The Importance of Music to the World (an excerpt)
A note from Trigger:
As announced in late January, yours truly will be releasing a 50,000-word literary fiction novel on March 7th titled Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board. If you want to read the full announcement about the novel, CLICK HERE. As I stated then, the book has nothing to do with country music whatsoever, or even music in general … except for a small portion.
So to give folks a little taste of what to expect from the novel, you can find the portion of it below that addresses music and its importance in the world. Though Light as a Feather is a work of fiction and doesn’t always deal with my opinions or perspectives personally, this excerpt is something I do believe inherently, and always have. That is why I have tried to help connect people with music as a life purpose.
This Importance of Music to the World
(an excerpt from Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board)
For every pleasure, there is a cost, or a consequence. Relaxation comes at the loss of productivity. A luxury comes at the expenditure of wealth. Sex comes at the risk of pregnancy, disease, or emotional entanglement. The joy of family comes at the burden of responsibility. Rich food or indulgence to excess can result in sluggishness, lack of focus, obesity, and infirmity. Drugs and alcohol can come at the sacrifice of long-term health and the potential for addiction or overdose.
The one exception to the entanglement of weighted outcomes when it comes to the partaking in the pleasures of life is the illustrious gift of music. Awakening the vibrations of the universe in a way that can stoke imagination and the muse, deliver motivation and measurable energy, furnish a gateway to a harmonious mood, and render the mind a more receptive vessel for new ideas, music is the one endowment without a corresponding burden or risk of significant amplitude.
Thusly, utilizing music as a tool can be incredibly advantageous. Perhaps a pittance must be paid to the composers and performers so one can be granted access to their libraries of audio wares which no different than the potions of the apothecary can be chosen to achieve a desired result. But in the case of music, positive outcomes are achieved without any side effects or complications. And unlike other humanities such as literature, theater, film, and the like, music can be consumed passively, or simultaneously to the accomplishment of other tasks or actions, often enhancing positive outcomes in the primary activity, whether it’s achieving serenity for optimum recuperation, or wielding a sledgehammer to demolish an obstacle.
Like most all things certified as resolute and virtuous, music in various forms is practiced by every culture on Earth, and has been since the most primitive of times. It can be found in nature as well, from the mating calls of birds to the complex songs of dolphins and whales. Dance enjoys a similar universality throughout cultures and earthly creatures, but often requires the active articulation of the torso and extremities, and perhaps even a partner, making it more participatory and prohibitive for multi-tasking.
Like so many other things in the modern era, music too has become corrupted by technology, often debasing its Contemporary forms into vacuous streams of digitized signals orchestrated solely through algorithmic optimizations, and influenced by metadata accumulated on smart devices that eliminate the human element vital to the full-bodied experience of the art form in its most robust incarnations. This makes calling upon the archives of music a much more appealing and fulfilling option to the sugar rushes of today’s selections that may deliver ample pleasure, but little or no fulfillment. Similar to history, the further you go back, the more potent, and the less adulterated the expressions and inferences are in the musical canon.
Also a quick note to anyone who has pre-ordered Light as a Feather on Amazon: Some people have received emails saying that delivery of the book might be delayed for a week or two. According to the distribution company of the book, there is plenty of stock. The problem is that pre-orders through Amazon and some others have been so robust, Amazon is worried about getting all copies out on time. Amazon would rather under-promise and over-deliver than vice versa.
So if you ordered through Amazon, you will get your copy. But it might be slightly delayed. If you want to assure you get a copy in a timely manner, you can also order directly through the distributor BookBaby by CLICKING HERE. Light as a Feather is also still available to pre-order through Amazon, and on Barnes & Noble, and most copies should get there on time.
This is a good problem to have, so I thank everyone who took the time to pre-order the book.
February 27, 2023 @ 9:15 am
Got my copy a week or two ago. It’s gonna be one of only two novels I plan to read this year, unless I have time for the Raylan Givens books. Looking forward to it, Trig.
February 27, 2023 @ 9:44 am
Also got it a couple weeks ago, but received Cradle of Ice by James Rollins a couple days earlier, and being Part 2 of a trilogy, I’ve been waiting to get into that since finishing Part 1. My progress has been a little slower than usual, but Trig’s book looks like it would be a pretty quick read. I’ll be flying to NC for work in a week or so, so may put the other one down and try to get through that during that quick trip.
February 27, 2023 @ 10:33 am
“…to the complex songs of dolphins and whales.”
Ok, Wow. You know, I’m all about this ^.
“Sex comes at the risk of pregnancy, disease, or emotional entanglement.”
How Right You Are.
Was all ready to debate this, until i got to the “emotional entanglement” part of the sentence.
Making love is a favorite sport.
A great workout, and endorphin release.
The highest high on the face of the Earth.
And it is not fun to go without.
But there are a lot of things in life that are much more important than throwing down just for the sake of throwing down.
Have an architect friend from high school who lives in the Atlanta area.
We meet at different places around the country, International Balloon Fiesta, in Albuquerque.
Nashville, Texas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Indiana, wherever.
We always get a suite, or a nice room with 2 queen beds.
If you ever go to the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, would recommend the Marriott Pyramid North, on Paseo del Norte, off of I-25. Very comfortable environment.
Anyway, we have never broached the subject of romance, because the friendship is far too important, to get tangled up in just sex.
Sometimes music IS sex.
Take 2 hours and 11 minutes of watching Mr. Tab Benoit last Tuesday evening, for instance.
I say this with all due respect, for Mr. Benoit and his beyond the stratosphere, musical talent.
Extremely looking forward to experiencing your book, Trig.
February 27, 2023 @ 12:34 pm
While agreeing with you, and I’ll read your book soon (is it available as an epub? I tend to read more on my phone), there is one negative downside of listening to good music.
I find the more I listen, the deeper I listen and the less I understand people who don’t experience music the same way.
Even when I meet other ‘musis snobs’ we disagree on opinions because there is so much music.
The joy of the beauty of a song is tempered by the knowledge that it is a joy that no one that I meet will share.
I’m an extreme case though. I literally cannot function normally if there is music playing that I don’t like. So maybe this only applies to a few people.
February 27, 2023 @ 1:35 pm
The book will be available via eBub on March 7th on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BookBaby, et al. Surprised some folks already have their physical copies, but that’s better than in being delayed.
I hear what you’re saying, but that’s one of the reasons I think engaging with music live is so fulfilling. You may feel like an island in your musical tastes in the real world. But standing in an audience with a bunch of like-minded individuals who chose to be there watching that artist is what makes the moment so special because you’re sharing it with others.
I also like the challenge of finding someone I may disagree with about music, but trying to find the right artist suggestion that may assuage them to my side.
February 27, 2023 @ 8:24 pm
I also like the challenge of finding songs that may change people’s mind. Particularly if they hand-wave away entire genres of music when it’s clear they don’t know what they are talking about. The other thing about music is that its actually some of the most fun you can have for cheap once you have a decent guitar. Also like Billy Joe Shaver said, songwriting is the cheapest form of therapy. It causes you to look at your life on a deeper level, turning a phrase someone you work with said into a song is a good way to get through the day. It can also be a very dark thing that take you places you maybe don’t want to go. Still I’d rather go down swinging with a song in my heart and a telecaster in hand!
“Joe don’t let your music kill ya
It’s a thing that’s supposed to fill ya,
It’s a thing that’s supposed to make you happy,
Taking pills and drinking whiskey,
Thinking can be mighty risky,
Joe don’t let your music kill ya,
-Tom T Hall
February 27, 2023 @ 4:30 pm
Given all you do maintaining this website it seems the least I can do is support you and buy a copy.
I wish you luck and look forward to reading it.
February 27, 2023 @ 7:30 pm
This is cool Trigger. Besides the acknowledgement about where this fits in with your own views, what is the context of this passage? When I get a chance to read the whole thing I will, but I’m curious who is saying this in the story, to who and why.
February 27, 2023 @ 8:46 pm
The novel works like an autobiography of the main character telling his story, and this is just sort of an aside musing about the importance of music. It does lead somewhere, but trying to explain it outside of the context of the story would be difficult. I do hope to explain more about what folks can expect from the novel and my motivation for writing it in the coming days.
February 27, 2023 @ 8:06 pm
Great excerpt. Loving music is a no-lose proposition. Making a life in music… there’s definitely a toll on that highway.
February 28, 2023 @ 3:41 am
even after all this time music can still surprise you. I was ready to hate the new ERNEST record everybody’s talking about but….it’s good! and that hurts in a weird way…
February 28, 2023 @ 12:39 pm
You should check out Stella Maris, the latest from Cormac McCarthy. Music makes an appearance as an example of instinctual consciousness that survived the evolution of language (which he likens to a brain parasite). Why do 99% of people across cultures agree that some chords sound ‘right’ together and some don’t, etc. Interesting that the other example he cites is math, which is very close in nature to music.
Also I agree that technology is fucking with us right now (teen depression and social media is a great example) but IMO that’s mostly because we are in the process of adapting to it. Tech isn’t the boogeyman. Tech doesn’t make itself. We need it, so we make it. And then it remakes us, just like every creative endeavor remakes the maker and the consumer. It could be that our tech destroys us but if it does it’s just because we couldn’t not create it. So in the end the human problem is the human problem. And music – and math – will remain long after homo sapiens have become a footnote.
The Unrighteous Gemstone
February 28, 2023 @ 6:10 pm
Music is America’s gift to the world.
Looking forward to the book!
March 1, 2023 @ 3:30 pm
For me, just listening to music, does come at the expense of productivity. So much so that I don’t feel the need to create when I’m already creatively stimulated by it. When you want to express yourself in the music, allow it to be a relaxation tool, or even explore the intellectual stimulation it spurs in your mind through lyrics, it can be hard to focus on other tasks or activities. This all can be rooted in personality or other personal baggage, but it’s something I encounter regularly…. especially when trying to workout! Perhaps this perspective speaks from the digital aspect and the complication of having an infinite catalog at your finger tips to dig further.