Wednesday, October 24, 2007


If you develop an ear for sounds that are musical it is like developing an ego. You begin to refuse sounds that are not musical and that way cut yourself off from a good deal of experience.
-John Cage

I found that to be the case while I was a teenager and a young adult; I knew what "good music" was and I was intolerant for much else. It didn't help that I have perfect pitch. While sitting in church during the heyday of the "solo" era, I would writhe uncomfortably when someone sang with poor pitch.

When I realized that this was preventing me from enjoying much of ordinary life, I put a large effort into "turning off" my perfect pitch so that I could be nice to people and enjoy the spirit behind their musical efforts.

And then I began to realize that my definition of "music" was far, far too narrow. I'm now in a waking-up period, where I've begun to hear the music all around me, in me, in others, even in ambient "noise" and nature. It gives me an inner exuberance that I never really knew before.

And I'm still exploring it.

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