Music, musings and more from the mind of Ben Averch.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

My True State, Pt 3

Songs 7-8

The presence that is underneath the surface noise.
The song ‘No Division’ was inspired by an article called ‘My Favorite Meditation’ by Steve Pavlina on his personal development blog. The character in the article (and in the song) visits with his past and future self in a dream. This idea really captivated me – what would I tell myself if I could see myself from years ago? What would my future self tell the Ben of today? What do I want my future self to be like?

Thinking about yourself as not just a point on a line in time going from start (birth) to end (death), but rather as something that ‘exists outside of time’ is a pretty mind-bending thing to do. We are so rarely in touch with any sense of permanence in our lives -- we’re just so rooted in the transitory stuff that make up our lives, like money, work, food, and things that it’s hard to grasp the idea that there may a presence about us that is not just another thing that arises and fades away but is actually a part of nature itself.

Trippy stuff to think about. This song is pretty interesting musically – I put the bass through some delay effects which was new for me and not something I remember hearing too much of out in the world. The echoing bass and chaotic, slithering twin guitar lines eventually coalesce into a repeating riff and a solid foundation for the rest of the song. This song features one of the longest guitar solos that I can remember recording – when I listen to it, it reminds me a little of Pink Floyd, which is really new and fun for me.

What you don’t resist is the world that persists. ‘Levitate’ was a song that came together musically very quickly, but lyrically was a lot more challenging. After several revisions, I arrived at the song as it’s recorded and I’m really happy with it. What I’m talking about here is pretty much an extension of the ideas on ‘Sandcast’, and would revisit again at the end of the record on ‘A Chance for Me to Stay’, which is that the ability to find what you need in life is always there. The power, energy and enthusiasm to get up when you’re down and to take life forward in a positive, meaningful way, is there for everybody, all the time. We don’t always hear it, because we’re all hearing voices in our heads, just like crazy people. The only difference is that we accept these voices as our own, even when they’re telling us things that beat us down, or deflate us, or cut off our opportunities for happiness and growth.

So the idea is, listen to what’s inside of you, below all the noise, below what can be expressed in word-thoughts. That’s where the peace and strength are that are always available to help rise to the occasion and transform the world.

A couple notes about the music in this one – the chorus vocal reminds me of Fleetwood Mac for some reason, which I really enjoy. The keyboards in the choruses are also a fun little flourish that helps things feel lighter in that section, like it keeps rising up. There’s even a little break from the action in the middle to help people catch their breath from the prior forty-some minutes of non-stop hard rock action – immediately followed by a hard-won (and fairly long) guitar solo. That lead, and the build into it, is among my favorite moments on the album.


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