Donde habite el olvido (8 OCT 2005; edited 6 JUL 2007)

I had to steal the title for this post from a poem by Cernuda. That poem, however, is ineluctably romantic. What prompted this post is most certainly not.

I wonder when I see a young person sitting or walking with the mp3 headphones in their ears where they go once those headphones are on. My students would do this all the time. It’s not like putting their heads down and closing their eyes. Closing one’s eyes abrogates space in one way. Music does so in quite another. If architecture is the art of the re-organization not just of space but also our experience of space, if arts like painting are a re-creation of one’s basic spatiality, then why can music not be the same thing? The architectonics of music, it seems to me, are analogous to the architecture of buildings—where the latter redistribute space according to touch and sight, music reconstructs spatiality itself (inner space and outer space) through the architecture of sound. Music is, essentially, a sonic experience and not, as many would have us believe, an affective one. This is also why music has been throughout the ages preeminently religious (chants, singing bowls, etc).

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