Thursday, November 18, 2010

An Explanation

So I started re-reading Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer tonight (I originally read it when it was first released a few years back), and it occurred to me about halfway down the first page that in a way it looks like I could have stolen my blog name idea from Oskar. While this is not true, I do love him as a narrator and realized while re-reading that our ideas do in a way mirror each other.

Because of this, I thought I would quickly sum up the idea behind the title "The Heartbeat Symphony," since I know I haven't done it yet. If you don't care, skip this post. Then after I explain my idea behind it, I'll copy in Oskar's idea from Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.

A few months back, my boyfriend and I were talking, just goofing around and being cheesey and sappy and in love over the phone, and he made up a silly song for me about how his heart goes when it's around me. Simple, yes. Cheesey and sappy, definitely. Worth a blog title? Not so much.

Thankfully the story doesn't stop there. I was thinking about it later...about if we really could record heart's reactions to things...John Cage made the composition 4'33" in 1952, which is made up of no music being played at all, just the audience experiencing whatever is around them. If that can be music, why can't recorded heartbeats? What if we could record tons of heartbeats, and layer them together, to create an epic song, with multiple movements to express the different emotions felt by people every day? If we could manage this, it would be capturing humanity in an entirely new way.

I think it's a fantastic idea. A heartbeat symphony. So there's the title :)

And now, for Oskar's idea:

"What about little microphones? What if everyone swallowed them, and they played the sounds of our hearts through little speakers, which could be in the pouches of our overalls? When you skateboarded down the street at night you could hear everyone's heartbeat, and they could hear yours, sort of like sonar. One weird thing is, I wonder if everyone's hearts would start to beat at the same time, like how women who live together have their menstrual periods at the same time, which I know about, but don't really want to know about. That would be so weird, except that the place in the hospital where babies are born would sound like a crystal chandelier in a houseboat, because the babies wouldn't have had time to match up their heartbeats yet. And at the finish line at the end of the New York City Marathon it would sound like war."

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