music as language

“Music conveyed my feelings more than anything else.  I might feel something that no words can describe.  Music is the language of the soul,” Emma wrote.

This blog post on Emma’s Hope Book really grabbed me. It is a topic close to my heart, my experience and my educational foundation. Music. Sound, Meaning. Communication. Please do read the full post here: Music is a Language.

I am a musician. Not a particularly good one, but that is what I have been trained in. I wanted to be an artist, and a scientist, way back in a time and place when academia made clear arbitrary demarcations between the sciences and the arts, in a less enlightened age where transdisciplinarity was a concept met with derision, and mainstream education made me stupid. But the latter insertion and assertion is not the issue here, I merely added that because it is true and I still feel palpably angry about it. 🙂 Well, after going through the wrangle of mainstream education, I am finally embarking on art – I am trying to anyway. Not a very good one, but better now than never at all, right?

Anyhow. When I was working on my M.Phil in Hong Kong, I met someone who became a good friend and we enjoyed lengthy and sometimes most animated discussions on art, science and of course, music. He is a far far better musician and music composer than I could ever dream of becoming, and a brilliant mind too. I miss him a great deal.

Well, my friend insists that music is a language. While academia is divided on this issue, of course. Musicologists, ethnomusicologists, linguists etc in all shapes, sizes, and persuasions. Nobody can agree. I sat on the fence, mulling over the passionate and equally valid arguments from both sides. However, lately, the more I veer towards the concept of parallel embodiment, and neurocosmopolitanism, the more I am convinced that the fine line separating both sides of the argument is merely that of framing. Yes. Framing perception.

From the neurotypical verbal-based system and concept of communication, music cannot be a language because there is no semantic message. Not that they can understand anyway. However, as one plunges deeper and explores the rich tapestry of autistic sensory communion, then it becomes more and more apparent how music can be, and indeed, IS, a language.

I am too physically exhausted right now to continue writing out my thoughts in semantic language. I want to retreat into Self, and leave off performing the Other for the evening. But this idea / concept is too important to me not to make the effort to just briefly reiterate.

And yes, I do plan to develop this further. With properly semantic extrapolation, because I want Other to empathise with Self, so I have to perform the Other in order to draw Other to Self, as Other cannot as yet understand Self.

Emma is a great inspiration in this tumultuous and arduous journey. Thank you, Emma! And Ariane and Richard! And thank you, Ralph Savarese, for your work has opened up a channel through which my ideas, and those of my dear maestro friend’s, can find concrete incarnation. Some day. We are working on it!

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