#1
MUSIC AND NATURE

What is Nature? I suppose it is the totality of the state of things, including ourselves, and/or the force or forces that cause or control this, or these, thing or things. To a spiritual agnostic like myself, you could say that Nature is God, or God is Nature. This "pagan" idea might be sneered at by the followers of the various theistic religions, who divorce their God from Nature, but us children of Nature see things differently. Besides, I believe that we all have within us an intuitive knowledge of what "Nature" is, the all pervading force of the universe that creates and destroys, that is equally present within and without us.

And what is music? Is it something different for a classical composer and a rap artist? I'm sure that both of these artists would recognise each other's creations as music. Is this because both genres have rhythm? Perhaps, but then I could create an ambient piece of music, that has no rhythm, that randomly modulates through various harmonies, and this too would be recognised as "Music".

Also, we can have music without melody and harmony, such as a drum ensemble. Also, there is, according to some people, music without rhythm, melody, or harmony, such as John Cage's 4'33s, which is four minutes and thirty three seconds of silence- music without sound. And many good composers use pregnant pauses and silences to great musical effect. But, again, even though we can go around in dialectical circles trying to define what music is, or what is or is not music, I believe that all of us, at least those of us with some culture, have an innate intuition as to what is music.

Now does the music that people make, and listen to, and search out, reflect Nature? Nature, and our natures, are constantly changing. Think about classical music, with it's smooth legato and consonant harmonies, and think about the lives of the people who listened to it. During these times, people were much more in harmony with "Nature" in the narrower sense of the concept- they lived close to the countryside, close to the smooth undulation of the seasons, the changes of weather, the undulating rhythms of life, the unobtrusive sounds of nature, such as water trickling and birds singing. Life was slower, changes less sudden and more expected than today. Isn't this reflected in classical music, the blended sounds of the classical orchestra, the diatonic melodies, the predictable modulations, the gentle rhythms and natural beauty of this music reflecting and amplifying the sounds and perceptions of life in this age.

Look how music has changed since the Industrial Revolution. How the machine age has brought music with staccato rhythms, jarring sounds, percussive elements displacing the old legato. How the age of mass media has brought rap and hip-hop, lots of talk with little content. How the ever increasing complexity of society has brought an ever increasing complexity of harmonic material, evident in Jazz and modern composition. How, as modern life alienates us from each other, and from our own natures, some music has become alienated from melody and harmony, again evident in hip-hop styles. How the repetitive routine of modern life is reflected in modern music with its repetitive unvarying motifs and rhythms. How the blandness of our high technology lifestyles is reflected in bland but highly polished and produced music.

As a lover of classical and romantic music I yearn after the flowing, fluid sound of the symphony orchestra. However, as a composer, I live in this city of traffic noise, stop start rhythms, an alienated and compartmentalised society, where images are constantly bombarded at my mind, with my pleasure and pain centres constantly stimulated. I must live in this world- there's no-where else to go. I was born in the city, and it is the only life I know, and I have adequately learned to survive, and even enjoy life here.

This is my nature. My "Nature". And as a composer, if I am to write music that is valid, that reflects the zeitgeist and condition of my life, music that is true innovative art, and not mere imitation or an exercise in meaningless notes and rhythms, I must bring together two disparate elements- the old, legato, melodic, harmonic sound, that reflects "Nature" in the narrow sense, and still reflects what we are, as we are still all children of nature, we have not physically or emotionally changed with progress.

But also I must express musically what has changed, the progress of technology and the corresponding changes in society. These things will favour the opposite sounds for their expression, such as staccato rhythms, jarring sounds, sudden stops and starts, dissonant harmonies, and unexpected modulations. These things seem ugly at first glance, but as a musician, as an artist, can I arrange these elements, using classic rules of rhythm and melody and harmony, to create a sound that is truly beautiful, yet totally modern and original?

This is the challenge that I set myself, to create a true music of the future, as Wagner did in his romantic age. I must combine classical and rock sounds, smooth and broken rhythms, melody and a-tonality, conventional harmonies with a-harmonic invention, somehow tame the constant relentlessness of this age into beautiful music.

Thus will music and nature be as one, even when we are divorced from our own natures and Nature. I must describe this new nature, this anti-nature, in natural and musical terms, and if the current rules of music cannot do this, then I must create new rules, that are natural in themselves.

For however far we are from Nature, we are our Nature, and I will find the new music of Nature. As music too is a child of nature, and if I search and listen hard enough, I will hear the music of the future, as something original, valid, and beautiful.
Last edited by Jathon Delsy at Dec 15, 2014,
#4
Quote by Jathon Delsy
MUSIC AND NATURE
What is Nature? I suppose it is the totality of the state of things, including ourselves, and/or the force or forces that cause or control this, or these, thing or things. To a spiritual agnostic like myself, you could say that Nature is God, or God is Nature. This "pagan" idea might be sneered at by the followers of the various theistic religions, who divorce their God from Nature, but us children of Nature see things differently. Besides, I believe that we all have within us an intuitive knowledge of what "Nature" is, the all pervading force of the universe that creates and destroys, that is equally present within and without us.
And what is music? Is it something different for a classical composer and a rap artist? I'm sure that both of these artists would recognise each other's creations as music. Is this because both genres have rhythm? Perhaps, but then I could create an ambient piece of music, that has no rhythm, that randomly modulates through various harmonies, and this too would be recognised as "Music". Also, we can have music without melody and harmony, such as a drum ensemble. Also, there is, according to some people, music without rhythm, melody, or harmony, such as John Cage's 4'33s, which is four minutes and thirty three seconds of silence- music without sound. And many good composers use pregnant pauses and silences to great musical effect. But, again, even though we can go around in dialectical circles trying to define what music is, or what is or is not music, I believe that all of us, at least those of us with some culture, have an innate intuition as to what is music.
Now does the music that people make, and listen to, and search out, reflect Nature? Nature, and our natures, are constantly changing. Think about classical music, with it's smooth legato and consonant harmonies, and think about the lives of the people who listened to it. During these times, people were much more in harmony with "Nature" in the narrower sense of the concept- they lived close to the countryside, close to the smooth undulation of the seasons, the changes of weather, the undulating rhythms of life, the unobtrusive sounds of nature, such as water trickling and birds singing. Life was slower, changes less sudden and more expected than today. Isn't this all reflected in classical music, the blended sounds of the classical orchestra, the diatonic melodies, the predictable modulations, the gentle rhythms and natural beauty of this music reflecting and amplifying the sounds and perceptions of life in this age.
Look how music has changed since the Industrial Revolution. How the machine age has brought music with staccato rhythms, jarring sounds, percussive elements displacing the old legato. How the age of mass media has brought rap and hip-hop, lots of talk with little content. How the ever increasing complexity of society has brought an ever increasing complexity of harmonic material, evident in Jazz and modern composition. How, as modern life alienates us from each other, and from our own natures, some music has become alienated from melody and harmony, again evident in hip-hop styles. How the repetitive routine of modern life is reflected in modern music with its repetitive unvarying motifs and rhythms. How the blandness of our high technology lifestyles is reflected in bland but highly polished and produced music.
As a lover of classical and romantic music I yearn after the flowing, fluid sound of the symphony orchestra. However, as a composer, I live in this city of traffic noise, stop start rhythms, an alienated and compartmentalised society, where images are constantly bombarded at my mind, with my pleasure and pain centres constantly stimulated. I must live in this world- there's no-where else to go. I was born in the city, and it is the only life I know, and I have adequately learned to survive, and even enjoy life, here. This is my nature. My "Nature". And as a composer, if I am to write music that is valid, that reflects the zeitgeist and condition of my life, music that is true innovative art, and not mere imitation or an exercise in meaningless notes and rhythms, I must bring together two disparate elements- the old, legato, melodic, harmonic sound, that reflects "Nature" in the narrow sense, and still reflects what we are, as we are still all children of nature, we have not physically or emotionally changed with progress. But also I must express musically what has changed, the progress of technology and the corresponding changes in society. These things will favour the opposite sounds for their expression, such as staccato rhythms, jarring sounds, sudden stops and starts, dissonant harmonies, and unexpected modulations.. These things seem ugly at first glance, but as a musician, as an artist, can I arrange these elements, using classic rules of rhythm and melody and harmony, to create a sound that is truly beautiful, yet totally modern and original? This is the challenge that I set myself, to create a true music of the future, as Wagner did in his romantic age. I must combine classical and rock sounds, smooth and broken rhythms, melody and a-tonality, conventional harmonies with a-harmonic invention, somehow tame the constant relentlessness of this age into beautiful music. And thus will music and nature be as one, even when we are divorced from our own natures and Nature. I must describe this new nature, this anti-nature, in natural and musical terms, and if the current rules of music cannot do this, then I must create new rules, that are natural in themselves. For however far we are from Nature, we are our Nature, and I will find the new music of Nature. As music too is a child of nature, and if I search and listen hard enough, I will hear the music of the future, as something original, valid, and beautiful.


I like to refer to this realization as the "God is Dead" moment for composers. The dilemma of "what's next?", "what will it be?", "will I be a part of it?", "how can I create something meaningful?" etc...


Chin up, carry on. Everything is progressing just as it should.
SGT. HARTMAN: Where in hell are you from anyway, Private?
COWBOY: Sir, Texas, sir!
SGT. HARTMAN: Holy dogshit! Texas! Only steers and queers come from Texas, Private Cowboy! And you don't look much like a steer to me, so that kinda narrows it down!! Do you suck dicks!?
COWBOY: Sir, no, sir!
SGT. HARTMAN: Are you a peter-puffer!?
COWBOY: Sir, no, sir!
SGT. HARTMAN: I'll bet you're the kind of guy that would fuck a person in the ass and not even have the goddamn common courtesy to give him a reach-around! I'll be watching you!!
#8
tl;dr

but i like taking walk in the woods with my headphones on and some nice, atmospheric music playing.
Quote by jrcsgtpeppers
There shall be a stop to this madness. The battle is not over. My tasty licks aren't going anywhere.

Quote by The_Blode
^ I've just realised if you say Simple Plan's 2011 effort "Get Your Heart On!" really fast in a Southern American accent, it sounds gross. . .like sexual gross!

Quote by Necroheadbanger
Hello.
I'm looking for professional bongo-ists and triangle-ists to make a Progressive Technical Brutal Death Metal band
(will be called AxOxJxLxAxIxVxXxUxWxZxQxUxRxWxGxJxSxAxLxKxMxNxHxUxGxAxAxWxVxCxBxZxVx)
(Don't even ask what it means)


https://soundcloud.com/95dank



#9
Yeah the final third of your post kinda pertains to noise sounds. There are books on it all of which are worth a look in, but Russolo's manifesto on noise-sounds in the industry is worth reading.
Quote by EndTheRapture51
who pays five hundred fucking dollars for a burger
#10
I kinda wanna go hiking now.


Gozd in gora poj,
silen ženimo hrup,
uboga gmajna, le vpup, le vkup,
le vkup, le vkup z menoj,
staro pravdo v mrak tulimo,
da se pretulimo skozi to zimo
#13
dont be a spiritual agnostic, it's gay
Quote by korinaflyingv
On the come up we were listening to Grateful Dead and the music started passing through my bowel and out my arsehole as this violet stream of light. I shat music. It was beautiful.
#14
What is putting line breaks into walls of text?

It's a means to prevent the totality of your wall of shitty text being too overpoweringly shit for the mortal mind to comprehend.

Additonally, it's also dicks.

All the dicks.

Just like the OP.

That is all the dicks.
#16
We've all seen the commercials of your brain on drugs...this is the poster for your brain in art school

Look I studied Philosophy, so I'm in tune with major bullshit...which is why I know exactly what he's talking about
#17
having read the op i conclude that op is alright
Quote by korinaflyingv
On the come up we were listening to Grateful Dead and the music started passing through my bowel and out my arsehole as this violet stream of light. I shat music. It was beautiful.
#18
Probably so,

It's natural for most people to make light of something that they didn't come up with, or that they didn't understand entirely. Naivety toward a subject tends to motivate disbelief, which further motivates accusations of insincerity and questions genuine intention.

I make light of a subject like this because unfortunately I've heard far too many musicians and artists try to relate their personal experiential existence within the cosmos. It's interesting at first and then it just feels like a student puking new-found knowledge after reading a book about existentialism.

I also think the response is in large part influenced by the fact that the post was not written with the intent for public discussion...rather contains the voicing of an essay or sermon.

I agree though, it's occasionally refreshing to see someone feel this connected with music and sound. Perhaps all the disbelief is actually inspired by jaded mentalities?

Quote by Burgery
having read the op i conclude that op is alright
#20
I think he has a "green" guitar company


Quote by TheChaz
ok are u tryin to sell me some cheap nikes or a fake passport or what
#22
Quote by Jathon Delsy
Now I see why they call this "The Pit".


CHEERS

I wouldn't take it too personally. It's obvious you took your time to write it and it's subject matter is important to you.

It's safe to say most people did not and will not read it because most people turn away from serious long posts. For many, it's the antithesis of an online forum where the norm is generally short and too the point, occasionally witty, and an engaged discussion.

I'd be willing to bet the result would have been different if your post read:

"a philosophical question regarding the relationship between music and nature, and our place within"

followed by a paragraph which establishes the major points, and a proposed question to receive input.

most of the people who posted witty responses would have probably ignored it or posted a thought. Unfortunately, and I only say this with upmost respect, you're essay (which is what it was) was not inviting for discussion. People ****ing off at work and posting on music forums don't have time for all that

again,

CHEERS
#23
to allow your original post to become what you may have intended it to be, I'll sidetrack from the current atmosphere and comment:

Quote by Jathon Delsy
MUSIC AND NATURE

For however far we are from Nature, we are our Nature, and I will find the new music of Nature. As music too is a child of nature, and if I search and listen hard enough, I will hear the music of the future, as something original, valid, and beautiful.


Many things could be said about your essay. Instead of commenting on everything, I'll limit my view in a general response.

I believe you're practicing some circular logic here but applying it in the form of a square.

Let us suggest that music is a product of nature, that is, all things in nature comprise all that is music. If music is all sounds, rhythms, melodies, visuals, sonic impressions, and the void of such, and the presence of said music does not necessarily depend on our awareness of it, then we may also suggest that music is nature.

If music is nature, and we are both a product and participant in nature, then we are music (this is mediocre logic at best but bare with me). If we are music, then what promotes the quest to conquer it? If music is evolutionary and a product of the changes in nature, we too being a product of changes in nature, then I suggest that music in turn is a product of ourselves, at least the conquerable types of music. If this is so, then being hyper-aware of the relationship between nature and music is mute...their is nothing to figure out, because the two coexist.

Your logic suggests that the two function separately, but your words say they are products of each other.

a cannot = b if b is not a.

cheers
#24
Sweet post man, cmon tho hip hop is awesome and true but yeah sweet post dear diary today OP was a pretty cool guy
.
#25
Quote by BUZZARD__
Probably so,

It's natural for most people to make light of something that they didn't come up with, or that they didn't understand entirely. Naivety toward a subject tends to motivate disbelief, which further motivates accusations of insincerity and questions genuine intention.

I make light of a subject like this because unfortunately I've heard far too many musicians and artists try to relate their personal experiential existence within the cosmos. It's interesting at first and then it just feels like a student puking new-found knowledge after reading a book about existentialism.

I also think the response is in large part influenced by the fact that the post was not written with the intent for public discussion...rather contains the voicing of an essay or sermon.

I agree though, it's occasionally refreshing to see someone feel this connected with music and sound. Perhaps all the disbelief is actually inspired by jaded mentalities?
The bolded part is why religion has never been a powerful force in the world.
#27
Buzzard is on to it, good discussion starter I think besides the fact it doesn't invite discussion format wise. I Like listening and talking about this sort of stuff even if most of it is ineffable. It does tend to make people uncomfortable and they often fall back on typical 'get a job hippie' jibes.
#28
Quote by BUZZARD__
to allow your original post to become what you may have intended it to be, I'll sidetrack from the current atmosphere and comment:


Many things could be said about your essay. Instead of commenting on everything, I'll limit my view in a general response.

I believe you're practicing some circular logic here but applying it in the form of a square.

Let us suggest that music is a product of nature, that is, all things in nature comprise all that is music. If music is all sounds, rhythms, melodies, visuals, sonic impressions, and the void of such, and the presence of said music does not necessarily depend on our awareness of it, then we may also suggest that music is nature.

If music is nature, and we are both a product and participant in nature, then we are music (this is mediocre logic at best but bare with me). If we are music, then what promotes the quest to conquer it? If music is evolutionary and a product of the changes in nature, we too being a product of changes in nature, then I suggest that music in turn is a product of ourselves, at least the conquerable types of music. If this is so, then being hyper-aware of the relationship between nature and music is mute...their is nothing to figure out, because the two coexist.

Your logic suggests that the two function separately, but your words say they are products of each other.

a cannot = b if b is not a.

cheers

Hey Buzzard, thanks for your posts, they are most illuminating. Technically you're correct is spotting a circular logic, especially in my conclusion. But really I was more playing with ideas, and perhaps running away with myself, than pursuing a rigorous argument. But I still stand by, and try to practise as a musician, the main points and thrust of my post.
However I have learned from all your points, which are all valid and correct. Thanks again for your input.
#30
Quote by Jathon Delsy
. I was more playing with ideas, and perhaps running away with myself, than pursuing a rigorous argument. But I still stand by, and try to practise as a musician, the main points and thrust of my post.


Cheers Jathon,

I understand that...it was a stream of consciousness for you, which was and is an integral part of your self-discovery as a musician. These are important ideas that many musicians gloss over or avoid in a lifetime entirely.

I have personal interest in the subject, remotely, because I'm a reader of George Berkeley Nature and music are subjects I could fall asleep talking about
#31
we might have had more to say if your post read a little better than a high school essay.
i don't know why i feel so dry
#33
Quote by Eastwinn
we might have had more to say if your post read a little better than a high school essay.

Don't be like that. I thought it was an honest expression.
SGT. HARTMAN: Where in hell are you from anyway, Private?
COWBOY: Sir, Texas, sir!
SGT. HARTMAN: Holy dogshit! Texas! Only steers and queers come from Texas, Private Cowboy! And you don't look much like a steer to me, so that kinda narrows it down!! Do you suck dicks!?
COWBOY: Sir, no, sir!
SGT. HARTMAN: Are you a peter-puffer!?
COWBOY: Sir, no, sir!
SGT. HARTMAN: I'll bet you're the kind of guy that would fuck a person in the ass and not even have the goddamn common courtesy to give him a reach-around! I'll be watching you!!