Monday, November 12, 2007

An amusing musing on music (and Muse?)

I’m happy just because, I found out I am really no one.

Yes, I got quite a kick out of that title up there. Would have been better if I had said “on Music and Muse and music in general,” as in referring to the bands named Music and Muse… but I’m not talking about them so I’ll just stop myself from making silly statements simply for the sake of alliteration and wordplay. In fact, I’m sure my musing will be anything but amusing.

I love wordplay. And I’m happy to say I know quite a few others who do, too. At least two of my really close friends are ones who I can call up with a statement like, “is it too redundant to say ‘you are such a cantankerous curmudgeon!, or do you think I could pass that by people without them realizing?” without worrying about what the person will think of me. In fact, I’m guaranteed a good response to that. (Yes, I can say that – if for no other reason than that most people won’t even know what it means… Also, because in such a case, cantankerous works more as an enhancer than a redundancy). It’s amazing what words can do, really. What I love particularly are those that have double meanings and when used with that aim. Or when words are used as literal meanings in sentences that are quite obviously figurative. It gives such a humorous twist to what people say and what people mean. I think this is why I love children’s literature- or rather, the study of children’s literature. It is children who make literal things that are figurative, and that helps us see how absurd our world really is. And of course, absurdity makes the world a better place. No wonder Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is one of my most favorite works….

Ahh yes, music. That was the original intention of this posting, not wordplay. For most people, it is the inspiration of life… maybe I should say “for many people,” actually. When I come across those who have a very detached outlook towards music, I always wonder what it is that really makes them tick; what really drives their emotions, if not music. Music is what feeds my soul when touch cannot. Music is something that is always there to set a soul to fire, or subdue its tears, or simply lull one into serenity.

At The Bottom of Everything. As a rule, Bright Eyes takes me back to the first year of graduate school, where I would sit and try to write my final papers surrounded by Conor Oberst’s broken voice, and memories of a pleasant weekend gone by. Sometimes it was hard to concentrate because his voice is so distracting, but at the same time, it was the best to write to. It’s not just his voice, or just the way he incorporates his music. It’s that soul- that aura, that tugging feeling at the bottom of your heart when you hear his voice and it wrenches you- and you know that soul is all there is at the bottom of everything. The rawness of his voice, the stark reality of the words and images he creates- those are what give his music ‘soul.’ Anyone who knows me knows that U2 is the love of my life. But there is one song that is the love of my life- the song that I want to marry (whatever that may mean to you.) It’s Bright Eyes’ Easy Lucky Free. This song epitomizes all that is beautiful in the world. All that is beautiful and all that is broken and sad at the same time- one seems to go hand in hand with the other; and for me this song is it. It is sadness, it is heartbreak, it is beauty, it is sorrow, it is happiness, it is the in-between, it is love, it is life. It gives my life soul.

Into the caverns of tomorrow with just our flashlights and our love, we must plunge, we must plunge, we must plunge.

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