Every form of art has its medium. Sculpture uses clay, stone, or wood, drawing uses paint, chalk, or ink, and music uses sound. Sound, though it may seem simple, is truly a vast library for the composer, as everything that surrounds us creates it even if we are unable to discern it. Sound isn’t just produced by the organic it is created by everything including things that are man-made. Some things that are a part of our daily lives create sound that we are unable to hear. Things like radar, sonar, microwaves; they all create sound.
A vital component to a piece of music is pitch. The composer is aware that pitch is important, as it is the property that allows the ordering of the sounds on the frequency scale. The more rapidly the sound waves move the higher the frequency of the sound, the slower the sound waves move the lower the frequency of the sound. In order for the audience to distinguish a piece of music from simple noise, the pitch of a composition must be clear and stable complimenting the established rhythm. There are billions of frequencies of sound but only a limited range of approximately ten octaves that can be perceived and interpreted by the average human ear, but not only are there sounds that surround us on a daily basis that we don’t recognize, but sound waves are eternal – never-ending. They continue to vibrate long before we have stopped hearing them. Yes, their intensity grows weaker and weaker but on some level they never entirely disappear. Think about that for just a moment. The sixteenth century serenade played for a beloved beneath the window of her bedchamber, the lullaby your grandmother sung to you as a child as she held you in her arms, the cheers during the big playoff game last year, the teenager’s wild accusations screamed at her mother last month, cries of Josh’s fear as he realized what was happening yesterday; they all still vibrate now and will continue to do so – forever.
Most objects have a specific frequency at which they naturally vibrate. When a sound wave strikes the object if there is a matching frequency between the object and the sound wave, the object will begin to vibrate. This is known as resonance. When that object begins vibrating in sync with the original sound wave, that sound wave will amplify. Think of the stereotypical scenario of the opera singer who is able to shatter a wine glass with her voice. She is able to do this because the frequency of her voice matched and amplified that of the glass.
Another important piece of knowledge about sound and music for you to understand so that you can fully comprehend the events that unfolded in Josh’s hospital room is the phenomena of entrainment. This occurs when two objects or entities that vibrate at different frequencies come together into resonance with each other. There is a famous experiment done by a physicist who noticed that the pendulum of two clocks mounted on a common wall had synchronized themselves. This is an example of entrainment. Another example that I happen to especially be fond of is when an individual hears a piece of music and begins tapping their foot to the beat of the drum. The listener has their own internal rhythm which is set by their heart beat but once the listener becomes engaged with the music they allow themselves to come into resonance with it and fall into entrainment.
The intriguing characteristic about sound is that it is the bridge between the world of matter and the world of spirit. We experience music with our spiritual essence but it is our physical human bodies that are the instruments that allow us the ability of manifestation. With his or her mind and heart the composer is able to harness their conscious intention into the music and the conductor is able to manifest them in the physical world through the sound of the various instruments being played. This is the power that music holds within it. There are only a handful of individuals who truly understand what can be accomplished with music. Advertisers understand and utilize the power to promote and entice potential customers into purchasing their products. Governments use it with the creation of national anthems for worldwide propaganda. And even though the music industry recognizes the obvious power of music in selling popular songs and promoting musical pop and rock stars, what they can’t completely recognize or realize is the deeper power that music possesses.
I do. I see it. I feel it. I know it. Intimately.
I have awoken from my own slumber. I am aware now of what has been occurring within me, the change that has been taking place. I had been unable to find the accurate words to describe this amazing transformation until this moment. My perception is finally clear and my thoughts are structured in a way that enables me great understanding. Each fragment has found its rightful position bringing forth such clarity. The whole has been revealed and I am no longer confused.
The voices, they speak to me sharing with me profound insight and wisdom concerning countless subjects. These are the voices of my ancestors, the voices of all the women in my bloodline, the voices of composers, and other voices that I have not yet been able to identify. I am able to comprehend their messages and understand what I must do. Composers reveal the intention of their music to me. I don’t just logically understand it, nor do I just feel it like an audience member does when the music is played for them. No, it is more precise than what music theory explains. I literally hear the voice of the composer that is captured within a piece of their music. The composers, they speak to me and I am eagerly listening. My ancestors, the women in my bloodline, they have revealed to me my birthright. They have shown me the power that I hold, that all the Williams women of Salem have held within them since the ancient times before we migrated to America. The sound wave of voices echo through the veins of all the women in my family but for many it is unheard. Their abilities lay dormant, silently waiting to be harnessed and utilized.
The soft notes of the snare drum began. They would set the continuous beat of the musical piece. A single flute joined the drum and Josh and I softly and slowly moved forward. Josh’s eyes no longer darting back and forth, had become still, the numbers on his monitor dropped back to normal as he relaxed into the music. I inhaled deeply, closing my own eyes. The piece I was playing for him would end in sixteen minutes and I was slightly concerned that a nurse would wander in before I had completed my task. There would be no logical explanation for what was transpiring behind his closed door. I exhaled pushing the concerns from my mind and eased into the sound of the violins, clarinets and other horns that were playing. I soon found resonance with the sound and became acutely aware of the numerous whispers cloaked within the music. The soft swirling notes of the trumpet caressed the murmurs of encouragement not only from the composer, Maurice Ravel, but also from the others.
Round and round.
I felt the constant rhythm of the music moving throughout Josh’s body creating resonance within him as well. I smiled as the sound gently tugged at him, pulling him, softly seducing and coaxing his essence to move in unison with the flow of the sound originating from the ear pods.
I slowly opened my eyes. Only four minutes to go. I could see Josh’s body vibrating in unity with the sound of the music. His body slowly rose from the bed and levitated a foot above the sheet. I smiled and raised my arms beginning the conductor’s gestures. The numbers on Josh’s monitors fluctuated slightly but was of no major concern as the music continued onward.