When The Space Between Was So Much Less by Emily Magpie

Emily Magpie’s a somewhat unconventional name. I’ve never had the privilege of meeting anyone with the surname Magpie. I did a short search on the world wide web and found that it is a very, very scarce name. Perhaps Magpie is a stage name; that seems more likely to me. I welcome Emily Magpie to correct me if I am wrong.

Moving right along then for a bit of focus on the tunes. After all, I am not a linguist. The music is beautiful, much like the plumage of a magpie. Take the time to stop and see the iridescence of the Magpie’s feathers; they take my breath away. Emily Magpies’ music has some sonic crossover from a bird to a piece of music. Her music is iridescent because it sounds different every listen. It shimmers and invites us to take a closer look/listen.

I wasn’t able to find much information about Emily Magpie. That can be good because I don’t approach her music with expectations. I can sit back and let the music flow around me. I let my breathing get into a rhythm with the song, and just as I get comfortable, the music jumps out of the speakers and jars me into a new flow.

All of the tracks on this EP have the prefix Re. Now, what’s a prefix? It’s a string of letters or words added at the front of root words to change their meaning; the English prefix Re means occurring again or repeating. On this EP, we have ReFlow, ReForward, ReFocus and ReBend. Emily Magpie has her music flowing again, which tells us that it was flowing at one point in time, then stopped and is now flowing again. I wonder if this alludes to her music. She felt in the groove, flowing wherever the music was taking her. And then it stopped, Covid perhaps? But now it is ReFlowing, post-Covid.

ReFocus

ReForward, moving forward again. ReFocus, being in focus again. And ReBend, bending again?

So here is my theory on the state of the music that Emily Magpie is presenting to us, the listeners. Her music was flowing, and life was good. She was moving in a good direction, forward. She was focused and flowing forward. Now, this is the tricky part, ReBending. I suppose it could indicate a certain amount of flexibility, being able to bend without being broken. Yeah, I’ll go with that wild guess.

The music is as eclectic as the names. Emily Magpie uses a lot of tech toys in her music, drum beats, synths, Musique Concrète and sampling, to name a few. I have dabbled in creating music with digital toys, and it isn’t easy to be as good as Emily Magpie. On ReFlow, she builds layers and layers of music that climb to a crescendo and then descends graciously to allow the next track to come at us.


That track is ReForward, and it confuses me. It has drumming and chanting that sounds like the First Nations music I heard playing at a park just a few days ago. The track allows that sampling to drift in and out of the tune as it continues to move forward. Forward again. ReForward.

ReFocus is a mix of protest chants, jazz, electronica and raw energy. I don’t necessarily get what the track is ReFocused on, but I enjoy focusing my attention on the tune and listening to it several times to feel the depth of the track. Wonderful music, simply wonderful.
ReBend is more chilled and laid back. It lets us settle down, ReBend from the dynamic sounds that precede it. A friendly, gentle closer to the EP.

Bottom line, it took me several listens to get into the groove with this EP, but when I did, it was magical. Totally worth the time and energy to get there. I don’t know if I grasp what Emily Magpie is telling us through the medium of music, but I had a good time listening to the music. I recommend this EP and give it a 5-star rating.

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