Milestone! Today marks the third anniversary of Mount Everest and I am excited! This year, I think I’ve come up with some of my most memorable tunes, and I have had a lot of help. Alex Selby, Brooklyn Fraser, Miguel Williams, and Tamarinda Figueroa all participated in awesome collaborations, not to mention Everest’s biggest collaboration yet which included Nick, Tama, Brenna, Miguel, Alex, Julia, Rob, Dave, Ben, Celia, Joseph, Holly, Clio, and Becca. Thank you so much to my collaborators for helping make this site possible. Also, there is no way to express my gratitude to my friends and family for the support they’ve given me, particularly my parents who really do believe in this project, and have from the start! If I’ve left out any collaborators, or significant contributors, I apologize. A year is a long time, and I always find myself scratching my head trying to make sure I’ve remembered everyone. The point is that if you’ve been to this site and listened to even a single song, I am eternally grateful to you. In celebration of that gratitude, I’m putting up a big collection of songs for FREE DOWNLOAD! Yes! It’s called From a Hug to an Atom Bomb, and it collects all of year-three’s “best of” songs which were determined scientifically by me. Enjoy it and share it with your friends.
(Bandcamp Listeners, please visit www.mounteverestweekly.com
for your free download!)
This week’s song is a direct follow-up to last week’s (and astute listeners might notice that last week’s refrain, and this week’s first verse are musically identical -- except this one is made of robots). If you remember, last week I meditated upon the unavoidable isolation of individual human beings, and the lengths that we go to in attempting to express ourselves. A particular passage in last week’s notes struck me as getting the point across better than the song itself, so I’ll repeat it here: “No matter how intimate the relationships we cultivate, our minds are our own, and any attempt at communication is a mediated struggle against the barrier of our individuality. Every human endeavor from a hug to an atom bomb somehow reflects this reality.” That last part became the jumping-off point for this song. The word at play is solipsism. Think about it as the opposite of telepathy. Each mind is a closed environment. Nothing gets in or out without first being somehow mediated.
I really wanted to get at the inadequacy of our modes of transmission. We’re always looking for better ones, as if wires and radio waves can somehow bring one mind any closer to another. Ultimately it is a struggle for immortality. If we can somehow get the ideas out of our heads, and accurately reproduce them someplace, then we’ll never really die. Tell a friend? What if they don’t understand? Write it down? What if there’s a fire? Blog about it? Not even close. This song looks at the entire breadth of human expression and bemoans it’s inadequacy. A hug can’t say it, and a bomb can’t say it. But hugs and bombs can say quite a lot, even if they can’t say everything. That’s pretty huge when you consider what it means people can mean to one another. Most of this song takes the perspective that this solipsistic nature of mankind is “driving us crazy,” (maybe it’s the reason for so many bombs...) but there is a tiny moment of conversion at the very end. After all, I can really only know for sure if it’s driving “me” crazy. Maybe somebody out there is at peace with these concepts, and they’re just trying to find the right way to tell us what they know, in a way that we’ll understand. Tricky stuff.
released November 11, 2013