Enter Your First Name (to see if I blog about you)

Jun 17, 2016

Music Makers and Dreamers of Dreams

I retract my earlier published theory about musicians, and offer a new one.

Aliens. Pretty sure it's aliens. I've done a little more research and I've decided that musicians are descendants of an enlightened race that landed an unknowable number of millennia ago and set up camp with early mankind. Lots of them are still here, just walking around, saying stuff, acting like everything is normal -- granted the reviews have been mixed.

I assume what they were trying to do was bring to earth a universal language that mankind could use to communicate irrespective of spoken word. At first with just sticks and rocks. Then animal hides, bones and gourds. Then wood, ebony and ivory and Mozart. Then electricity and steel and Jimi Hendrix. It gets quite complicated after that, because technology and Bob Moog and those guys we don't think of as "rock stars" but nevertheless changed the world. See also Chapter 5, "Cosmik Debris," search term "giraffe filled with whipped cream," Chapter 7, "Movers and Shakers" search term "Arthur William Edgar O'Shaughnessy," Chapter 10, "Gods and Monsters," search term "Tonto," all of Chapters (Prince symbol) through 😭 and in fact most of the rest of the book.
Since one possible outcome of this sorcery, when expertly applied, especially at night, is a lot of rocking and rolling...ya know, the horizontal mambo? The wang dang doodle? Sex. Music leads to sex...or...or maybe it's the other way around. Either way, there's been a certain degree of interspecies hanky panky resulting in these complex descendants that may or may not have retained this cosmic knowledge in their DNA, and to compress volumes into one word, we named that "talent."

In theory, any of us likely have some degree of musical talent. But in reality, it doesn't always work out -- sometimes you'll get the musical talent without the proper gift of expression (we call those "teachers" or "sound guys"), but sometimes it's the other way around (we call those "writers" or "comedians"). They are all terribly important and should be thanked and appreciated more often. Bring them money and food. Get Cheez-its.

Who You Jivin' With That Cosmik Debris?

Musicians manipulate the air, causing particles to collide and vibrate into what they call "notes." They control the rate of these vibrations by shaping time into specific pulses they call "beats." It gets more complicated after that, I'll do a diagram or something later. But this talent is as close to sorcery as you can get, is it not?

Within and between the notes and beats is a mysterious kind of unteachable "something." Music can bring people together, convey wisdom and trigger memory. Music grants courage, provides comfort and nurtures love. Music can define, amplify and connect ideas. This is a force so powerful that it frames time and space, defines entire regions and speaks for generations.

We idolize our rock stars. But generally speaking, oddly enough, we've endured roughly a century of disrespect for future rock stars. Stop making that noise, cut your hair, go work in a bank, you're a bum unless you're getting paid for your time, and conveniently, through an unexplainable series of events, nobody wants to pay for music anymore. Like it ain't no big thing.

Dare to dream the dreams, future rock stars. As though anyone could stop you.∎


♯ ♯


by Arthur O'Shaughnessy

We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers
And sitting by desolate streams;
World losers and world forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world’s great cities.
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire’s glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song’s measure
Can trample an empire down.

We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And o’erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world’s worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.