Hello again! I hate to realise that I’ve just had the longest break from blogging since I began on the first day of 2010. I know now, though, that I was subconsciously building up to my ‘car crash effect’ post (17 June) for so long that since then I’ve felt I’ve reached blogging saturation. But now, spurred on by a combination of unexpected circumstances, an exhaustingly long period of indecision (revolving around the unavoidable dilemma ‘on which side of the pond shall I live for the next four months?’), an alarming number of train journeys, at last some post-injury cello playing (and consequently more listening now that I don’t have the irrational paranoia that I’ll never be able to play again), a bit of reading and a disproportionate amount of thinking, I’m getting, er, twitchy for some Rabbit action.
For a long time I’ve been trying to figure out exactly why I believe wholeheartedly, though I realise controversially, that music is the superior art form. First off there are some obvious general points that I’ve always thought about, for example that dance relies on music for its existence and that music is more widely accessible than any literature or language-based theatre. But then, whilst listening to music during my seven-hour wait at New York JFK airport for my flight to London back in May, I had a sudden thought that I’ve been revisiting ever since.
I sat listening to whatever music came up on shuffle on my iPod in the usually soulless departure lounge and watching the array of people milling around, who apparently had nothing in common except for a desire to be somewhere other than here, and immediately got the sense that the people and objects within this entire space were now unified. The temporal continuity and structural coherence of the music (we’re talking vaguely ‘conventional’ music here) instantly lent the space a reassuring unity or ‘oneness’, whichever way I turned my head. It was as if music was painting my surroundings, as far as my eyes could see, in exactly the same shade but, owing to the greater complexity and emotional depth of music, the connections I now perceived between space, people and objects became far more meaningful than anything a coat of magnolia could achieve. No wonder music is used in films, worship, football games, birthday celebrations, school assemblies etc. Its ability to bring people together and to create a (real or imagined) common purpose or identity is surely more powerful than any other means (legal means, in any case). Now to stick in my headphones and create an emotional bond with my poor unsuspecting fellow passengers. If it can happen in Taunton train station waiting room, it can happen anywhere.