Pythagorean theories on the harmony of the celestial spheres postulate correspondences stretching through the abstraction of number, sound and into light.
The difficulty for many has been crafting representations through art that encompass this process and remain comprehensible and communicative.
Harry Everett Smith created hand painted films that were accompanied initially by jazz music. In subsequent screenings the music changed to fit the time period, Smith wanted contemporary music played with his films based on when they were screened, not when they were made. His visual explorations were meant to encompass universal themes that would remain current with each new iteration of music.
[open myth source] – “where the recombining of elements and the interactive process is more important than the product.”
“Differing from other music, here soundscape is no longer the background but the foreground as the sound collage drives the experience; sound is now the story that we process and interpret individually and collectively.
Pythagoras and his followers saw these correspondences through imaginal means. Mathematical relationships were concrete realities. Philosophical epiphanies were arrived at through intense meditation, cementing the relationships in their minds.
The sounds and their direct relationship to mathematics were tied through ritual to corresponding emotional states. This, tied with image, creates a mnemonic device for encompassing a wider set of information. Allegorical stories along with music create a dynamic vehicle.
“I think that with music you can really accelerate dramatic moments because of the kind of ineffable shorthand of certain musical conventions, or musical innovations that just make sense, and bypass rational judgment in a way that writing can’t always do, or takes longer to do.” – Eric Lindley, Careful –Oh Light – A Conversation
“Over coffee and liqueurs we would sometimes listen to John Jacob Niles’ recordings. Our favorite was ‘I Wonder As I Wander,’ sung in a clear, high-pitched voice with a quaver and a modality all his own. The metallic clang of his dulcimer never failed to produce ecstasy. He had a voice which summoned memories of Arthur, Merlin, Guinevere. There was something of the Druid in him. Like a psalmist, he intoned his verses in an ethereal chant which the angels carried aloft to the Glory seat. When he sang of Jesus, Mary and Joseph they became living presences. A sweep of the hand and the dulcimer gave forth magical sounds which caused the stars to gleam more brightly, which peopled the hills and meadows with silvery figures and made the brooks to babble like infants. We would sit there long after his voice had faded out, talking of Kentucky where he was born, talking of the Blue Ridge mountains and the folk from Arkansas…” —Henry Miller, Plexus pp. 366-367.
7687. If you dream of a dog and he bites you, you will have good luck – Harry Middleton Hyatt, Folklore from Adams County Illinois
I decided to test the [open myth souce] idea and used two Willi Paul’s [open myth source] tracks and then layered guitar over them. I slowed down one of the WP tracks & messed with the stereo, Lft/Rt channels to build out the sound a bit. Fiddle with it in Win Movie Maker and it’s a picture with sound that can be used to accompany the pictures and text in this post created from the elements at hand.
*this post is a collage of quotes from other sources, images from Zac Odin and Paracharattein to Nomisma, along with text taken from discarded portions of an upcoming Alarm Magazine article on ‘audible color’. Another experiment with the open myth source concept.