Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Searching for Sublime Music (and not the crappy band)
In one of my classes at University, we're talking about "The Sublime" and what that means. For the longest time, I've always associated "sublime" with that terrible, terrible jock band from Cali. But it turns out that there's actually something more to it. I actually learned something at college, imagine that.
Here's some of what wikipedia says:
Sublime - Pleasure from perceiving objects that threaten to hurt or destroy observer. Pleasure from beholding very violent, destructive objects. Pleasure from knowledge of observer's nothingness and oneness with Nature.
The imagination is awed and instilled with a degree of horror by what is "dark, uncertain, and confused." While the relationship of the sublime and the beautiful is one of mutual exclusiveness, either one can produce pleasure.
So something beautiful isn't sublime and vice versa. The prof gave a few examples of sublime works of art:
Beethoven's 5th Symphony
A Day in the Life - The Beatles
100 Years of Solitude - by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
These are overwhelming works about dark subjects; they are a pleasure to experience, but calling them "beautiful" doesn't convey their essence properly. I've been taught that a sublime thing also overwhelms our sense of reason, and we can't quite get our heads around it, so we keep going back to it.
So, all this is to say that I want to make a mix cd of sublime music, and I'm looking for suggestions. The qualities I'm looking for in these sublime songs are:
1. Dark/tragic subject matter (if there are lyrics)
2. Interesting/Overwhelming/Threatening/Enigmatic, musically
3. Preferably not a song that gets commercial radio play
My list so far:
1. A Day in the Life - Beatles
2. Paranoid Android or Kid A - Radiohead
That is all for now. I hope this makes sense to you and to me.
Now, let's get sublime!