Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Gladiator Waltz

Do you have nine minutes? Can you turn off your monitor, turn on your ears and practice assertive listening? What do you hear? This exercise may be more useful if you've never seen Gladiator, but if you have, forget it. As I've said before, the problem with music today is that too many people are listening with their eyes. Open your mind's eye instead. What do you see? It is said that music makes up 75% of the emotional impact of a movie. What do you feel? If I was blind, I would still go to movies just to experience the soundtrack while watching the movie in my head. Imagine your life as a movie... how would it sound? Better yet, how should it sound? What is epic in you? Can you capture it? Can you express it? Can you bring it to life?

I want my life to be awesome. For right-brain disciples like me, I celebrate what words cannot express. There is a purity to instrumental music that words can never limit, allowing each listener to have his own unique and personal experience. Ayn Rand called it "a sense of life." It's an important concept. It is something you are born with and bring into the world, similar to a song not yet touched by language.

Ayn Rand defined it thus: "A sense of life is a pre-conceptual equivalent of metaphysics, an emotional, subconsciously integrated appraisal of man and of existence. It sets the nature of a man’s emotional responses and the essence of his character."

I remember having a sense of life, an emotional response to it. It was a vision that I could hear, that called to me and felt like my future. I could never articulate it though so I never knew what it was. Sometimes I catch glimpses of it in the work of others, and it reveals that we are of the same heart, the same essence of character.

My favorite part of "The Gladiator Waltz" is between 1:51 and 2:27.  It's so courageous, and what I see there is a place of beautiful and victorious struggle. An equally choice section is between 7:14 and 7:48. You can feel the buildup. It's like a wild tiger about to break out of his cage. He smashes through the bars, bounds fast and free across the open plain, captures his oppressors and thrashes the shit out of them. The climactic finale makes certain that a lot of ass just got soundly kicked.

"What we do in life echoes in eternity." ~ Maximus