Sting on Reorganization?

There was an interesting interview with Sting that I came across. There, he explained how a song’s structure can help focus on a problem (chorus), then shift to a new viewpoint (bridge), and thus find a solution (coda).

You can view it in a short video I edited (not too different from others available around there). It’s less than 2min long.

At some point it sounds a lot like how MOL works, doesn’t it?

For me, he is talking about focus & shift of awareness, and reorganization. Most probably without knowing about MOL and PCT… But who knows… maybe he does.

Does anyone have Sting’s number to ask him? :wink:

That is a lovely illustration of process, Matias, but I don’t see any contradiction or conflict in his example; ‘this happened, and this feeling is the consequence’.

Suppose you were able to find a song that oscillates between the horns of a contradiction. He says ‘going in circles’. Then in the bridge another point of view emerges, leading into the coda. Could be a teaching tool for MoL.

But he’s saying current songs lack the bridge and coda. Or maybe an upbeat song is all coda with the back story missing.

Thanks for your interesting reply, Bruce. It gives me the chance to focus on MOL, PCT and music, which together are a really nice combination.

Let me try something here.

First I will make the exercise of including MOL questions in the middle of the song´s structure and content Sting is talking about:

Verse: What would you like to talk about today? “My girlfriend left me”
Chorus: How are you feeling about it at the moment? “I’m lonely”, “I’m lonely”, “I’m lonely”
Bridge: What are you noticing just now? “Another chord”
Any thoughts coming along with that chord? “Maybe she is not the only girl in the block”,“Maybe I should look elsewhere”
Coda: What do you make of that?: “Things aren’t so bad”.

Now agian, under PCT terms:
Goal Conflict: “My girlfriend left me”
Awareness, focused on distress: “I’m lonely”, “I’m lonely”, “I’m lonely”
Shift in awareness: "(Another emotional tone or “chord”) “Maybe she is not the only girl in the block”, “Maybe I should look elsewhere”
Reorganization: “Things aren’t so bad”

Even though he doesn’t explicitly state that “my girlfriend left me” is a conflict, you can get that sense when he says that he is reiterating something distressful:“I’m lonely”, “I’m lonely”, “I’m lonely”. This “reiteration” shows how awareness keeps on focusing on error. But, at the same time can’t find a nobel solution for it. Awareness is not bringing other relevant perceptions involved in “My girlfriend left me”, until the “chord” comes in.

I have always enjoyed listening to Queen. Here goes one of their masterpieces:

Who wants to live forever (Queen, 1986).

“Who Wants To Live Forever”

There’s no time for us
There’s no place for us
What is this thing that builds our dreams, yet slips away from us?

Who wants to live forever?
Who wants to live forever?

There’s no chance for us
It’s all decided for us
This world has only one sweet moment set aside for us

Who wants to live forever?
Who wants to live forever?

Who dares to love forever
When love must die?

But touch my tears with your lips
Touch my world with your fingertips
And we can have forever
And we can love forever
Forever is our today

Who wants to live forever?
Who wants to live forever?
Forever is our today
Who waits forever anyway?

What a great song! It starts with a conflict: there is no place, no time, no chance for us. We can’t live and love forever. A really sad atmosphere all around. Then the bridge comes in. Music tone changes. Awareness shifts to a new set of perceptions: “Touch my tears with your lips. Touch my world with your fingertips”. Having that deep caring and loving connection is the way that “we can have forever, and we can love forever”. The problem is being seen from a new perspective “forever is our today” (Long term goals controlled from the present). And as Bill Powers used to say, “the conflict dissolves”. A beautiful reorganization.

What is more, at CODA, they go up an extra level: “Who waits forever anyway?” Amazing!

I think Sting is quite right in this case :smile:

What do you think?

Since this topic has to do with music and reorganization I thought I would post what I think is one of the best examples of “going up a level” ever recorded. It occurs at the beginning of the recording of Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream.

The take begins with Dylan singing with just his own acoustic guitar accompaniment. Then he breaks into roaring laughter. I think that’s the “up a level” moment. Here’s what I think is going on. The song was recorded in 1965, right when Dylan “went electric” after at least 4 years as a folk singer, accompanying himself only with acoustic guitar. I think that when he starts the take and the band doesn’t come in, he detects no error because the lower level perceptions of the song – sans band entry – are consistent with his old folksinger point of view.

But after a few seconds (about 4 or five seconds from the point where the band comes in on the second take) there is an error at the higher level that sets the reference for “type of song” – “electric, rock” rather than “acoustic, folk” in this case. The sudden error shifts Dylan’s conscious point of view from the sound of the song to the level at which the error occurs. This “up a level” event is betrayed by laughter, as it often is in MOL sessions.

So there you have it; a PCT interpretation of the behavior of the greatest songwriter of my era!

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