Before writing his album Along the Way, singer-songwriter Mark McGuire began to read obsessively the works of P.D. Ouspensky, a Russian thinker who published books in the early 1900s about the “Fourth Way” system of achieving higher consciousness. It’s pretty out-there stuff, but McGuire (no, not the baseball player) has made fairly leftist art himself the past decade; he was once a member of Emeralds, an experimental drone trio that often released material exclusively on cassette and opened for Throbbing Gristle and Godspeed You! Black Emperor.
On his new album cut “In Search of the Miraculous,” which was named after one of Ouspensky’s books, McGuire channels his new guru through bright guitars and New Age synths. “It’s about a person falling in love with knowledge and following that love wherever it takes him in search of truth and understanding of himself and the world,” McGuire tells Rolling Stone. “The main mantra of the song is, ‘All that we know is only learned,’ implying that all knowledge created and discovered by man is continuously open to re-evaluation and can always grow and change, which basically leaves reality open to all possibilities.”
The song displays growth of McGuire’s drone experimentation, too. However, while many drone works are dark and heavy, McGuire gives the song a sense of rising. Soon, the tune grows from a few delicate notes to complete ecstasy. The only vocals are McGuire’s own indecipherable calling – leaving the song, like Ouspensky’s works, open to interpretation.