String Theory: Looking at the history of music from the vantage point of the early 21rst century gives the viewer a vast and indomitable landscape to digest. This history stretches back into antiquity and appears to be a series of never ending battles and conquests that continually raises the bar of musical sophistication and listening prowess. As a composer, it is nigh impossible not to be influenced by the greatness that has been handed down through the ages, regardless of one's intentions or assertions. Yet, is this progress actually an improvement, as in say how the practice of surgical medicine has changed over time, or are we confusing the changing technical requirements in the creation and performance of music as progress? Music's raison d'être has always been to delight the senses in an emotionally rewarding and highly personal way. This fundamental property of music, while greatly altered to fit social conventions over time, has not changed to the present day. I believe this is why we can enjoy and compare music from all time periods equally. It is also why music of the past is not automatically deemed inferior to the music of later time periods. The average educated listener will only ask the question of when something was written after being touched emotionally, for better or worse, by the music in question. Compare this with the medical example used above and I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone undergoing a surgical operation that wouldn't ask when the procedure was invented and how long it has been used. I doubt that there will ever be enough brave souls to fuel a surgical 'period instrument' revival. Yet music has fueled such a revival, and as such, must operate on a level that is in touch with our most basic of instincts and passions. In some way music acts as a vital force, a prime mover if you will, that regardless of it's many guises and permutations, survives unscathed through the ages. Indeed, recent cosmological theories indicate that sound waves in the form of the overtone series are responsible for breaking up the super hot plasma right after the big bang. The subtle temperature variations created by the sound waves caused matter to form into clumps, which led to the creation of the first galaxies and eventually the universe that we exist in today. It is with this concept in mind that I present to you the listener, String Theory.
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