It occurs to me, as I record these random tracks, that what I’m really doing is documenting my state of mind throughout the day, week, month. And of course, one’s state of mind is influenced by many factors, internal and external, ultimately all internalized—so ultimately all internal.
Foremost among external concerns for the past 3+ years, of course, is horror show emanating from Washington, D.C.
The monster with the title of president, the one hastening the way to the death of American Democracy (if in fact it ever actually existed, and in my dark state of mind re this county, I have serious doubts) gave his so-called state of the union address the night before I’m writing this. I only watched about 10 minutes before I had to run upstairs and take a hot shower. Thankfully, I missed the part where he decorated Rush Limbaugh with the congressional medal of honor. The highest civilian honor. The same medal that went to Rosa Parks, among others. Rush Limbaugh!
But what I did see was despicable enough: the demagogue telling an ongoing series of lies, and with each one, the republican side rising in perfect unison like automatons, like Nazis for the Führer.
What’s the Point?
I could be posting this vitriol about my bottomless hatred for our sick Führer and everything he stands for on Facebook, but what’s the point? Facebook is very much part of the problem, so instead, I make posts in the form of abstract piano improvisations. Which again begs the question, what’s the point? I don’t know, but it’s a way of getting my thoughts out there in some form that, while most likely useless, has at least the chance of saying something beautiful now and then.
Can anything of beauty be derived from what’s going on in America today? Fighting back, however one manages, can be beautiful. Some will do it directly, through politics. That is not my language.
My problem with the language of politics, really most languages, is their insistence on definable thought, lies or not. In the case of Trump and his miserable supporters, it’s almost all lies, of course. Which, obviously is a lot worse than truth. But to simply say that Trump is a horrible human being, and the most disastrous president in the history of the republic doesn’t capture all the nuance of the situation.
Saying the Unsayable with Music
To do that, I need music. And not just any music: abstract, instrumental music. The thing about abstract instrumental music is that it can say things that can’t be said with words—not just nuances of emotion, but multiple emotions simultaneously, emotions and thoughts, and states of mind with no definable names. The cliche, “A Picture is worth a thousand words”, doesn’t quite capture it. A musical sound picture is, in a sense, infinite because you can never quite define what it means. There is, in that lack of clear meaning, infinite possible shades of meaning.
This is what makes instrumental music at its best the king of arts.
I have no illusions that music can bring down this particular despot. For that, well need the language of politics. But, in the meantime, it gives me a means of mitigating the horror that is American under Trump.