Saturday , October 23 2021

Primordial rhythm – By Rosa Montero



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The Greeks regarded music as an artistic expression of mathematics; according to Pythagoras, the Sun, Moon and other planets revolve around the Earth in harmony, and the distance between celestial bodies is related to musical intervals: it is great music from balls. In the Middle Ages, music was one of the art of quadrivium, along with arithmetic, geometry and astronomy; it is part of science. And still in the sixteenth century, a composer named Zarlino said: "Music deals with sound". So until yesterday, this art was considered an important element of the universe, strict knowledge and priority for life. But then, society is increasingly focused on utilitarian and technological, not scientific, has discarded music (and all art, in general) to places that are easier to share, more ornaments, more substitutes, to create deviations called "environmental music ", the noise pollution that enters your ears in an elevator, waiting room or shop, and which, according to various investigations, serves to provoke a certain psychological response: to make you buy and consume more, say, or to convince you at times when tension is like at a dentist, even though a friend, writer Miguel-Anxo Murado, often says that, every time he listens to happy and stupid songs heard on takeoffs and landing planes, for example, feathers on the point, because they show certain dangers.

For me music is something essential, just like reading. I don't know if I can live without both. However, there are people who, I really admire and don't believe, hate this art. The most famous is the great writer Vladimir Nabokov, one of my masters of literature. In his beautiful autobiography, Habla, Memoria stated: "Music, I regret to say, affects me only as an arbitrary succession of sounds that are more or less annoying". He continues to ramble on a few more phrases with the proverbial saying, implying that it is all humanity who made a mistake in enduring enjoying the annoying voice. Poor Nabokov: maybe his unfriendly character came from there, from his brutal absence, from that flaw. How not to love music, if our entire being is related to the primordial rhythm of the throbbing blood.

I have said, I really like it, when I listen to music, I can't do other things (except walking or driving), because I concentrate too much on that. Of course, I can't write. Novelist Clara Sánchez told me that she had worked before listening to her favorite recordings. "But I stopped doing it because I realized that I thought I was writing an interesting and beautiful page, when I reread them the next day without the soundtrack, I thought they were really bad." What a great and wise comment: music is like medicine, it takes us away and hypnotizes us. This brings us, for better and worse, to a state of parallel reality: it is military music that inflames and drags generations of young people with smiles on their lips; it is romantic music that makes you believe that you are in love, from which serious consequences can be lowered; or it is melancholic music that encourages you to go down under the bed and start crying for three days. Yes, music can manipulate us, but it also has amazing effects that make us bigger and better than us. Pythagoras is right: these sublime voices unite us with the universe and save us from our bad individuality. How many times have I felt on the verge of discovering the secret of life while listening to a special emotional part. And many scenes from my novels come from glowing knots that happened to me while at concerts. Music is something that is basically human, in short, that it has all the elements of what we are: beauty, violence, calmness, joy, pain, feeling. The last time we will be accompanied by the last heartbeat.

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