Michael Garfield – How To Live in the Future: What Is "Visionary Music?"

23 May 2007

What Is "Visionary Music?"

First, a little exposition:

The word "visionary" comes from the Latin "videre" ["to see"]. It describes the quality of seeing the future or other transcendent visions, sometimes in a dream or trance, and thinking or planning for them with imagination or wisdom. A visionary is someone with original ideas about where we're headed.

The word "music" comes from the Greek "mousike (techne)" ["(art) of the muses"]. It is the art and science of combining sounds to produce beauty of form or to express emotion.

(Thank you, Oxford American Dictionary.)

In other words, visionary music is the sound-art (and sound-science) made by those with a view of our collective inheritance, the future (and yes, we do inherit the future, just as much as we inherit the past). Visionary music reveals as-yet undisclosed worlds and beckons us into the practice of dreaming our journey there together. It might point us to realms we would consider transcendent, or it might remind us of the immanent divine that we have forgotten; but no matter what form it takes, visionary music is the voice of the pioneers, the dispatch from the frontiers of Spirit.

It is many things, but it is never complacent. It shatters our dearest fantasies, while gardening a thousand more. It is the song of Love in all of its challenge and support, urging us into a world we would never have guessed - but we can certainly imagine.

It is our music, the oldest language, and one of the most powerful technologies with which to sculpt who we will be tomorrow.

I am delighted to welcome you aboard this adventure! Please feel free to share your music, your thoughts and theory, and your energies. Your unique voice and contributions will be honored as we marry aesthetics and pragmatism, art and social change, with an ongoing series of benefits, interviews, concerts...and other still-undiscovered projects.