Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Time is an underlying theme here at Blog Time Passing, and music, as an art form and medium, is very much a function of time. 

Visual images, pictures, paintings, sculptures, and especially photographs, can give us the illusion of frozen time, a captured moment, although, in reality, time's flow cannot be arrested, time still passes.  The moving image can also display a still image, an illusion of time stopping, and on video we can have the freeze frame, but of course time still passes for us as we are watching it, and for that matter, the image is constantly being refreshed by electrons and photons.  In the dramatic arts, actors, players, dancers, etc., can hold a pose, stand still, but time still passes. for them and for the audience. 

The eye gives us the illusion of timelessness in a way that the ear cannot.  As Walter Ong put it, "Sounds only exists as it is going out existence."  Whether it's speech or music, or the sounds of nature or technology, sound can only exist in time.  If you hit pause on your stereo, you don't get a freeze frame, you get silence.  Rhythm is an inherent dimension of music, even if the rhythm is arrhythmic, and rhythm is a form of time.

With that in mind, I think this music video by Jean Michel Jarre, entitled Chronologie IV, and posted to YouTube on October 23, 2007, is a welcome addition here:

My thanks to my old friend, Marty Friedman, for bringing this video to my attention.

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