Sunday, September 13, 2009


Music surely is the most mysterious of arts—and it pleases me, oddly, that the Muses collectively are called what they are. On the surface it may appear that music vibrates the emotions alone, hence is so commonly used as the setting of more accessible meanings in its many hybrid forms, thus linked to words or coupled with the action of a play, opera, or film. What exactly is it? I hear the music with my ears but feel it in the chest, and the very highest forms of it deceive me into a mental levitation, as if I had lost my weight and find myself lofted, don’t know how, into great heights while I remain, it seems oddly, on the ground. The poets struggle to give this expression, as T.S. Eliot here tries (in The Dry Salvages):

Music heard so deeply
That it is not heard at all, but you are the music
While the music lasts.
I must leave this for now, but wished at least to say a word on the subject after listening to Mattapedia again (by the, for me, immortal Kate & Anna McGarrigle) and feeling the urge to return to hear it again.

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