Thursday, January 12, 2012

The cry of the Inanimate

Yesterday while pottering around the kitchen,I absentmindedly banged the refrigerator door. A cry went off, I was startled and looked in the direction of the refrigerator , had it spoken up? I noticed a small bowl, that had been accidentally kept near the door of the refrigerator. It had been hit by my callous banging of the door. But what was the sound about? Like that of a cry, of someone in agony..It made me think. It took us humans a long time to imagine and understand that animals and living beings other than themselves have language and are capable of understanding and depth( Some still haven't understood that)..if so, are we mistaken in assuming that non living things don't feel?

I took up the bowl in my hand and stroked it a while, nothing happened, but I felt good. If I wasn't rambling here, and had spoken of this to someone else, people would have stared at me. But hey didn't we stare at those who said the earth was round? We've all heard of course of plants responding to music, even having preferences in music( Soft music apparently soothes them). Well then why can't a different dimension be given to an inanimate object, by attuning it to music..a force of life, perhaps in the hopes that one day they shall show some kind of response, or better still, we shall respond to how they feel?

I am reminded of Susan Philipsz, who works with sound installations. Philips was awarded the Turner prize for her sound installation in Glasgow. Recordings of Philipsz singing three slightly different versions of a Scottish lament over the river Clyde in her hometown, Glasgow, was installed beneath each of the three bridges within the city – the George V Bridge, the mighty Caledonian Railway Bridge and Glasgow Bridge. Philipsz is perhaps the first person in the history of the award to have worked on bestowing feeling to something you cannot see or touch. But more than that, her idea, of bestowing the emotion of her song, onto the bridge and the river flowing below, is stupendous.

In a strange way I am reminded of music being played in funerals. Why do we do it? Especially when there is no authentic proof that can substantiate any sense of feeling associated with the dead being able to hear the music, or even find peace on it. Strangely enough, different religions bestow different music to their dead, some even bestow laughter, in the hope and belief that that soul will be in peace.If such is the case, maybe we can sometime bestow emotions and language to inanimate objects too.

( Video courtesy Youtube)


The Unknowngnome said...

Haunting music.

You've written closely to thoughts I carry daily as I walk among the rocks here. They move, shift, fall of their own accord though logic screams it's the weather. Yet, are we too not moved by the weather?

Oft times too our movements are much too fast to perceive the slow or vice versa. So too sound as evident as you point out in "attuning".

Dogs hear what we do not.

And as I walk among the rocks I am reminded:

"See!" he said to all the people. "This stone will be a witness against us. It has heard all the words the LORD has said to us. It will be a witness against you if you are untrue to your God."
(Joshua 24:27)

The stones of the wall will cry out, and the beams of the woodwork will echo it. (Hab 2:11)

“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” (Lk 19:40)

"The heavens declare the glory of God." (Ps 19:1)

Cyril of Jerusalem said: "For the creation itself proclaims the glory of the Maker, in that it is admired as well made. Wherefore there are voices in things, although there are not words."

And these thoughts, what are we not thinking?

Maitreyee Bhattacharjee Chowdhury said... summed it up so well..thanks for the quotes.