They say that music is mathematical equations. I suppose this is true. I’m terrible at math so I really don’t know.
What’s interesting is that, even though I’m terrible at math, I still think in equations of sorts. There was a time long ago when I used to call my writings “philosophical equations.” It’s almost like I can see the results of the mathematical equations without the symbols. I can interpret physics with no problem but I can’t actually use the symbols they use to come to those results. I can also find my own results through equations that don’t consist of mathematical symbols.
I’ve been wanting to write about the things I will write about in this post for a while. They’ve often been in my mind when I’ve sat down to write previous posts but they don’t appear within the writings themselves. Today I felt that maybe I could just sit down and focus on these things.
From the very beginning of this great spiritual journey I’ve been on that truly started over 2 years ago, though it was a lifetime in coming, music has been a large part of the journey.
I can look back now and see that from the day that awakening came upon me, new music I had never listened to before came into my life. Being that my awakening was the awakening of the feminine within me, all the music was written, composed and performed by women.
It began with Regina Spektor, followed by Marina. Then came Kimbra. All of which are very strong and creative women. A little later I came upon the music of Agnes Obel but she was more an addition to my playlist and not a main contributor to my journey at the time.
Many other women artists began to fill my playlist and now, looking back, I can see that they all came in as my journey deepened. I can now see how the awakening, though deep and abrupt from the beginning, was a process of deepening over time and experiences. Different female artists came in as the process progressed.
I can see that most of them were very much part of the popular world. Still that of society though most were criticizing society in many ways. They were also examining themselves in relation to the society. All things that I too was doing at the time as I was still connected to the society in many ways, thousands of connections built up over my lifetime. And one my one those connections had to be severed, yet they couldn’t all be severed at once else it would have shocked my mind and system as a whole. Many of the things I’m able to see now I couldn’t have even imagined then and, in many ways, even been able to endure.
The interesting thing is that slowly, one by one, I also began to shed off some of these artists and replace them with others. Then I can see that those I would shed off I wouldn’t replace, but one by one they simply disappeared. Though they still remain on one of my playlists, I no longer listen to that playlist.
Now I am left with just one musical artist, who was one that before was nothing more than an addition to my playlist and came up now and then. She is Agnes Obel.
For months now I have only listened to her music. I have a playlist that is simply composed of all of her albums. When I want listen to music I pull up the playlist and just hit shuffle. No matter what song comes up I will enjoy it.
This brings me back to music being a mathematical equation and the possibility that we too are, in a sense, mathematical equations. In many ways, humans are nothing more that a program that is running within them. For most, this program consists of what has been written into them by the society.
There are times when I’m walking outside or working at my job and I look around at the other people and see nothing more than other programs running. I look into their eyes and I see in them the engagement into the program that is running within them. Sadly, what is lost in these programs is the source program. Though, just like an operating system, it is still running within them somewhere, it is not in the primary programs running in their expression and lives.
In a way, they have become the many thousands of apps they have downloaded all of their lives. App that have thus programmed them into being the expressions they currently are in life. App that are not their own nor are they of the source program. They only exploit the source program in order to be able to run within the system as a whole.
Now, as I listen to Agnes Obel, I’ve often described her music as reminding me of home. A home that is not necessarily of this world. A home that I’ve described as being my heart or maybe some other place and time.
What’s so amazing about her music is when I listen and watch her live on a video. What she records is very good but what they perform is absolutely out of this world. She makes it different each time. Even going back to her earliest work and performances, where she would perform with only one cellist, who would play not only bass and rhythm, she would also play melodies that would enhance the piano melodies as well as being the percussion. This just amazes me.
Now that I listen only to her music I find myself focusing on each instrument and experiencing her music in new ways. Each instrument is playing simple melodies that, when played together, creates a complex musical landscape that is pure poetry.
To be honest, I rarely understand the words they are singing. For me, their voices are just another instrument within the musical landscape. In fact, I recently looked up the lyrics of “Golden Green,” one of my favorite of her songs and what I saw was, in many places, nothing like what I was hearing. It is like I’m getting a different message from the lyrics that are not in the actual lyrics.
Still, I don’t listen to her music for the lyrics. For me, the true poetry is the music and the voices are part of that poetry as part of the musical landscape.
As I thought about this more, this is very much like the workings of my heart, who is made up of many simple components, all performing their own simple melodies yet, when they are all playing together, create a complex, grand and beautiful landscape.
I then looked at it as music being a mathematical equation. Her music seems to be equations that are in perfect sync with the equations and programming within me. I listen to seemingly simple instrumental songs like “Red Virgin Soil” and I literally get lost in it, the imagery, without a single word being said. More so that any classical music I’ve ever listened to in my life. Possibly because most classical music, much like things like progressive metal and other music of this sort, are built up with many very complex melodies coming together. Almost like taking 1000 images and showing them all at once, some corresponding with other images and some not corresponding.
In a way, it simply becomes confusion and chaos of sound though they are able to play it fast and, like with progressive metal, play many complex riffs that, well, to me now, is nothing but noise with no imagery. Agnes Obel’s music is able to give me images, not fast and complex, but more like a flowing river, each one joining the others forming a grand landscape which then becomes the painting as a whole.
This is how I’ve described the workings of my heart many times throughout this journey. She takes individual images, that come over time and experiences, they puts them together into a larger image. This larger image then builds while other larger images form. Soon these larger images merge to form an even grander image. These to, the grander images, do the same, on and on, ad infinitum.
What I enjoy most about her music is watching her live and seeing them all play, some of the most brilliant women musicians. For me, her album “Citizen of Glass” was her masterpiece and “Myopia,” which came after, was simply her evolving even more, building upon what came in “Citizen of Glass.”
This was when she evolved from just piano and cello, along with a violin at times, to several other instruments. Bringing in very talented women musicians who could play multiple instruments. What I enjoy is that she brought in actual percussion, which then allowed her to bring in a sort of primal rhythm that compliments the higher aspects of her music, in a way, expressing the entirety of being human, from primal to higher self.
When I watch them live, I have to watch with some tissues next to me, because they will bring me to tears. It is like, watching them actually play and the fact that they expand the landscape live, her music is able to heighten all of my emotions. The higher emotions within me. Even watching her older performances with just a cello or both cello and violin will do this, but the musical landscapes she created and the amazing musicians she worked with after “Citizen of Glass,” well, they take my emotions to great heights. This, for me, is true poetry. What truly great poetry should do, take us to the heights within us, taking us to places we’ve never experienced before but were always within us.
Well, there it is. The best I can describe something that I’ve been thinking a lot about lately and really wanted to document the experience. I figured I better get it in while my heart is quiet and not needing to express herself, as she always comes first.