There are musics that I'm drawn to that have a certain becoming-liquid about them. Perhaps it's the Pisces in me? Just as there are all sorts of water – gentle showers to driving thunderstorms, placid ponds to pounding surf to rapids and waterfalls – there's different kinds of music that becomes-liquid. Gong certainly acheives that with Daevid Allen's and Steve Hillage's glissando guitar and Gilli Smyth's space whisper, while the Cure manage it with the flowing bassline of Fascination Street. Cocteau Twins use computers and bass and guitar and vocals to achieve something that sounds like a stream bouncing it's way down a mountain. Dick Dale creates the inexorably persistent crash of surf. Vastly different musics, but all liquid. Sunday morning at NEARFest, the Polish “melodic metal” band Indukti made a deep, dark, fast-flowing river of sound with bass and electric violin, the guitars crafting small white-tipped waves that crested on the surface, a river that occasionally broke on the rocks and crashed heavily. Even metal has a liquid state.
While we typically think in terms of solids, thinking of ourselves as a solid if malleable form, we are primarily composed of salt water, and liquid is that non-entropic state which we can most easily identify, more so than with gas or energy; our relationship with and experience of these things is less... tangible... than with either the liquid or the solid.
“The simplest image of organic life united with rotation is the tide,” suggests Georges Bataille1. This rhythmic movement of the sea, he says, is the “coitus of the earth with the moon.” The “coitus of the earth with the sun,” on the other hand, is the cloud, and the storm.
This is the movement that pulses through us all. Like the tide, and like the storm, we are creatures of the interactions between the earth and the moon and the sun.
1 French philosopher, 1897-1962.