Mystics, poets, and scientists have long suspected that the universe is singing to us. Last September, scientists proved it when they recorded the sound of two black holes colliding billions of years ago.
The sound is the energy rippling from the crash, proving Einstein was right about both space ripples and the existence of black holes. The ripples sing in a C chord, and they are energy in motion, which scientists say will never cease travelling the universe.
We too are energy in motion; we are makers of music, and like the ripples, our movements and sounds will forever radiate outwards.
One of the earliest depictions of a musical instrument dates to c. 25,000-20,000 BCE and comes from Laussel, France. It is a 1’ 6” high relief sculpture of a woman holding a bison horn.
In its original context, the woman of Laussel was part of a great stone block measuring about 140 cubic feet which stood in the open air at the front of a Paleolithic rock shelter.
The Laussel relief is one of many examples of open-air art in the Old Stone Age. The popular notion that early humans dwelled exclusively in caves and all Paleolithic art comes from mysterious dark caves is inaccurate.
Perhaps she was the goddess of the place, outer guardian of the inner hearth, standing sentinel with a protective gaze over the surrounding plain.
Sound has always been with us, and it may be what linked us to our earliest spirituality. There is sound in space and there is sound in nature, and when we think of nature, we conjure the goddess, for she is the Earth.
The Laussel woman stands strong and firm and fecund. Traces of red ochre still adhere to her upper body, red of the flowing blood of life, of childbirth, and menstruation. One hand rests on her womb; the other holds the bison horn. Life and music together.
There is harmony in sound, even the earliest sounds of wind and rain and waves, of acorns falling and birds singing, and breezes whispering through the grass. Perhaps the sounds of nature provided order and balance within the world of early humanity, linking the spiritual to the profane.
The horn could sing like the smashing black holes sang; it may have sounded its own C chord, but as the Laussel woman holds it aloft, level with her shoulder, the crescent moon is evoked, linking the woman with the goddess, the goddess with the moon, and the music with song of the universe.
Sources: Gardner’s Art Through the Ages: The Western Perspective, Volume I.
Rault, Lucie, Musical Instruments Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2000