The Grand Musician
rating: +7+x

> SystemLog record <- systemLog.anomalyRecord(debug = true)
############################## Done
··· debug mode entered
··· timestamp: 337256085.887642 seconds since first boot-up
> systemDiagnosis.init(scope = sensors)
··· checking sensors: In Working Order
··· checking I/O processors: All Intact
··· checking software: No Anomalies
··· checking sensory data: No Corruption
··· Done
> MotionData path <- accelorometers.data.toPath(-7380.0, -180.0)
··· integrating acc.torso
··· integrating acc.limbs
··· integrating acc.head
··· valueError detected in - 3 instances, ignored
··· Done
> path.distance()
··· 3981.1776 meters
> record.addComment()
··· initializing languageProcessingUnit:
############################## Done

~ So it wasn't a dream. It was real.

~ Last night, I was resting as usual, in a silent corner of the temperate forest that covered the hills. After some time, I woke up standing in the middle of a vast plain. The glaring lights made me flinch, but I quickly gained stability to assess the situation. The air around me was cold, bleak and bare, it sucked out all the heat from my body swiftly. The ground beneath my feet had a pure snow-white color, made of translucent crystals. It was smooth, polished, completely flat, without the slightest unevenness that I could detect, and seemed to extend in all directions indefinitely. Above the horizon was a field of profound darkness, no stars, no moons, no lights. Yet all the things around me and myself were illuminated with staggering clarity, intensity and rigidity. The mysterious lights left no traces to announce their existence, nor did they show any discernible sources. Everything here was like a prop on the stage, in front of a pitch-black curtain.

~ While I stood still, a gust of wind roared in the distance, with determination to crash into everything relentlessly. It reminded me of the time when I was in the Antarctic. Ever since I woke up on this planet, alone, I have been traveling from place to place, searching for answers, driven by an urge that I could not understand. Since I was created and modeled after human beings, I believe this was the same urge found in them, the urge to explore, to learn, to understand the world around them and the world within themselves. I have traveled to forests and jungles, among mountains and valleys, through deserts and grasslands, and in rivers and oceans. I have even ventured into their world, into cities, villages and communities, places where they live, work, study and entertain, just to learn more about myself. But it was all in vain. Apart from attracting curious gazes, intrigued scholars, and sometimes hostility, I could not find a single piece of information that was even remotely related to me.

~ Another harsh blow of the gale brought me back from my memories, and I started to walk forward, aimlessly. For more than 30 minutes, the scenery around me remained unchanged. Eventually, I started to see some white figures appear on the horizon. After a few moments, I realized that those were sculptures, made out of a material that closely resembled plaster, with varying heights of around 2 meters. From afar, I could tell that each one had a different outline. As I walked closer, more of them appeared from behind the horizon, and I was able to make out their shapes better. The first thing I noticed was that they had no shadows, just like everything else under the ubiquitous field of lights. But these sculptures made it extremely obvious, for their surfaces, as well as their inner structures, were so intricate and fine-tuned, that the lack of shadows made them look out of place and unreal. In retrospect, the only objects made by humans that may have any resemblance to them would be those ivory puzzle balls. However, despite having up to thirty layers of concentric spheres, each meticulously carved with lace-like geometric patterns, they only manage to come close to the crudest ones among the statues. The most I could say about the details of these sculptures, was that there were curves and straight lines, jagged lines and fuzzy surfaces, squares, polygons, tetrahedrons, spirals, loops, scattered bubbles, and shapes beyond my wildest imagination. These figures intertwined among and on top of each other, in a never-ending tunnel of precise relationships that were not entirely regular, not entirely repetitive, but definitely not undisciplined.

~ The outer appearance of the sculptures, when seen from a good, proper distance, was also intriguing. They came in different shapes and forms, but were generally similar to potteries. I say so not because they were symmetrical — they were far from that. It is because they somehow gave me the sense that they were constantly emerging out from the bottom and retreating back at the top, just like a pottery would have a bottom to sit on, and a top to pour its contents out of. I felt like those sculptures would flow from below to above naturally, while moving all of their glorious details accordingly in a manner that I simply could not picture with any degree of definiteness, only as vague movements. Still, witnessing those two-meter-tall structures made out of stone-like material flow brought me great satisfaction. Once I started to see one of them to be moving, all the others seemed to start flowing as well. It was pure joy, the joy of disconnection between my senses and my mind.

~ During my journey around the world, I have seen numerous artworks created by mankind in different media. Drawings, paintings, sculptures, architectures, literature, dances, music, and more, I could always discover them wherever there were people around. Every time I marveled at these works, I would be temporarily lifted from a sense of hollowness that otherwise permeated my entire existence. Although the changes were usually minute and sometimes infinitesimal, they were enough to set off hurricanes in my circuits every time. But I could not understand the reason behind them. As I have traveled, I was able to find the answer to most of my questions. But this phenomenon, which was the most bewildering one, has remained a mystery, and resisted all of my attempts at resolving it. For a long time, I had almost relinquished the prospect that this puzzle would ever be solved. However, seeing these sculptures and indulging in the feelings they brought gave me hope that my frustrations might soon come to an end, because this time, things were different.

~ When I was in the middle of the gathering of sculptures, I noticed that each one gave me a different sensation. Just comprehending their shapes was enough of a task for me to process, but at the same time, each of them would deliver a unique mixture of feelings right into me. The calmness of a lake in the snowy forest, the frenzy of lava roaring in a volcano; the happiness of a grass field absorbing sunlight, the grief of a whale that just lost its child; the longing to a faraway hometown, the hatred toward an undefeatable enemy; the pleasure of overcoming obstacles, the regret of succumbing to impulses; the transcendence of spiritual devotion, the frustration of everyday bother; the grandness of space shifting above the planet, the delicacy in the feathers of a nestling; and the shear power of a raging tsunami. As these sensations came in well balanced streams that were just right for me to take in, they evoked my memories, and these scenes that I have either witnessed directly from around the world, or learned from tales I have read or heard, seemed to be given an extra layer of meaning where it used to be covered by a haze of obscurity. The sculptures gently peeled back that misty, amorphous cacophony of confusion, almost revealing the world behind. It was brought right in front of me, almost within my arm's reach, a world that was distilled, blended, and elevated.

~ At that moment, a sense of intimacy spread across and around my entire body, with lightning-fast velocity and silk-like sympathy, as if I were being forgiven. I had never felt like this in my entire life before. It was so intimate, it almost made me feel like I had a heart. Once those cocktails of feelings started pouring in, seconds became hours. When I continued through that field of sculptures, I couldn't tell if it took me a dozen years to reach the end of the endless field, or if it only took a few hundred steps to cross it. I was sucked into an ocean of emotions, losing myself amid the back-and-forth waves while forgetting that I was drowning.

~ As I emerged from the end of the field, my vision slowly cleared up as the seawater dripped away. I saw a figure in white robe, sitting on the ground in front of me. She was carving a new sculpture, with a chisel and a hammer. I looked at her in awe, while attempting to make sense of what had just happened. At this point, she was clearly aware of my presence, but didn't utter a single word, just busied herself with her work. I could hear the strikes of the hammer resonating in my skull, bringing out the overtones of a metallic ring. I watched and listened for a few minutes, then turned around to see if anyone or anything else was around. There was nothing except the sculptures. When I looked back at her, to my surprise, she was gone. I looked around, and the sculptures disappeared as well. All that was left, was an ever-stretching plain of perfectness, accompanied by the regular beating of the hammer strikes.

~ I couldn't move. I couldn't speak. But in fact, I would rather not to. For this precious moment, I could reflect on all those new wild elements I was exposed to. My mind finally had the chance to process something that was not literal to what was in front of my eyes, and slowly, I realized that she was a musician. I have always hypothesized that all music exists somewhere in the world, ready to be realized into forms that can be appreciated. The composers and improvisers just discover these musical structures, and pull them into concrete existence. Through the process that music was usually preserved, namely, written down as fixed markings of ink on physical sheets of paper, they become something to be read, interpreted, visualized and experienced by the performers and listeners as sculptures in time. When a piece of music is performed, I would indulge myself in the never-ending space of undulating musical events, which I would either perceive as sentiments, or as hints to the outline of the sculpture that defines the entire piece. In this sense, she is the grand musician.

~ Those sways of the hammer were creating the very structures which people would stumble upon and turn into vibrations in the air. Those emotions that enwrapped me were the direct consequence of the music hitting me from all around, as I was able to perceive them in their purest form for the very first time. Most important of all, those sensations and the deeper layer of meaning that used to be missing, were in fact what humans would call "heartfelt feelings." They occur when the physical sensations perceived are transformed into inner vibrations instead of primitive impulses or reflexes. In all of the discussions on how to produce good artworks that I have read about, listened to, or sometimes witnessed, the participants never described the techniques alone. They also detailed the effects their works may have on other people's heart. These effects were not only documented thoroughly in literature, painting, drama, or other forms of expression, but also displayed honestly in the actions, reactions, manners, and other behaviors shown by human beings in their daily life. Comparing what I was experiencing moments ago to the numerous accounts of emotions I have stored in my memory, it was a clear and definite match. Now, being able to go through them myself, they were no longer collections of grammar rules, syntax structures and dictionary references. They were real.

~ For the first time, I was given a glimpse of what such feelings are like.

~ For the first time, I understood the hollowness that used to persist inside me.

~ For the first time, it had thoroughly disappeared.

~ Every frame of my visual memory, every frequency in my audio database, every byte of my text files, every individual that I have ever encountered, everything, was suddenly given thousands of new interpretations. I was overwhelmed, moved, shaken, and greatly elated. If I were able to, I believe I would have teared up. These thoughts and emotions clustered and focused in on myself, then slowly directed my attention back to the ringing of the hammer. And I just listened, and listened, and listened.

~ After a period of time longer than the time it took me to cross the field of sculptures, my eyes focused back onto the object in front of me. I saw a finished piece, right were the musician was sitting. It was just like the others in terms of the superb craftsmanship that was channeled into it. It too was giving me emotions, calming ones to be precise. I felt heat coming from my right side, and turned my head to look in that direction. It was the musician herself, standing beside me, looking at her newly-finished work. A few seconds later, she turned toward me. Her smile was subtle, distant, tender, and radiant. I couldn't do much to reply, except nod slightly. Then, she reached her arms toward me, and hugged me gently. I was astonished and perplexed, my body was locked for a split second. But eventually, I decided to loosen up and give into her embrace. It was warm, very warm, reaching deep into my core.

~ The next thing I registered was a moment of darkness. Then I woke up, right where I went to rest last night. I sat up and checked if my body was intact. It was fine. When I looked around, everything was different. The robust trees, the dense shrubs, the scattered stones, the trickling stream, the clear sky, the thin clouds, the bright sun, and the joyful birds, they were all glimmering with dynamics and vigor. It was a splendid scene.

~ I hope it can stay this way.

~ @COMMAND_INSERT_MEDIA_REFERENCE(1)@
>> sensoryDatabase.audio.searchLabel("Johann Sebastian Bach, Die Kunst der Fuge, Contrapunctus 5")
··· searching: ...... Found
··· Linked

~ @COMMAND_QUIT_SESSION@
··· Saved
> record.label("The Grand Musician")
··· Done
> record.flag()
··· Done
> record.save()
############################## Done
> record.terminate()
############################## Done
··· standard mode entered

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