I like the numbers that live inside music. I like the endless, mind-blowing simplicity. It’s one of those stereogram pictures, the ones with the sharks that hide behind that laughing wall of paisley. Except, in music, there’s always a tiger sleeping behind the shark, and there’s a monkey doing cartwheels behind the tiger. And when a human mind can learn to befriend its ears and eyes, make them feel loved, the sharks and the tigers and the monkeys all coming bouncing out of the wall at one time. And it’s all for you and me.
When everyone else goes home, my ears and my eyes are the old maids I stay up late and play cards with. We’ve traveled the world together. We’ve heard the ugly words we can’t un-hear, seen the corpses we can’t un-see together. We five, we roll deep.
So… music? Music! It is a beautiful, sleepy garden and I am feeding its pastels with my elated tears. My lovelies grow today and grow tomorrow.
But the numbers are all there, and the numbers tell the truth. There is patience in the rests and tolerance in the octaves. Harmonies teach us teamwork. Oh, the dynamics– that’s the wisdom of old age: knowing when to tread lightly. And the sweet, sweet layers– be it nuance or neurosis. This is where the beauty lives: those layers that barely make their presence known; take them away and you break a fucking ankle falling into the hole that’s left behind.
For me, the only time my mind is quiet is when it’s consumed by nineteen things happening at once. Yes, I can dig the ins and outs of a machine factory– I can find rhythm in the cranks and levers and gears. And I can vaguely appreciate the gristly melody of city train-track, the ambient murmurs of the talking faces, even those squealing, murderous car-tire riffs. But it’s not the same. In a good song (fuck it– even in most bad songs), all of these instruments and all of their best/worst intentions come feverishly and relentlessly crashing in on my brain like raving lunatic hyenas… until the stars I’m seeing are all seeing stars of their own. The danger is in their numbers, but there is a precision to their collaborative attack. And when I’m left there bleeding out, laughing or crying hysterically, that’s when I know I’m home.