Wichita Vortex Sutra

27 05 2009

From the opera Hydrogen Jukebox

Music by Philip Glass

Libretto by Allen Ginsburg

The Language of God

3 06 2008

The unstruck sound is considered to be vibrations of the ether. We can think of this as vibrations on an atomic level. We can think of it as vibrations on any level. The unstruck sound, we are told, is Anahata Nada. Nada means sound. Actually, it translates very well as vibration. Anahata Nada is the unstruck sound. Ahata Nada is the struck sound, this is music that we can experience as vibrations of air molecules, water molecules… We’re told that Anahata Nada, the unstruck sound, the unstruck vibrations, are actually a concept in the mind of God, that these unstruck vibrations are like an abstract mathematical concept in the mind of God. Yogis practice bringing their energy up, the kundalini energy, through the chakras up to the fifth chakra in the voice area, the sixth chakra up here in the forehead, and the seventh chakra in the back of the top of the head.

Sound, music, the study of Indian classical music, is considered a form of yoga,the fifth form of yoga. And it can be practiced in such a way that it’s a meditation. And it’s a way to find union with God. Yogis practice a discipline, nada-yogis practice a discipline where they bring the energy up and listen to the sound inside their heads, the sound of the sixth and seventh chakras, and this is a preparatory exercise for finding a way out through the top of your head to meditate on the music of the spheres, the unstruck sound, the Anahata Nada. And the Anahata Nada is a concept in the mind of God, so when you go out and find that place, you’re actually inside the mind of God. And we can think of music as the language of God, all music. Now, what we speak in this language becomes interesting. We can say that folk music, popular music, rock, rap, it’s all the language of God.

La Monte Young, after a six hour performance of his solo work, The Well-Tuned Piano

De Sole

24 04 2008

the Sun completely fills with light clear and pure natures everywhere, as if they are now, forĀ a moment, heavenly; while those opaque and material natures it first warms and kindles with its light, then refines, and soon illuminates. And sometimes it elevates to the heights through heat and light this matter now made light and accessible. Hence Apollo pierces the dense body of the Python with the strings of his rays, purges it, dissolves it, and raises it up. Nor must we forget that in whatever manner we hope that Christ will finally come into His kingdom, resurrecting human bodies from the earth with the splendor of His own body, similarily after the yearly dead winter, we look forward to the Sun’s reign in Aries, which will recall to life seeds of things on earth as if suddenly reviving dead or half-alive animals to life and beauty.

-Marsilio Ficino, Liber de Sole

AG reviewed this Terry Riley string quartet, Sun Rings, on her blog a few months back, and I added some commentary here. I thought recalling these things would be a good prelude/contrast to my next long post, which will probably be up tomorrow. Stay tuned.

In the Upper Room

11 04 2008

AG and I saw the Miami City Ballet perform this Twyla Tharp ballet live a few months back. The music is of course by Philip Glass, and I think it is one of his most beautiful works. This is the last movement.

Daniel Variations by Steve Reich

20 02 2008

From a British documentary