The Music Of Things

John Cage noted the musicality of Mushrooms. John Cage also found the natural musicality of a human at rest: the low tone of the circulatory system and the high pitch of the nervous system. If we could hear the noise of our own brains working, we would not be able to communicate with each other. The position I find myself in is of the passive observer who grants himself the power of manipulation – powers that ANYONE can equally take for them selves. The only separation between the haves and have-nots is that I DO IT, not because you can’t but because you HAVEN’T. The fact is, simply doing it and showing it makes the divide. Bridging the gap means acknowledging how it is done. By the end of it all, the bit you understand is – ultimately – the call to manipulate things for yourself. The bit you don’t understand, and hopefully would like to understand, is the share of the power I keep for myself. It is at once a call to arms, and an ammunition: “Look, I’ve got a secret weapon, you get one too if you don’t want to be an idiot. I’ve shown you mine, now let’s see yours”. A lot of it is about fakery, feigning and fooling. The one who tells the best lie is the manipulator, and so stakes for a command over the believers. We live in a world of appearances Unfortunately for the artist lyer, the world of representational art hates lies. Manipulating the medium that is already representational is to keep me from doing the same to the genuine article. Not to keep the lid on, it has nothing to do with catharsis and release. It is more that I am simply not committed to manipulating REAL things. That is the job of people with REAL power. Manipulating the representational is therefore not a move to discount the ‘real’ of reality. These representations are not facades that render my experience of the real world distant and ethereal. I am real: outside of philosophy and abstract throught I can tell you that reality is here; I am afraid of the dark; I get hot when I’m embaressed; interactions between people are fraught with the heated nature of reality. No, the downloaded videos are ethereal avatars themselves, they all relate to real things. Their medium is video, but it is also a kind of ‘shorthand’ for the real thing in the frame. If these clips are shorthand, I’m always interested in the longhand. Away from economy, this never transpires as a physically heavy, simple gesture. It must always be elaborate, crafted, protracted in process and duration. The fact that this elaboration derived from an array of shorthand clips … The Greek artisans Zeuxis and Parrhasius set contests in painting grapes so real the birds would try to peck. But the Greeks didn’t fool themselves that people don’t enjoy the same deception. Don’t fool YOURSELF in thinking we are out of the swamp of irrational belief, that we have grown to be Gods, masters of our own perceptions and powers of deception. How inhuman to think of yourself as the rational one. The ill-crafted, the futile, the apologetic, the sparse and rationalised are signs of an age that is asking for something ‘new’. Newness should not always hit like a moment of sudden discovery. Newness takes the form of one extended realization, an imperceptible shift in the way of things. Nothing has physically changed, only our ability to see further into ‘the now’, which of course changes everything. It seems to me that every structure and thing is united in by the absolute nature of life and death. That very fact will also one day die, just as it was proposed here today. I am interested in the quantization of things: rhythm and frequency. Waxing and waining, coming an going, past and future, measured. When one takes a singular monologue there is the original expression – one persons subjective experience. The ability to cut this up, to mince the originals words represents the way in which a singular expression may conform – unwillfully – to another subjective experience. To cut this up further, to increase one’s magnification so that the meaning of the sentences, words, the rhythm of an argument becomes iradicated, is to push the whole vehicle into a more fundemental realm, like observing the essential matter that makes up the universe. What we see then, is something absolute that everything must ultimately conform to – not just the human voice, but all sound. Higher frequencies represent things in a state of hysteria, speed and excited energy. Low frequencies represent the slow, earthy and controlled. Both extremes may be erractic, but the low tones are so under long durations, so taking a snippet in the duration makes us believe in that tone’s sense of organization. The high tone of the human female voice; the cries of an animal in distress; the lathe; the engine turning at high speed; the small, light airborne vehicles; the erratic flight of insects; the nervous system at work; the highly magnified; the chaotic movement of subatomic particles; electrical buzzing; high states of friction and opposing forces; proximity – the point of contact. The low tone of the human male voice; the reflexive grunt of large mammals; submersion in states where sound is emasculated, underwater; inside the womb; the circulatory system; the low rumble of sci-fi scenes in space; the movement of the macrocosmos; the grumble of the engine on standby; the authority of commanding oration; the voice of God; the distant explosion; Tonality, taken in extremes, divides the world into light and dark in a way that seems to bypass subjective experience and align things on a spectrum that predates our existence. (Perhaps “light and dark” is a misuse of the phrase…it is true that high energy systems are givers of light, while low energy systems appear ‘switched off’. For now, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that in some cases darkness is system that produces so much energy that it becomes void, beyond our perception. I am thinking of the black hole as an example) The human world is certainly loud – the machines we have so far invented, there are too many of us and we are often given too greater platform to express ourselves – You tube is testament to that…which is actually only representative of the human community with Internet access. But what about the Music of the Spheres, Superstring theory, the Mayan calender, the I Ching, the Periodic Table? Scientific, religious and metaphysical endevour must conclude at the same point: that the essential laws of the universe have to answer the principles of vibrational frequency akin to ‘music’. If one were to take the history of the world, from start to end, and compile chronologically the heart beat of every living thing that ever was, and fit that audio blueprint in the space of a year, you would hear the repeating cascading individual tones going from high to low: that is, as every living thing is born into the world, it is compact and high in energy, the heart rate slows, the tone lowers as its bloated body spins off enough energy for it to fade away. The lifespan of the giant tortoise (117 years) would be a definite repeating cascade. The sound of the lifespan of the gastrotich (3 days) would be nothing but high pitched background noise. I suppose if this experiment in terrestrial audio should be accurate we might ask at what point did life appear? Growing as it did in the form of bacteria from prehistoric sulphuric acid lakes. Then the dirt itself is itself moved by music. The process of making music from the things in the word is a process of revealing – these tones were always there. They existed for a fraction of a second, but they happened. Taking that fraction and repeating it sustains a tonal and physical condition


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