Alexei Panshin's The Abyss of Wonder

Songs of the Abyss

    Music is the spirit sound that comes to us from the Abyss -- the wellspring of all creativity -- and that leads us on toward the realization of our humanity.  Before language was invented, and people began lying and writing contracts, first we sang.  And we've been following the sound ever since.

    In the last century, however, in a new enclosure of the commons, the music which is our birthright, belonging to everyone and to no one, was redefined as private property and immediately cornered by those who buy and sell.  Music got turned into merchandise, one more unit of power and profit.  Its new owners tried to eliminate the danger and the mystery of the music, put brand names and labels on it, and reduce it to standard packages and short playlists.

    But what comes into our hearts from out of the Abyss can never be controlled.

     When Josh Wachtel first asked me to give him a hand with the music that he wanted to make, I asked him what it was he had in mind to do.  He said, "I want to play all kinds of music, and I want to keep things going."

    I said doing that would call for a whole new approach -- songs about anything and everything and a band capable of playing them.

    Josh and I call the songs we write Crossover Music.  Josh's band is Radio Free Earth.


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Updated July 17, 2004

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