Heavy beats combined with thick synthy bass notes introduce Rillivid’s new track Wanderer. The low notes hit like steps, right before the entrancing synth melody begins. The song leads the listener through a dark forest of haunting sounds that simultaneously feels luminous, like the comfort of looking up at a bright full moon embedded in a star scattered sky, obliging the listener to move forward, as if he or she is truly wandering through the dark with only the song to guide them.
The synth-driven melody glides through shimmering snares and cymbals to create a lucid, poly-rhythmic path of movement – a sequence that compels one to dance. It’s as if the song leaves you wandering around in the dark parts of your mind, the unconscious places that only drift into awareness in those special moments of clarity. I’ve only had access to those parts of myself when exposed to the fusion of music and dance. It’s almost as if the body and mind can align when exposed to the physically cognitive experience of dancing along with the rhythm and melody of a worthy song.
Though every ear has its specific tastes, there’s something alluring about well-produced dance tracks, which is why they’re so universal in the melting pot of the club dance floor. Words can never truly encompass actual emotions in the way that music can, just as words can never compel people to dance in the way that music does. In essence, words are simply signs pointing to the actual thing being expressed, whereas music is symbolic – standing in for the expression.
In one of my favorite Haruki Murakami novels Sputnik Sweetheart, a thematic question is proposed to the narrator, ‘What’s the difference between a sign and a symbol?’ The narrator uses the example of the emperor being a symbol for Japan, as opposed to Japan being a symbol of the emperor (Japan can still be a sign pointing to the emperor, however), though the reader is left to ponder the difference as the plot unfolds. To reformulate my assertion in the key of Murakami’s voice, I think of a song (or any art) as symbolic, able to stand in for emotions, and when great – can really make someone else feel those emotions. In contrast, a word can only point to the emotion, though they can combine (for example, in an entire poem or novel) to utilize symbols and touch on the archetypes within the cultural consciousness.
I’m not completely privileging music over language, because language is the priori of thought, however it’s impossible not to privilege a composition over a chord, or a symphony over a single note. Rillivid’s lyrical lack adds to the overall emotional effect and the seductive temptation to dance. Wanderer won’t leave you wondering what to do or where to go. The path is clear: move forward and just dance.