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The Cello and the Nightingales – In The Marginalian Magazine

Beatrice Harrison and How the World’s First Fake News United Humanity in Our First Collective Empathy for Nature

In the high summer of 1977, 100 years after Thomas Edison devised the first technology for recording and reproducing sound, the Voyager reached the poetic gesture of its Golden Record into the cosmos, carrying the universal language of our species — a Navajo night chant and a Bach fugue, a millennia-old Chinese song and a Beethoven string quartet, Senegalese percussion and a shepherd’s song from my native Bulgaria — encoded with the hope that some other life-form in some other corner of the universe might have the consciousness to hear it and fathom who we are.

Half a century earlier, a young cellist in a forest achieved what the Golden Record is yet to achieve, making contact with another consciousness through music — right here on Earth, in this wilderness of wonder already rife with alien minds. In the process, Beatrice Harrison (December 9, 1892–March 10, 1965) linked human consciousnesses around the world into a kind of planetary übermind vibrating with an unprecedented collective experience — an experience rooted in our relationship to nature, which is also our relationship to each other. In the haunting interlude between two World Wars — decades before the Moon landing, years before the birth of television, a quarter century before Alan Turing pioneered digital music — a voice wild and free spilled its liquid rapture from the waves of a young medium, slaking the ancient thirst for harmony in the human soul, singing the history of the future. FOR MORE

art and education, ecology, ENVIRONMENT, women artists, women writers, womens work

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