Miracle in the Chamber

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: Macroinformation.org & Knatz.com / Personal / Stories / Themes / Music & Art /
@ K. 2004 10 12

Just watching Fellini’s Orchestra Rehearsal I have to pause to remember something precious. Back in the 1960s my army buddy Phil and a bunch of his friends at Rutgers grad school were discussing starting a commune. Hilary and I were included. In fact an early meeting took place in our pad on Claremont Avenue (borrowed while Hilary’s mother was in Geneva for a year). Phil was married to Carol, a violist. Another meeting was soon held in the apartment of one of the musicians in Carol’s string quartet. We talked anarchism, decentralization … not that those words were used: sharing, Christianity (without the dogma) … conviviality, cooperation … And then the quartet had to practice.

I’d heard music all my life, perhaps remarking it slightly more than the next person, but not obsessing on it till I was eight or nine, maybe close to ten. Nonsense had gotten me first: Spike Jones; then blues brass. I started collecting nonsense Dixieland (the Fire House Five Plus Two), soon really good traditional jazz: Ory, Armstrong … Point is: music for me came out of speakers: the radio, the hi-fi.

We had a piano. But no one played it. It would have been ghastly had anyone tried: it was pretty far out of tune.
By age fifteen I was haunting the jazz clubs for Lester Young, Count Basie … That was live, but still, the biggest sound came out of speakers: the clubs were amplified. By college I also listened to a lot of chamber music: a lot: Beethoven, Bartok … but on the hi-fi. Concerts? Sure: from the cheap seats: way up above the musicians.

Meantime, back at our commune-creation event, the four musicians, including Carol, sat in a sort of parallelogram. Me, Phil, Dick … were still muttering this and that on our subject of a moment ago, when suddenly …

Music emerged. Real music. Mozart, then Brahms …

For all of my music listening, obsessing, I was astonished. How did that happen?
A moment ago we were just an apartment filled with babbling sweaty people. But now … there was this miracle taking place: right before us.

Mozart! Emerging from these creatures! These mortals.

Oh, we were bright. We were educated within an inch of our lives. But Mozart! Real Mozart!

Now, every day, several times a day, I sit at the keyboard. A late starter, I’ll never be much good. But the sound is real. It fills me: whether I play well or badly. The sound is right there: coming, at least in part, from me!

2015 06 18 Here today to revive this murdered module, I find grand parallels with Per Bak’s How Nature Works: the science of self-organized criticality. Wow! That’s it! Self-organized criticality! That’s what music is! Closely related to emergence. Must make time to say more.

pk Stories Social, Hierarchical
by Age by Theme by Others Institutional Stories
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About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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