As a schizophrenic, I might ask– what is reality? What am I really experiencing? Is it authentic? If I share my experiences with others, will they invalidate or deny them?
I would suggest that in today’s world, it is getting harder and harder to distinguish reality from artifice, more and more difficult to establish what is authentic. This can be disorienting for anyone– and is especially so for a schizophrenic.
One example of the blurred lines between things is the type of music called “musique concrete”. In traditional “abstract” music, actual instruments or voices are used. A musician, or musicians, sing or play instruments in tandem.
In the modern era, recording techniques have led to the emergence of Musique Concrete, in which recorded portions of sound are used as components. Often, musicians do not play the music at all– it is assembled, or mapped out in a software program– as segments of audio that are manipulated and arranged.
This can be somewhat disorienting. A non-instrumentalist can make a song that makes him or her sound like they play in an orchestra. A man can use a female voice, or effect his voice to make it sound effeminate– or, he can make it deeper, more masculine. Traditional musical sounds can appear alongside other sounds– field recordings, sound effects, and so forth. A musician can use “loops” (or repeating pieces of sound), to create the impression that the same phrase has been played again and again.
As a result, it is hard for me to say what I am hearing, and how it was created. I literally have no idea how much of a piece is “authentic”, and how much is “artificial”, or somehow canned.
I find that this kind of music is not altogether unpleasant, but it does raise questions.
Musique concrete represents one of many ways that modern reality works against traditional experiences, which, again, can be confusing for mentally ill people (and, frankly, for healthy people, too).
A person has to either be extremely sharp and prepared, or they need to let go, no longer worrying about the authenticity of what they see and hear– giving in to the levels of artifice present in today’s world.