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University of Utah radio presents music and other four letter words. Here is your host associate professor of music at the University of Utah Paul Batum. I think we must. Clarify something from the last time and that is that this program seems to be. A statement about special kinds of music not just music in general but a particular kind of music which aims to be more than it seems. Music another four letter words. We are called friend which implies I suppose that most people assume that music is actually less than it is. That means that there is a music which sometimes can be used as therapy and there is a music which sometimes can be used as entertainment. And that kind of music is necessary indeed to us but is not the kind of music which is especially vital or interesting to me in respect to this
program. And Beethoven was the man you remember who said that music was a good deal more than people give it credit for at least his music. Music is the one incorporeal entrance said Beethoven a little way to lead. You into that world of reality which comprehends us. But which we cannot comprehend. I suppose I ought to say that again. But since you are now extremely attentive listeners and that may have passed you by. Music is the one incorporeal entrance into that world of reality which comprehends us but which we cannot comprehend. Listening to it therefore is not the point. Being pleased by it is not the point. Intellect in any sense is not the point. Yielding. I suppose it is something like.
The point being caught away. Being transported. Being taken to places which are otherwise inaccessible to us in ordinary experience. That is using music in some kind of extraordinary experience which leads us finally to a sense of reality that may be the point. And if that is the point then strangely enough there are lots of people who have lesser sounding names than Beethoven but whose views are quite similar. Those of you who listen to the animals will probably remember Eric Burdon saying that. Finally after having passed through the drug experience rock generally and trying to work out some way of saying things. That he reckoned all of the serious rock musicians were in search of something like the summit the ultimate by moons of sound. That sounds like a world of reality which comprehends us but which is not readily accessible to
us by the by our ordinary exploitation of the sense of it's George Harrison of the Beatles who says that rock finally is intended to locate somehow the gun in each of us. However difficult that me that may seem. To many of us when we listen to some rock groups it doesn't necessarily deny the possibility of the experience. I suppose the serious rock musicians as Beethoven would say that the first problem with listening to any of this music which pretends to so much is just that. Listening. That somehow we must we must get out of our usual pattern of response to music. And try something else and that means that the music which talks about ultimate reality as Gustav Mahler's music tends to do for example is not nearly as important as the music
which makes something happen which is visionary reveller Tory or otherwise actually illuminating. And one might even say soul changing. That means that whoever is is about this has to find a technique of metamorphosis I suppose and that the listener. To music or the reader of poetry has to let himself be swept away by that technique until finally he has actually changed and transported from his ordinary circumstances. Eliot talks about things like that and I suppose that's how more's the pity. Some English scholars or readers of poetry might say that to communicate with Mars converse with spirits to report the behavior of the Sea Monster describe the horoscope or scribe as Mr Elliot. Observe disease in signatures evoke biography from the wrinkles of the palm and
tragedy from fingers release Omens by sort of the joy of tea leaves riddled the inevitable with playing cards fiddle with pentagrams or barbiturate acids. What a sect the recurrent image into pre-conscious terrors to explore the womb or to or dream is all these are usual pastime and drugs and features of the press and always will be. Some of them especially when there is distress of nations and perplexity whether on the shores of Asia or in the Edgware Road. Men's curiosity searches past and future and clings to that dimension but it. To apprehend the point of intersection of the timeless with time is an occupation for the sane. No occupation either but something given and taken in a life times death in love
ardor and selflessness and self surrender. For most of us there is only the unattended moment. The moment in and out of time. The distractions that lost in the shaft of sunlight the wild time unseen or the winter lightning or the waterfall or music heard so deeply that it is not heard at all but you are the music while the music lasts. These are only hints and guesses hints followed by guesses and the rest is prayer observance disciplined thought and action. They didn't have to guess the gifted half understood his incarnation. Here the impossible union of spheres of existence is actual. Here the past and future are conquered and reconciled where action were otherwise the movement of that which is only moved and has in it no source of movement.
Now that. Is about an experience. Seems to me there is nothing in the quality of Eliot's poetry which actually achieves that experience but then maybe that isn't what his poetry is meant to do. He tries to say something which is the fruit of a lifetime of experience and and he manages to say it pretty well but he is still talking about and not making it happen. There have been other times which were less interested in talking about the experience than actually achieving it. That is Mr Elliot may say the reconciliation of time with the timeless or the point of intersection of time with the timeless is an occupation for the saint as a saintly activity and probably ultimately a saintly achievement. There are some people who have written music and some people who have written poetry who are not necessarily saintly either in aspect or disposition who would like to make the temporal. Transcendent self and reach some point of contact with the infinite.
It seems to me that this is in terms of art history say a great preoccupation with late composers and poets in that period which we are pleased to call by Roque. Whatever else you may take by Roque to be and however you may relate it to say the centuries preceding or following and whatever the steps may have been to the final achievement of the final achievement is something like a special phenomenon in history which finally discovers ways in poetry and ways in music of transporting people. The transport is meant not to be hypnotic. Not merely. Passing out for a moment in a kind of consciousness but actually metamorphosing it is a genuine transcending experience. That means it transcends the art
which makes the route back from Art is always a sad one. As though we had escaped temporarily and then we must return with a degree of pathos to the actuality of the every day and so we keep turning again and again the to music and to poetry and to dance and then to painting into a variety of things in order to be temporarily changed or reminded of something which is more important. It seems to me that the by Roque a master. Like the saint is the person who really believes that he finds formulae. Which results in actual purging illuminating changing experiences and that his his art is equal to Revelation. And that's what Mr Elliot is talking about in Four Quartets. This has been said about Richard CRASHAW for example the British poet of the 17th century. The effect of his poetry is often phantasmagoria the world of the senses is evidently
enticing but it was a world of appearances on shifting restless appearances by temperament and conviction he was a believer in the miraculous and his aesthetic method. It may be interpreted as a genuine equivalent of his belief and it's translation into a rhetoric of metamorphosis. Veiled antithesis. Strange words are used about Cray shock chaotic s in the and Jemma nation in the process of synesthesia mixing metaphors placing strange words next to other words so that the effect is a kind of merging of the senses and ultimately an attempt to produce ecstasy and famous Crawshaw poem on the flaming heart upon the book and picture of the seraphic old Saint Teresa as she is usually expressed with a Sarah from beside her. Indeed tries to do this.
Oh heart equal poise of love's both parts big alike with wind and it's live in these conquering leaves live all the same and walk through all tongues one triumphant flame live here great heart and live and die and kill and bleed and wound and yield and conquer still let this immortal life wherever it comes walk in a crowd of loves and March of Dimes like Mystic death's wait on wise souls be slain witnesses of this life the. It was sweet incendiaries show here thy art upon this carcass of a hard cold heart let all live scattered shafts of light to play among the leaves of my logic books of the day combined against this breast at once break in then take away from me my self and to see in this gracious robber a shall die bounty be on my best fortunes such fare spoiled something. Oh the undaunted daughter of desires by all the high dollar of lights and fires by
all the eagle in the all the day by all die lives and deaths of love by large drafts of intellectual day and by that I thirst of love more large than day by all lie brimmed bowls of fierce desire by the last morning's draft of liquid fire by the full kingdom of that final kiss that seized my partings soul and sealed to be his by all the heavens now has done the sister of the sorrow of them by all of him we have in the nothing. My eyes and me. Let me so read that I live that high on to all life of mine may die. And the reader of that poem collapses from loss of breath because of the great sort of rhythmic impetus which he falls into and the words themselves and what they mean are less important than the experience of being sort of swirled
around and up and through and an actual loss of contact somehow with with whatever is about him passing out of focus and a state which borders on the ecstatic is meant to occur in that kind of poetry. The same is true with music of Bach. This piece in nature may seem to some people just to be lengthy but it is in fact technically and musically equivalent to the poetry of Cray's shock technique of metamorphosis a kind of continuity of silence which is meant utterly and finally to trends for you.
And all together appropriate musical experience for Tony Perkins to go over a cliff too if he wanted to die. Either to himself or to this world. Well this is meant to be a music which does not entertain you which doesn't sort of hypnotize you either but which tries to pretend the point of intersection of the timeless with time. It is a baroque experience to say some people and some to. Six books which I suppose I would have to say is meant to blow the mind and that is to make you die unto yourself. To destroy you in the flesh to weaken you and all of your parts to create a spiritual metamorphosis to negate time as any kind of binding or unchaining the factor in your life. It posits the notion that the way out is the way through and that only through time time is
conquered. This happens this happens again and again not only in music but also in poetry. I think maybe what you ought to do some time is crawl in the bath tub or some other appropriate Sonora splays give yourself maybe three or four hours read in it send Tyra to a hard crane set of poems called The Bridge which is a modern equivalent of that kind of experience at the end of which you will be hoarse Of course you will be exhausted of course the water may have grown a little cold of course but then if your add depth that's turning on the taps with your feet as I and then you can sort of keep the temperature just right. But he broke experiences happen again and again you find yourself intoning in that wonderful place. Things like steeled cognizance whose leap commits the agile precincts of the locks return within whose lariat sweep in Sing Sing and single chrysalis the many twain of stars the lot the stitching the stallion glowing like an organ dial
with sound of sight sound and flesh just from Time's realm as Love strikes clear direction for the helm. And although that may go very quickly past you at this moment has did. Probably the Bach Toccata in the Major. Now that it's the bridge across the East River which is the steel the cognizance it is a poet looking at an ordinary moment of experience and being caught away who sees the bridge moving across the dark river and says that at some moment of apprehension the time with the timeless that like an organ that Brooklyn Bridge with a sound of doom a wondrous also leads a wave from time to sight and sound and flesh and somehow has become equated with a final one ultimate experience which he says is love striking a clear direction for the help. When I saw there a mysterious. But then so is this series
all very mysterious. Beethoven Leonard Cohen last time on Johann Sebastian Bach. Richard great shot. Hart Crane. On a man who many people who all see that art is insufficient. But by means of it we may be led to something Bassler more important something ultimately real something maybe Altamont. This has been music and other four letter words featuring Paul Bunn associate professor of music at the University of Utah. Music and other four letter words is a production of the University of Utah radio. Executive director Rex Campbell. Series director Gene tak. This series is made possible
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Music and other four letter words
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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