In a lot of Eastern religions like Hinduism and Buddhism, there is this concept of reincarnation called Samsara. The idea is that all “unenlightened” beings are part of this endless cycle of births and death. It’s a pretty radical departure from how we tend to view the finite quality of our lives in the west. I like to use the comparison to a runner. To the west, life is like a race or a long marathon with a beginning, middle, and a finish line at the end. From the eastern perspective, life is just one loop around the track. We may run thousands, maybe millions of loops before we reach Nirvana and become “Enlightened.”
Even though this cycle of birth and death may seem frustrating, I feel like there’s something more musical about this idea than the Western one. All pieces of music indeed have a beginning, a middle, and an end. But the music itself is based upon cycles. In the West, we have a series of eight notes that create what we call an octave. When going up or down in pitch, the eighth note is labeled the same as the first. It’s just twice as many sound wave cycles per second as the first note or half as many if you’re going down. In theory, there’s really no end to how many octaves there are except for what the human ear can perceive. All western music is based upon versions and gradations of those seven or eight notes. Even if they don’t use the same notation, all music and sound you have ever heard is based upon this cyclical concept.
Below is a playlist of songs that I’ve been listening to for the past month. I hope it helps to bring more music into your life. – Thanks for listening, MMM
This month’s playlist includes songs by IDLES, The Flaming Lips, Brian Eno, John Cale, The Radha Krishna Temple (London), Silver Apples, The Clean, Joachim Cooder, Spacemen 3, Major Matt Mason USA, Pixies, Thurston Moore, John Lennon, Robert Fripp
(Subscribe to get a new playlist every 1st Monday of the month. Click on my user link or search: Major Matt’s 1st Monday on Spotify to cruise past playlists and discover more music.)