Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Unisons and Unity Within

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
–Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself”

In music, the term “unison” usually applies to two or more instruments. A unison refers to two simultaneous instances of the exact same pitch, and even instruments that can play multiple pitches simultaneously (like a piano) can’t play the same note twice at the same time. (A guitar is one exception to this – a string can be fretted to double the same note on another string.)

In the Muzoracle, unisons represent unity, most often of two or more people – because musically it usually takes two or more people to play one. A Unison of Woodwinds represents agreement in the realm of ideas, for example, while a Unison of Percussion refers to a kind of physical accord, as when people work together to accomplish a task. 

In addition to referencing accord between two or more people, though, the unison can also speak of unity within. In a recent casting, I came across a Unison of Strings over ti. In the context of the querent’s question, I interpreted this as a need for unity of feeling in order to transition to the next level. This brought me to a question that has been with me since: What is it to have a unity of feeling? Is it possible for all of these shifting personae within, these reactive modes that so quickly and invisibly change in response to circumstance, to share a single feeling? One moment something pleases, the next it frustrates, the next it doesn’t matter – how can we get all of those guys to agree?

I don’t think that’s possible. What might be possible, though, is a remembering of something core. There is a kind of feeling that does not give way to whim, that in moments of shock or inner silence can appear – a finer, more grounded kind of feeling. It’s like the love one has for a partner or a child: not the assumed everyday version that’s all wrapped up with duty or a sense of self, but the extraordinary feeling that comes like a realization, that’s felt down to the bone, that’s a kind of knowing. This is the kind of feeling, perhaps, that’s called for in this casting: a kind of pervasive remembering.

The Unison of Strings in this casting was actually a part of the casting’s axis: it was crossed with a Perfect Fifth of Voices, which speaks of the Active Force, of a kind of assertion at a spiritual or core level. Once again, remembering is indicated: in order to act from a core level, we must be at a core level, we must know what that means. A Unison of Strings crossing a Perfect Fifth of Voices over ti: it would seem the transition at hand cannot be accomplished from a small place.