Music Monday: What’s Just Around the Next Corner

villa_grammaire_by_the_black_swan-d79599iA matter of perspective.


I’ve always had a thing for virtual reality, going all the way back to when three-dimensional VR was just becoming a possibility. “Oh,” cried software developers, “here’s this thing! And if you put this view-obstructing helmet on, it lets you peer into this other world that we have created!”

Mind you that, at that time, such worlds were of a level of graphical detail that would make Minecraft feel like a reality simulator.

But now we have games/interfaces that are augmented reality: a layered on world resting atop our own interfaced through devices like our smartphones. I played one of these games for a while, and discovered parts of my home town I had never seen before. The hunger to search and discover was rekindled, and I found myself chasing down mysteries like the Scooby Doo gang.

I hope I’m not the only one who lives with that cat-like curiosity to find out what lies around the next bend.

I don’t normally put music videos in these, because the point of music should be the music, and I mostly share music that I use in my practices or classes—but I think in this case, the visual helps illustrate my point. The song is “Forever” by Nervous_testpilot, who does the soundtrack for games developed by Mode 7, including Frozen Synapse.

Nervous_testpilot’s music is heavily electronified, which I suppose tickled my fancy at the same time I was delving into virtual reality as a young adolescent. This track, however, I find much more mellow than some of the adrenaline rushes of some of his Frozen Synapse tracks. There’s an element of wonder that fits the delving into the trenches and crevasses of the generated world so, so perfectly.

One can barely make out a female vocal sample here that haunts some of the artist’s other tracks. The “character” comes off like a ghost in the machine; she says no lyrics, only  tones vowels to perfect pitch, like another instrument in the grand scheme—the virtual world’s own siren, forever urging explorers further onward. The metronomic xylophone-like chime gives the track a thoughtful, contemplative quality that can put a mind to puzzles what need solving, completing the feeling of curiosity invoked from the first moments of the track.


Though I just discovered this track myself, it has quickly risen to one of my favorites from Nervous_testpilot. It’s just what I needed, having just landed in a new city and been struck by the conflicting urges to go out and explore and to shut myself in the walls of relative safety. I would always recommend the former to others, and this renews my curious mind. In yoga, especially for starters and returners, I think this track is just right for those times when we’re in a flow or pose and the thought occurs to us, “I wonder if I could…” or “maybe I could try…” So get curious! Explore! You never know what you’ll find just around the next corner!


Cover art: the-black-swan/Deviantart