Winter's Tale on Music Everywhere

^z 5th August 2023 at 6:12am

From the chapter "The Machine Age" in Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin, during J. S. Bach's third Brandenburg Concerto:

"Here it is. Listen!" he commanded. "This part. It sounds like a good machine, a perfectly balanced rocker arm, something well-oiled and precise. Notice the progressions, the hypnotic repetitions. These are the tunnel rhythms, derived from the same timed intervals which are the irreducible base for planetary and galactic ratios of speed and distance, small particle oscillations, the heartbeat, tides, a pleasing curve, and a good engine. You cannot help but see such rhythms in the proportions of every good painting, and hear them in the language of the heart. They are what make us fond of grandfather clocks, the surf, and well-proportioned gardens. When you die, you know, you hear the insistent pounding that defines all things, whether of matter or energy, since there is nothing in the universe, really, but proportion. It sounds somewhat like an engine that became available at the beginning of the century, and was used in pumps and boats and that sort of thing. I thought for sure that people would realize what it was, but they didn't. What a shame. Nonetheless, there is always music like this, which, in its, way, comes just as close—as if the composer had actually been there, and returned."

(cf. Mantra - Notice the Music, James Joyce on aesthetics in Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, ...) - ^z - 2014-12-23