Posts Tagged ‘music’

About Music as a Utility, The Vision of Ger Leonard

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

The Utility as a concept is hot. Many visionaries predict “something” will be sold and consumed like “Water, Gas or Electricity”. It will flow through the Internet directly into our User-Interface (Mobile Phone, Television, ..) and we will pay a “flat fee” for every thing.

Like all “hot issues”, hypes and trends there is something wrong and something right. Finding out “what’s wrong” gives us an idea about the reality of the vision.

I want to concentrate this blog on the future of Music or Music 2.0, a free downloadable book of visionair Gerd Leonard. In his book he has formulated eight trends.

1. Music Like Water: Music is no longer a product but a service. Music became a product with the advent of recording (records, tapes, CDs) and the formation of an industry that quickly fig­ured out that selling the bottle can make a lot more money than only selling the wine. For the future, think of a “record label” as a “music utility company.”

2. A Bigger Pie, but Cheaper Slices: Today’s music pricing schemes will be completely eroded by digital music services (legal and, mostly, otherwise) and by stiff competition from other entertainment products. A “liquid” pricing system will emerge, involving subscriptions, bundles of various content types, multi-channel/multi-access charges, and countless add­ed-value services.

3. Diverse and Ubiquitous: A wide range of music will be eve­rywhere, and music will be part of everything that used to be “images only”: from rich media advertising to interactive slide­shows to car software to MMS and digital cameras, to advertis­ing in magazines (!), the audiovisual use of music will soar, and the licensing revenues will explode along with it.

4. Access to Music will Replace Ownership: Soon, consumers will have access to “their” music anytime, anywhere, and the physical possession of it will in fact be more of a handicap, or a knack of collectors. Music will feel (and act) like water.

5. Multi-point Access to Music will be the Default Environ­ment, allowing consumers to fill up their music devices at air­ports, train stations, and in coffee shops and bars, using all kinds of wireless connections as well as other on-demand and ad-hoc networking technologies.

6. Go Direct: Major artists will increasingly rely on their own “brandability” and – via their managers – go direct to the con­sumers, using their own in-house marketing, branding, and promotion teams.

7. The Software Pro: The (performing) rights organizations (PROs) as we know them will likely fade away. Complete tech­nology solutions comprised of watermarking and fingerprint­ing, so-called DRM and (better) CRM components, monitor­ing, admin/accounting, and instant payment solutions will do the job quicker, cheaper, and, of course, with complete trans­parency.

8. Mobile Mania: Cell phones and other wireless devices will eventually utilize and suck up more “content” than any Inter­net service or P2P client ever has. Real-music ringtone offer­ings, Multi-Media SMS (MMS), Java-based games, wireless streaming audio and video, i-Mode type applications, and other cell-phone based offerings will proliferate very quickly, at first in Europe and Asia, followed by the U.S.

What wrong with his predictions?

His vision is based on the fact that we are able to digitize something (music) and transport this something through a pipeline (a broadband network) and re-digitize it with a specialized device.

The first thing that is special in his vision is that there is really nothing that relates to Music.

It is applicable to Anything that is Digitizable. Let’s call them Dthings. Dthings are the Inputs for our Senses. The Dthing-model is a highly used model. It supposes that the Human Being is a Computer (or perhaps better a Robot).

What everybody forgets are aspects of Human Beings like Emotions, Imagination and Context. These aspects have to be balanced. Emotions (or Mood, Taste) play a special role in Music. Music triggers the Emotional part of the Human. The emotions are highly context-dependent. Classical Music in a Beat Environment doesn’t fit.

Music is not confined to the Ears. The whole body is capable of listening. An Ear-plug gives only a part of the sensation music can give you.

Does an extended model of the Human Being prohibit something in the Vision of Gerd Leonard?

Yes and No.

It must be possible to expand the Devices into a complete Music-environment (A Digital Theatre). Digital Theatres are already on the market. It will only block his 8th part of his vision, Mobile Mania.

Digital Theatres are unable to replace a Real Performance of an Artist. In a real performance not only the music, the musicians and the environment but also the public plays an important role. The right combination of all of them generates Spirit (Enthusiasm). The need to experience the “real thing” will rise when “Music as Water” will be available.

The next thing that will cause a lot of trouble is Indexing. It will be impossible to categorize all the Dthings in the Musical Jukebox Leonard will create. Even worse, indexing will start the “Google-effect”. Artist (or their representing companies) will have to pay to get attention.

Is there something “on the market” that will replace “Music like Water”?

Yes.

Let’s call it “Instant Mood”.

Many people take drugs (Alcohol, Pills) to enhance the Experience of Music.

The connection between the device and the body will be improved. In the end there will be a direct connection between the brain and the outside. People will take a simple neural plug-in that will connect them to a Mood-Simulator.

If people want to Get into a Mood why will they need Music if the connector is able to generate every mood they want?

This development is called Mind Control and Mind Control is “On Its Way”. It is already used in the Army and it will find its way into business soon.

Many problems I have mentioned are gone. We don’t need Artists anymore. The Amount of Choice will reduce dramatically so a Classification System is not needed.

Instant Mood will really Flow like the Waves of Emotion.

There is only one little problem.

Mind Control can be used to manipulate Every Body into Every State. So if Instant Mood is operational we have to Prevent this to Happen.

Imagine.

Every body will be Happy all the Time.

We are finally in Paradise.

About Color and Music

Saturday, November 10th, 2007

kandinskyIn 1999 John Gage wrote the book Color and Culture, Practice and Meaning from Antiquity to Abstraction. The book explains the way people “think/sense” about Color in History.

I use the word think/sense because I believe there are many ways to look and a one of them is “to Look by Thinking“.

The Science that is trying to explain this phenomenon is called Phenomenology.

I know this sounds strange to you but there are many examples to prove that people don’t see something because their theory about the world is not able to explain what they are seeing.

anatomical lessonA very remarkable researcher who has discovered many phenomena is the Dutch Psychiatrist Jan Hendrik van den Berg .

I read his books when I was a student at the University.

One of his books called the Opened Body (Het geopende Lichaam 1959) is about the History of Anatomy.

In this book he shows that it took a very long time before it was accepted that the Heart was divided into two Chambers. Until that time The Heart was a Whole.

Long after the discovery of the two independent circulatory systems by William Harvey the heart was pierced (!) to show the interconnection between the chambers that was not there.

The Old Scientists simply adjusted reality to their theory and nobody complained about that.

John Cage shows the same things again and again. He shows that the experience of Colors changed because artists started to use pigments.

A Color became a mix of Basic colors. Colors changed into Parts that could be Combined.

At this moment almost nobody understands that Colors change by the influence of other Colors in their environment.

sunset2Before that time Color was a Field. Colors (and Images) were created by adding Layers.

When you see Colors as a Field you understand why Colors are influenced by other Colors. They look like Music and produce Overtones.

The strange thing is that when you start to experiment with Colors by doing a course in Painting (I did) you recognize immediately that there is something wrong with you’re Think/Sensing-system.

When you Paint with your Mind you will never create what you See. You have to Look without Thinking.

Imagine John Cage, Jan Van Den Berg, Husserl and Heidegger and many others are Right. There are many simple experiments to prove their point.

goethe color theoryWhen you want to do a very simple experiment just do what Goethe did. He wrote a book called Color Theory that contains all his experiments. Goethe used the German word “Schauen” to explain the difference between Seeing with the Mind and Seeing with the Intuition or the Consciousness. You could translate “Schauen”  in “Carefull Observation“.

If they are Right you could try to remove your Thinking (your theory about the outside world) when you Observe with Care.

If you do this you’re world will change. You will see Colors and Overtones in your Environment you have never seen before. The World will look much brighter.

Have a Try.

About Third Order Cybernetics

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

escher-heaven-hell-1The Cybernetics Movement has gathered a spectacular amount of Knowledge and Wisdom. The most important Scientists in the World came out of Cybernetics. The basic theory behind Cybernetics is very easy to understand. Every System is controlled by a Feed-Back Cycle.

Cybernetics was defined by Norbert Wiener as the study of control and communication in the animal and the machine.

When the control engineering and computer science disciplines had become fully independent, the remaining cyberneticists focused on Autonomy, Self-organization and the Role of the Observer in modeling a system.

This movement became known as Second-Order Cybernetics.

At this moment Cybernetics has moved to the Third Order. To define the third order the Cybernetic Movement had to find out what a new order was about. It was easy to see that the Observer of the Observer was still an Observer. This path ended soon.

One solution is to analyze observers and systems co-evolve across different social systems but many other perspectives are possible.

When I read this website I found one Perspective that related to my own research. It states that the higher orders of self-reflexivity may be related to Beauty. I cite “The organism is a self-song“, “Gaia (Earth) is not a big compound individual, nor a song sung by an individual, but a song sung by a chorus or choir of all sentient beings. That choral song, alas, is being sung off key, it is out of harmony, due to one species singing off-key loudly“.

The path of Beauty refers to another article (Cultivating the Songlines of the Noosphere: from presentations by representatives to embodying presence in transformation, 1996).

I cite again “”Language grounded in music is grounded thereby on context dependency; any tone can have any possible relation to other tones, and the shift from one tone to another, which alone makes melody possible, is a shift in perspective which the singer himself embodies. Any perspective (tone) must be “sacrificed” for a new one to come into being; the song is a radical activity which requires innovation while maintaining continuity and the “world” is the creation of the singer, who shares its dimensions with the song.”

My advice:

When you want to Control everything use First Order Cybernetics. It is focused on Software and Machines. Building Software is an Art. If you don’t have aquired this Talent do something else that is related to Your Talent.

If you want to move into Flow start to use Second Order Cybernetics. It teaches you how to Observe and accept Self-Organization.

If you want to find Rest move to the Third Level. This is the Level of Harmony.

Start to sing in a Choir. You will learn a lot about your Voice, your Body, Resonance and Cooperation. Singing helps you to Relax and have FUN.

If you have learned enough start to sing with Eight Different Voices. This teaches you How to Listen to the Other and to Start and Maintain a Dialogue.

The last step is Chanting or Toning.

Find out how people that are not controlled by a Director and a Script are able to produce Beautiful Patterns by becoming ONE VOICE.

LINKS

About Beauty and Harmony

About Third Order Cybernetics

About Resonance

About Synchronization of Crowds

About The Rose

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

roseBetween 1969 and 1975 I was a student at the University of Leiden.

At that time the Flower Power Movement started. I was 18 years of age. I came out of a very protected secure environment.

My parents were very poor, totally not educated and also very religious in their own way.

My life changed in every aspect you can imagine. People were using LSD, Opium and Marihuana. I got into contact with people from all over the world, new religions and theories. We anticipated the end of all war and “peace on earth”.

The most important factor in our life was MUSIC. It was the time of Jimmy Hendrix and Woodstock. The MUSIC was connected to POETRY. We not only listened to the sound but we also listened to the Lyrics. We studied them (Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen) and discussed them.

My favourite group was Pearls Before Swine. The music of Tom Rapp was the ultimate combination of MUSIC AND POETRY.

When I look back at that time I feel nostalgia. I want to return to the time when everything that was positive was possible. I wonder how we were able to transform an expectation of Paradise into an expectation of the Apocalyps. Let us have a look at The Song About A Rose.

(The Lyrics of Thom Rapp).

“Song About A Rose”
By Tom Rapp

This is a song about a rose

Or perhaps it’s a song about the shadow of a rose

In the morning the apple sellers congregate on corners of their own

But you and I we sing our song about a rose or perhaps the shadow of a rose

With the children of Fribourg and the good thief standing by

We consort in silent rendezvous and call the world a lie

When our song is but a candle that will one day burn away

The children of Fribourg cannot hear what we say

This is a song about a rose

Of lonely caravans whispering to God

To chain the world in prose

But people are not singers and life is not a song

And even God can only guess

Why or where or when or if

The answers all belong

And you and I we sing our song about a rose

Or perhaps the shadow of a rose

The song of the Rose of Tom Rapp is a tribute to Arabic Culture. He is unable to convince the children of Fribourg, a Swiss Town, that there were “lonely caravans whispering to God to chain the world in prose”. They were singing the Song of the Rose or the Shadow of the Rose.

The Rose is a very old mystical symbol. It is the symbol of purity and a symbol of passion, heavenly perfection and earthly passion; virginity and fertility; death and life. The rose is the flower of the goddess Venus but also the blood of Adonis and of Christ. It is a symbol of transmutation – that of taking food from the earth and transmuting it into the beautiful fragrant rose. The rose garden is a symbol of Paradise. It is the place of the mystic marriage. In ancient Rome, roses were grown in the funerary gardens to symbolize resurrection. The thorns have represented suffering and sacrifice as well as the sins of the Fall from Paradise.

Numerologically, the Rose represents the number 5, The Centre. This is because the wild rose has 5 petals. And the petals on roses are in multiples of five. Geometrically, the Rose corresponds with the pentagram and pentagon.

The Rose is the Symbol of the Heart Chakra.

The Rose is the symbol the Centre of the Whole. A Return to the Centre is not possible without Pain and Blood (Thorns). The Shadow of the Rose is the movement away from the Centre to return to the Centre (The Cycle).

That is why Scientists of the University of Fribourg “cannot hear what we say”. “They call the world a lie” and see that “our song is but a candle that will one day burn away”.

Everything will burn away and change into Ashes. Ashes can be used by A Jeweler to make Old Golden Coins Shine Again. The Jeweler cannot repair the scratches. He knows that even new coins have scratches. Nobody is perfect. The Jeweler smiles.

Ashes are also used to give the power of fertility to the Soil (Mother Earth). The Soil covers the the Seed of The Rose in Winter and gives it the Strength to Rise in Spring again. The Rose is helped by the Shining Golden Coin in Heaven, The Sun. The Rose always returns and the Song of The Rose always returns in many ways.

“The Jeweler”
By Tom Rapp

The jeweler has a shop on the corner of the boulevard

In the night, in small spectacles, he polishes old coins

He uses spit and cloth and ashes

He makes them shine with ashes

He knows the use of ashes

He worships God with ashes

The coins are often very old by the time they reach the jeweler

With his hands and ashes he will try the best he can

He knows that he can only shine them

Cannot repair the scratches

He knows that even new coins have scars so he just smiles

He knows the use of ashes

He worships God with ashes

In the darkest of the night both his hands will blister badly

They will often open painfully and the blood flows from his hands

He works to take from black coin faces the thumbprints from so many ages

He wishes he could cure the scars

When he forgets he sometimes cries

He knows the use of ashes

He worships God with ashes

At this moment Arabic Culture is highly associated with Violence and Power Plays (Oil). Many people don’t know that Western Culture really started when The Arabic World gave the old sciences and philosophy back to the West. The old sciences also contained the Secret Knowlegde of The Rose.

At that time the Arabic Culture was producing artefacts of immense beauty like the Alhambra. The walls of the Alhambra are full of calligraphic decoration, cursive and kufic writings with sentences such as “Only God is victor” (apparently by Zawi ben Zirí, founder of the Nasrid dynasty) and poems by three poets of the Court of Granada, Ibn al-Yayyab (1274-1349), Ibn al-Jatib (1313-1375) and Ibn Zamrak (1333-1393). Of course it contained a beautifull Rose Garden, the symbol of Paradise.

The mystic part of the Islam is called Sufism. They were the People who are “whispering to God”. They created poetry and music and knew the Secret of The Rose. The Sufis are the Gnostics of the Islam. They are comparable to the Essenes in the Judiac Religion.

Rumi was the founder of the Mawlawi Sufi order. He was born in Wakhsh (Tajikistan) under the administration of Balkh in 30 September 1207 to a family of learned theologians. Escaping the Mongol invasion and destruction, Rumi and his family traveled extensively in the Muslim lands, performed pilgrimage to Mecca and finally settled in Konya, Anatolia, then part of Seljuk Empire.

When his father Bahaduddin Valad passed away, Rumi succeeded his father in 1231 as professor in religious sciences. Rumi 24 years old, was an already accomplished scholar in religious and positive sciences. He was introduced into the mystical path by a wandering dervish, Shamsuddin of Tabriz. His love and his bereavement for the death of Shams found their expression in a surge of music, dance and lyric poems.

In The Arc Of Your Mallet

Rumi

Don’t go anywhere without me.

Let nothing happen in the sky apart from me,

or on the ground, in this world or that world,

without my being in its happening.

Vision, see nothing I don’t see.

Language, say nothing.

The way the night knows itself with the moon,

be that with me.

Be the rose

nearest to the thorn that I am.

I want to feel myself in you when you taste food,

in the arc of your mallet when you work,

when you visit friends, when you go

up on the roof by yourself at night.

There’s nothing worse than to walk out along the street

without you.

I don’t know where I’m going.

You’re the road, and the knower of roads,

more than maps, more than love.

Tom Rapp wrote “But people are not singers and life is not a song. And even God can only guess why or where or when or if the answers all belong“. We have to do it our selves. We are left alone on the street because even God does not know all the answers.

To Rumi God “Is the Road and the Knower of the roads“. He asks God to walk with him and to show him the way. The poems of Rumi are Love Poems. They apply to Godly Love and Human Love. You understand them the best when your love has left you and you are desperately looking for the answer why this happened.

The Song of the Rose is about a longing to return to the Centre of The Whole. To restore the Balance that once was. I imagine we could start this process by creating new songs about the beauty of the Whole.

Let’s start to whisper again and ask for in-spiration.

LINKS

Song about the Rose

Why Music gives Soul to the Universe and Wings to the Mind

Thursday, October 18th, 2007

I have been a lover of Music since I was born. It was a big surprise to my parents when I wanted to buy gramophone records of Opera’s when I was thirteen. My parents where not educated in music but they loved it. Everybody in my family was singing, most of them in a choir.

I was given a beautiful soprano voice when I was a young boy. It was so special that I was more or less forced to sing in theatres. I was a very shy person and the first time I was on stage I almost fainted. Later my voiced changed into a Counter Tenor.

Later, when I was about 35, Singing took me like a hurricane. I started to take singing lessons and joint many choirs. I even created my own octet. I never learnt to read notes but this was not a problem. My memory for music works perfect.

Plato framed the essence of Music in this sentence: “Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, gaiety and life to everything. It is the essence of order, and leads to all that is good, just, and beautiful, of which it is the invisible, but nevertheless dazzling, passionate and eternal form“.

In the old mystery schools the use of sounds were considered a very sacred science. They knew that the right sequence of sounds could change behaviour patterns and accelerate the healing process. The right toning could perform miracles.

Sound is processed by the cochlea. The word Cochlea comes from kokhlias “snail, screw and kokhlos “spiral shell“. People who have read a few of my blogs will understand that the “spiral of the ear” transforms sound into a very special spiral pattern.

This pattern travels first trough the limbic system. It is here that emotional and physical reactions are produced. The pattern than moves to the auditory cortex of the brain where we become conscious of the sound and can recognize what we are hearing.

The limbic system connects the higher and lower functions of our brains, it is called both the “Emotional Center” and the “Conscious System” of the brain. If we, as Humans, had to consider one part of our brains to be the core of our personal consciousness, it would be the Limbic System and, especially, the interaction between the limbic system and the cortex.If anything resembles the actions of a ‘soul’ in the Human brain machine, it is the interaction between the Cortex and the Limbic system.

So Music (Tones) are a direct connection between the Outside World and our Consciousness, The Emotions.

If you read this blog you will understand that Sound makes a connection to another physical space, Our Twin or Mirror Space (“Dark Matter or Mirror Matter“).  .

Out if this space we are fed by the Force of Life (Qi, Prana). With Sound we are able to connect to every Whole by something called “quantum superposition”. It is a term used in Quantum Mechanics and it defines a state of “Harmony”, “Coupling” or “Entrainment” . If we produce the right sound waves we are able to “entrain” the Body to a Whole (A higher level in the Universe) that is able to heal the body (Qi).

If you read the last blog You will also discover that not only our Ears but our whole body through the connective tissues of our body (skin, bones) is able to resonate.

When people are producing sounds in a group they start to resonate and become a whole. An example is a soccer-match. When the sounds and the movements of the body (the Wave) become entangled the people in the Stadion become a Whole.

Not only the people but also the Architectual Structure of the Stadion plays a very important role. That is why some of the new developed Stadions and Concert Halls are not able to generate the “Right Atmosphere”. They are not able to give the right Feed-Back between Limbic system and the Cortex.

The same applies to Offices. When people are working they need to “hear” the “Humm” of the Others. When the “Humm” is a positive sound they start to feel good and productivity rises. They are connected to the Whole of the Company they are working for. When the “Humm” is a negative sound productivity goes down. When this happens they become sick. The “Acoustical” Structure of a Building is able to transform a positive “Humm” into a negative “Humm” (The Sick Building Syndrome).

If you want to know more I advice you to read the beautifull books of Christopher Alexander about Architecture.