Re: ART: Mental-enhancing music

E. Shaun Russell (
Sun, 2 Aug 1998 11:01:42 -0700

Kathryn Aegis wrote
>I have been thinking about recent postings relating to music--which music
>enhances mental processes, which music might be considered 'extropian',
>technical processes for predicting what sort of music an individual might
>want...and I agree that any listing of 'extropian' music would have to
>include the tastes of many individuals.

That is a very key point from both a musicological as well as compositional standpoint. In the case of a listener, music is wholly subjective: it can be interpreted as "extropic" if that is what the listener derives from it. To use myself as an example, I listen to a lot of music (dubbed as progressive rock) from the late sixties and seventies; I find that the majority of this progressive-music movement strives toward a distant goal of perfection. Musically, the songs are generally lengthy and are technically quite difficult to play. Lyrics in this genre usually have a lot of depth and even (as with Yes' "Starship Troopers" and Mike Oldfield's _The Songs Of Distant Earth_) base themselves around science fiction. However, it is only my enjoyment and interpretation of this genre that makes me prone to calling the music "extropic." Many others will disagree.

Composition of material is a different matter altogether. When I write music, I don't necessarily have an "extropic" objective in mind, though could it not still be considered as such because it was written by an extropian? Referring back to Kathryn's post, I'm not sure if it is even feasible for any composer to create music that is universally accepted as being "extropic"...the pure subjectivity of artistic interpretation --not to mention the complex individuality of each and every listener-- makes such a task pretty well impossible. As for enhancing mental processes, all music does that in some way or another; the key is to find which kind of music really appeals to each listener: something which can involve a lot of searching.

E. Shaun Russell Musician, Poet, ExI Member
==============================>    Transhumanities editor for Homo Excelsior
Kineticize your potential.