Music as energy

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Dr Bunsen Honeydew
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Music as energy

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:25 am

I posted this at Wigwam, but this is my forum so it should be here as well for comment.

OK I am going to explore something that is very lateral but is on topic, how energy effects us and how we perceive and react.

"You have a physical being, the one that you see in the mirror everyday, it is a biological organic machine that can break down and will wear out, being organic it is also subject to other biological machines hijacking it for their own purposes (fungi, bacteria and viruses).

You are also a reasoning and calculating being, this is the person doing the observing of you in the mirror. It is a biological organic computer that as with the modern electronic version can be subject to overload, information loss, or when the program gets corrupted, crashing.

Within these two physical personas is the energetic persona that makes it all work, and also provides the emotional aspects to your life. From the spark of life given to you at conception this energy is the means by which everything “works”, your energetic being. In Chinese. It is referred to as Chi (Qi), in Japanese Ki and in India Prana. It can manifest itself in many different ways that western science is only just beginning to understand."

I wrote that in my other life, the study of eastern energetic arts. Music for me is an energetic communication from one human (or group) to another, it is below the level of intellect and runs on our unconscious mind which runs on our genetic programming, it is a very important form of communication, a way of grouping people, you have heard of like mind, well this is like emotions. For me music is a language that is not intellectual not logical, though our minds constantly try to turn it into this, and that is the problem. Basically music should be left to just happen, let it affect us, change our moods. So how does it do this, within us are energy paths that lead to energy centres. These in Chinese are called Dantian and in the Hindu arts Chakra. There are three main centres, the physical one at you centre of gravity, like the hub of a wheel, all physical reaction emerges from this outward into action and motion. The emotional one, just to the right of your heart, you will feel it when you are emotionally hurt you feel the pain there. The thinking one (the monkey that will not shut up), this has largely taken us over and controls the others to a greater or lesser extent, it is the size of this that is the difference between animals and humans.

So external stimuli activate these centres and energy passes through us. An example which is very primary, you see danger, your emotional centre makes either run or turn to fight, your physical centre performs the action, and the mind look for best way to use, or freezes because the emotion of fear is too strong.

All animals use a type of music to communicate emotion, it is not an intellectual language the noises they make are designed to create an emotional rection, either go away, fight, mate, food, danger. These different noises manipulate responses - the music of life. As humans developed we used the same, from grunts and screams we progressed, and as our brains and intellect took over so the communication became language. BUT we still have our primeval emotional communication, it still functions. So how does it work, rythm and beat stimulate physical reaction, the desire to dance. Changes in key and note structure create emotional changes in us, especially that between a minor and a major key, reactions can be extreme such as being brought to tears or desire to share emotion with another person, or just a feeling of pleasure. The intellectual stimulus is more difficult to explain but the desire to read score or more complex musical structure like free jazz or the likes of Stockhausen seem to actively stimulate the mind.

So to cut a long story a bit, music for me is energetic communication stimulating parts of me to react, note I say music, that could be just hitting an empty tree with a stick to create a rythm. I find to a point fidelity helps to improve that communication in certain ways, best example is seeing further into the music, making it make more sense, helping it to communicate to you better, I call this good fidelty, but there is bad fidelity that is an imposed process, very much an artificial process that often ends up fighting the music, much in hi-fi has sadly gone this way. Into complexity.

So my point - let the music happen, then the hi-fi / music system you need / want will select itself.

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Re: Music as energy

Unread post by CN211276 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:34 am

I get the point the Doc is making, but I think it is most appropriate to live music. I will never forget my first concert, Wings, 43 years ago. As soon as the lights went down I was instantly struck by the volume, at a level I had not experienced before, the lighting, the reaction of the audience and the whole spectacle. It was an emotional experience which moved me and cut right through to the bone. I have seen many bands since and the thrill is usually similar, except when the band is poor or have an off night. This has not been very often, Hawkwind coming to mind. The music is only part of the experience as sound quality, although PAs have improved a lot over the years, can be poor. What matters is the overall experience, not the music on its own. My most recent concert, the Rolling Stones, will be remembered because of the classic songs, 70,000 people going ape, Mick Jagger prancing round as he did 50 years ago and the overall spectacle. The music sounds far better on my system at home.

Any half decent system can produce better SQ than a live concert and I don’t think it is appropriate to compare the two side by side. However, music in the home should still bring about an emotional response. Volume levels can be neared if desired, especially in a detached house, but all the other aspects are missing. This is where the quality of the system comes in and, to me, that means taking away as little as possible of what took place in the recording studio and mixing desk, and not adding things.
I set a course just east of Lyra
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Dr Bunsen Honeydew
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Re: Music as energy

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:39 am

Different thing, that is just an experience that music is part of. I am talking about the function of music in all its forms for us as humans.

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Re: Music as energy

Unread post by It is I, Leclerc » Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:39 pm

CN211276 - "Hawkwind coming to mind"

Indeed, Hawkwind are the only act I've ever walked out on, they were awful on the night I went to see them back in 73 or 74 (I forget which).

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Re: Music as energy

Unread post by CN211276 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:15 pm

It is I, Leclerc wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:39 pm
CN211276 - "Hawkwind coming to mind"

Indeed, Hawkwind are the only act I've ever walked out on, they were awful on the night I went to see them back in 73 or 74 (I forget which).
I would have thought they would have been better when you saw them with Lemmy in the band. I saw them in the mid 80s and they did not seem interested. They were a strange bunch and that comes out in Lemmy's autobiography.
I set a course just east of Lyra
And northwest of Pegasus
Flew into the light of Deneb
Sailed across the Milky Way

Sonore microRendu/MCRU PS, AQ J-bug, Wirewold Ultraviolet, Chord Mscaler-Qutest/MCRU PS, Geitnote Apogee, NVA BMU, P90SA, A80sMk2, Phono 1, SSP Mk 2, TSCS, TIS mk2, Cube 1s, Atacama stands, Rega Planar 3, Denon DL-110, Grado SR 325e, headphones.

Second system
Chord Mojo (also HP amp), NVA P20, A20, Cubettes, SSC, LS3.

Out and about
Oppo PM3, Audioquest Dragonfly Red.

R.I.P. Doc

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Re: Music as energy

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:26 pm

We have lost the plot here.

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Re: Music as energy

Unread post by Pianist~Envy » Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:17 am

Really interesting post doc, thank you for writing it.

I'm currently on holiday and somewhat relaxed, so I might not pick up your points particularly well! But anyway, my penny's-worth below.

I don't know enough about the eastern religions and philosophies to comment. However, the thought has often crossed my mind that energy, the sun, etc. often fulfils what many religions describe as God. That's perhaps a separate conversation. But sound as energy, and therefore the base of what affects us most as listeners, and which communicates to us, makes much sense.

I just wanted to add that I don't wholly agree that music is totally removed from intellectual impetus. If music is the end result, then it cannot be. And why would it not be further enhanced by that learning? You could argue that simply organising music into sounds we like is a beginning for intellectual stimulus, even at its simplest. This maybe comes back to humans as conscious beings, affecting the world around us.

Although the end result comes back to your comments, music is energy.

My biggest problem with what some describe as 'intellectual' music, is that I get the most pleasure and emotional impact from it - just because I don't look for music that has a solid beat that makes me want to dance, doesn't make it any less potent. But due to the stigma attached, I think many people don't even begin a journey down that road. Again, another conversation, perhaps. I think the point is that, intellectually, absolutely one can pick apart what makes people tick when listening to music, and present it in a form that communicates - this is what all the great composers of the past did, and to a degree what all music does on some level. Even if just to make us dance.

My simpler explanation for what you were discussing is that music is organised sound. And there is organised sound in nature - materials have their resonant frequencies, the human heart beats at a regular pulse although fluctuates, the pattern of birdsong etc. The list goes on and on. And so music is an extension of what exists. But it excites us more due to its more obvious directness and that it's usually a human on the other side of the music sandwich. We are social animals.

On letting music happen. To a degree, I agree. This thought - for me as a musician - can describe so many details from how to learn an instrument, how to practice, through to how to perform and connect with an audience. A small example would be the great pianist Claudio Arrau who discussed technique at the piano to be devoid of tension, particularly at the wrists, otherwise there was no way for the emotion of the heart (mind, etc.) to find it's way through to the piano and to therefore communicate the music (I see resonances with your HiFi philosophy here). This sidesteps your point a little, but from some folk music, through traditions in the 18th century, to jazz, and the American minimalists of the 60s/70s, and no doubt much more music from all over (India especially) spontaneity, improvisation, essentially freedom, is a large part of what music is and should be. Because that is where it has come from.

I think a lot of your thoughts above can be found aurally explored in the beliefs and music of those minimalists, Reich, Cage, Glass (meh, I guess), etc. And that music sounds great on NVA kit ;)
"Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art." ~ Frederic Chopin

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Re: Music as energy

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:30 am

"I just wanted to add that I don't wholly agree that music is totally removed from intellectual impetus."

I didn't say that, read it again the mind or Yi in the energetic arts is an energy center, and I say so.

Yi = Mental energy and intent

Li = Physical energy and action

Qi = Feeling energy and emotion

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Re: Music as energy

Unread post by Hannes-Gregor » Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:33 am

CN211276 wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:15 pm
It is I, Leclerc wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:39 pm
CN211276 - "Hawkwind coming to mind"

Indeed, Hawkwind are the only act I've ever walked out on, they were awful on the night I went to see them back in 73 or 74 (I forget which).
I would have thought they would have been better when you saw them with Lemmy in the band. I saw them in the mid 80s and they did not seem interested. They were a strange bunch and that comes out in Lemmy's autobiography.
In '73 and '74 Lemmy still was with the band. It ended '75 when they left him at the USA/Canadian border and he got arrested because of drugs. There is a BBC documentary in which the other band members say, that they were fed up with him never being in time because of chasing or consuming amphetamines. I know that Lemmy claimed himself to be the victim in that story. But there is another side of the medal, too. Who's right, I don't know.

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Re: Music as energy

Unread post by Pianist~Envy » Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:36 am

Dr Bunsen Honeydew wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:30 am
"I just wanted to add that I don't wholly agree that music is totally removed from intellectual impetus."

I didn't say that, read it again the mind or Yi in the energetic arts is an energy center, and I say so.

Yi = Mental energy and intent

Li = Physical energy and action

Qi = Feeling energy and emotion
My post wasn't meant to disagree, but to try add add my understanding. But it didn't come across that way! I'll have another read later, when the sun isn't beating down on my phone screen.
"Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art." ~ Frederic Chopin

Amps/cables: NVA P50sa (48 step), A40 mk3, LS6, SSP
DAC/digi: ARCAM irDACII, RaspberryPi 3 B+, Volumio
PaS: Mission SX1 (mid-building Troels Gravesen Scanspeak Discovery 3-Way Classic :dance:)

Music lover and piano dork.

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