Journal Entry: Wed May 1, 2013, 9:43 PM
When life speaks, its voice is music. Listen.
Brave vibrations fill the air, throb through the earth, stir the still and moving waters. The wings of a crane beat the atmosphere with rhythm. The cricket chirps. Salmon leaps with salmon to the roaring falls of music.
Forests never sleep. Oceans are never silent. Silence is a mere idea. But heart beats time. Limbs harmonize. Brains drum on the very cymbals of existence. There is a universal course which reveals itself in music. Music is order and purest creation. For music plays us things beyond us, within us, without us. Music plays us things as they are. Music plays us things as they will be. There is nothing music cannot play, from the chuckle of the moon to the frightful diapason of the damned. Music embraces all: the All in everyone, the Everyone in all. Even the unseen worm creeps to the beat of music.
Every atom of matter vibrates at its own frequency. Every element possesses a specific vibration. Molecules pulsate. Cells quiver. Every event, every phenomenon, every object verberates and reverberates: winds, waves, sunlight, stones, thunder, mountains, falling leaves,
germinating seeds, even the crust, even the core of the earth. Nothing rests. Rest is a mere idea. Everything quavers, quakes, flickers, fluctuates. Every grain of sand, every sun.
Spoken language was born this way: when perception or conception first thrilled through Man's mind, it thrilled with musical frequency. The mind responded like a gong, struck by thought, sonorously repeating the frequency. This repetition we call "speech". What is speech but inevitable sound? But music is inevitable sound that communicates without reference. Speech must refer. Speech refers first to music, which it imitates; and then to actions or objects, which it indicates. Music suspends from no reference. Music is self-suspension. It needs nothing but itself.
There are no objects in music. Music is all subjects. Music is itself the subject. Music is no object. You cannot clutch a harmony. You cannot stroke it like a piece of stone. You cannot touch it. It touches you. Music, then, is primal. It is the foremost of the arts. Other arts are shadows next to music. Music's perfect abstraction from the material reduces all matter to rubble. Music recognizes no three dimensional barriers. The most perfect bronze is imperfect next to music. Music cannot decay with time. No green patina can smother it. No locks can seal it, like diamonds in a vault. Music cannot crack or warp or stain. It cannot wither. It cannot wrinkle. It cannot come to dust. It cannot be bought at auction or sold to a private dealer. You cannot put your hands on music. Music is at once priceless and valueless. The condition of music is supreme.
Music and religion are inseparable. There has never been a tribe of people anywhere - no matter how primitive - without music. There has never been a tribe anywhere without religion. There have been tribes without agriculture, without pottery, without writing, without the wheel, but none without religion and music. Just as religion addresses itself to feelings too deep for words - to the most human in most humans - so music is the means of that address. Religion and music appeal to the Invisible. Music's invisibility is the visible evidence of its mystery.
-Donald Lehmkuhl May 1975
Listening to: The Besnard Lakes