That music is time travel for those who listen to it is such a basic idea that we hardly need to present proof. Still as an example, when many people reach a certain age, even when they can listen to all the available music in the world on iTunes or Amazon Music, they return to the same old songs from their past, mostly from adolescence.
Not everybody does this, but it’s common.
They listen to the songs they loved as teenagers, maybe even as they were going through puberty, and they feel emotionally connected to the past. They relive it in their imaginations.
But what about Time traveling for the artist?
Artists, writers, and musicians know that there is such thing as arriving in the Zone, or whatsome neuroscientists call Flow.
It can be defined as the times wherein you are so absorbed in the creative act that everything disappears and you lose sense of time. You are completely inside of the work.
When you come out, when you’re interrupted by something like a pounding on the door, you immediately lose the Flow or come out of the Zone.
This experience is similar to The Writer’s High.
When an artist arrives in the Zone, space-time doesn’t exist.
There’s no arrow of time.
There is no matter and thus no laws of classical mechanics, which means that the artist in the Zone can time travel.
Physicists agree that theoretically time travel is possible, but nobody can do it because we are matter and matter cannot travel faster than the speed of light nor can it go through an event horizon into a wormhole without being torn into pieces, completely obliterated.
However, artists in the Zone appear in other space-times, non-spatial realms, places of the imagination, the astral plane.
A poet who follows her language and ends up in the Zone or experiencing Flow will often run into spirits of the dead.
If you follow language, you sometimes hear voices that come from somewhere else, maybe an old text you read but forgot about, or a sentence you overheard in a coffee shop, or something your abuela used to tell you when she was alive.
The dead come to us in Flow.
Think of improvisational Jazz, a sax player hears a rhythm and follows it.
As they are in the Zone, they hear the bop of another beat, distant but getting closer, and they pick it up, play with it, follow it up and down, all around, back and forth. They may very well be channeling the spirit-sound from a musician long dead or a song sung to them when they were kids.
Music is time travel.
Later I’ll write about how the music you choose to listen to over and over again, especially as you age, can begin to shrink your ability to time travel or to appear in the zone, but for now, I want to show proof of an artist who time traveled.
Or, to be fair, who time travels NOW, because although this artist is long dead, he’s still out there in the Zone.
The example is Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 3 in C Major, Op. 2 No. 3.
(Hmm, I won’t go into the numerology of it, 3+3+2, the number eight, which circles around and around like an infinity sign.)
I admire his work, but until I heard this piece, I never thought of him as great as Bach, who spends so much time in the Zone that he can appear anywhere and anytime unannounced, even in a Led Zeppelin riff or jazz improvisation.
But in this Beethoven’s Piano Sonata, we can map his journey into the Zone.
To experience this, imagine here’s what happened:
One early morning, Ludwig, still in his Ebenezer Scrooge nightgown, walks to his piano, sits down, still glowing from a peaceful night’s sleep.
He begins to play a tune he heard in his dream.
It’s very early, still dark outside.
Everybody else is sleeping.
He starts to play.
But listen to it, and imagine each note is a step along a path leading into something, a forest, a garden, a portal, a wormhole. He may or may not have been conscious of where he was going as he was playing that morning, because he’s following the music from the dream.
The player in the link I provide is Lang Lang, a badass pianist who I’m sure spends a lot of time in the zone.
At the 1:14 seconds mark, the portal opens.
He falls into the future.
He communicates with multiple artists who are also in the Zone, maybe Philip Glass is there, Thelonious Monk, maybe Ludovico Einaudi, and because there’s no time-space in the Zone, all can be in there at the same time, although this is ineffable, because there is no time.
Every time you enter into the zone, you enter into every time.
So after 1:14 seconds in this video of Lang Lang, Beethoven falls into a wormhole, and the music become dances, geometrical rhythms, triangles and circles, spirits of the New Age, entities outside of his own time-space.
Listen. At exactly the 1:14 mark.
(Sorry if you have to sit through part of a commercial before the music begins)
But go with Ludwig.
Follow him with your imagination, not your intellect.
Do you see the breach?