There are a lot of ways that we all differ from one another. For example, those of us who gather weekly for these discussion all come from different family backgrounds, we have different levels of education, hold different jobs, have had different formative experiences. But one thing I suspect we share with each other, and most folks, is that music plays some kind of role in our lives. For some it might be a hobby, others an escape, others a way block out noise and distraction, a pleasant background, or a soundtrack to our daily lives.
Or is music more profound than this? Aldous Huxley, in his famous essay “The Rest is Silence,” wrote:
From pure sensation to the intuition of beauty, from pleasure and pain to love and the mystical ecstasy and death — all the things that are fundamental, all the things that, to the human spirit, are most profoundly significant, can only be experienced, not expressed. The rest is always and everywhere silence.
After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.
That last sentence is the kicker. “After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” He continues:
[M]usic is the equivalent of some of man’s most significant and most inexpressible experiences. By mysterious analogy it evokes in the mind of the listener, sometimes the phantom of these experiences, sometimes even the experiences themselves in their full force of life — it is a question of intensity; the phantom is dim, the reality, near and burning. Music may call up either; it is chance or providence which decides.
In our conversation this evening we’re going to talk about the role of music in our lives. What music speaks to us, and why? How does music, in Huxley’s words, “express the inexpressible” for us? How does it connect us to the world around us? How does it speak to us spiritually? What does music say for us, or to us, that we cannot say for or to ourselves?
Come join us and share your thoughts on your favorite music and why it resonates with you. The discussion begins at 7 pm this evening at Homegrown Brewing Company in downtown Oxford.