Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Killer IQ Part 7: Feelin' Groovy

Musical-rhythmic intelligence has to do with rhythm, music, and hearing. Those who rank high in this form of intelligence have a greater sensitivity to sounds, rhythms, tones, and music. They normally have good pitch; they may even have perfect pitch (the ability to identify or recreate a musical note without the benefit of an external reference).  They are able to sing, play musical instruments, compose music, and (of course) tend to be those in the music field: instrumentalists, singers, conductors, disc-jockeys, orators, and composers.  In addition, they may learn best via lecture and often use songs or rhythms to learn and memorize information, and may work best with music playing in the background.

Such Beautiful Music

While there are a number of instances in which killers and the music world seem to collide it's a little hard to determine if killers tend to rank high in musical-rhythmic intelligence simply from the fact that they enjoy music.  It's possible, with his tendency to enjoy writing poetry (which many could consider a somewhat musical intervention), that BTK Killer Dennis Rader would rank high though.  Also potentially ranking high is Charles Manson.

Charles Manson took the lyrics to The Beatles' "Helter Skelter" to manipulate a group of outcasts, his "family", to kill seven people in what was referred to as the Tate/LaBianca murders.  But that was the least impressive thing he did involving music.  Before (and after) he was leading a murderous cult he was not only an avid music fan but fancied himself a musician...and so did some in the music business.  His first encounter within the music industry was with Beach Boy, Dennis Wilson.  While their exact way of meeting is debated some - whether Wilson told him to stop by the house sometime or Manson just showed up - it seemed that the two hung out at Wilson's house enough to become friendly and for Wilson to buy studio time for Manson to record songs (ones Manson wrote and performed himself).  The Beach Boy also introduced Manson to a few of his industry friends one of which,  songwriter Gregg Jakobson, also paid for Manson to have time to record songs.

...About 7 to 8 months after the Tate/LaBianca murders an album of the man's music was released.  As with all forms of art whether or not a piece is good is debatable (though reviews I found were generally favorable) and there were changes made by Dennis Wilson and others.  But what isn't debatable, what doesn't change, is the impact that even Charles Manson's music had on pop culture at large.  Famous musicians, including Guns 'N' Roses and Marilyn Manson, have re-recorded or sampled his music either in whole or part.  Now maybe these artists used Manson's creations in their own work for shock value or, possibly, they recognized someone who (despite a very sick and twisted mind) shared a high musical-rhythmic intelligence like them and used the man's pieces to their own benefit - putting their own spin on his creation - which is something that happens frequently in the arts.

No comments: