Vestiges: Lost

Lost is a frustration with the status quo, a yearning for the untapped possibilities of our being, and a message about how to proceed if we wish to unlock our potential and live a fulfilled life both individually, and as earth-bound, symbiotic beings.

How are we to become the solution to our downfalls? The answer lies within ourselves.

Lost started in the basement of a house I rented in my fourth year of university. I lived on Nebraska Road on the west side of Lethbridge with two of my best friends and fellow Digital Audio Arts students. During this year I had completed and consolidated the music theory and music history courses that I had recently taken covering Romantic-era through to Contemporary music. Though “Lost” never strays far from the diatonicism of less groundbreaking and adventurous classical-era or pop music, the inspiration to move toward a more colourful musical and rhythmic palette had begun. Two of the major pop-world musical influences that inspired this song were Australian singer-songwriter and heavenly vocalist Matt Corby, who had become somewhat of a hero to me by that time, as well as a sort of electronica-pop-jazz-groove band from Winnipeg called Royal Canoe who were consistently dishing up a funky, and often dark (but listenable), off-kilter rhythmically-intricate, musically-informed, super-band texture in their songs. The influence may not be as obvious to everyone, but this was my little take on those two huge writers.

The lyrical concepts emerged from my growing appetite for reading, philosophy, politics, and refining personal outlook. Around this period in my life, I had come to an important realisation about my place in the world. Delving into literature and more qualitative, nuanced knowledge, I brushed up against some uncomfortable truths about the world and problematic flaws in thinking that were commonplace in my life. It was from authors like Camus and Nietzsche that the confrontation began, but, through their work, I developed a sort of optimistic realism about the trials we face and the melioristic solutions that can counteract them.

This year especially, I began my shift from a place of complacency. The looming reality of climate change weighed heavy on my consciousness. Of the bounty our earth provides and beauty it holds, how could we soil that in our own self (and collective) interest? For things that mean nothing. How accountable are we to each other? This was a deeply troubling realisation to me. It was as if our comforting, and often completely unnecessary, extravagances had become the defining feature of our consciousness. Our idea of freedom and the “American Dream” had become our own undoing. Our feeling of necessity when it comes to things like having an abundance of personal space, transportation, clothing, constant temperature control, pre-made, packaged, and imported goods, ad infinitum.. when we begin to look under the rug we see that our existence and our being has become heavily tied to our ego, or the ideas we have of ourselves and what/who we are. Does the world have room for seven-and-a-half billion (and ever-growing) egos of this size? 

I encourage you to take an eco-footprint quiz online to see how many earths it would take to sustain your lifestyle. Since taking one again recently it has been my goal to get below one, as unfortunately mine was above that. It’s important that it is below one because, if we hope to continue human life on this earth, we need to over-adjust our way of life to compensate for others’ lack of ability, access to resources, and mobility. From our vastly privileged position in the first world, we have to get adjust to meet the needs our global ecosystem. I hope this encourages you to look into helpful ways of operating that are actually beneficial to our planet and society. (HERE are a few I found! – HERE are a few bad habits that are bad for the environment as well )

Meeting the minimum requirements is no longer an option. The legacy of humankind has always been carried on the often-tormented shoulders of those who see through the wrong in which they are imbued and make the right decisions despite the hardships. As Bill Nye once put it “To leave the world better than you found it, sometimes you have to pick up other people’s trash.”

More to come soon,

-Max

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