Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Materia Musica

Given my music-philosophical sensibility, there is nothing that I would more like to do than to be able to put all of the music I care about into that big box called ephemera, and remove it from the real world forces of fads and markets and gossip and gravitation. However, when I learned that with each breath we take in, we inhale at least one molecule of the last breath of the murdered Caesar 2050 years ago -- and, by extension, we can reasonably expect each breath to also have at least one molecule of air pushed around by musicians playing in the first performance of the Monteverdi Vespers, or Beethoven's 9th, or Etenraku, or Gambir Sawit, or the Navajo Blessing Way -- my faith in an essentially ephemeral quality of music was fundamentally shaken. Sounds are real, and their effects are long-lived, if increasingly subtle.

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