Review of Radiohead - The King of Limbs, courtesy of Thomas de Zengotita


Mar 14 2011, 4:51

" Music.
Because music doesn't represent anything else, does it? It's there, humanly crafted, yet given, more like the wind itself than a description of the wind or a picture of trees swaying? It moves out of us and into us im-mediately. It blends with emotion, it becomes emotion--or "Passion," as they used to say.
Well, this leads into a thicket of distinctions: We could wonder about modern art, abstract art, which doesn't represent anything either--or ancient decorative arts, for that matter, designs on porticos and pottery, designs that flow and twine, sort of like music, and they don't represent anything; they're more like the ripples in the stream than a description of the stream. On the other hand, such patterns are static, whereas music, like the stream, like time, like life itself, will not stand still no matter what, no matter how artfully the silent beat is held aloft to seem to last forever before the final crescendo brings our sweet suspense to its conclusion--it will not last, it cannot last, it is music, it is mortal.
No need to press for conceptual perfection. The consensus of the wise has been that music is unique among the arts because it operates on the same plane as the unmediated, the given. It belongs to sensation itself, to bodily existence and, for that very reason, it elevates that existence in a way no other art can match.
Music takes hold of you on levels of your being that precede intentional articulation, levels of being that contain what you can put into words.
And that is why words, when they are sustained by the immediacy of music, have a unique power. They represent, they articulate--and they penetrate, they fill dumb bodies with meaning.
There is nothing like a song."

Mediated: How the Media Shapes Your World and the Way You Live in It

Coincidence New Radicals' You Get What You Give began streaming while I typed this? I thought not.


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