It’s been FUH-EVAH since I’ve joined up with the lovely Finish the Sentence Friday crew (first blog-hop I ever joined, and the one which provided me some of my most enduring blogging connections) so I’m DELIGHTED to be back with them today, and not only that, but co-hosting, which means you can join in and link up HERE!
Thus far, no aesthetic expression even comes close to conveying the soaring highs and thundering lows of music. Nothing else can set our pulses racing or send shivers down our spine in the same manner. No other art form has the same ability to soothe, bolster, or empower us.
There is nothing else we respond to in quite the same way.
It has been hallmark of humanity since pre-history to make music, and I cannot imagine that the human culture would ever cast it aside. Certainly the human nature would revolt against the idea, for it is engrained, cell-deep – after all, we each carry our own rhythm within us, and from there it is only the matter of adding a few extra beats and some melody, and we continue the tradition we were steeped in even as we formed – lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-dub; our forever song.
Perhaps we’ll be in space by then. Goodness knows there has already been furore over a possible suicide mission to colonise Mars, and there have been discussions about what (if anything) we should send out into the universe to advertise our presence to other possible life-forms. Lewis Thomas cuts to the heart of things;
Perhaps the safest thing to do at the outset, if technology permits, is to send music. This language may be the best we have for explaining what we are like to others in space, with least ambiguity. I would vote for Bach, all of Bach, streamed out into space, over and over again. We would be bragging, of course…
Wherever we are though, if we are still here, there will be music.
Little gets destroyed with music. It is purely an act in creation; in composition, and artistically arranging the elements of beat and pitch and melody and emotion against the lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-dub that we all know, to make it appeal to specific audiences, who stream it into their ears and let it fill their whole selves. Even if the music *sounds* destructive (many lyrics leave much to be desired, and some music makes me wish I could rip my ears off to stop from hearing it (most offerings by Benjamin Britton and Nightwish have this effect)), the action taken to develop it from concept to instruction to sound, was by its very nature, creation, and we are nothing if not determined inventors.
One of the most beautiful quotes I ever read, said
Art is an imprint upon space; music is an imprint upon time
And time will tell, but regardless of the creation and availability of music in a millennium, what will the WE be like, outside the chords and choruses?
We will surely have evolved, even in such a tiny sliver of time (comparative to the rest of world history), into something quite remarkable. With our ever-growing social and ecological consciousnesses, I hope that we might have learned to follow our creative instincts to a place where we no longer feel the need to destroy. If only that could be the case. I would love to peek into the future to find we have achieved that most elusive of all concepts – that which music constantly teeters around; teasing us with the promise of, like star-spun words at midnight from a lover’s lips – balance.
Balance – where the composition of the world and all its inhabitants, sentient and non, have reached a harmonious state of being (see? we even use musical terms to describe the pinnacle of existence – harmony (lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-dub)). That the cycles of life have been allowed to flourish in their own rights, beyond the ridiculous interventions of mankind to try to control them, but that we will have seen the benefit in a peaceful co-existence, acknowledging and accepting our place within the whole, rather than trying to bring it all under our dominion.
To continue to try strikes me as rather akin to the string section insisting that they control the entire orchestra. Even as we look around us now, we see that the brass section is looking sketchy, the woodwinds are under threat, and the timpanist is down to one drumstick. We all know that notes are getting missed from existence, and all at our (collective) behest, as we each insist that we are, by rights, First Violinist.
We. Mankind. For whom the world was made?
As Violinists (first or not), we would have it so, but surely we cannot command the entire orchestra as long as we have our part to play? Surely we can hear the jangle of dischord in landslide and earthquake and each new instance of corruption, deception or brutality? Surely we can hear the tearing of sheet music as we plunder our world? Surely, if we just stop stamping our feet about our position in the orchestra for one moment, we will hear the lament of plastic-clogged seas; the moan of deforested lands; the plaintive cries of the oppressed, the sick, the starving, the dying and displaced, whose hearts we have long learned to consign to labels, rather than individual humans in need.
Lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-dub.
There it is.
That universal song, uniting all creatures, and perhaps, if we listen closely enough, we will hear its beat reverberate throughout the earth itself, and shimmer through every particle, until there, between the atoms we know that the most enduring, binding, wonderous thing of all, is music.
And if not eternal, then at the very least, transformative, and still here in the future.
So stop; listen; hear.
Lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-dub.
It’s in everything.
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