Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Earth Has Music For Those Who Listen...

... Its bright variations forever abound; with all the wonders that God has bequeathed us, there is nothing that thrills like the magic of sound.

This quote from George Santayana echoes the emotion and power found in Silvia Moreno-Garcia's book Signal to Noise. Set in the late 1980's Mexico the book follows three outcast friends: Meche, Sebastion, and Daniela as they discover the magic they have together through music and what drove them apart as Meche returns home in 2009 for her dad's funeral.

The story of Signal to Noise is simple not only in the type of story that it follows while the characters are teenagers but also with the mystery that surrounds their dissolved friendship. Please do not be misled into thinking that something simple is something not done well. The plot is simple not as a hindrance but rather to not become a distraction to the art at work. It is the beauty in the simplicity that makes this story so wonderful to read.  The reader discovers with the character's the magic they can feel and how to use that magic.

The core of the book is found in how the magic works and how it affects the characters. How it brings them together and drives them apart. The magic is based around music but not in the making of music, Rather it is in the picking of an album or tape with the potential for magic, an object of sound humming with magic, then playing that album while joining hands and willing a mutual wish into existence. The author captures the universal draw, the strong nuclear force of music especially as it affects teenagers. Music has a sway, a major influence, a power with young people. It is not a power that enslaves but empowers for the listener. Music encourages and enables like no other art force and all of you reading this cannot deny that power. You remember. The style may have been different then but the power was the same. And Signal to Noise, like a scent that brings back cherished memories, draws the reader back to a time when music had power and rhythm, When music was life.

Overall my score for this book is that: it's good. No, it's very good. I recommend this book for anyone where music was important for sculpting your life or if it wasn't but you want to know what that feels like. When remembering this book and mediating on it, I find that I like it a lot more than I originally did.

Sorry that I did not get that article about the importance of stories posted this week. It will be coming next Wednesday for sure. Also be on the lookout for next week's review over Vicious by V. E. Schwab, an interesting approach to the superhero novel. Comment, share, let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by and have a good, good Friday. 

1 comment:

  1. What about moon magic?
    When people say these trite platitudes like, "Music can change the world" or "Music feeds the hungry and gives shelter to the homeless" I simply want to kill myself. haha, jk jk.
    I can't help but think of this weird neo-philosophy of "sending good vibes" to people when I heard you describe this story and the power/magic of music. I understand, somewhat, how powerful music can be. The art of sound is something I know nothing about, but I can tell how influential music can be considering how musicians are considered "kings" in this world.
    ...just trying to challenge what the author is communicating, don't mind me!