For me, musicians have a special kind of draw, something like a shimmering forcefield of energy surrounding their bodies, sending snakelike tendrils through the ethers to wrap themselves about my wrists and pull me closer. I’ve never been a groupie; it’s not about getting my photo taken with some guitar-wielding Lothario at the end of a sweaty gig. The fascination comes from hearing someone’s soul represented in the sounds they make (chill out atheists, you can switch the word soul for ‘personality’ if you like) and admiring the drive that causes them to prioritise making noise over eating, sleeping and accruing material wealth. Yes, I’m talking about dedicated artists of sound, not record-deal hunters. And I propose author and biologist Rupert Sheldrake’s hotly contentious concept of Morphic Resonance to make sense of that ‘je ne sais quoi’ possessed by the ‘true musician’:
Ahh Sheldrake, loved by the New Age community, despised by the science establishment, despite having a vast CV of academic credentials in line with rest of them. TEDx even banned his talk, The Science Delusion, on the grounds that it was ‘pseudoscientific’ and contained ‘factual errors’ (don’t worry, helpful nerds have re-posted it all over the net if you’re interested). I find this outrageous, as one beauty within the quantum physics arena is an accepted lack of fact based evidence at this stage and therefore the freedom afforded scientists in their continual theorising. Sheldrake might well be a myth-touting loon but let’s not clap a fearful hand over his mouth – nobody’s been hurt so far. I rather like his idea that we hold memory not just in our brains, but in an energy field that surrounds us, and that ‘each individual inherits a collective memory from past members of the species, and also contributes to the collective memory, affecting other members of the species in the future.’
We already know that behaviour affecting forces imposed on particles can also be shown to affect the behaviour of similar particles from a great distance. This is called Quantum Entanglement and it baffled even Einstein. Check out this link for a scientific explanation:
So anyway, I was wondering if the memory forcefield surrounding each individual becomes stronger in certain areas due to repetition of certain emotions, movements, behaviours; if we make certain outcomes and experiences in our lives more likely by affirming and re-affirming the same patterns over and over and affecting from a distance the forcefields of others whose particles are in similar alignment. It feels like some kind of vaguely scientific explanation for the concept of destiny: not that our fate has been pre-written but that it is semi-subject to forces outside of ourselves / from others that are linked to us energetically. It could also explain how we are drawn to meeting certain people who seem to have huge significance in our lives in unlikely places at just the right time. Instead of ‘coincidence’, it might simply be ‘like energy’ attracting ‘like energy’ in a tangible and maybe one day measurable way.
Back to musicians: I’m convinced it’s more than clothing that enables us to guess what a person’s music sounds like. Imagine if their songs, their singing, were ingrained into their energy field through repetition so that the sounds emanated from them constantly on some inaudible level, in some other form. What if we were all unconsciously sensing each other in a form translatable back to music? What if the musicians energy field was simply ‘louder’ and more ‘shaped’ as a signal from one being to another than the memory forms emanating from beings whose practices create frequencies with less sizeable wave patterns? Well, you know, I’m just suggesting a few unsubstantiated possibilities tacked onto someone else’s unsubstantiated suggestions, but I’ll tell you what happened a couple of hours ago and maybe you can make a few more twisted leaps.
I was sitting in a café writing a nonsense article about musicians possessing superpowers of attraction, and trying not to lose myself in fantasies of the last boy I kissed. Opposite me sat a neatly dressed man in his sixties, who was writing lines and lines of mathematical equations across sheets of A4 paper, without the aid of a textbook. Asking him to plug my laptop in by his foot prompted a brief conversation:
Him: “Oooh, are you going online?”
Me: “Yes. Hopefully the connection will be better today.”
Him: “Can I show you my website?”
Me: (surprised to be asked this since the guy looked so normal) Er, yes, okay but just quickly as I need to get on with some work.
Him: “It’s www.jimhadams.com . I only want to show you my music, just one song called ‘Humoresque’. You probably won’t like the others, not many people do.”
[I find his website, scroll past the sections titled ‘Mathematics’, ‘Climate Change’, ‘Physics’, ‘Politics and Human Rights’, thinking: I like this guy, until I find ‘Music’. I position my laptop between us, turn the volume up to full and we both lean in. A rampant piano journey peppered with unexpected jazz twists competes with the wallpaper pop blasting from the overhead speakers.]
Me: “I love it! Have you seen that 1920’s horror film ‘The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari? It reminds me of the soundtrack.”
Jim: “Yes I have. The music is quite scary if I remember correctly.”
Me: “Yes it is. And Brilliant.”
By Rachel James
Photo by RJ: Matt D; Drummer and Maeve D; Vocalist/Guitarist at The Joker, 2015.