I’ve experienced a musical renaissance of sorts. I truly have. Aided and abetted by the likes of Crazy Diamond and mysterious Mary, I’ve started listening to music again. Really listening. More than listening, actually...thinking a bit, too.
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Studies indicate that a human fetus begins to hear/perceive external sounds in its fifth month of development.
Sonograms, holograms, technomagicwhatever...we can now observe the embryo react to music and sound as the neural networks grow and develop and imbed themselves within that incredibly sensitive fetal brain.
And I wonder.
There was a time (’bout 200,000 years ago), when the developing proto-human dimly heard the sounds of Nature as it was developing a brain, growing in its own awareness. Now, granted, the sounds of Nature are not always soothing and benign (have you ever heard a rabbit scream?). Still. There was a time when the only sounds to be heard were songs, chirps, whispers, growls, thunder, rustles, rain and the hum of the cosmos.
And then I think of a fetus growing within a contemporary womb
(say in Baghdad or Kabul) where screams and gunshots, bombs and wails pierce the silence...and I wonder...
Does the modern newborn cry louder with the first breath, having already heard and felt the terror?
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Studies show that music and language "light up" different regions of the brain, sharing a few neural connections to be sure, but altogether different, nonetheless.
I descended from the vaguely suspect Aeroflot jet that carried me from Moscow to Vilnius and traipsed dazedly into the bland, cinder-blocked, oh-so-tired airport lobby.
Two elderly women approached each other. They could have been sisters. Couldda been twins. The first had flown with me. Arrived and traipsed with me. The second stood there waiting.
They came within arm’s length of each other. Both stopped. Tears streaming down both pairs of cheeks, they began to sing. A peasant’s song of love. And as they sang, they began to sway from side to side, weight shifting from the right leg to the left and back again. And they sang. Softly. Beautifully.
I stood there. Dumbstruck.
My mother explained. “There are peasants from the highlands who traditionally sing their greetings
Music and language different, eh? Not that day. I’ve never heard love expressed as beautifully as I did that day.
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Quantum physicists have their “string theory”. They believe that the essence of an atom is a “string”. A vibration, a sound, a note.
I’ve stated often (and with absolute scientific certainty) that we are all stardust and infinity. I’d like to amend my definition:
In essence, we are all stardust, music and infinity.
Yes. We are.
Do we truly need more reason to love one another?
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