In my various musical incarnations, including “mystified”, I recorded using loops. Loops are pieces of media that are used repetitively. Often, they simply continue, without changing.

With loops, a small amount of material can easily become much longer.

Life has many loops. For example, there is the work week. Mondays are often very similar to one another, at least for me. Fridays have a particular character.

The sun has a certain motion across the sky, daily, and annually, too. We have morning, noon, and night. Also, there are Spring, Summer, Winter, and Fall, with all of their various attributes.

I know that every Fall, I remember the feeling of going back to school after summer break. I am not sure what triggers this– maybe it is the smell of decaying leaves (it is said that smell often prompts memories).

Thought processes, too, I feel tend to run in cycles. We may believe that we think in a linear fashion, but actually, we tend to run over the same or similar thought patterns many times a day.

What causes a sense of disorientation, whether listening to a song with lots of loops in it, or thinking about other loops, be they in our minds or in the world around us, is when our perspective shifts.

Recently, when I have my “back to school” thoughts, they come with the recognition that I do not actually have to buy school supplies, or plan to study again. That is all from the distant past. I both anticipate school, and realize that it will not actually be part of my life.

Then, the source of repetition provides a familiar input, but where we stand in relation to it shifts. As Brian Eno suggests, in his Oblique Strategy deck, “Repetition Is A Form Of Change”.

This relationship between the changeable self and a static reality can feel strange– “trippy”, as some might say. Mentally ill people may find it to be particularly unsettling.

Whether healthy or schizophrenic, modern life’s tendency to repeat itself, to run in cycles, is very much a part of human experience.

Author: mystified13

Sole member of Mystified and Mister Vapor.

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