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Did Socrates say "Know Thyself", or was he misunderstood, as all are. Show Thyself is all we can do. The knowing is unknowable.  

I am filled with joy.  It can't be helped.  

Became a Farmer, Builder, Musician, Tank Commander, Librarian, Lawyer and Minister. I have failed at many things. And now retired.  Filled, just filled, with Joy. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Music is not a Language

Often after playing music, never during, I fairly burst with expression and insight and desperately yearn to "communicate" it. Of course, this may be a side-effect of playing itself. The hunger, the need to express. Words are much more linear, of course, but both conversations and tunes are parsed by Time.

The difficulty is the shift, the translation back to "words". One can feel a knuckle between the word-net of "language" and the ringing-fruit basketry of "sound". We are able to do things with things we little understand -- words and tunes come from somewhere, loaded with skill-sets and feelings, and components which are shared. But most of the expressions are unique to their respective continents. Usually after playing, I literally have nothing to "say".

One of my favorite memories of performers in my youth were the lovable randy couple, Marais and Miranda. They were famous for telling musical stories. Their performance was both words and puns, and sounds sweeping across the arc of arts, with wisdom, flirtation, eyebrows and twinkling, and skillful bowing on vibrating strings. Their songs and sounds were blended, and now I deeply appreciate their skill at beckoning both.

Language can be used to perceive, to extend our perceptions. Music can be used to dip our toes into experiences. Both Words and Music can hit the sweet-spots of the brain and bounce thoughts aloft. Feelings can be lit up. Or smothered. But each is rooted and routed on separate places in the central nervous system. The mysteries of both are not the same.