It’s 4:44 AM and you wake up to your phone ringing. It doesn’t sound like your phone though. The pitch is off. It sounds like an alarm, but not an alarm preset that came with the factory settings. It’s like an ear piercing BEEP that bypasses your ears to cut directly to the centre of your brain. BEEP BEEP. It’s more confusing than it is painful though and you stumble across the room like a somnambulist, clamouring for the device. Where is it? BEEP. Nope, not there. BEEP BEEP BEEP. How long has it been ringing? All the lights are off and in your twilight state you’re operating more on instinctual spatial awareness than sight. Your head is spinning and the sound is becoming deafening. BEEEEP. Suddenly the phone is in your hand and you answer this dream call from the God Phone. “Hello?!?” A cold, metallic, disembodied voice begins to speak rapidly, offering no introduction and only the following food for thought:
What exactly is music and where does it come from? Through research we have learned that rhythms and scales originate from different geographical regions across time and space, but why does it work that way? And why does it have to work? Investigations into these possibly-eternal musics have been conducted and maybe, in fact, that isn’t how it works at all. Are there specific resonances that bounce off ley-lines and geographical anomalies? How long would an unheard note reverberate? What complicates a time-scale and who determines what a complication is? If we were to hear rhythms with extraterrestrial origins, would these alien rhythms be any different at all? Is any of what we hear truly the Music Of The Spheres, when what we are hearing has been constructed using computers; and it’s beamed to us via satellite, that’s in turn blocking all true interplanetary energies with a wall of space junk? The technologies that have arisen post WWII have essentially determined our current musical landscape, with different voltages, oscillators and many kinds of super-spectrum-frequency-interference technologies all being byproducts of the eternal arms race… So is it all part of an ongoing sonic mind-war? Are the newly emerging forms of hyper-quantised soulless pop music being used against us? (Yes) And can any music really be old, or new? What are we even talking about? What are we listening to? Are we simply hearing the thoughts and quantum computations of the Vast Active Living Intelligence System, fully realised and broadcasted eternally throughout the akashic records, ready for the taking by any high-minded soul daring enough to slink in during the middle of the night and reappropriate segments of this eternal sound-stream for a “hit”, like Led Zeppelin famously did while attributing such feats to “automatic writing”? Journalists love to say things like “WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR IDEAS FROM?” and the humble musician, who we all know is superior to us in their magisterial artistry, attempts to answer this question, but never succeeds. Perhaps music itself is the fourth dimension, or the long forgotten remnants of a telepathy we used to share. Nietzsche famously said “Without music, life would be a mistake”, but there is no life without music. Music occurs naturally and would exist with or without us. It’s all around us. It belongs to no one. But of course perhaps some of it is good, and some of it is evil…
So what do you say to all that? Do you want to listen to some music and commune with these auditory mysteries? Or would you prefer to not think about any of this? At this stage you remain free to choose your own adventure, but remain alert.
— SAM W HILL 2022