Music and Consciousness

Photo: Ange Four Seasons– Autumn http://www.flickr.com/photos/gallettas_pics/

I turn on the car radio to a blast of sound from KCRW, our great local indie station. My tastes are eclectic these days, partly thanks to Robert, but today I’m not in the mood to be blasted out of my seat. Instead, I switch to Classical KUSC. Instantly, a different world opens up before me– it’s Mozart’s Flute and Harp Concerto. Coming from a pop station, I’m hyper-aware of its clarity, containment, prettiness, sense of order– it’s almost shocking. And it gets me thinking.

The Mozart feels on the one hand, alien, and on the other, such a blessed relief. It’s a million miles from the stress and vulnerability I’m feeling today, yet I can feel myself moving moment by moment into harmony with it. It calms me. I feel nurtured.
And I think about worlds colliding.

Composers, all artists, create from the level of their consciousness. Their consciousness tends to reflect their environment. What they are not aware of, what they cannot imagine, affects what they are able to create as much as those things which pervade their consciousness.

It’s been said many times that 20th-century music’s overall trend from order toward disorder, harmony to disharmony, beauty to ugliness, nature-inspired to urban-influenced mirrors our world (and therefore our consciousness). And yet, maybe the last thing we need is to have this consciousness reflected back to us on a daily basis.

Those of us who are aspiring toward peace, toward upliftment, who are striving to have a vision, to make a difference, need to be vigilant about what influences we allow into our individual inner worlds, if we’re to create a different consciousness, and therefore a different world.

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