Thursday , June 1 2023

The primordial rhythm – by Rosa Montero


The Greeks believe that music is the artistic expression of mathematics; according to Pythagoras, the Sun, the Moon, and the other planets roamed harmoniously around the Earth, and the distance between the celestial organs corresponded to the musical intervals: it was the great music of the spheres. In the Middle Ages, music was one of the quadriviary arts, along with arithmetic, geometry and astronomy; that is, he was part of the sciences. And in the sixteenth century, a composer called Zarlino said: "Music deals with sound numbers." So, until yesterday, this art was considered an essential element of the universe, a rigorous knowledge and priority for life. But later, a society that increasingly focuses on utility and technological techniques, not science, has exaggerated music (and all the arts in general) in a more dispensable, more ornamental, more surrogate place, up to to create that aberration called "environmental music," a noise pollution that gets into your ears in lifts, waiting rooms, or in stores, and it assumes, according to various investigations, that it causes some psychological responses: to make you buy and eat more or to relieve you in times of tension as in a dentist, although a friend, writer Miguel-Anxo Murado, often says that every time he listens to those jolly and foolish noises that call the take-offs and landings of planes, for example , hairs are on the way, because they indicate a certain danger.

To me, music is something essential, just like reading. I do not know if I could live without both of them. However, there are individuals who, to my absolute and distrustful amazement, detest this art. The most famous is the great writer Vladimir Nabokov, one of my literary masters. In his beautiful autobiographical book, Habla, the memory states: "Music, I am sorry to say, only affects me as an arbitrary succession of more or less irritating sounds." He continues to sing for several phrases with his proverbial pedantry, which means that all mankind makes the mistake of persisting to enjoy that annoying noise. Maybe Nabokov: maybe his unfriendly character came from there, from that brutal lack of that handicap. How not to love music, if our whole existence is related to the primordial rhythm of blood pulsations.

I already say, I like so much that when I listen to music I can not do other things (except walking or driving) because I focus too much on it. Of course, I can not write. Scenario Clara Sánchez told me he had worked before listening to his favorite recordings. "But I stopped doing that because I realized I thought I was writing exciting and wonderful pages that, when I reread them the next day without the soundtrack, I thought I was really sorry." What a wonderful and wise comment: music is like a drug, we are tightening and hypnotic. It drives us, for better and worse, a parallel state of reality: military music inflates and pulls generations of young people with a smile on their lips; is the romantic music that makes you think that you are in love, from which serious consequences can result; or melancholic music prompts you to get under the bed and start crying for three days. Yes, music can manipulate us, but it also has the wonderful effect of making us bigger and better than we do. Pythagoras was right: these sublime sounds unite us with the universe and save us from our weak individuality. Every time I felt about discovering the secret of life, listening to a special emotional passage. And many scenes in my novels come from luminous knots that came to me during a concert. Music is something so essentially human, in short, that it has all the ingredients of what we are: beauty, violence, serenity, joy, pain, sensation. Our last moment will be accompanied by the final heart beats.

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