Where words fail, music speaks.
What is it about music?
In the Summer of 1977, I was sitting in the Los Angeles Forum, in an altered state of conciousness. Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin were on stage playing Dazed and Confused and Jimmy was using a violin bow to play his guitar. 18,000 people in the room were exploding with excitement over the moment. As I sat in my seat, snapping photos with sheer delight, the reality of my experience flooded over me….
Here was a man standing in this giant room. He had a piece of wood with plenty of hardware that supported metal strings that were held taught on the wood with precision adjustments. Across this instrument, he dragged another piece of wood that had thin strands across those metal strings. This caused the strings to vibrate. Electronic sensors in that piece of wood converted those vibrations into electric impulses which transmitted from that piece of wood to an instrument panel in which other electric impulses from the others on stage were enjoined into a master set of impulses which were then transmitted to the massive set of boxes with membranes that would oscillate with those impulses. That caused vibrations in the air that traveled instantly throughout the room and caused a membrane in my ear to vibrate, which connected to my brain and created sheer happiness causing me to scream out loud and bang my hands together.
I told you I was in an altered state of consciousness.
Music fascinates me. In another lifetime, I most certainly would have been a musician. I would rank music amongst the most important things in life to me.
Music carries us at moments of sadness, either in comfort to echo the feelings we are experiencing, as in an emotionally low place in a relationship. It elevates us to higher frames of mental acuity as in listening to Mozart when studying. It propels us into vigorous exercise as we go to the gym and spin or work out. It energizes us and causes our bodies to move in countless ways when we dance. It is the center of tribal rituals. It is the punctuation of many forms of art when used in theater, television and film. Sometimes, it is just a placeholder, when we step into an elevator, working as a pacifier for those who are claustrophobic.
No matter the use case, music is so integrated with our overall being, it is almost as integral as the elements… Wind, Water, Fire, etc.
Spielberg believes that it will be music that enables us to communicate with aliens when we finally engage with one another.
Music grabs us at our weakest or our strongest moments and compliments everything, galvanizes, soothes, relaxes and stimulates. It is the essential companion.
So why is music so powerful?
I think the answer is that we are all vibrations. Nothing more. Use an electron microscope and go deep into any living or innate object and you will discover mostly empty space. Distances as vast as the gaps between the stars when you get small enough in scope. Deep inside there, the electrons are a cloud wave of vibration. Einstein said, “Everything in life is vibration.” He also said, “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a persistent one.”
Take those two core truths about reality and consider how and why music is the key…. Music is vibration at precise created variables. We are made up entirely of vibration, nothing more. Our vibration cumulatively makes us, us. When the precise music vibration occurs, it connects with us in ways that I will guess we are not even beginning to understand. It is so base and fundamental that we cannot ignore it. We sense it and it sends all sorts of signals to our brain, releasing all sorts of chemicals in our body and giving us emotions that we were not feeling a second prior to hearing it.
Sometimes words are not enough. Ask any filmmaker if they can make a movie without music. Doable? Of course? Just as good? Not a chance.
Where words fail, music speaks.
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