The Healing Powers of MUSEic



~ ♫ ~

Language will always fail music. Where language cages and limits, music releases. And finds a way. A way to convey the meaninglessness of it all and give it some form of meaning. I wouldn’t be surprised if scientists found that music boxes literally “inhabit” the center (or singularity point) of black holes.

And yet, I feel the need to express – non-musically – how much this band’s music means to me at a deep level. Their music magically managed (I always love a good and unintended alliteration) to bring all issues of personal and professional/academic interest to me under one all-encompassing umbrella. The pillar that holds everything together is still undoubtedly and everlastingly the one and only: music. And if that fails to make me see the light, then nothing will.

Music is one of the reasons – for there are a few – I will continue to fail at poetry (the other main reason being that I do NOT READ poetry). With the risk of hierarchizing arts, poetry will always come second to me. Here’s what abstract painter Agnes Martin has to say about art and music:

Art is responded to with emotion … and the best art is music — that’s the highest form of art. It’s completely abstract, and we make about eight times as much response to music than any of the other arts.

Why Muse again? Their music has grown on me episodically since my first encounter with it as I was fascinated as a kid/teenager in love with space by their Sing for Absolution video, not knowing that years later – more specifically around 12 years later – I would sing (my lungs out) for absolution at a live Muse concert.

And it was the music that gradually crept under my skin and built a nest there overshadowing almost any other bands or types of music I’d care to listen to. They have taken over completely but only because I let them.


~ ♫ ~

Drones Album Cover

Because musically, they complete me and put on sound world issues I’m yearning to hear more in music (and why not, since we’re at it, on the news). And whoever dares to tell corporate and capitalist fucks to kill themselves and do us all a favor – and sing about it – has earned my utmost respect (reference to Animals song).


~♫ ~

If you try to find the chemical formula or the magical potion that makes up Muse, you’ll find Queen and Pink Floyd nuances (two other bands whose music speak volumes to me), coupled with the genius of classical music, accompanied by the sound of space as they have clearly explored their affinity for space – in songs like Starlight with its black holes and revelations which also gives the name of the album, Space Dementia, Shrinking Universe, Dead Star, Supermassive Black Hole, Exo-Politics, Neutron Star Collision – and finally, mixed with Orwellian resistant flavors.

George Orwell happens to be one of my favorite writer (see my post on Orwell and why he writes) and 1984 one of the best novels I’ve read, if not my number one. No wonder this has contributed to making The Resistance album my most treasured one (alongside the chaotic Hullaballoo and the aggressive Drones).

The Resistance Album Cover

Another key ingredient that is more of a Muse trademark is the unexpected passage from rather tender tones to more aggressive ones – even the rage and the violence are delicate, but it’s a delicacy that shuffles all of your senses and makes you explode in colors you didn’t even know existed. It’s a subversive tonal violence and the live version of The Globalist song was one such experience for me.


~ ♫ ~

Lastly, the unifying element in this Muse symphony is the concept of freedom. It’s at the core of my personal and academic (past and future) research interest as well as the reason why I founded this blog. Muse never ceases to urge us to fight for our rights (Uprising), for our freedom, to defect from an oppressive and unjust system (Defector), to Revolt, to save ourselves from absent gods and silent tyranny and to make Love our Resistance against the dark forces, be they capitalist or simply inhumane.

Muse Rock the City Concert, Bucharest, July 2016. (c) Gicu Boboc

With themes ranging from deep ecology, the empathy gap, and World War III, the concept album Drones (2015) rebels against modern warfare and the evils of technology:

To me, drones are metaphorical psychopaths which enable psychopathic behavior with no recourse. The world is run by drones utilizing drones to turn us all into drones. This album explores the journey of a human, from their abandonment and loss of hope, to their indoctrination by the system to be a human drone, to their eventual defection from their oppressors. Matthew Bellamy

In that sense, the tale being told is rather an optimistic one. The more activist side of the band surfaces in many other past songs and this reinforces my idea according to which artists are the ones changing the world and never politicians.


~ ↑ ~

Of course, not all art is activist, as some of it is mere aesthetic, but there is something about merging aesthetic pleasure with an urge to not simply please, but wake people up to act against whatever wrongs or wounds this marvelous society of ours may inflict upon them.

And if you feel like you can’t speak up, write a good song and it will speak for you. There is healing in the process of creation. And there is healing in feeling like you’re on the same (political) side of the Universe as your favorite band.

blues journey

Delft Blue Mosaic

look up

towards a sky

full of yellow, white, and green clouds

only surrounded by

gray patches of grass

I don’t belong

only the wind takes me away

to a moment so dear

an april tale

a trip to jupiter

my interstellar journey

on the spaceship of love.

I remember your smile

a laughter swinging open

the gates of further space exploration

lighting up a room

an open space

a forest

the whole world.

what to do in the absence of a song that ended

an instant of poetry

days that went by in a flash

take me back

let’s reverse time and

un-spill the milk in the rooisbos tea

un-make the black coffee

un-roam the tranquil streets

un-view the Vermeer paintings

un-walk the halls of museums

let’s build a ship that un-sails

let’s go left, left, and right and straight ahead

do you hear the cry in every delft canal?

cross the miniature bridge to your cosmic lover

she is waiting on the other side

one stroll away

find me at little street

yearning embraces

a land of windmills

fields of pink and purple tulips

all point home.

a night sky pierced by church tops

an air of romance

a springtime of life

a currency of love

all at our entangled feet.

your taste of candy and coffee

is ingrained in my flesh

a bruised love affair

the strongest drug

my darling cocaine.

we are dancing in the ring of madness

sliding our way to the stage of our dreams

for one more caress

one more starry sky

one more night under orion’s spell.

you diffuse me

and spread me throughout the universe

and carry me many light years away

in a nebula of hope

of a return

of one more sip

from your enchanting potion

of new memories with you.

there’s no blues like delft blues

space poetics

Untitled 4

in the misty night

a tram croons

I love you’s

outside your home.

at the window of your soul

I tenderly knock

and find

a poetical figure

with equality dreams

and solar system drawings

and a craving and an aching.

the laws of chaos have spoken

match your breathing with mine

my dearly beloved

and we will live forever

gazing up

at stellar visions of ourselves

there is no life outside our solar system of love

a space where general relativity and quantum theory collide

where poetry and prose meet

where binaries are erased

where you sit reciting a poem in latin

and I enjoy every syllable of it

where multiverses speak

of infinite possibilities

of all the lives I want to live with you

all my particles and strings

and neurons and cells

and my skin

they all long

a touch of infinity

in the eyes of nature

one train, one tram

two love-making machines

with tracks that intersect

look out the window

I’m near

I’m in love

I’m in awe

Colorless Dystopia

Gray Nebula

Can I ease your pain?

I hear needles pricking your skin
In the decade of melancholy
Memories go by like waves
Only sweetened by guitar solos
Descending into me
Making me whole again
The blues is killing me
Little Delft is under water
Tormented canals flooding the town
I’ve estranged myself from you
Violent chords putting
Life back into the chaos
Bring back the high notes the glee
The kids have now left the playground
And all the world’s green has perished
Retired in the land of no grief
I’m overflown with the last trace
Of greenest tears.

In the committee of Love
There’s no wild wind anymore
And the leaves of possibilities have left the painting
And words and letters from our poems
Go hide in other dark corners of language
Leaving us empty poets and muses
The Sea of Tranquility leaves the Moon to join exoplanets
And all the black holes gather
For an ominous meeting
And they want to prosecute us
Hole Honor, I declare myself guilty
Of Love and nostalgia without end
Leave my starman alone

And all the turquoise in the world couldn’t patch this up
You can have my green pills
My blue pills
Journey on my mind
But where do I begin?
A grain of delusion
A speck of wonder
My whole body aches
Staring at a starless sky
A Milky Way devoid of way
Gone to the other end of the Universe
Where lovers walk hand in hand
Here I can hear dissonant tunes
A chemical imbalance
Has disfigured our euphoria
A film noir
A blank page
A writer’s block

Take me to a nameless street
Where illness does not maim us
In the autumn of our maze
We seek the rainbow
We praise the Sun
We beam, we escape, we drift…
Then there’s a stain.
And all becomes colorless
And the Universe collapses in the abyss
And our love engines break down.

In the midst of all madness
We find our way back to each other
We long for that long good galactic embrace
That will glue the Universe back together
Piece by piece
Leaf by leaf…

We’re seeing in colors again.