music – the food of life, the universe… and everything

douglas adams has a beautiful description of transfigurative ethereal music in his brilliant novel Dirk Gently’s Detective Agency, whereby the beleaguered protagonist, Richard, is mesmerised by sounds emanating from nothingness within an orbiting spaceship…

“The air was full of music. So full it seemed there was room for nothing else. And each particle of air seemed to have its own music, so that as Richard moved his head he heard a new and different music, though the new and different music fitted quite perfectly with the music that lay beside it in the air. The modulations from one to another were perfectly accomplished — astonishing leaps to distant keys made effortlessly in the mere shifting of the head. New themes, new strands of melody, all perfectly and astoundingly proportioned, constantly involved themselves into the continuing web. Huge slow waves of movement, faster dances that thrilled through them, tiny scintillating scampers that danced on the dances, long tangled tunes whose ends were so like their beginnings that they twisted around upon themselves, turned inside out, upside down, and then rushed off again on the back of yet another dancing melody in a distant part of the ship.

Richard staggered against the wall. Dirk hurried to grab him.

‘Come on,’ he said, brusquely, ‘what’s the matter?  Can’t you stand the music?  It’s a bit loud, isn’t it?  For God’s sake, pull yourself together. There’s something here I still don’t understand. It’s not right.  Come on –’

He tugged Richard after him, and then had to support him as Richard’s mind sank further and further under the overwhelming weight of music. The visions that were woven in his mind by the million thrilling threads of music as they were pulled through it, were increasingly a welter of chaos, but the more the chaos burgeoned the more it fitted with the other chaos, and the next greater chaos, until it all became a vast exploding ball of harmony expanding in his mind faster than any mind could deal with.

And then it was all much simpler. A single tune danced through his mind and all his attention rested upon it. It was a tune that seethed through the magical flood, shaped it, formed it, lived through it hugely, lived through it minutely, was its very essence. It bounced and trilled along, at first a little tripping tune, then it slowed, then it danced again but with more difficulty, seemed to founder in eddies of doubt and confusion, and then suddenly revealed that the eddies were just the first ripples of a huge new wave of energy surging up joyfully from beneath.

Richard began very, very slowly to faint.”

that very evocative passage has always stayed with me. i have often heard musicians, poets and artists claim that they are the willing and lucky tools of this occult muse, merely transcribing or describing this unseen universe of creativity – this dimension all around us filled with the music of life, the music of the spheres, the polyphonic resonances of the universal core.

or something.

annnnnywaaaaaay, i’m going to occasionally post about tracks that i feel somehow tap into that cosmic harmonic, maybe talking about how it resonates with me or hits some sort of emotional mark, maybe. i dunno…

sounds a bit… pretentious to me really, but what the heck…

and if anyone has anything they’d like to add to the list let me know and we’ll give it a shot.

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