JUMP IN, SWIM, SOAK AND SIMPLY FLOAT IN SOUND…

One of the few positive symptoms of being unemployed is that you have “free” time. Employment starts on Thursday! So, my mind has been free-ing about a lot since yesterday. Scribbling thoughts and ideas into my journal has become a habit learned from my pal, Ing. There has been a good deal of scribbling.

Last night B and I watched TOUCH THE SOUND, the haunting documentary from Thomas Riedelsheimer. It follows Evelyn Glennie around the globe as she pursues sounds for her music. Evelyn Glennie is a musician of note. She is also deaf. Her accomplishments are amazing. Riedelsheimer’s work strikes me as that of an artistic dreamer. While he is an exceptional documentary maker – he often strays into the world of art so deep that one wonders if he isn’t in a sort of competition with the artist he films. It makes for great viewing. I saw this film in the cinema when it first came out. As with many movies, I did not enjoy it as much on the TV screen as I did in the darkness of a theatre where I could get lost in what was being presented.

As I watched this DVD format of the film, my mind began to drift. I was thinking about what sound means to me as I listened to the percussion sounds Glennie creates with several other artists. I do not care too much for her work. Too jarring to be ambient and too rhythmic to be aimless. It is experimental and challenging.

If I had to stick a label on her sound I would have to say it makes me think of Japanese drumming. In fact, she makes me think of Kodo. The work of Kodo is intense and whenever they happen to pop up on my iPod I end up thinking it wants for dancing. There is a re-mixed version of one LP they did that has pop merit, but this is not “easy” listening. This is music with an attitude of force. Those of us who grew up with the sounds of Siouxsie & The Banshees might remember The Creatures experiment into Japanese drumming with “Hai!” This is the closest to this type of sound I’ve been able to fully enjoy. Though flawed, S&B do manage to capture a certain sound and make it their own. They managed to make it accessible for me. And, they also created a way-cool CD cover photo of Ms. S.

When I am at home or walking alone I have my iPod.

I filter out the sounds of things around me. Some times I will take off the headset and listen to what is going on around me.

I do not usually like what I hear. Discordant and ugly noise most times. I prefer the sounds offered by my iPod.

I love the idea of Riedelsheimer’s film — that sound goes far deeper than what we hear with our ears. I also like the side-running idea that sound is life. …that, as Glennie states, the opposite of sound just might be death. I see truth in that statement.
Riedelsheimer fills the screen with all sorts of images, but the ones that stick with me are the shots of water.

This idea — that sound is like water is fully realized for me. I will hear a song or piece of music that touches me and I long to swim in it. I think this is how I hear music.

It is a means of escape. A way to swim to something better. Something to float in. Something in which to soak. I try to absorb it. To be a sponge of music. But, instead, I emerge drenched and prune wrinkled from the powers of the sounds. Swimming in the sound(s) – I am lost in a way I very much like.

Last night I updated a few of my playlists. I often update “My Top 40” which, of course, changes depending upon how often I’ve been swimming in certain sonic waters or songs. For the most part it stays the same. Goldfrapp and Barbra fill most of my aural soundscapes. Not all, but large portions of the places I swim are created by the flow of their music. I love the lush. I love the romantic and the deep waters of darkness.

Today, as I walked toward an errand, I found myself in a meditative flow of sound.

My mind was wondering what really matters most: where one ends up at the end of a life or how one lived that life?

Perhaps that seems a trick question to many, but not to me. I don’t even see any “black” or “white” to it. For me, life is all about how one lives it. Where one ends up doesn’t seem to matter. Especially since very few have the gift to know where they end up. All the money, security and stability in the world may not prevent a person from ending up under a bus or hooked up to some hoses in a sterile environment waiting for the next step in a journey. While it does seem a bit foolish to not attempt to plan a bit for the future — I think it is a waste of energy to “goal” toward it.

Live fully. Embrace. Search for truth and happiness inside yourself. Share it with others without fear. It isn’t easy.

But, isn’t that the point?

Jump into the sound.

Even if you’re deaf.

Don’t just touch it

— swim through it with joy.

This is your adventure. Make if fucking matter.

“Do you wake up very slowly?
Does it take a while before you smile?
Are your dreams like premonitions?
Have you lived them through?
Some people do.
I hope you’ll answer me with patient eyes.
No hurried words, foolish or wise.
Answer me.
answer me with soft silent touches.
They’ll tell me as much as I need to know.
Answer me with deep and restful sleeping.
And, if you dream in sleep they are yours to keep.
No.
You need not answer me.
If we should part and someone asks, ‘Who’s touched your heart?’
Perhaps you’ll answer me.”
Streisand/Williams, 1977

…I wish I had strung those words together. I could float in the sound of that musical flowthought forever. …this painting is by Alyssa Monks.

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January 30, 2007. Uncategorized.

9 Comments

  1. Kevin replied:

    Just when I think you’re just a pretty face, you come out with something like this. Great post! 🙂

  2. Kalvin replied:

    That’s totally fascinating. It’s strange how when I get really encompassed in music I always think of that line from Amadeus where he says he was “filled with such longing, such unfulfillable longing.” Maybe in a way it’s like trying to gasp for air while being underwater–a sense of oblivion in being overcome by the music while not wanting to completely leave life. I really loved that lyric as well. It made me think of this movie I watched the other day, Grand Ecole, where this guy talks about his straight roomate and he getting off. He talks about it being mechanistic, and then says that the true meaning of erotic actions is in the caress. I think so much of our life just like that caress is in the doing, not the goal (orgasm).

  3. matty03 replied:

    Kevin! LOL! …If only my face were “pretty” …I fear I sort of ‘blend in’ —- not unattractive but certainly not exceptionally handsome or ‘pretty’ in my look. Anyway, thank you, my friend! Who is quite pretty!

    Kalvin! Ever since I read your post I’ve been trying to fully remember that film! I saw it at a film fest prior to its theatrical release. I need to get B to secure it for us to view from Netflix! I really like what you wrote about trying to take in air while under the “water” of sound.

  4. Daniel replied:

    I’ve never been able to filter sounds out. Scriabin was the same way. He heard everything.
    I love this post. The photos of th Judo practice catch the flow of music so beautifully.
    Huge congratulations on finding work. I’m so very happy for you.

  5. ing replied:

    Ah, security. I guess I like the safety of it. Without that safety, I find it hard to live in the moment. Insecurity is kind of distracting.

    I’m scared of the cat food factor. I’m scared of getting cancer and not being able to do anything about it. Maybe I’m wrong, but the specter of aloneness is a huge worry, and as you know, I have been living life exactly as I want to live it — but there’s a price. I don’t know what will happen in twenty years, and I hate the idea of cat food and homelessness.

  6. matty03 replied:

    Daniel!! Thank you!

    Ing! I suspect the price for “security” might be greater if it comes at the expense of living the life you want. Maybe, not. I don’t know. But, I do know that you will not be homeless or eating cat food — and you better not be gettin’ cancer!

    I also know that we can’t live in fear!

    I love you! Now, enjoy your new home!!!!

  7. matty03 replied:

    Oh, and Ing — I like pepperoni (sp?) on my pizza. Not cat food. Just a reminder! LOL!

  8. ing replied:

    Okay, I’ll scrape off the cat food pizza I made from scratch. But I’m having a hard time keeping up with your “tastes”. You’re very particular, you know.

  9. matty03 replied:

    Ing — I know. Just yesterday I ordered nachos without the chips. I don’t think I’m “odd” so much as “an original”

    …or, so I pretend.

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