Musical Magic, Part I

(September 22, 2009)
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Music is never really summoned, nor is it ever really banished; it has a volume knob, but no power button. It thrums in the background like the universe's heartbeat, and we're all too accustomed to it to notice when nothing distinctive is happening. We catch only the arrythmias, disguised as rhythm.

The cities and the territories in which we live act like different filters on life's mixing board, shaping the universal sound into shards their recipients can more easily appreciate. Every scene can be decomposed into its requisite compositions if you have enough musical acuity; much like artists can distinguish a hundred shades of red, some people have the training or the natural talent to hear the scales inside of us. As the wise ones say, "If you know a man's measure, you can also know his might."

Our bodies are strung with chords; whole notes make up our skeletons, while halves and quarters wend delicately through us, concatenated as cartilage and claws. We are musical machines manipulating musical matter, alternately slipping into and solidifying out of the tones that sustain us. The positions of our bodies help conduct the sound that surrounds them; you can add harmony to your song with the right shifting of your limbs. Some among us are able to gain such a grasp of their sonic nature that they can melt mountains or rerun rivers with a dance and a song; we call them mugicians, and they are the ones who help keep our movements in order. They are the world's technicians, tuning the instruments so that the buildings stand tall and the hills roll at just the right angle.

I am starting to think that you might be one of them. I can see the subtle signs: the way your fingers twitch to a rhythm the people around you can't hear, and your tendency to lean toward the window, stretching to hear the sounds outside the way a plant stretches toward the sun...