On Vibrations

Saturday night I enjoyed a local blues concert. I’ve always been drawn to blues for its concise and unfettered portrayal of the human condition, but something else has always fascinated me, too: the humble guitar. I tend to focus on guitar players during a performance, and the instrument- and those who wield it- never ceases to amaze me. So, while watching this performance, I thought.

I focused on the strings. How amazing that the simple act of plucking some carefully placed strings can produce such rhythmic sounds, causing an entire audience to tap their feet. Some closed their eyes, some swayed their bodies, but all felt the vibration of those strings enter them. All because of a little vibration.

So it is with all sound, really. Sound is made when an object is struck by an external force, disturbing its state of rest. Were it left in that resting state, no sound would be produced. Leaving that state, sound- music- is born of the resulting vibrations, which travel through space and time to reach our ears, perhaps entering into our very bodies. We hum, we sway, we tap our feet- all because of a tiny vibration.

The typical state for any creature, too, is a resting state. It is only when something comes along to disturb that state that we are capable of making music. Some of us will run marathons, some will write novels, some will grow a business, some will simply be the best damn mother in the tri-state area. What you will do, what you will be, is irrelevant. Your only task is to leave your state of rest, and make your own music.

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