Sunday, May 23, 2010

Give me a bowl of spicy soup and a rotting log, and keep your pills and fancy cars

I was listening to Huun Huur Tuu today, while washing dishes. Thinking, in a dark way, that music like this is disappearing in our world...

Organic music... Huun Huur Tuu is deeply observant of the natural landscape, has a textural intricacy grown from rich drones, evolving timbres, layered melodies... To paraphrase what could take me a long time to express, they play a song called The Rotting Log, which seems strongly evocative of and reverent towards the organic process of decay and rebirth.

I continued to wash the dishes and it occurred to me to contrast this organic folk music with the compressed, hollow, machinic music our culture produces in great quantities today. Thinking about this led me to a simple conclusion:

We've been duped, this past century or so, into believing that the organic is primitive and simple, and that inorganic products of our own construction are complex and advanced.

This is especially true in allopathic medicine, where plants are disregarded but reductionist synthesized pills are the norm.

Hell, a good bowl of spicy soup is more complex than any pharmaceutical. Slowly pushing one's fingers under the leaf litter into the forest soil, grown of so many generations of rotting logs, is a superior experience to sliding one's hand across the curved pitch of a sportscar's hood. Huun Huur Tuu is far more intricate than any computer-generated, -aided or -facilitated music.

The inorganic, artificial products of our modern world do not have intricacy on their side. Instead, they are powerfully reductionist: honed, focused, simplified and amplified. The dosages are too strong, the speeds too fast, the sugars and salts overly preponderant. The beats or riffs or hooks are overemphasized, repeated ad nauseum.

Like F1 hybrid seeds, the inorganic products of the modern world are big, showy, and sweet - but they will not reproduce. After we have mined the last cultural/mineral/organic morsel and reduced it to a product, the inorganic and artificial will be revealed for what it really is: dead.

No comments:

Post a Comment