This is an extended "metaphor" (though I see it as being a fairly "true" model of the Universe) which might encourage we "creative folk"
(musically inclined or otherwise), to more confidently, consciously, and actively collaborate to change the world we live in, instead of just
There are many layers to each person's existence, and i think that this "metaphor" can really give people some insight which might otherwise go
overlooked, not to mention bring attention to the way in which we interact with people
or harbor expectations from them..
From a distant proximity
, most people seem to fit into a broad dichotomy of some sort.. "the squares" and the "the spheres"... "the
normals" and "the creative types".. terminology isn't important.
For our purposes here, I'm going to start by saying that most people (from a certain distance
, remember..) seem to be like a black
key on a piano keyboard..
From one point-of-view, both groups are essentially "the same" (they both generate equally musical tones, they are made of the same substance, they
are relatively the same shape, they both have an equal function in terms of playing music) but it is their one
and only difference
we notice immediately..
..their contrast of "color"..
This is similar to the issue of race for obvious reasons, but also extends to apply to just about every other differentiation in society made on a
class/racial/gender stereotypes, genres of creative works, categories of paradigms..
We know that most of them have some root in truth (the white key IS indeed different in a certain way
, than the black key) but when taken to
extremes and people make radical claims such as "white keys are better than black keys" and vice versa..
..it is too distant a perspective for truly sincere music to come out of this perspective..
indeed, certain notes seem to be more consonant when grouped together, but when one goes as far as dictating what are universally
and/or "bad" combinations, i think this is where people run into trouble..
when you get closer in proximity
, however, most people seem much MUCH
more complex, and perhaps could be said to fit into one of 12 (or
24) categories, not unlike astrology..
..or musical Keys
This is where you get close enough to see
(or hear?) how "well versed" a person is..
Instead of perceiving a person as only one contained note, we see how they each have their own set of chords and scales which they gravitate towards..
This is most obvious during a really exciting and interesting conversation between two or more people..
Most people come to a "jam" or a conversation with what THEY know, an eagerness to prove themselves as a valid "fellow musician", and are very
limited to the scales and chords they know.. not necessarily the intent to make beautiful music or learn something..
it's really truly sad to me, how rarely "musicians" with backgrounds in only one "style" or "genre", can truly jam together..
i believe this is due to the fact that most people stick to what they "know" (i.e. what they have been taught) and what they are comfortable with.
Even the most virtuosic player is stuck talking to himself, if he/she never learns to listen
.. as I'm sure many of you are already thinking, astrology/personality tests/any categorical model are also a very vague ways of looking at a person,
just as reducing the concept of music, down to keys/chords/scales, doesn't quite cover the entire territory..
This brings us even closer
to the scale of seeing
a person at the level of their "musical timbre"; being able to distinguish them as
their own, individual instrument..
most people can hear the difference between a saxophone and a piano immediately.. but when it comes to not only distinguishing between a piano and an
organ, but distinguishing between a Grand Piano, and a Rhodes electric piano.. most people haven't a clue.
This also seems to be the current condition of most people's sensitivity to HOW
they interact with other people, and being able talk
a person, and not AT
If this "timbre" were to relate to any area of psychology, i would say that it is "the ego", just because many people are stuck with just ONE
version of themselves that they believe is "true"..
this is only as true, as it is to say that a person can ONLY learn to play one instrument in one's lifetime..
When one can hear the subtleties in an individual's personal philosophies, interests, ambitions, faiths, and fears, they can usually find a place
where both people can learn something
and essentially collaborate in evolving as people..
not stoking each other's egos..
not looking for reassurance or validation..
not looking for pity or emotional charity..
simply challenging, stretching, and growing each other's vocabulary of existence itself..
..but i know that even here, there's a few of us who find ourselves dissatisfied with even this level of rough communication, and in our pursuit,
find ourselves at the edge
of where "vocabulary" is useful in expressing what we "hear" or "experience" in our minds' eyes, and cannot
find any help in furthering our understanding "outside of ourselves"..
this is when one becomes a composer
, without knowing it. The game of putting such labels upon oneself tends to drag one
back to the "keys/chords/scales phase", but sincerely pursuing the sound which one hasn't heard anywhere else, outside of his/her own mind, is
where things get unbearably interesting..
This is music which you cannot English, you cannot write down, you cannot explain..
but you CAN play it and hope others hear it..!
This is where music indeed IS it's own language, and is IN-DEED
Universal.. No matter if "the listener" (which includes your own ears)
doesn't understand the message..
the music is still the product of that earnest pursuit of a pure level of communication and is heard by everything within earshot..
The birds, the slugs, the grass, the rocks, the dirt.. they are all subtly changed by this act of playing your music, just as you are changed by their
deeds and presence..
This is the level of true "empathy" and the door to being able to trust yourself to play ANYTHING
, in any key, on any instrument,
while jamming with ANYone
, of any "skill level" or background..
It seems to me, that this is a door to "true Freedom", and perhaps one of the few we have left..
I bid you all a good journey