|Ed Sheeran in Edmonton. June 14, 2015. Photo by the Edmonton Sun.|
I admit it. I have no idea how music gets made; how a mind spontaneously generates ideas of sound. But watching Ed Sheeran perform is like seeing the creative process in motion.
Beginning with a riff — voice or guitar or percussion or some combination of these — he records it with his loop pedal. Then while you watch, he adds another track and another track, layering up the sound almost sculpturally. Building it. Constructing it.
Weaving songs into each other. Songs he has written and songs from other places and times. Weft over warp; under and over. Pulling together colours and textures and poetry and light.
And suddenly you realize that what sounds like a whole choir singing in gritty, transcendent harmony is just one man and his guitar at the centre of a stage. No back-up. No safety net.
Musical ideas fully formed, transformed, integrated and erected.
I swear I thought I was in a cathedral at one point.