“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tales from Bachographic Oceans

You can see why people like my brother, who have schizophrenia, like the floating, intricate machinery of Bach. There is something very soothing about infinity. Patterns within patterns within patterns. Leibizian ponds that contain smaller ponds that contain smaller ponds.

It's finitude and incompletion that disturbs. I just came back from a Bach concert with my daughter a day after hearing that an extended family member had suddenly died of a blood clot in the brain, young. The grief machinery begins to fire up with its disorientation and rage. So to bring that machinery to a giant bath of Bach, infinite ponds full of celestial machinery, sets everything spinning in divine stasis.

The B Minor Mass, unceremonially long, a real 70s concept album, double gatefold sleeve. A vast musical—yes that's right—object that suggests higher and deeper versions of itself iterated in some higher dimensional phase space, graspably ungraspable, ornate symmetry.

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