The Heart Is a Drum Machine
What is music? Is it a feeling, an emotion, or a vibration? And where does a musical idea start? Join today’s top artists, actors, and scholars as they tackle these questions and others in this cinematic look at what might just be a uniquely human obsession. This documentary is about the meaning and power of music.
In 1976, when the Science Mission of NASA’s Voyager was being designed, a group of specialists were asked to create an interstellar message project. The idea was to design a message that would be affixed to each of the Voyager space crafts in order to give extraterrestrial life forms a glimpse of who we are. Among the collection of Earthly items, a record containing music was included with the hope that it would speak in ways that no other item could. The record was named “The Sounds of Earth”. A piece from Beethhoven’s String Quartet No. 13 in B flat, Opus 130 called Cavatina Movement was immediately taken into consideration because it expresses the deep longing within every human’s heart. Also on the Golden Record were songs from around the world and many different sounds including that of a heart beating.
It’s hard to imagine an evolved species that doesn’t have music because music begins in a place deep within a person’s existence. It doesn’t matter whether you call this place soul, spirit, or chi. What music does is that it vibrates with your body and causes you to feel different emotions. Music is an energetic code; a magical language. It seems to be a powerful biological need that engages us in ways that other arts don’t.
According to master drummer professor Milford Graves, within your brain you carry the memory of your heartbeat. This beat constitutes the base for every single rhythm that exists. Find out what makes your heart a drum machine.