, innocent little girl touches a nerve that many believed to be numb.
Mr. Vogel, I cannot thank you enough for capturing this beautiful musical creation in such amazing detail and with such vivid expression. Michael Jackson's brilliant, compassionate legacy will live forever because people like you will ensure that it does.
Your book will be transforming!
God bless you!