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The Ministry of Sound

As science trudges along and begins to confirm what those of us in the know have long since understood, that the physical world is made up of vibrations, perhaps too will compliment this conceptual leap an elevated appreciation for the power of music.

Music in its pure form is unique among the arts in that it is the thing itself, it’s physical form is a a counterpart to our own physical existence of pure wave.  Whereas in all other arts the creator is working with an object or symbol that manifests the creative energy, for better or worse, that the artist is receiving, music is the creative energy itself, its very form is pure vibration through a field.  With regard to composition, arrangement and saying something unique or relevant, these of course are in the world of symbol.

We all are great receivers of vibration, just as we are great misinterpreters of vibration.  If one is dense to the extreme, (scientists take note), no bother, the model of matter as vibration will do just fine here.  Each material form vibrates at one or more frequencies (it is said our own universe vibrates at a Bb, “music of the spheres” indeed.)  In our own bodies we have vibrating centers called chakras, which correspond to their own specific frequency.

In every religion and practice there exists chanting, the singing of hymns, the repetition of mantras, or some form of sonic catalyst providing union with god and community.  This holy practice is in fact very practical, it allows for the dissolving of the material self into its own sound self.  It does not take a practitioner long before he finds himself “lost” in the sound or in a trance, or at least this is how he perceives it.  The vibration (depending on the chant or mantra or prayer, is time-tested to open specific pathways, consider the repetition of AUM or OHM for instance, which emulate the whole process of the material world coming into being etc.) is corresponding to something within the practitioner’s own body.  The body begins to “hear itself” in the sound and recognizes its own nature. Becoming one with a chant or piece of music is no more than your body’s own vibration being matched by the vibration of the external sound.   Think of yourself as if you were a cosmic tuning fork.  In more modern times, rhythms have taken precedence over tone, yet we still hear the physical rhythms  of our body and environment beating along to the music.

With this in mind, what could be a holier thing than to convene with music?  Its power to align our energy centers and heal our physical bodies are the greatest that we have.  In what other context could half a million people get together for days, as they did in Woodstock, and not wage harm against each other?  Surely modern sporting events don’t inspire this kind of sanctuary among men.

The challenge today is reconnecting with music, especially instrumental music in the long form, which has the greatest capacity for healing and spiritual insight.  Instead of listening to one silly disparate song after another, find an album or piece of music and sit with it for a little bit, or better yet attend a symphony or chamber music recital.  We live in the day of “the single” and in these few minutes of nonsense the body hardly has the time to connect.  Refuse the concept of “background music” because there is no such thing.  Listen, and let your body recognize itself in the music, let it recognize the movements of the rivers and the winds and the earth and find concordance.
Kill your shuffle.
Kill your iPod.

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