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  • Writer's picturedjSwade

Steppenwolf and the Magic Theatre

When I was in college, I fell in love with the writing of Hermann Hesse. My particular favorite was Steppenwolf. I was completely taken with Hesse's portrayal of the trials of Harry Haller (the Steppenwolf), a man facing the pains and indignities of old age. At the time, I felt I understood Harry Haller, but as I look back, I realize I didn't have a clue what he was going through. I simply lacked context because I was so young. Nonetheless, I was captivated by the novel from the beginning.

During Haller's travels, he encounters a female Steppenwolf, Hermine. At her invitation, he attends an all-night party fueled by drink, dance and demonic bands playing until dawn. The novel culminates in the Steppenwolf's visit to the Magic Theatre, a dark place of experiences and illusions not unlike a bizarro Disneyland. The Magic Theatre was so vivid that I think of it to this day. In fact, when I completed my latest song, I was struck by how much it reminded me of the Magic Theatre, so that's what I named it.

I had a great time creating and recording the song. I used a new guitar, an Enya Nova Go, with a built in actuator. The guitar's body is made of carbon fiber, very lightweight. The coolest thing about it is that it has built in effects: wah, chorus, reverb and delay. It also has a big sound, perfect for jam sessions and performances. On Magic Theatre, I use the wah effect at the beginning and the chorus on the lead guitar parts. What a blast to play! I also had some fun with the video, using an AI program called WZRD. It does some very cool stuff.

Magic Theatre is out now, so please take a listen and let me know what you think.


You can listen to Magic Theatre on Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Music, YouTube Music and other online stores. You can watch the official video for Magic Theatre on and YouTube. You can also check out my artist pages on Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Music and YouTube Music, where you can listen to my first album Audiostrata and my singles, including Ascending Acoustic, Celebration of the Fireflies and Lemon Cello.

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